Thanks, Mike. I should be QRV by 1100 local tomorrow. I'll give you a call on Zello ATV South or 144.750.
Yesterday was first time out this year in my camper/radio truck (I even taxed it before I went!). Camper was fine, field was dry and empty, sun shining with plenty of breeze. 'All the gear loaded for 4 bands' or so I thought.....
Wrong guy set for the 2M fishing pole beams. 1 pole left behind altogether, along with its guys. No spirit level to sort out the surveyors tripod for 5.7GHz kit. Rotator fitted and worked for 60 degrees (tested fine last activity weekend in the garden).....and then stopped.
Generator ran out of fuel (expected, had spare) but on refilling carb flooded and fuel flow did not shut off despite a quick investigation of the float bowl - I had the required 10mm spanner. DC supply not yet sorted from vehicle leisure battery (bad move not dealing with that previously).
On a brighter side I managed a SSB qso with Martin G4FKK who was using 1/4 watt from his Langstone, using the guys for my large mast to hold up the 12 element on 2. My 5 element 4M LFA went together easily and was vehicle mounted at 4m AGL. Lots of chat heard on my 2m full wave dipole vertical omni. (read about it in the next CQ-TV if it gets published). Two tier operating desk (up from 1 tier last year) worked nicely.
Packed up and went home.....
Sunday I set up in my garden for 2m & 4m. It took nearly 11/2 hours to complete a 2-way with Martin G4FKK on 2m, but had full sound both ways at 333kS and 250kS. DIdn't get as far as 4m - family business. That's my lot, 1 two-way contact......and a long list of things to sort out before the next activity weekend? July some time?
Didn't get to try my 4m gear, nor 13cms, nor 6cms. Another day.....another list.....
Next time will be better but you always forget something or another thing breaks, that's portable ops for you.
I thoroughly enjoyed the two days out portable, Weather was excellent where i was on both days which was much better than forecast, 18C Saturday, 24C Sunday.
Contacts were much the same as usual with the local stations and the regulars at 100km mark.
70cm Digital appeared to be more active this time so that was good since i just re-built my 70cm PA!
That did not stop us doing a bit of 70cm AM though, it works far better than Digital with all the in-band pops/clicks of Fylingdales which totally upset the Rx's.
Overall i was surprised to have no equipment failures(!), but there was a big problem with power supply... The 2x 230Ah batteries i have been using for over 7 years are starting to fade badly now so i'll have to get that issue sorted before the next outing.
Had QSO's on all bands 437MHz to 10GHz, unfortunately no 24G this time and no 2m activity noted locally.
Saw one signal on 23cm Analogue who i couldn't get in touch with, that was G7KBZ Near York, if you are reading this please get in touch and we can arrange a sked sometime.
Thanks to all for the QSO's and hope everyone else had and fun weekend.
Thats a LOT of lead acid. I've bought from these people before, very helpful, like suggesting a better deal for me (A/Hr-£ wise) not that I've gone that route yet. In generators I trust....until Saturdays event.....never let anything mechanical (or electrical/electronic) know you rely on it!
https://www.batterymegastore.co.uk/prod ... 412124081/ e.g.
Until the next time....
As Rob and Gareth said, it takes a lot of preperation to avoid mishaps - I spent most of last week doing prep including a trial build on Friday but it seemed to have paid off as the only major mishap was the N type connector on the 13cms c/o relay came away with the co-ax - a big hammer fixed that!
I had QSOs on 8 bands plus I took 146 which didn't work for some reason. The down side to such a massive operation is that the points multipliers bias operation towards the more exclusive microwave bands. The most effective way to do well in the contest is to set up a couple of stations with microwave capabiliites and just work through the bands with them - I did this with G4FRE/P, G4LDR and G8GKQ. This is very time consuming and excludes searching around and being social with other operators so my aopolgies if I missed working you.
I did manage QSOs on all bands between 70cms and 76GHz (apart from 47GHz) but the highlight and best DX was a 2 way with M0YDH on 70cms. The new shack arrangement works really well but it took me 2 hours on site to set up - time to rethink the individual box approach! I had a make shift PSU arrangement - my 4 year old 110 amp leisure battery was starting to loose charge after a couple of hours so I bought 2 55 amp motor scooter AGM batteries and intended to run them in series to give 24 volts - unfortunately the 24 > 12v converter did not arrive (10 days via 2nd class Royal mail) and so I ran them individually and being brand new they lasted really well.
I'm lobbying for us to have a low band contest and maybe a 146 and 70cms contest before the end of the summer, should be more social events than this weekend - what do you think??
Thanks to everyone who went out over the weekend and don't forget to put your entry in, even if it was just one QSO - we need to get the UK back up the country league table! And also put them in to the BATC ladder table to show there is activity in the UK!
Noel - G8GTZ
It's a cheap little Chinese 2-Stroke '650 watts' which I bought about 12 years ago from Woolworths - 1/2 price at £40. Its done lots of work since then and other than needing a new spark-plug has been trouble free. WIth a steel (rather than the nikasil plating https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikasil) barrel it should have many more years service. On the last few occasions it would flood when the fuel was switched on but could usually be sorted by giving it a shake (float chamber carb). I usually run the carb bone dry at the end of a session and mistakenly assumed that the float was sticking on old oil. On saturday I could not persuade this method to work but i did whip off the float bowl and tip its contents away. No change....still flooding.
On inspection today, the pivot pin for the float was found to be missing, so not surprisingly the float system did not work very well (at all).
With hindsight I suspect the float pin managed to wriggle itself out of one of the pivots, causing the erratic float/flooding behaviour. When I tipped up the engine to have a look at it on Saturday, I suspect that the tiny pin made a bid for freedom onto the field and so the float was not going to work as designed when I put it back together.
Fortunately a piece of 1.6mm welding rod works fine as a pivot replacement and is now long enough to stop another escape. Generator back to its normal self.
Symptoms and changes have a cause - don't hope, investigate and solve. Lesson learnt.
Now on to all the other things.....
The UK's highest placed fixed station (in Section 1) was Terry G1LPS who placed 12th with 4563 points.
We did a lot better in the portable section (Section 2):
- IK3HHG 27630 points
- G8GTZ/P 20386 points
- G4FRE/P 13898 points
- G8GKQ/P 12211 points
- IW5ECB 8326 points
- F4BNF/P 6652 points
- G4LDR/P 6425 points
- M0DTS/P 6197 points
Please put next year's dates in your diary: 12/13 June 2021.
I did in fact have 3 QSOs on Saturday and 2 on Sunday (3+2) and not 32 but the points total is correct at 626.
Not sure what we have to do to beat the Italians - something to do with climate and high mountains