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…
Home Away From Home
Grant VK5GR – Portable Tickera (Spencer Gulf)
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!
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:
|QSOs: 230||Points: 313|
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
|QSOs: 355||Points: 365|
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!)
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.