CQ DE VK7BEN

Just another Amateur Radio Operator

Tag: Contesting

2020 Summer Field Day Contest

QRV South Arm

Perhaps one of the most fascinating things going on here in VK7 is the surge in interest in communications above 30Mhz. I think this is largely due to the poor HF propagation conditions and the release of the Icom IC-9700. I think the most visible manifestation of this is that the VHF/UHF field day contests in Tasmania suddenly have quite a few people involved.

I haven’t been able to give it my all in contests of late due to having heaps of things going on but this time I was able to go mobile as a rover between grid squares QE36 and QE37.

23cm mobile

This time around my operations were pretty basic, using the IC-2720 in the car for 2m/70cm operations and an FT-2311 for 23cm, all on FM. It was also my first opportunity to use the 23cm yagi I built with the help of VK7MO in November.

I made 33 contacts through the afternoon which was a pretty casual effort given the amount of local activity, however there were some significant lessons learnt about mobile contesting

Being in Tasmania, the idea of “Winter Field Day” is not very appealing, but I think what I would really like to is build some decent, portable VHF/UHF yagis to be able to operate 50,144,430 and 1296 portable.

2016 Oceania SSB DX Contest

Over the weekend, the 2016 Oceania DX Contest was held. This was my first contest for the season, having missed this years RD Contest due to other commitments.

This year was definitely hard going compared to last year, with band propagation conditions truly terrible throughout the contest and then suffering the static crashes from a lightning storm occurring on the SA/NSW/VIC border later on Sunday afternoon. I wasn’t being particularly serious about the event this year, and therefore much of the time was spent in “search and pounce” mode making the initial contacts and then after the initial flurry, going off to do something else and returning to the radio every half hour or so to spin the dial and listen for any new signals.

And new signals were very few and far between, with only 9 contacts logged in the last 12 hours of the contest, with most bands only answering with the sound of the noise floor up until the last 3 hours of the contest on Sunday.

In the end I managed 42 contacts over the 24 hours of the contest, with the band split below:

Band QSOs
1.8 2
3.5 14
7 16
14 10

In comparison, this is around half the contacts from my 2015 contest effort. Notably last year there was much more activity on 20m (39 contacts) than this year, and 15m saw some contacts where this year there was none.

During the contest, I think my highlights would have been working 2 stations on 160m – it’s very rare for me to work anything at all on “top band”, along with being able to exchange contacts with stations I knew such as IK4GRO and VK5PAS (Hi Paul!).

Well the next big contest is CQWW SSB, which will be “The Big One”. Looking forward to it.

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