Archive for the 'Contesting' Category

CQ160 CW 2017

I don’t have a particularly good antenna for 160m at home, but felt like giving a few points away on Sunday evening. Thanks to those who heard my puny signal!

Only worked 39q in the end, hadn’t clicked that the contest ended at 2200z – just as I was about to CQ for a while.

My first QSO was GU4YOX, who was also a new DXCC on 160m – thanks Bob!

Contest : CQ WW 160-Meter Contest
Callsign : M0PCB
Mode : CW
Category : Single operator
Overlay : ---
Band(s) : 160
Class : High
Exchange : 14
Grid square : IO81UT
Operating time : 00h 42m

 160 39 21 0 0 183 4.69
TOTAL 39 21 0 0 183 4.69


This was my first contest of 2017. Conditions on 40m for local QSOs was terrible, so mostly Gm stations worked there at the start, with a few G stations later on.

I had SO2R set-up, the K3 and KPA500 on 80m and the K2 with Hunter 750 on 40m. Both outputting 200W. I logged with and drove the Microham u2r box to switch bands.

Contest : RSGB Affiliated Societies Contests
Callsign : M0PCB
Mode : CW
Category : Single operator
Overlay : ---
Band(s) : ALL BANDS
Class : High
Grid square : IO81UT
Operating time : 03h 54m

 80   150 1   149
 40   37  0   37
TOTAL 187 1   186


RSGB SSB Field Day – G5BK/P

Again my local club, CARA, decided to have a bash at another contest. This time it was SSB Field day. Like NFD I provided the station and a 120 foot doublet this time. We actually used my IC-7300 as it’s easy to extract from the shack, unlike the K3. It performed very well, but integration could have been better with N1MM+ for voice keying etc had I had more set-up time before the contest.

The inbuilt ATU in the rig didn’t like the doublet fed via balun and coax, nor did my LDG AT100Pro2, but that appears to have a fault. In the end I drove home and grabbed the KAT500 and SGC230 just in case. In the end the KAT500 tuned the aerial fine.

We made 398q in the end, more thanks to the efforts of Martin G4ENZ than my operating time – which was limited. We did have a couple of other club members try out HF contesting, so hopefully they’ll appear in other events too.

70MHz Trophy 2016

I didn’t manage to get out to my /P location for this contest, instead I had a few QSOs with the IC-7300 feeding the new EAntenna 6/4m dual-band Moxon antenna. I only worked 5 stations, all SSB, though I did call CQ on CW for a while. I only spent around 45 minutes in the shack in all.

Hopefully will get out portable next time.

IARU HF Contest 2016 – GR2HQ

This year I was an operator on the GR2HQ, UK team for the IARU HF Contest. I travelled up to join the folks at the Brimham Contest Group G6MC, a club I used to be a member of back in my University days.

I spent my time on 20m CW, which was great fun. Plenty of QSOs to keep us awake!

RSGB NFD 2016 – G5BK/P

This year my local club, CARA, managed to put a 4 person team together for NFD. I was in charge of providing the station, which was a K3 and 265 foot doublet at 11m above ground in and Inverted-V configuration.

We made 1000q in the contest, which fell to just under after adjudication and did pretty well considering it wasn’t a totally serious effort.

70MHz Contest CW 2016

For the first time in a while I managed to get out to the /P spot in IO81VT for a 4m contest. I used my Icom IC-7100 with 50W into the 5 element Powabeam up at about 5m AGL.

I made 27 QSOs, activity seemed down on previous entries. Best DX was GM4ZUK/P but a nice surprise was to work an ON4 station early on. This was a new country on 4m for me. I kept CQing to the East but no more continental EU stations heard or worked.

Everything worked flawlessly, though it does appear that my LDG ATU that was in line (for HF mobile) wasn’t actually in proper bypass mode. I found this when the SWR on 4m went high. Looks like a couple of toroid coils got rather warm and melted the hot-melt glue holding them in place. Oops! Taking the unit out of circuit completely solved the problem and it still appears to work at HF but more testing required.

Hopefully there will be more activity next time, I had thought that with the prevalence of commercially available 4m kit that activity levels would have increased.

UKEICC 80m CW – 30th March 2016

This is the first time I have entered one of the UKEICC evening contests. The format was different, without the need for sending ‘5NN’ but just my locator to four characters.

Worked 59 QSOs, 100W into the Inverted-L, logging with DXLog and without an RBN or cluster connection.

70MHz UKAC – 29th March 2016

This is the first one of these contests I’ve done for some time. I didn’t get chance to get out portable but was test driving the IC-7300 from home, 50W into a badly adjusted halo on the back of the house.

Thinking on what improvements I can make to the 4m aerial, at the very least build and tune a halo that doesn’t get affected by the weather.

FOC BW QSO Party March 2016


This BWQP was a lot of fun, had some nice chats with some friends, met 5 members I’d not worked before. Seemingly surprised a couple of guys with band conditions.

As usual 100W into a G3TPW Cobwebb (20-10m), 40m Inverted-V dipole, 80m Inverted-L. I was using DXlog to log, seemed to perform well though the built in database in the BWQP definition file is incomplete and out of date. Not a problem though, the grey blob between my ears and my fingers can fill in the details. 😉
I was putting the new Icom IC-7300 through its paces. I went down to the emporium on Friday to collect it. I was keying by hand using the built in keyer in the rig, so no button pushing from me. I found that quite refreshing actually.
My first impressions of the IC-7300 are very good, granted it’s no K3/P3 but for the price bracket it appears to be a very competant CW rig, very good DSP filtering, the Noise Reduction is the best I have heard. Still learning how to drive it as the touch screen changes the user experience somewhat, but all in all I am very happy with it.
HF conditions were not great, but then I worked a few Mid to West coast USA which was a surprise. KH6LC was strong on 20m but I didn’t work him this time around. 20m and 40m were the main bands, but I didn’t put as many hours in this time. 122/116 was my claimed score.