Those members who have been involved in or have watched the progress of SDARC contest entries over the past 2 or 3 years will have come to recognise certain recurring themes by which to identify our activities.
- If if can go wrong…it will!
- Look, that just broke!
- Let’s raise the aerial… now let’s take it down… now let’s put it up again… oh dear! …down again !
- Why’s there no power! That SWR isn’t right still!
- What’s that dangling at the top of the mast?
- Where’s the soldering iron tip gone?
- Who brought the N to 259 adaptors?
- Can’t stop for lunch, we’re running late..again!
- It’s now 5pm. The contest started at 3pm!
…….and many more that retain that ‘unfortunate’ theme!
Well, on the 6 metre contest last weekend (20/21 June) there was clearly a group of organised stand-ins masquerading as the SDARC team!
- We had everything on site that we needed.
- Everything went together properly.
- We started on time (actually we had over an hour to kill between ready and start of contest!)
- We even stopped for lunch! It all worked perfectly!
It was a productive and enjoyable session.
We planned to work from Barbury, using the Raynet Gazebo (it needed an airing!) with one of the Club’s TS2000s barefoot 100 watts into one of two 5 ele yagis loaned by Den & Andy. One yagi was to rotate from a club rotator on Tony’s pump up tower and the other was to go fixed on a 20 foot pole pointing at the highest activity. Power was a leisure battery with James’ genny as backup.
Personal commitments elsewhere that weekend resulted in a small team: Andy, James, Den & Mike.
Newbury Rally on Sunday meant Den and Mike available only Saturday and since it was Dad’s day on Sunday, it was bye-bye James and Andy!
During the week, we followed growing doom & gloom in the wx forecasts for Saturday (heavy persistent rain with thunder & lightning). Lovely! …Just what you want when /p on a hill under canvas with lots of aluminium in the air and us folk underneath it !!!
Based on all this, we decided to enter the “6-hour” section on Saturday beginning 3pm BST – the beginning of the contest and finishing at 9pm.
The Way It Was
In the event, the Gods smiled on us big time ! The weather was superb. NO rain (or lightning!) at any time during the day. And everything went together like clockwork.
Mike brought lunch at lunchtime. We stopped, ate, chatted and got back to work! We completed tests and were ready to go just before 2pm (the contest didn’t start till 3pm !!!!)
The early afternoon was typical…. For the first hour, Den worked lots of mainly UK stations – not surprising as this was the beginning of the contest.
Den handed over and it then became much slower with most stations heard already worked and less response to our CQ calls. Late afternoon, Mike suffered just under an hour with nothing new in the log!
He handed over to Den at 7.00 BST and suddenly the Sporadic Es kicked in and QSO distances which earlier were peaking at 200km (more typically 70 – 90 km) suddenly became 1600km-1800km with one big hop to UH1HY in Ukraine at 2400km !! Wow !!!! THAT is why Six is called “The Magic Band” !!!
After half an hour of this Den, gave way to Andy who continued the theme working 1400km, 1600km and 1800km Es stations for the rest of his session.
James took over and among continuing Es working, logged YR8Y in Romania at 2190km before our session time ran out. A link to the map showing our results (thanks Andy) is below. You will need to zoom out several times once it opens to see our big hops!
Elated, we stripped down the station, packed away and went home after a very productive and exciting session. We did well and were enthused to do more.
On Sunday Andy sent us claimed scores submitted by all stations in the 6 hour multi op section.
We were good … but there were better…. Our total claimed score was 75 QSOs, 42 multipliers (QRA squares and Countries) 756 points per QSO, 2,381,358 points with our UH1HY at 2433km the best DX.
FOUR stations beat our scores however….one of them was running 400 watts and claimed a 6699km hop to work NP4A and claimed total of 12,387,060 points.
However, the top score of 16,983,180 points was claimed by a station running just 25 watts from IO94 !! He didn’t work as far as we did but he worked over twice the number of QSOs and over twice as many mults as us! It’s the QSOs and mults that boost the scores of course… lesson learned ! G4G…you wait till next time !!