This was our first opportunity to go portable VHF this year, making the most of a very warm February afternoon.
The RSGB run a series of contests thought the year, and this was the ideal opportunity to put on the club call M0SNB. We operated from the Secret Nuclear Bunker near Kelvedon Hatch, using the Icom 7300 and 160w from the expert 1.3KFA solid state amplifier.
The antenna was my hombrew 6e for 70 MHz, this is built onto a 4m boom, that breaks down into 2x2m for easy transport to site. I have detailed the antenna build project in this article.
The weather was so good we decided to operate alfresco at the bottom of the 10m pump up mast.
Here is George M1GEO operating with the Icom 7300 and Expert setup on the operating table.
Dave M0TAZ operating the station.
The contest lasted for 2 Hrs, and we managed to work 48 stations all over the UK.
All together an enjoyable contest, thanks to everyone we worked.
The RSGB CC run a series of cumulative contests through the year, you can partake in either a fixed station or out portable. I prefer to operate out portable, as this gives me a significant advantage to attempting this from home.
Using our contest site at Kelvedon Hatch SNB and with the assistance of John M0UKD we set up the following station.
The weather was forecast to be dry and breezy and so we opted to set up in the fields overlooking the bunker and the mast. The contest ran from 3 till 5 pm, and with around 1hr setup time to organise the portable station, you can maybe see why some people operate from home. It’s quite a lot of effort for a 2hr contest, but on the positive side, you would expect the activity to be condensed into this short timeframe.
Setting up the beam.
The makeshift shack was constructed to keep out the wind, and the odd spot of rain.
The beam worked really well, having very good directivity and F/B ratio despite its small size.
Over the course of the next 2 hrs, we worked 45 stations, in 4 countries. England, Wales, Guernsey and Northern Ireland. Our best DX was GI4SNA at 527 KM.