This was our first time out with our shiny new callsign with Chris (G1VDP), Tim (M3SDE), Lee (G0MTN) as well as myself as the main ops able assisted by Marti (M1DCV) and our 12 year old scout helper, Aidan – who ran the spotter station for the first time in his life – thanks Aidan. Colin (M3OFW) popped in a couple of times and took great interest in the setup – welcome to Colin.
For antennas, we went to town on qtr waves as well as dipoles for 80m and 40m but we let ourselves down by the tribander which we couldn’t get to work properly – showing fluctuating SWR, particularly on 20m where we could really only effectively run lower power. We found out afterwards that only one strand of copper was being used as the main feeder at the connection point to the driven element. Clearly a serious blow and we should have made many more Qs on 20m.
As a first time QRO /p station, we targeted ourselves at half a million points but fell short, mostly because of a lack of a big session on 20m but also due to lack of mults on 15 and 10 in my opinion. However, we aired the new tent and generator as well as my new ACOM and it all worked perfectly barring band filtering between stations which is being corrected by some band filtering currently on the drawing board of my friend Barry (M0DGQ). The main run station was my trust MP with Inrad roofing filter but due to a blow-up of my Mk5, we reverted to a backup plan of a TS2000 which actually performed pretty well as a spotter connected to a vertically polarised 40m loop which worked “all band” on receive. All coax was 50m lengths of Westflex.
Highlights was being called by ZL and VK on Sunday morning on 40m between 7:30am and 8:00am local time as well as hearing Tim asking for GW0AAA’s serial number again and again on 10m. I was out dropping the 80m and 40m verticals in the morning but was happy to hear a multi coming through. I found out later that some QRN gave him too much grief and we never made it, sorry chaps!
In terms of shifts, Tim and I worked the night – although I got the better shift; midnight to 3:00am. Tim went graveyard through to 6:30am (he’s a star!) and only woke me so that I could work the ZLs and VKs coming in. Is that because I’m older?
I realise that the interesting thing about these team events is how you put on a better show the next year etc. Of course, doing this with the open section means that you gradually get bogged down each year with bigger and better ideas until finally one becomes completely sensible and joins the likes of the Bristol chaps and string up a long wire or doublet with 100 watts. I believe that we have a couple more years left of being completely daft I think so perhaps there a chance of getting a higher score one year.
This is a new callsign / club with a new direction and a number of people need to be thanked for riding this wave with me, particularly all those mentioned above: Tim, Chris, Lee and Barry – and of course young Aidan and all those other young scouts that we hope to introduce to contesting over the years.
Anyway, just over 1,000 QSOs for 381,477 points.