Second RSGB 70MHz Contest
This was the first outing for a RSGB 4m contest – previously I had participated in a few but from home. As the crow flies I was a couple of miles from my house but in a quiet location with more elevation.
And there’s a water tower, too!
I operated from about 09h30 clock time with the contest running from ten until one o’clock – 09h00 through to 12h00 UTC – on Sunday, 9. September 2012. A total of 24 contacts, mapped by the RSGB web site on a Google map, as shown:
All the photos on this page, by the way, were taken with a mobile phone!
Operating in locator square IO93ip at the side of Sandy Gate Lane, the station was set up in the back of my car.
The station consisted a FT-817 28MHz IF and drive to a Spectrum Communications transverter. The transverter outputs about 25W RF.
The antenna was a simple horizontal dipole cut for 70.2MHz and giving less than 1.2:1 SWR right across the small segment of spectrum we call four metres.
Power was provided by two six volt, 100 amp hour batteries that currently live in the boot of the car, connected to a solar charger. The battery certainly does the job and the double-panel solar charger keeps it in excellent condition.
Best distance was G4TSW at 342km but – as the map opposite shows – the coverage across the UK was consistent.
Using a simple dipole certainly eased the thought processes involved in operating, with no beam rotating to worry about. That said, I did turn the antenna (Twist the pole, that is!) through ninety degrees and was surprised at the change in signal strength of stations – some coming up and others down. I don’t think it made a difference to them being workable or not – in fact I think it is reasonable to say that those stations I heard and called all went into the log. Several QSOs took some considerable effort – and patience at the far end! – to complete. But – as I packed up and headed for home – I felt it was an enjoyable outing and a score of which I am not ashamed. (Is that the same as being proud?)