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Saturday 1st March - what did we learn?

PostPosted: 3rd March 2014, 3:17 pm
by M0ICR
Rather than focus specifically on logging programs this Thursday I now intend to conduct a 2-way discussion on what we learned from out contesting activity on Saturday 1st March. Here are my initial thoughts. Please feel free to contribute to the discussion here on the Discussion Pages and at the Thursday meeting.

*** Time permitting I will upload our logs this evening ***

What did we do and slide show (thanks for all photos, will include a selection including some from Facebook)
- Old Redding
- 3 ½ hours
- About 12 club members plus old members
- 2 antennas
- 1 radio
- Battery power, then car battery

How did we do?
- Remember what our objectives were! Were not trying to be competitive!
- Conditions were not great, not many stations (see other entries)
- But actually we were surprisingly competitive in the 3 ½ hours we operated
- Including 3 x Foreign QSO on 2m
- People recognised our club call sign! “Lookout G3EFX/P is back and contesting!” …”G3EFX/P that the Radio Ssociety of Harrow if I am not mistaken”
- Compare entries from RSGB site, useful to compare comments, equipment and scores
- Show our QSO map (generated once log entered).
- How could we have done better …

What did we learn
- Take Band Plans!
- Take Contest Rules!
- DC Power is critical
- Hand turning antenna – speaker / headphones
- Map and compass useful as is familiarity with QRA square relative to operating location, eg. IO81 is directly West, JO00 is to South East.
- Headsets for operator / logger / external speaker
- PC logging – speed of logger (we got behind more than once), screen glare, laptop charging …
- Keep exchanges short, pithy and in correct order in this case RS/Ser/QRA Only
- Search and Pounce was more successful than calling
- When in public place - the public are interested (circa 35 approaches!)
** We must take banners and handouts (club and RSGB handout / posters?), even information boards
- Tea and coffee should be available throughout!
- Setting up time
- Personal equipment vs club equipment
- Conditions were not great, not many stations
- What else?

What next?
- Equipment audit? Do we have everything we need? What can we borrow, what can we buy?
o VHF/UHF tcvr? 1 or 2?
o HF tcvr?
o VHF/UHF RF Amp
o VHF/UHF pre amp(s)
o Low loss coax
o VHF antenna
o UHF antenna
o Headsets
o Mast(s) and guying kits
o Power generation
o Station furniture
 Chairs
 Tables
 Lighting
- Need site liaison, who volunteers to ID sites and liaise with landowners?

Next Competition
- Propose CQWW WPX see http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/co ... hp?ref=291
- And additional posting on G3EFX Discussion Forum / Contests

For information: Here are selected comments extracted from the logs of other stations uploaded to the RSGB VHF Contest website regarding the contest this weekend. I am sure that we would agree with most of the comments made.

    Could have been interesting if there had been more activity
    Mainly flat, seemed better Sunday. Rotator stuck east for the last 5 hrs! 13 hours in total. Conditions were flat low activity in uk Thanks for the contacts
    Conditions slightly up at times but not enough to work many continentals at >600Kms.
    Low UK activity and difficult conditions, but occasional DX
    Tortuous ;(
    Dire. CDX moderate. Few beaming north, generally poor activity
    Awful thanks to all for points such as they were !
    Bad on saturday and dire on sunday
    Dire conditions, very slow going
    Poor activity as expected. Average conditions.
    Poor conds rethink needed for duration & times perhaps introduce P/code mults to increase activity.
    Had an hour spare on sunday morning so gave some points away!
    Too many southern stations point continent not UK plus poor turnout thse comps should be in eveing for 3 hrs not 24hrs sat to sunday
    Worked 7.5 hr, copied 1 x cq contest. So frustrating. NEVER AGAIN
    Quiet as a church mouse.
    Slow going, glad we didn't bother going portable.
    Don't think we picked the right 6 hours.Harwell ARS (M3P)
    Low activity from UK
    Little heard, same as 2M.
    Dire. CDX quite decent. Few beaming north, generally poor activity
    Painful ;(
    Conditions about the same as 2M (poor), activity worse. The big stations were finding lots that didn't bother to beam N!
    Condx flat and little activity.
    Conditions flat & very quiet.
    Mainly flat, some EU, spent most time on 144. Tnx to all.
    Poor UK activity, tough conditions, occasional DX
    A struggle!
    Better than expected using the 2m 5 ele. Tnx. MKARS
    Poor conditions perhaps time for a re-think on duration