I’ve resumed my role in the vhf white noise listening club with this evenings UKAC 50Mhz contest. Its a bit early in the season to expect any results with 6m from here but nice to get a full 3 qso’s with my new (and more xyl friendly) 4 ele yagi, from Powabeam.
I opted for the smallest one they did as the previous long boom 5 ele was just too big and basically got in the way for much of the year. This one is shorter by quite a margin and performance isn’t far off what I would have expected from the previous one. Oddly enough it was a gift from my mother in law through the DX shop. Well done her, and by far better service than I received through other well known and innovative antenna manufacturers. The specs are largely what you would expect from a small beam but the quality of manufacture is superb. There is no need to trim or tune anything. Just bolt up and away you go. All in all less than 10 mins from start to up on the portable mast. Highly recommended.
Operating at home certainly beats sitting in a car, freezing yourself half to death, on the side of a fell road but there is not much in the way of chance that I’ll get good results from here without the aid of Es. When I could no longer hear the beacons in Northern Ireland it was time to turn the rig off though.
I’ve finally managed to crack open the radio again this month and get going again. I can’t believe its March already, a full 2 months into 2013 and I must admit my radio rate (a bit like work rate but far more enjoyable) has been very low. However, i see light at the end of the tunnel.
I managed to get out last night and particiapte in the UKAC 144Mhz contest. I find this to be a nice and easy going type of contest where I can operate as a portable station without too much bother. last night i managed 17 contacts from the comfort of the car with 10w and a 5 ele yagi. I am using these contests as a way to get more involved on a regular basis with vhf operating as I struggle to get out on hf as the salt air has knackered my vertical antenna.
Next off is the new outdoor antenna. I have always had a soft spot for Cobwebb antennas. My single wire one is going to a new home and I wanted to get myself building again so I will be making a more robust version for outside. I have XYL permission and will get cracking in the summer.
Also is the VHF field day. Andrew, G4VFL and I will be putting together a station to operate from Corney fell, which judging by Andrews recent results in the UKAC should give us some advantage in height.
Only work can get in the way now.
The UKAC contest series is a vhf contest that runs throughout the year on Tuesday evenings. Each Tuesday has a different band allocated and last night’s was the turn of the 2m band.
This normally quiet band (up here at least) has plenty of activity to keep even the most relaxed operators busy for 2 and a half hours. I count myself in that category. Although last nights entertainment was far from relaxing.
I operate portable from ai reasonable hill close to home. The car is my qth with the ft 817 providing the noisey end and a portable mast with my excellent 5 ele lfa yagi doing the ‘pointing’. A drive on plate holds the outside parts in place. Except last night when very strong winds were rocking the yagi and the car so much I thought I was going to end up with a mast and antenna as a bonnet ornament.
By 9:30 I’d had enough but tried a few more station before packing up and retreating to a cosy house.
It’s a very addictive thing this contesting but I really think I should get extra points for enduring fierce weather!