2002 2m RSGB Trophy and IARU Region 1 Contest
Although this was a VHF contest weekend you can see from below that in fact there was something for everyone. We will most definitely repeat this format next year. Those club members who “don’t like contests” and so did not join us on site over the weekend missed out on a lot of “real radio” and fun. Having said that this was a well-supported weekend activity.
The success of the courses run by John Bonner G0GKP at CDARC have introduced several new members to the club and the enjoyment of home brewing was clearly evident during this weekend. Well done John.
Yet more reasonable weather, we have been so lucky with our outdoor events this year. How different this year proved to be as well, despite entering this contest for many years each contest has its own character and there is never a dull moment. This general view shows that the mound that gave us an extra 6 m height and helped the aerials clear the barn apex has gone. The near tent and pump-up are for the H.F. equipment With a halyard system between two of the masts we were able to try out the 9, yes nine, homebrew designs that members brought along.
David, Mark and Clive hard at work connecting yet another design of aerial into the ATU, a quad is being connected to the halyard system before being raised for tuning and testing. Some excellent contacts were made on a range of aerials tried during the weekend and everybody was able to get sleep except Mark, who played the night away.
We were short of operators, as usual now for the club, and suffered from some equipment problems. The pre-amp again failed and introduced about 10 db loss when in circuit. The Ft225 seemed to have a varying output level which made driving the Nag linear difficult at times. Signal quality reports however were excellent, showing that the external speech processor is now correctly set up and allows for variations in operator “talk power” without overdriving the linear and driving the valve into overheat and secondary emission problems (i.e. when the anode current meter goes off scale and stays there, even on receive.) Mind you we do have 3 valves (6 Volt heaters now after Ian’s Mod) which work OK, so it is no longer the end of the world if the valve fails, but it is nice to put out a good quality signal!
We used 2 of the club’s 17 ele Tonna’s on separate pump-up masts with the co-axial switching relay, with battery powered speech processor and solid state “CQ caller”driving the FT225 and Nag llinear. Both these additions to the station help with saving the operators voices. This year we had full on-site catering from Gill and David with their new campervan, they kept us plied with victuals the whole weekend. A special thank you to Gill from us all.
The bigger generator made all the difference to the previous problems of power supply variations, for future reference we should always hire the 3.2 Kva unit
So how did we do?
We made 185 contacts giving 45212 points. ODX was DL0GTH at 753 Km
We lost 5.32% of our claimed score, which ain’t at all bad actually. From comments on the contest site we missed one of the biggest Aurora's though! The adjudicator wrote: ”Wow! That was how some entrants summed up this contest. An intense aurora occurred during Saturday night and early Sunday morning, which produced some excellent DX. Activity levels were also high, helped by the IARU 2m contest that coincides with this contest. One station remarked that finding a clear frequency was problematic at times."
We had a few problems getting access to the site for various reasons and the barn was not opened until about 12.30 pm, far too late to be ready for the start of the contest. A problem seemed to develop with our frequency stability during the night shift in that we were a few kcs higher than the band-plan allows so few contacts were made. When it came to leaving the site we were delayed due to a horse without a rider blocking the gate. Clive showed himself to be a skilled horse handler, the horse was very bad tempered. We had no problems with help taking the equipment back to the club shack Sunday night, however we could not get into the school!!! This made John Parmenter very mad (and a few others). With the exception of the horse thing the other matters just should not have arisen and spoilt what was otherwise a perfect weekend activity