144 MHz Backpackers and Hill toppers contest

Sunday 11th June was the #2 backpackers, hill toppers and QRP contest. The RSGB contest ran from 10 till 2 PM and had two categories 25w or 5w. I decided to enter the 25w category, the radio had to be battery powered and the power limit was 25w.

The antenna was a 9e tonna mounted on a Racal push-up mast at 6m. You can read the complete rules online.

The exchange is a signal report, serial number and then your locator, so a typical exchange may be 59, 001 in JO01DP.

I worked a couple of stations who was aware it was an activity day, but not aware of their locator. I found the best way is to look it up online or download one of the many phone apps that will do this for you. I started a little late at 10.30 as on this occasion I was operating alone.

Using the Icom 7100 and a 68Ah leisure battery I was able to operate for the complete contest. I used a small netbook to log, it’s important to find something that can be battery powered for the duration of the contest. I did have one unexpected problem, if the laptop was within 1m of the radio it did cause some QRM, interesting, as I had never noticed that before.

Conditions seemed flat, but the bands were very busy, I think this contest coincided with the practical wireless QRP contest.

Over the next few hours I was able to work 75 stations in 4 countries (England, Wales, Isle of Man and Gurnsey) The best DX was 430KM into the Isle of Man.

Thanks to everyone who took part, a really enjoyable afternoon in the sun.


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  1. Hi Dave we (G3BPK) work from atop the “beacon” in IO83pn at a height of 168 mtrs, and i think we had you as a qso (i dont have the log book with me, but the call sign rings a bell), i think we heard you work a scottish station.

    We were using a 12 element yagi, and we were seeing very very off propagation. To the west was a wall of noise, to the east we only picked out a contact or two. North we got nothing. All of our southern contacts came from bouncing off the welsh hills (the great orme).

    The weather started off gloomy, and a wall of rain moved in toward the last hour, and we couldn’t hear any new stations. But we did find that we could hear both sides of a conversation very clearly when either side was screaming “5 and 2, fiver two, fife terhoooo”, and that gave us a chuckle.

    One issue we had, was that here was a station in IO82 which was spattering all over the place, we could hear it 75Khz away from its carrier, and it obliterated all of the low down stations.

    All in all an enjoyable day, just disappointing propagation for us.


    Stuart – 2E0UTS

    1. Thanks Stuart the location you had sounds nice all be it a little noisy. Yes we had some very strong stations in the SE, I guess none of the portable stations should have been running more than 25w.
      I was operating on my own, so the station setup took longer than expected, and I started 30 mins late.
      I don’t have my log handy either, but will have a look later.

      All the best Dave M0TAZ

      1. I’ve already remembered, we did log you how could i affect TAZ, in fact we heard you multiple times, because i recall cries of “Oh, heck, its flipping TAZ again”, yes, you had a very nice quieting signal.

        Quick question, what did you use to map your contacts?


        stuart – 2E0UTS

  2. sigh, that last comment should read “forget TAZ” not “affect”, bloomin autocorrect.

    1. The RSGB map it for you and send you a link once you enter the contest. I find the map really helpful to understand who was around, and gives you a great indication of your coverage. Amazing what 25w and a small mast can do.

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