| August 6, 2017 | 0 Comments

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Cabin and Contest Diary

We are now in the planning stages for this years CQ WW CW contest. This is a 48 hour Morse contest which we run from our ‘cabin’ site. We will be running four stations for the whole of the 48 hour session, so there is much to get ready. Below you can read the report on our efforts last year in which we gained our highest score ever, so we are looking to beat that this year!


CQ WW CW Report

The weekend of November 25th / 26th saw the cabin in full swing throughout the 48 hours of the CQ WW CW contest. This contest is probably the primary contest of the year with stations from literally all parts of the world taking part. The Verulam club entered a multi-multi entry, meaning we were running on multiple bands with multiple operators on multiple stations.

Planning for the event started back in late spring when a team of four of us got together to start the planning, these were Alex M0UKR, David G4HHJ, Peter G4HSO and Peter G0OIK. At that point in time the DDRC tower was still not operational and had not been in use for the previous 18 months, Cabin In Actionthere were issues with the power supply to the cabin and there was much organising to be done regarding the cabling and organisation of the cabin itself. Alex took charge of sorting out the antennas, David worked on the aerial routing system, which included fitting a new larger patch panel to the side of the cabin along with an easy to work on patch bar. Peter OIK was looking after organising operators and station equipment, Peter HSO was tasked with getting the Electricity supply sorted and transportation of the pump up tower and caravan, and as ever John G4KZD was engaged in sorting out the network and the internet connection.

With some large chunks of money needed to sort out the electrical supply and to get the welding done on the DDRC tower, it was felt that it would be unfair on members of the club who did not use the cabin to have the money for the needed work to be taken from the club funds. With that in mind a request for voluntary donations was put out to all those who used the cabin, with most responding positively with around £1000 being raised for the work from both VARC and DDRC members.

Caravan and AntennasOn the day we had a caravan supplied by Peter G0OIK where members of the team could sit and relax, make a cup of tea and microwave some food away from the action in the cabin. The weather proved to be very calm and sunny while we were setting up, but over the course of the contest it became very cold with deep frosts, with some of the operators sleeping in their cars and Alex sleeping in his tent!

We ended up with a team of 11 operators, the majority from the club, but with number of guest operators. The team consited of Peter G0OIK, Alex M0UKR, Peter G4HSO, David G4HHJ, Fred G0MDR, David G3YYD, Richard G3RWL, Nigel G0RPM and from further afield, Tim G4YBU, Iain G4SGX and from the Orkney Is, Ed GM0WED. We had a schedule worked out that gave most operators a two or three hours on and an hour or so off, with the occasional long break to catch some sleep. In all it worked out very well and we were able to keep the stations as active as possible with no less than 3 stations running at a time.

The stations consisted of 3 x K3s and an FTdx5000 all running Acom PAs. Two stations were constantly on 20 and 40 meters with the other two running 160 and 15 on one station and 80 and 10 meters on the other. During the daytime when the lower bands were closed then those dual banded stations run on the higher frequency bands and at night they switched to the lower frequency bands as they became active.

The antennas consisted of, on the DDRC tower, a home made four ele beam on 10m, and the clubs Opti-beam for 20m. On the VARC tower we had the 15m beam above which we had a moxon for 40m which worked really well. On the pump up tower which raises to about 80 feet, we had the 80m dipole and the 160m vertical. All in all an impressive sight!

In all the equipment run flawlessly with our only problem being that we lost contact with our 10m beam early on in the contest. We did try lashing up something to get back on the band in the form of a 10m moxon, but it wasn’t really enough to put very much in the log, although it did give us a few multipliers. The only other technical problem we need to look into for next year is to try to reduce the amount of bleed-over between stations, especially from the 40 meter station.

Great fun was had by all and many good comments were received from our guests which was very gratifying. On top of which we made 7065 QSOs over the course of the weekend scoring us 7,140,210 points, which is the most that we have ever done in that contest and sets us a new goal for next year!

73 for now,

Peter – G0OIK

Category: Club News, Contesting, Meetings

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