Congratulations to Ernesto, M6ATD, on winning the 2011 Construction Competition. I think we all agree that his Paraset is a really superb achievement.
However, the fact that there were seven other entries, each representing a different requirement for the amateur radio user, but all showing great ingenuity and skill in their design and construction, was very welcome. As was the willingness with which the constructors came forward to explain their work in front of the other members, one of which commented that it was like having eight meetings on one night!
In no particular order, the other splendid entries were:
Transistor curve tracer add-on for a ‘scope by John
FET active antenna by Brian G2KQ
PIC programmer by Paul M3JFM
70cm mast head pre-amp by Colin M0DDT
4m transverter and power amplifier by Eddie M0AEO
Forward and reverse power meter by Mark G0SPS
Remote controlled antenna switch and auto ATU demo by Phil G7GVV
I know this is a little bit late considering SSB Field day was nearly 2 weeks ago, but it’s been a busy few weeks so blogging had to take a back seat! This year I took part in SSB Field day with the Oxford & DARS, like normal from the site at Horspath which is on the edge of the city close to the BMW Mini factory.
Setup went to plan and we had the Force12 C31XR, 40/80m Dipoles and the RX station vertical setup along with K3s, Yaesu Quadra Linear and the computers ready to go before the kick off, what we wasn’t expecting was the poor conditions. It was nearly impossible to get any sort of run on 20/15/10m and lots of the stations in the All Asian contest flatly refused to work us and sometimes in a pretty rude manor (Think they need to chill out a bit?).
Never the less we plodded on and worked what we could. After fish/sausages/chips for dinner, conditions seemed to start to pickup and I managed to get a few small runs to North America then about 11pm till 1am managed a big pile up to the States which was good fun and boosted callsigns in the logbook no end.
40m was also a pretty decent band through the night but we had problems on 80m due to lots of static crashes. This always seemed to happen around the time of the other station giving the serial number which got very frustrating.
Sun rise soon appeared Sunday morning and after working a bit of DX on 40m we shifted back to 20m to be greeted with a reasonable pile up for a while, then rest was spent calling CQ and working multipliers which the Spotting station was passing across. One problem I did find was due to vision being a bit poor sometimes missed the “spots” showing on the logbook!
Like normal soon as the contest was due to finish the heavens decided to open, but thankfully by the time it got to taking the tents down they’d nearly dried off which was lucky. We ended up at the end of the contest with about 1102 QSOs including dupes, and we’ve got plenty of ideas on how to improve the score next year.
The weekend is coming to an end after playing host to the annual CW national field day, although not really being a CW operator like normal I helped the Oxford & District ARS setup for the event from late Friday afternoon to get the antennas setup and ready for operating and also got a bit sun burnt due to the lovely weather that day.
Field Day Station View
Then returned back during Saturday while Dad (M3JFM) and myself were out cycling enjoying the Oxfordshire/Edge of Buckinghamshire country side, most of the station was finally setup when we arrived although the generator died just as we arrived on site 2 hours before the contest started thankfully we managed to get one hour before the start, returning home later that evening via a pub stop to refuel for the 10miles cycle home.
Friday team busy at work!
During the weekend I also managed with the help of MixW to work 38 field day stations mixed across 80/40/20/15/10m which I was more then happy with, hopefully next year will be just as good!