Easy building of a moxon antenna with 4NEC2

As we are still on lockdown and my 50MHz yagi is literally too huge to fit in the garden let alone erect on my lockdown lash-up system I decided I needed to make something smaller to use at home. I didn’t have any aluminium tubing at home long enough to make a small yagi so I decided to make a moxon antenna on the recommendation of a friend. These are very compact and easy to make so it seemed like a plan. I decided on a wire based version as although I have some 12mm tube I could cobble together I didn’t have anything I could get today for the corners. Wire it is.

I’d already looked around the web and compared the various online moxon calculators and the AC6LA Moxgen program (link) and the Moxgen program seemed to be the best fit for the suggested spreader angles. (Even though I’m not using spreaders as such.) It’s dead easy, just put your desired frequency in and the wire size and click calculate:
Moxgen calculated values for 16AWG wire
That’s it, job done. Almost…

I’m using normal insulated wire but the calculator doesn’t cater for the change in velocity factor from insulated wire. So I decided to run it through the free 4NEC2 simulation software (link) to make the required adjustments to the dimensions so it would work with minimal fiddling after. I love building, hate fiddling. Now, before you start backing away from the PC this is quite easy to use and just needs some really simple maths to do this. Stick with me. Look at the image above and see I have selected Format NEC on the right. You just do that and click the Generate Model button and save a file ready to open in 4NEC2. Run 4NEC2 and click Open and load the file you just made.
4nec2 main screen
Click that green calculator looking icon to bring up the next screen, choose frequency sweep and check the start and end frequencies are a useful range and that the step size is not too large, then click generate:

We then get a plot showing us the expected SWR curve of the antenna:
SWR of Moxgen design as supplied
Oddly minimum SWR at 50.1MHz rather than 50.2MHz but looking good. We can click the green calculator button again and this time plot the azimuth plot we are interested in:
generate 4NEC2 far field pattern
Which results in this plot:
Gain of Moxgen design as supplied
We can see the moxon should have about 6dBi gain and the amazing front to back ratio it is known for. Next to nothing off the back.

This is all very well but I’m not make it with bare wire so my antenna will not look like this without some tuning. First of all we need to add in the insulation so we can see what the effect will be. On the main screen, to the left of the green calculator is a red book, for editing the information that defines the wires making up the simulated moxon. Select the Source/Load tab, and tick Show loads. We then add two lines selecting as shown below from the offered selections. For Tag, First & Last we put 0 (zero) which will apply the setting to all parts of all wires. My tri-rated wire has insulation 3mm in diameter so I enter the radius, adding the mm to ensure correct scaling is used:
parameters for coated wire added
Once done we can click the green calculator on that screen, select frequency sweep again, but widen the scale. I’ve gone 5MHz either side of 50MHz. You can see the resonant frequency has moved 2.5MHz due to the effect of the insulation’s velocity factor:
frequency shift with insulated wire
So if we had built to the Moxgen dimensions using my insulated wire we’d be looking at an SWR of about 2.2:1. So we need to make some simple adjustments. The dimensions of the wires are on the Geometry tab below. Looks complicated but it’s just a few repeated co-ordinates. Some with a minus ( – ) sign to make the equal around the center of the axis to plot correctly:
original design geometry
What we are going to do is put those numbers into symbols, or what we would call variables in programming. When you look above there is only actually 4 different numbers used so it’s not complex. You can give them any name you like, even Harold but I have gone similar to the Moxgen image further up. Just click the Symbols tab and enter as shown below. You’ll see a 5th value called Vf. I’ve already tuned it by now but pretend I haven’t:
values changed to symbols
Now we need to flip back to the Geometry tab and put the letters (W, E, DirS, RefS) where the numbers used to be:
geometry changed to symbols
If you were to run the SWR plot again now, it should be exactly the same, best SWR on 47.5MHz. But finally we add in the velocity factor. To the end of each of the letter symbols add without spaces
*Vf    (star V f):
velocity factor applied to design
Now we can run the SWR plot and it will apply a Vf correction to every dimension. I found 0.945 by trial and error. They say Vf for wire is between 0.95 and 0.98. I knew mine would be the lower end as it is quite thick. Now if we run the SWR plot, changing back to the 49 to 51MHz range we get this plot:
velocity factor corrected SWR plot
Back in business. A point to note here. I’m aiming for the SSB section of the band, but if I wanted to cover more of the band I would still aim at the lower frequency with this design. You can see the SWR curves rises steeply on the LF side but gently on the HF side. Anyway, if we run the far field plot we now get this:
velocity factor corrected gain plot
As you can see this has changed. A bit less forward gain because we are chucking some out the back now. Now as I mostly do contesting this doesn’t bother me at all but it is interesting nonetheless.

