G1YBB Contest Results 2016

List of results of contests I have participated in during 2016. Where I have had chance to post a report there is a link to that post.

sec
AL
AL
3B
AL
3B
NA
3B
AL
3B
3B
O
AL
AL
AL
res
3rd
1st
2nd
7th
1st
1st
1st
9th
1st
1st
4th
1st
1st
1st

RSGB 50MHz UKAC 10th August 2017

Not had much time for posts lately with all the contesting but thought I would do one for this one.

My 50MHz UKAC season started off well in 2017 with a win, and a win in the same section as Pete G4CLA at that. In March I was only beaten into 2nd by a couple of DX MGM modes, so I was quite buoyant about my chances. However as the year has progressed I seem to have dropped in the results. So much so (and in other bands too) I wondered if my feeder was shot so I made a new one but kept it for 144MHz and 70MHz as I had a chance in those bands at least.

However, August has been a good month for me. Apart from not winning my first 144MHz UKAC since October 2016 I have had great results. A 144MHz Backpackers win, 432MHz win, looking good in 70MHz and a very close 50MHz! Only 571 points covered the top 3 claimed scores!

Also Pete ‘CLA was operating as EI/G4CLA and didn’t put an entry in so for now I am artificially sitting top of the pile in 50MHz!

My QSO map:
50MHz UKAC 2017-08-10 map
Claimed scores (top 10):
Claimed scores 50MHz UKAC Aug 2017
Final scores (top 10):
Final scores 50MHz UKAC Aug 2017
Current standings overall (top 10):
50MHz UKAC AR Standing Aug 2017

RSGB 70MHz UKAC 16th March 2017

After my first ever go contesting on 70MHz I decided I needed a longer yagi as I could hear stations that couldn’t hear me on the meagre 4W allowed in the 70MHz AL section. That is not a dig at the rules as it makes sense with the licence limit being 160W but it is hard work for sure so a longer yagi is definitely in order I feel. The loaned 4 element has a 2metre boom and stated gain of 6.4dB. It is also constructed using very thin coax for the DK7ZB match which although not much will be bound to have a little loss. My chosen yagi is 5.2m long and has a stated gain of 10.22dB and is made with relatively very low loss coax in the match so I hoped it would help me make it with the usual good  bonus square stations. It was too dark to take a pic of the new yagi this month but the clocks go forward before the next one so I shall be able to get a pic.

On the night either conditions were much better or the new yagi rocks! My QSO count was up a little but more importantly I was able to make it to the stations I couldn’t complete with last month for those valuable bonus squares.

My QSO map:
70MHz UKAC 2017-03-16 map
Claimed scores (top 10):
Claimed scores 70MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Final Scores (top 10):
Final scores 70MHz UKAC Mar 2017

RSGB 80m CC June 2017 SSB contest

Since finishing my 80m inverted vee in March I have been looking unsuccessfully for a closer spacious site big enough to use for erect the dipole as Westhope Common now is now made unwelcoming by a particularly  whinging woman. Very recently my friend Paul G1YFC suggested some land a friend of his owns not 5 miles from my house that would be available. It’s a perfect location for me.

The June 80m CC SSB session happened to be outside a week when I am doing the VHF UKAC events which meant I was able to take part. The last time I managed to take part in March was my first ever time on 80m and just searching and pouncing I came 107th! My lowest contest position ever at the time, by 90 positions! Hopefully out portable with a reasonable antenna I could do better.

Here is Paul and the setup at the new location:
80m inverted vee setup
Despite terrible QRM from a few KHz up I managed to keep a run frequency going and for the most part of the contest managed to average 2 QSOs per minute.

Final QSO count was 142 in the 90 minutes which put me 11th:
June 2017 80m CC SSB entries
After adjudication where I lost 6 QSOs altogether including two where the serial was one out. Seeing as one was 19 received by me and 20 logged, which sound nothing alike I assume this is the out by one issue HF contesters have said about! Annoying. Anyway I ended up joint 13th, which is a lot better than 107th!
June 2017 80m CC SSB results

RSGB 2nd 144MHz Backpackers & PW QRP contests 2017

For this year’s RSGB Backpackers series we were unable to take part in the first session due to my being overseas on a very important assignment, namely my YL’s special birthday. So we start this year’s series 1/5th behind already!

Well what a day this was! Leaving town the tops of the trees were moving gently in the breeze. Arriving at the bottom of the hike up the mountain, again trees moving gently in the breeze. However at the top of the mountain at 800m which is very exposed a full blown gale was blowing.
ready to set up on top of the Blackies

This was going to be interesting. We’ve had a gale blow up during the contest up there but never really set up in bad wind. This made it take much longer than it normally would and turned out we were setting up for over 2 hours! We also had an operational cock-up setting up the tent which resulted in both poles of my 4 season mountaineering tent getting bent. These cost me £100 to replace! (Once they arrive I will send off the bent ones for repair so at least I have spares.)

Paul G1YFC brought his GoPro and did this cool video of the day.

Radio wise we had a great day. Good activity and great collection of UK squares. Activity in the PW only part of the contest was pretty slow. Only 7 QSOs in last hour, but one was a new square so worth sticking it out. We always stick it out right to the bitter end. Very often we have had a little flurry and some multipliers at the end.

The wind continued to batter us the entire time we were up there and with the bend in the poles the tent didn’t perform as it should so I had to sit in the corner of the tent to stop the pole pushing in with my shoulder. So for 7 hours I had the tent pole bashing me on the head and shoulder! Worth it though as the take off is fantastic.

