Tag: 2017

CQWW SSB 2017

The CQWW SSB event runs over the last weekend of October and covers all contest bands from 1.8 MHz to 28 MHz. The event is one of the largest international events of the HF calendar and encourages stations to operate from far-flung and exotic parts of the world.

We opted for the sun-drenched shores near Ongar in Essex, using our contest site at the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker. We had decided before the event it would be more of a casual entry, as the contest had started at 00:00 Hrs on the previous Friday/Saturday morning. We have previously taken part in the event, with a most notable event in 2015.

This year we used a 7 MHz vertical, with elevated radials, and a 3e multiband beam for 28/21/14 MHz @ 10m.

3e Multiband Beam

7 MHz Vertical

The HF bands remained in good shape, with some good openings on 28 and 21 MHz and the vertical worked well at 7 MHz. The lower HF bands were predictably crowded, so I concentrated on search and pounce on the higher bands.

George M1GEO and Fred G3SVK with a great sunset behind.

QSO and DXCC per band.

28 MHz provided some interesting DX with a lot of station from Argentina, Brazil, French Guiana, Chile, Suriname, Namibia, South Africa, Qatar and Reunion Island.

28 MHz QSO Map

All Bands QSO Map

In total, we worked 417 QSO in 76 DXCC and had some fun on the bands.

 

CQ WW RTTY DX Contest

The CQ WW RTTY contest runs towards the end of September, and this year George M1GEO and myself decided to enter the contest under our own callsigns from our contest site at the Secret Nuclear Bunker.

We decided to keep it simple, using just two aerials.

1/ 80m dipole @ 30m

2/ 40m 1/4 wave ground mounted.

The 40m vertical is a tried and tested antenna, but on this occasion, we decided to try elevated the radials.  Peter G0DZB highlighted an article from N6LF, suggesting that elevated radials increased the performance of your vertical. I decided to purchase some plastic posts to elevate the radials 1m above the ground. The plastic posts are designed for holding up electric fence wires and so ideal for the job. The radial system required at least 4 posts, and the results were noticed almost immediately.

 

The VSWR was much flatter across the entire 40m band, and so the antenna was connected to a 1:1 balun and fed with coax.

Both George and I used the solid-state amplifiers by Expert, the 1.3KFA ideal for running 400w RTTY.

 

The M1GEO station with tea, Cola and some Reggi Reggi sauce, all field day essentials at hand.

The M0TAZ station

 

Over the course of the weekend, with some casual style operating I had worked 390Q in 42 DXCC. The highlights for me was working Panama, Indonesia, Thailand, Paraguay and Argentina.

 

21 MHz was open, although I decided not to take my 4E beam and opted to press the 7 MHz vertical into service on this band. It worked quite well, again no ATU required.

 

 

A field day is never complete without some excellent food from Fred G3SVK and Dianne. On Saturday they provided a lovely curry and on Sunday a spaghetti bolognese. Very much appreciated by everyone.

Camping over for the night gave me a chance to appreciate the sunrise on Sunday morning.

Altogether a very enjoyable weekend, in some great September weather.

 

SSB National Field Weekend with Camb-Hams

This year I joined the Camb-Hams for the SSB National Feild Weekend from their contest site in Worts’ Causeway, Cambridge. I arrived on Friday afternoon to assist with the setup, this included antenna for both 144 MHz and HF for the field day. The HF event runs in parallel with the VHF event over 24 hrs, so Flossie provided a comfortable and warm shack for the entire event.

The VHF event used 2 x 17 element beams at 12 meters, plus 1 further 17 elements on the top of Flossie at 20m. 400w was delivered from a Gavin M1BXF solid state amplifier.

HF used a 3 element tri-band antenna covering 10/15 and 20 meters. Dipoles were added for 40 and 80m from the SCAM mast. 400w* was provided by a solid state amplifier, and mains was provided by 3 x 2kW Honda generators.

The event was very well attended, with Dave GW4ZAR getting the award for furthest travelled, having driven down from North Wales. Others had travelled from Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Berkshire and Cambridgeshire. In a first for a field day, the Cambridge 105 tech crew did their waffle live on air from the field day tent. Thankfully the weather held fair, as the noise from the rain on the tent would have been interesting.

Martin M0YRM (Left) and George M1GEO

The contest started on Saturday afternoon and for the next 24 hrs, the radios were pressed into action, making contacts all over the world. I don’t recall any big DX, as it’s a region 1 field day the largest constituent in the HF log would be Germany.

I completed a couple of stints on HF, working mostly EU with the off USA on 20 meters.

Breakfast, Lunch and dinner were provided by the Camb-Hams facilities team, Rob M0VFC and Laurence M0LCM both preparing some great burgers, sausages and bacon when ever anyone looked hungry.

James 2E0JFM and Laurence M0LCM

Altogether a really enjoyable weekend, providing time for both the social side and some contest operating. Further pictures from the event are available here. Thanks to the team at Camb-Hams who made it happen.

*Due to a rule change the SSB FD now carries a maximum power of 100w. G3PYE will therefore only submit a check log for this contest.

© 2015 Dave, M0TAZ