So now we have redesigned the original dimensions to my real world application of actual wire, we should be shooting for success. We just need to apply the scaling factor of 0.945 to the original sizes with a calculator and a little rounding to sensible numbers:
Moxgen adjusted values for 16AWG wire
So for the reflector we need a wire 2051+384.5+384.5 – 2820mm long and for the driven element 2 wires 1025.5+305.5 = 1330.5mm long.

Now we can build the antenna and have a good chance of it working!

I decided to make it from a small length of 20mm boom left over from VHF yagis and find some plastic pipes from the DIY shop to support the wires in the A dimension and just stretch them between the pipes for the E direction:
material costs receipt
I bought a terminal block strip with the intention of using the brass inserts with nylon rope to join the ends at the C direction but didn’t after so total cost of parts not lying around £3.87. I used my red yagi elemt plates to mount the pipe clips and snapped the pipes into them after cutting to size. They didn’t really grip the pipes so I just taped them on to stop them sliding sideways.
I fitted a short tail of RG223 to an N-type plug, split the other end into braid and core and soldered the two halves of the driven element on and threaded those into a hole drilled in the centre of one pipe. After testing I sealed this with liquid insulation tape:
driven element entry detail
I had a better idea for the ends of the elements at dimension C. I quickly modeled up a small plastic part like so and sent two to the 3D printer:
wire ends connecting strip 3DThe holes are a snug fit, tight enough to hole the wire until final testing. I marked lines on with a Sharpie 60mm apart and fitted the wires. Once tested I locked off with cable ties:
wire end connecting strip
So, the acid test. What does it measure like?
SWR as designed
SWR plot is very close but shifted down in frequency. This is because of the plastic pipes which I can’t (or don’t know how to) model in 4NEC2. Not a problem as I expected this and knew that now the wires would be ‘too long’. So I cut 10mm off the end of each element half (4 ends) and ended up with this:
SWR plot with 10mm trimmed off(just noticed my analyser clock is way out LOL)

Pretty much an exact match to the simulation with 30 seconds of trimming. Just how I like it!

The finished antenna looks like so. It actually looks better than this because this is before cutting the 10mm off each wire end.:
finished moxon up for testing

G1YBB Contest Results 2019

List of results of contests I have participated in during 2019. Where I have had chance to post a report there is a link to that post.

Individual Events
RSGB 144MHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC January 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC January 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC January 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC February 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC February 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC February 2019
RSGB March 144/432 (144MHz) 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC March 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC March 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC March 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC April 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC April 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC April 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC April 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC April 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC April 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC May 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC May 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC May 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC May 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC May 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC May 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC May 2019
RSGB 144MHz 1st Backpackers
RSGB 144MHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC June 2019
RSGB 144MHz 2nd Backpackers
Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC June 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC June 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC July 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC July 2019
RSGB 144MHz 3rd Backpackers
RSGB 432MHz UKAC July 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC July 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC July 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC July 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC July 2019
RSGB 144MHz Low Power
RSGB 432MHz Low Power
RSGB 50MHz UKAC August 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC August 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC August 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC August 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC August 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC September 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC September 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC September 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC September 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC September 2019
Practical Wireless 70MHz 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC September 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC October 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC October 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC October 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC October 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC October 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC October 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC October 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC October 2019
RRSGB 144MHz UKAC November 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC November 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC November 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC November 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC November 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC December 2019
RSGB 144MHz FMAC December 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC December 2019
RSGB 432MHz FMAC December 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC December 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC December 2019
—————————————-
sec
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
AR
AR
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
AR
6O
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
AR
AR
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
10
AL
AL
10
AL
AR
5B
AL
10
5B
NA
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
AR
AR
AL
10
5B
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
MO
MO
AL
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
10
AL
AL
AL
LP
AR
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
AR
AR
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
10
AL
10
AL
AL
res
1st
3rd
1st
4th
1st
2nd
1st
9th
5th
1st
4th
1st
4th
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6th
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2nd
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6th
4th
1st
4th
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4th
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3rd
1st
2nd
1st
1st
4th
1st
11
1st
1st
5th
1st
1st
1st
3rd
1st
1st
1st
3rd
5th
1st
4th
1st
1st
3rd
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
3rd
1st
2nd
1st
3rd
1st
2nd
1st
1st
21
1st
3rd
1st
6th
1st
1st
9th
12
1st
2nd
1st
2nd
2nd
1st
3rd
TBC
13
1st
2nd
Series results
RSGB 144MHz Backpackers 2019
RSGB 144MHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 50MHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 432MHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 70MHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 2.3GHz UKAC 2019
RSGB 10GHz UKAC 2019
RSGB Overall UKAC 2019
sec
5B
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AR
AR
NA
res
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
20
12
3rd

G1YBB Contest Results 2018

List of results of contests I have participated in during 2018. Where I have had chance to post a report there is a link to that post.

