Chloe M0GEJ and I planned to be in Toronto, ON over my birthday weekend, which also happens to be the Commonwealth contest. The prime motive of the trip was a holiday, but the fact that it was to a Commonwealth country was no mistake.
Thanks to John VE3EJ I was able to operate from the VE3MIS club shack in Mississauga, though without Bob VE3CWU I wouldn’t have been able to access the shack. He sat with me the whole 24 hours, thanks Bob! The club shack is hosted in an industrial building with two towers on the roof holding 2x KT-36, a 3 ele on 40m, an 80m loop and a 160m dipole.
I used the club kit, FT-2000, Alpha 91B with 750W into the antenna system. It was the first time I’d used the FT-2000 and to be honest I couldn’t really get it to sound right for me. Even though I adjusted the side-tone pitch down I found the audio pitch with the IF filter centred was too high, so had to offset by down by 100Hz. Also whenthe volume control was above 0 there was a low level background white noise present between the side-tone, quite irritating. Never-the-less I think I did pretty well.
I was Open section but unassisted. No doubt I missed some BCAs, but I did CQ a lot and I am thankful to those multipliers who found me – there were some whose pile-ups I wouldn’t have been able to break – like A25MC for example.
N1MM+ tells me I worked 5B, 5X, 6Y, 9H, 9J, A2, C6, G, GI, GM, GU, GW, J3, J7, T32 (a nice catch), V5, VE, VK, VP8, VP9, ZB, ZF, ZL, ZS. Not sure how to get it to list the BCAs though.
Conditions weren’t great, on 80m I had high noise from the local environment and the path never seemed terribly strong to G. The band/QSO numbers tell the story pretty well. the 3 ele on 40m was working well, but it’s beneath one of the KT-36 antennas so could hear better if it was higher. Noise on 40m was around s4, 80m was about s4-5 and 20-10m were very low.
I managed to stick it out for the whole contest, and I was working people right to the end, but the gaps between QSOs were pretty big at times. I worked 70 non-BERU callers as the rate was slow enough to allow it and I wasn’t deluged with callers.
As always Clive the Contesting Penguin was with me and oversaw the whole contest