QSO Map:
2nd Backpackers 2017 GW1YBB/P QSO map
Claimed Scores (10 from 13 entries):
Claimed Scores 2nd Backpackers 2017
Results:
Results 2nd Backpackers 2017
BackPackers-2017-2nd-Winners-cert

Car portable cable access

Nearly all of my radio is done portable in one way or another. When I am car portable like many people I bring the cables in through one of the car windows. As I like to operate both through the winter and in the summer I wanted to keep the cold and rain out in winter and the flies out in the summer.

My simple solution to this is a strip of 1 inch thick closed cell foam with a shallow slit in one edge to fit on the top of the window, and a notch for the cables. Simple but works for me. It also doubles as rattle reducing packing on the way up and back!

car portable cable entry

Lightweight 80m Inverted Vee dipole

My local club Hereford Amateur Radio Society has been embracing the RSGB VHF and UHF activity contests but also some members have been taking part in the RSGB 80m CC series of contests which have SSB, CW and Data sessions. I wanted to join in so needed at make an antenna, which I decided should be a trusty inverted vee dipole.

My first consideration was how was I going to support the centre high enough. I have an 8m and 10m fishing pole but neither are really high enough on their own. So my solution was to attach the 10m fishing pole to the top of my VHF portable mast (a 6m scaffold pole) which will get me the centre of the dipole about 14m high:pole fitted to contest mast
Off to the SOTAmaps dipole calculator website (link on my useful links page) to calculate the lengths:
80m dipole calculations
The fishing pole is pretty flexible using the upper sections so I have a pair of guys lower than the dipole to stabilise it a little made from thin but strong cord. These will go at 90° to the dipole, using the dipole itself to steady the very top of the pole:
80m dipole pole guy winders
Typically it was a pretty windy day when I set it up on my favourite test setup hill:
Dipole erected and tuned
As the wire is quite thin it’s fairly narrow band but I got a reasonable match mid band:
tuned for centre of band
All ready to go.

Apart from the fact that my favourite test site and intended 80m CC portable operating site Westhope Common, that I have been using on and off for about 35 years now has a resident that hassles everyone and anyone who goes up there, and has hassled me each time I have been there lately. So I need to find another site.

RSGB 432MHz UKAC 14th March 2017

2017 is the first year Hereford ARS has been actively participating in the RSGB UKAC series of contests. As we as a local club were doing pretty well by being 4th overall I felt I should expand my band operations onto 432MHz to help the team score points. I don’t have any antennas at all for 432MHz but Craig M0BUL offered to loan me his 19 element Tonna. After using my 7.2m long 50MHz yagi this seemed like a tiny thing but Craig assured me it was a contest winning yagi.
432MHz 19 elementTonna yagi
It was certainly much easier and faster to set up. I could take it already assembled and fit it to the mast in seconds. As a result on tear down I was through the gate at 10:58 after the contest ended! First time away before 11pm.

I have not been on 432MHz since we used to do March 144/432MHz in the 80s and 90s and we always found it very hard work and much slower than 144MHz on QSO rates. I had been checking the previous contest results for a while and could see activity is very similar to 144MHz and more than the other bands. I think the modern shack in a box radios must help as back when we were last on you had to buy a 70cms radio to get on the band. I personally didn’t because it was so much quieter (vicious circle!).

Activity overall was down on 144MHz but I had some good spells of good activity and pileups and was very pleasantly surprised!

My QSO map:
432MHz UKAC 2017-03-14 map
Claimed scores (top 10):
Claimed scores 432MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Final scores (top 10):
Final scores 432MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Full result list (PDF)

Hereford ARS Members results:
HARS members results 432MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Hereford ARS standing in local club section:
Local club standings 432MHz UKAC Mar 2017

RSGB 50MHz UKAC 9th March 2017

This month I am hoping to improve on my 3rd from February. It was a close top three but 3rd is still 3rd. Hopefully I can do better this time!

The nights are starting to draw out a little and I managed to get my first photo of the yagi in almost daylight:
6 element 50MHz DK7ZB by G1YBB
Conditions we still flat for me but I did manage to work an F and PA station this time at least.

My QSO map:
50MHz UKAC 2017-03-09 map
Claimed scores (top 10):
Claimed scores 50MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Final scores (top 10):
Final scores 50MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Full result list (PDF)

Hereford ARS member scores:
Hereford ARS 50MHz Member scores
50MHz Local club standings so far:
RSGB 50MHz UKAC Local club standings Mar 2017

RSGB 144MHz UKAC 7th March 2017

Next round on the series comes round again followed by the 50MHz UKAC two days later like in February! Busy busy busy. For this round I decided to take the yagi partially built rather than fully disassembled like normal to make set up and tear down a little quicker. It has 3 sections so I assembled the middle and front and fitted the elements only have to add the rear and fitting the elements to that. Every little helps!

Overall activity was down a little for me but I did work a few GM and PA, ON and DL.

My QSO map:
144MHz UKAC 2017-03-07 map
Claimed scores (top 10):
Claimed scores 144MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Final scores (top 10):
Final scores 144MHz UKAC Mar 2017

Full result list (PDF)

Hereford ARS Members results:
HARS members results 144MHz UKAC Mar 2017
Hereford ARS standing in local club section:
Local club standings 144MHz UKAC Mar 2017