Individual Events
RSGB 144MHz UKAC January 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC January 2018
RSGB 1296Hz UKAC January 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC February 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC February 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC February 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC February 2018
RSGB 1296Hz UKAC February 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC March 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC March 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC March 2018
RSGB 1296Hz UKAC March 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC April 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC April 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC April 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC April 2018
RSGB 1296Hz UKAC April 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC May 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC May 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC May 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC May 2018
RSGB 1296Hz UKAC May 2018
RSGB 144MHz 1st Backpackers 2018
RSGB 70MHz Cumulatives #3
RSGB 144MHz UKAC June 2018
RSGB 144MHz 2nd Backpackers 2018
Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC June 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC June 2018
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC June 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC June 2018
RSGB 70MHz Cumulatives #4
RSGB 144MHz UKAC July 2018
RSGB 144MHz 3rd Backpackers 2018
RSGB 144MHz Backpackers 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC July 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC July 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC August 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC August 2018
RSGB 70MHz Cumulatives #5
RSGB 432MHz UKAC August 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC August 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC September 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC September 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC September 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC September 2018
Practical Wireless 70MHz 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC October 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC October 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC November 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC November 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC November 2018
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC November 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC November 2018
RSGB 144MHz December AFS 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC December 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC December 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC December 2018
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC December 2018
—————————————-
sec
AL
AL
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
5B
AL
AL
5B
NA
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
5B
5B
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
LP
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
O
AL
AL
AL
AL
res
1st
1st
3rd
47
2nd
3rd
3rd
4th
16
1st
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3rd
1st
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1st
2nd
1st
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2nd
1st
2nd
1st
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Series results
RSGB 144MHz Backpackers 2018
RSGB 70MHz Cumulatives 2018
RSGB 144MHz UKAC 2018
RSGB 50MHz UKAC 2018
RSGB 432MHz UKAC 2018
RSGB 70MHz UKAC 2018
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC 2018
RSGB Overall UKAC 2018
sec
5B
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
AL
N/A
res
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
1st
3rd
4th

G1YBB Contest round up 2017

2017 was was first full year back into VHF contesting (and some HF contesting too) since the 1990s. In 2016 I did the RSGB Backpackers series with Paul G1YFC and we achieved great success winning the series and I started doing the 144MHz UKAC series, initially as practice runs for the backpackers then it becomes kind of addictive.

Over December 2016 we tried to rally our local club Hereford Amateur Radio Society into joining us on the bands in the UKAC contests. Take up was encouraging and several members said they would come on the air for the club. Additionally the rules for the UKACs were changed to divide the ‘clubs’ into National and Local. So HARS would be in the section for ‘real’ radio clubs with members only eligible within a 35km radius of a designated central point. During our plans we thought it would be feasible and great if HARS could get into the top 10 of the local club category.

December was busy for me as I had decided to take part in the 50MHz UKAC series along with the 144MHz UKAC series. But to do so I needed a 50MHz beam! So I was busy buying aluminium and building. I finished the main build and tested it literally the evening before the January 50MHz UKAC contest!

144MHz PW QRP.
This is the one I really hope to win and this year we were hoping to repeat our success of 2016. The weather on top of the Black Mountains was evil. Wet and VERY VERY windy all day. It took us 2 hours just to set up the mast and antenna, then we bent my tent poles in the wind so I had to prop up the corner of the tent with my head and shoulders for over 7 hours. However we did well and managed to take the win again.
144MHz PW QRP Top Ten stations 2017

144MHz UKAC.
On 144MHz I hit the ground running as I used to do a lot of contesting on 144MHz years ago and of course had been active in the UKAC and Backpackers in 2016. After initially entering some 2016 UKACs with the FT-817 I started using the old FT-225RD as it is still the best receiver of the radios I own.
I started 2017 the way I ended 2016, with a winning streak. Competition is fierce on 144MHz but working hard I managed to win all but one of the 12 session, which I am well pleased with.
144MHz UKAC AL Section final standings
144MHz Backpackers.
Myself and Paul G1YFC also took part in the 144MHz Backpackers series. We only managed 3 sessions of the possible 5 due to other commitments, but we managed to win those 3 sessions and retain the trophy we won in 2016.
144MHz Backpackers 5B Section final standings

