Monthly Archive for February, 2014

70MHz Cumulatives #1 – 23rd February 2014

After wanting to be more serious about 70MHz for a long time and with renewed enthusiasm to get out on the hill top portable I bit the bullet and invested in an Icom IC-7100. In a sense this is the perfect radio for portable operating from a vehicle. All bands and a reasonable form factor makes it suited to the more casual operator like myself.

As it played out today, single op, I arrived on site and within 20 minutes had the mast up and the 5 element powabeam assembled. The wind was gusting very strongly, and at times through the contest was rocking the car considerably. The aerial was only about 3m above ground, and survived fine.

Running 50W into the yagi, mostly pointing North I worked 25 QSOs in the end, having beaten my all time previous QSO count from home within the first half hour. I did try beaming East for a while, but mid QSO the wind decoded that the beam really ought to be pointing due north, and promptly arrnaged that for me.

Best DX was Chris G4FZN/P up in IO94. It’s always nice to catch Chris as I used to chat a lot with him when I was living in IO94DQ back in the day.

I didn’t run as much CW as I would have liked because I was having issues with the 12V system, my auxiliary batteries appeared to be weak and the charging from the vehicle wasn’t working properly. Something to investigate before the next contest certainly.

This time I’m much more content with the map of QSOs:


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FOC Marathon – 31st Jan to 2nd Feb 2014

Back in September 2013 I was invited to join FOC, which I accepted. Each year the club runs an internal contest called the FOC Marathon. The aim is to work as many members as possible on the traditional contest bands.

The weekend was filled with DIY and other household chores, but I did manage to find some time on Friday evening as well as both of the weekend days. In all I worked 294 QSOs in 36 countires. This included some new DXCC band slots.

QSOs were had on all bands 160m to 10m and it was a welcome relief from weekend work. Not wishing time away, but lLooking forward to next year already.