Thursday, April 18, 2013

GW4FRE/P hits the airwaves for 1296UKAC

Before going to Wales to help Roger GW5NF fix his HF beam I discovered that there was a 1296MHz activity contest on April 16. I had the Elecraft K3 as a 144MHz  IF,  the DEMI Xverter and a 23 ele F9FT. All I needed was a mast that would fit in the Honda Jazz and GW4FRE/p could be QRV.

Roger dug out the multisection mast that he used on the Backpackers contest and managed to make some guy posts, the originals having gone missing and activity was possible

The Jazz had never been used portable so how to hook up the gear to the battery was a challenge. The cigar lighter fuse wasnt rated high enough. In the end a set of jump leads was connected. The battery at one end (using a rat poison tub to prop the bonnet open so the positive terminal didnt short out). The other end stopped outside the drivers door and the lead for the k3 and the transverter were connected to the croc clips, insulated with a plastic bag and lots of electrical tape. It worked well, the K3 voltmeter only dropping 0.5V with a loud whistle

As it was a nice clear night the Blorenge was visited in IO81LS. The summit has a good takeoff all around but not practical for a 2000-2230 contest so the car park was used. This is great to the East but obstructed to the North by the summit

Setting up before the contest, 5 beacons were heard, GB3MHL, GB3DUN, GB3USK GB3CLE and GB3MCB all at reasonable strength. The best DX PA0EHG at 527km was worked early on and a total of 32 stations were worked, not bad for 10W and a single antenna at 15'. It was noticable that only two stations were worked to the west, one of them only just West!

 The DVR on the K3 sure earned its keep, especially in the very boring last 30 minutes when conditions had gone downhill.

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