AREG RD Contest 2016: Member Activity Report

RD Contest Trophy

RD Contest Trophy

The Remembrance Day Contest for 2016 has come and gone. AREG was well represented this year with a number of home stations as well as three portable efforts making their presence felt across the bands.

Three members, VK5AKH, VK5MTM and VK5GR banded together to form a three station team this year. Named “AREG: Mostly Harmless!”, it gave the club an avenue to participate in the contest whilst also allowing individuals to also work for an individual score. It will be very interesting to see how they placed!

A further three members, VK5WTF, VK5QI and VK5KX also gave it a go! The following are the stories from those who took part:

Andrew VK5AKH – Portable Sedan

Andrew headed out to a remote site and set up a formidable station. He finished up with 286 contacts and 294points. it was a fair effort to built this station as a single op on Saturday morning and as hard as he was pushing he missed the start of the contest. The 3.5+ hours of assembly had its toll later in the evening when he was a little tired. Next time antennas will be set up on the Friday leaving me fresh for an evening. A good time was had…



Station was powered by a Honda EU20i Generator with extended run fuel tank. Generator did not stop the whole contest.
62YRlvL (Medium)

Home Away From Home

Tent and Camp Kitchen Setup.
Ob7ZYbv (Medium)

Operating Station

Radio IC 7600 Amplifier KPA500 Logging MBP with Second monitor (for band Scope that did not work 🙁 ) Rotator Controller Linear Power Supply. Not Shown:  Foot Switch Flightcom Headset (that worked very well 😀 ) 500W blower heater to attempt to keep feet warm. F Pile of empty Coopers Dark Ale and FUIC Strong Cartons.

Antenna 20m

Folding HexBeam with Rotator

QxAlxnP (Medium)Antennas Low Bands

Foreground: SFA special, elevated feed vertical tuned with SGC230, with 8 tape measures as the radials. Background: 40m Inverted Vee on new Fibreglass Push Up.

Grant VK5GR – Portable Tickera (Spencer Gulf)

Grant set off Friday night from Adelaide and arrived in Tickera, on the eastern shore of Spencer Gulf around 8.00pm. Station setup began bright and early Saturday morning. By 9.30am the basic station was running, so the extra time was put to use adding 160m dipole elements to the 80/40/20m mix. This was the multi-band resonant dipole’s first outing and it proved to be a very good field performer. After the contest it even allowed a quick PSK31 contact to Reunion Island on 20m no less!

During the contest, Grant made a point of operating for as many hours as possible, stopping only for ~1.5hrs around 5am for a quick nap. The effort paid off with 469 contacts and a total of 664 points (thanks to the graveyard shift multipliers). 160m paid off handsomely as well, with 41 contacts and almost a worked all VK Call areas in 8 hours (except for VK1 who didnt appear on the band). This was the first time Grant had operated on 160m and with luck now wont be the last!

Grant also experimented with RTTY this contest. While there were very few RTTY stations around, those he did work certainly helped his score, including his first 160m digital contact into VK4!


VK5GR Contest Statistics

Theo VK5MTM – Home Station

Theo managed a Personal Best of 286 QSO’s/300 points. Operating from home, he had to battle solid S9 noise on 40m during the daytime and plasma TV noise 80% of the time on 20m (neighbour’s TV). Even so, a very respectable score was achieved!


Marcus VK5WTF – Portable Red Banks Conservation Park (near Burra)

Marcus (ex VK3TST) also headed out portable, but took a different slant on things. His intention was to go QRP phone from the get go, but to build a bigger than usual station. He also made the decision not to stay up, and admits that probably hurt his score, a lot, 83 points were gained in the hour before 6am.

Marcus’ Score was:

[table “” not found /]

His radios included a Yaesu FT-817 (not the ND) and a Yaesu FT-857D.

Antennas: 80/40 fan dipole, 20/15 vertical, 20m sloping yagi (supposedly pointing west), 160m EFHW. As far as antennas went, the poor attempt at a sloping wire yagi was full of fail. It must have been so close to the ground that it turned into an inverted-V. Marcus is thinking of making a 20/15 moxon for next time.

He also indicated that the highlight of his contest was a 160m contact with VK2IO, both portable in parks running QRP! A distance of roughly 1100km.

The ability to run a second radio was thanks to VK5QI who loaned him a 100A AGM battery. The rest of the station (817 & laptop) coped with 2x 12Ah SLAs a few Li-Ion pack to top up the batteries and 10+18W solar system. The 857 was the only thing hooked up to the AGM battery.

Mark VK5QI – Home Station

Mark decided to try out his new antennas and amplifier to see how he went. His tally was

[table “” not found /]

Mark commented that he was surprised:

  • That I could actually work people on 160/80m. The long-wire does actually seem to work! (Now to find a SG-235…)
  • The beam wasn’t that useful on 20m. I kept having to swing it around between VK6 and VK1/2/3/4, which got a bit annoying.
  • 400W certainly makes it easy to be heard – If I could hear someone, I could work them!

Peter VK5KX – Home Station

Peter admits his was a token effort – but he had fun (which is the main thing!)

[table “” not found /]

Overall, AREG was very well represented on the bands, and most of all everyone had fun!

See you next year on the Remembrance Day Contest!

Acknowledgements: Thanks to VK5AKH, VK5WTF, VK5GR, VK5MTM, VK5QI and VK5KX for their individual photo and text contributions to this article.

AREG Members entering RD Contest 2016

Members of the Amateur Radio Experimenters

RD Contest Trophy

Group are banding together to form teams to participate in this year’s Remembrance Day Contest to be held on Saturday August 13th and Sunday August 14th 2016. The contest starts at 0300UTC and runs for 24hrs.

Andy VK5AKH, Theo VK5MTM and Grant VK5GR are forming one of the AREG teams. They will be operating from Sedan, Mansfield Park and Tickera respectively. Their team team is “AREG: Mostly Harmless”. We are hoping to field at least one other team as well!

Several of us are planning on operating in the mixed modes section as well, using both RTTY/CW and SSB. All participants are encouraged to listen for RTTY contacts throughout the contest.

Full details of the contest can be found on the WIA Website.

Next Meeting: August 19th – HF Digital Modes for Beginners

The next general meeting of the Amateur Radio Experimenters Group will be held on Friday August 19th. Doors open 7.45pm with the meeting starting at 8.00pm.

The topic for the evening will be “Introducing Digital Modes on HF – how to get started – from a beginner who just has”. I will be taking you through what can be achieved on a fairly modest HF station using digital modes, including what software you can use, what hardware you need and what some of the more “exotic” modes are that you can play with on HF digital, including:


Feld Hellschreiber Signals on 20m

  • RTTY
  • PSK31/63/125
  • MFSK16
  • Olivia
  • Contestia
  • Hellschrieber
  • JT65/JT9 and WSJT
  • SSTV

MFSK16 from VK2YQA/4 on 20m

I will also discuss calling techniques, frequencies and contesting on HF as well as logging on rig integration.

I don’t profess to be an expert on these modes either – this is all relatively new (apart from RTTY) to me too (despite being licensed since the 1980s) as until March this year I had never had my own HF station. Having said that, even with a modest 100W station I have managed to work 62 countries using a variety of these modes, even in the relatively poor conditions on HF that we have seen over the last 6 months.

sstv-MMSSTV Program

MMSSTV Software

SSTV Pictures on 40 and 20m.

After the presentation there will be a light supper followed by the monthly business meeting.

VK2YQA/4 MFSK16 Picture from QLD on 30m

VK2YQA/4 MFSK16 Picture from QLD on 30m