The 50 MHz trophy cup is a regular SNBCG event, thanks to a 6e beam originally acquired by the late Bill G0BOF for the club.
Icom 7300 and 400w from a solid state amplifier.
50 MHz is somewhat unpredictable, and can range from very quiet to pile up mode. This year the SPe did make an appearance, but the activity levels seemed a little low.
It was possible to work South and East of the UK to around 2000 KM, but most of the propagation fell in the 1,200 to 1,500 KM range. Over the course of the next 12 hrs we managed to work 139 QSO in 23 DXCC
Members of the SNBCG took part in the first 50 MHz contest of the year at the Kelvedon Hatch SNB using the club call M0SNB. The contest ran from for 3 hrs on Sunday morning (10 till 1) the weather was forecast to be 23C and sunny. We opted to operate outdoors using a 5e beam on a 10m pump up mast. The radio was an Icom 7600 and Expert 1.3 K-FA provided 400w power was provided by a Honda EU20 generator.
The band seemed very busy, with lots of stations taking part, and I think the good weather helped encourage more portable operating. Over the course of the next 3 hrs, we worked 63 Q with our best DX into EI at 585 KM. Conditions seemed average, but we did have some very rapid QSO on some of the longer paths, sounded very much like aircraft flutter.
A very enjoyable contest in the sun, thanks to everyone we worked.
As we enter the sporadic E season I noticed reports of stations being worked on 50 MHz. A quick look on my doublet confirmed activity, but the antenna was such a poor match it was hard work anyone. I decided to make a dipole that could be put up and taken down quickly, and this proved to be the best option.
Often in sporadic E openings the signals are very strong, although the QSB and QSO time has to be very short. This evening I put the dipole up for the first time @ 5m and worked S58T, SQ7NSN, 9A7JCY and EA1AST.
So with the sunspot on zero, and the K index often high lets hope 50 MHz is working a little more often this year.