144MHz Trophy.
I was pleased to be invited to the Isle of Sheppey to join the Blacksheep Contest Group to help operate their open section station in one of the biggest 144MHz contests in the calendar. I have done this in the past with Kevin G1VDF but it’s hard work running a 24 hour station. Blacksheep run a multi mast multi op station which was good fun to see and operate. Despite our best efforts though we were beaten into 2nd place by Parallel Lines CG.
144MHz Trophy Open section results 2017
50MHz UKAC.
This was almost a new band for me as we only did a few 50MHz contests in the 90s. I had to build a yagi for the band and literally finished (to a point it was usable) the night before the first contest! I had two inches of snow in that first contest but managed to win, which is a decent achievement being up against G4CLA who is rather good and successful. I lead my section for a while but finally succumbed and was beaten to second place by 65 points only!
50MHz UKAC AL Section final standings
432MHz UKAC.
I hadn’t planned to do this band this year but as the club take up was very good I decided I should help out! So I borrowed a beam from Craig M0BUL and started in March. I was much more enthusiastic after winning my first one! I didn’t win the next few but got the hang of the band towards the end of the year. Just enough to scrape winning the section by just THREE points.
432MHz UKAC AL Section final standings
70MHz UKAC.
This was another band I hadn’t planned to do but I borrowed a transverter and beam from Matt G8XYJ and started on the band in February, the first time ever on the band for me. I then bought my own Ukranian transverter (which are brilliant for the price) and built my own long yagi twice the length of the borrowed one. This helped me get great results and although I was only able to do 9 of the 12 sessions I managed to win the last few sessions and gain enough points to take the AL section win.
70MHz UKAC AL Section final standings
1296MHz UKAC.
I had no intention at all of taking part on this band but as we went on through the year and were challenging Sheffield for 1st lace overall I decided to try and help us get more points on one of our weaker bands. I had no kit at all but first shared a station with Stuart G3WRA and later borrowed his kit when he wasn’t able to take part. Stuart’s transverter only generates 2W RF so taking part in the AL 10W section was quite hard work. I did manage a 4th place though in December!
I managed 37th place overall from 4 sessions.

Club results.
Hereford Amateur Radio Society had an amazing first year in the local club section of the UKACs. We came 2nd overall and also won the 144MHz and 50MHz bands outright.
Local Club Overall UKAC results 2017

G1YBB Contest Results 2017

List of results of contests I have participated in during 2017. Where I have had chance to post a report there is a link to that post.

2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC January 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC January 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC February 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC February 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC February 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC March 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC March 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC March 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC March 2017
RSGB 80m CC SSB March 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC April 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC April 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC April 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC April 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC May 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC May 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC May 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC June 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC June 2017
RSGB 144MHz 2nd Backpackers 2017
Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC June 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC June 2017
RSGB 80m CC SSB June 2017
RSGB 144MHz 3rd Backpackers 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC July 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC July 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC July 2017
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC July 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC July 2017
RSGB 80m CC Data July 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC August 2017
RSGB 144MHz 4th Backpackers 2017
RSGB Backpackers Championship 2017
144MHz Low Power Contest 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC August 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC August 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC August 2017
RSGB 144MHz Trophy 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC September 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC September 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC September 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC October 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC October 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC October 2017
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC October 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC October 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC November 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC November 2017
RSGB 432MHz UKAC November 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC November 2017
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC November 2017
RSGB 144MHz UKAC December 2017
RSGB 50MHz UKAC December 2017
RSGB 1296MHz UKAC December 2017
RSGB 70MHz UKAC December 2017
sec
AL
AR
AL
AR
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
100
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
5B
NA
AR
AL
AL
100
5B
AL
AL
AR
AL
100
AL
5B
5B
O
AL
AR
AL
O
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
AL
AL
AR
AL
AL
res
1st
1st
1st
3rd
4th
1st
2nd
1st
1st
107
1st
4th
2nd
1st
1st
3rd
3rd
1st
3rd
1st
1st
8th
3rd
13
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34
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21
2nd
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4th
1st
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1st
2nd
1st
1st
2nd
10
1st
1st
2nd
1st
1st
8th
1st
3rd
4th
1st

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