80m AFS SSB (M0VSQ) – 18th January 2014

I entered this contest as M0VSQ, which was supporting The Vulture Squadron Contest Group. However, all did not go to plan. First off I tried to bump the power up a little, but ran into immediate issues on QSO number 1.

It turns out the MFJ-994BRT remote ATU at the base of the doublet wasn’t playing ball and had to be retuned after every QSY. It would also enter a tune cycle every time I tried to run more than 100W to be heard. Apologies to those few stations who must have thought I was an idiot not finishing QSOs…

After 40 minutes I was about ready to throw in the towel, but then remembered I had an SGC SG-230 in the garage, so I went out to the garden to swap the tuner over. Just at this point the rain started!

Once the tuner was swapped out, and having lost 15 minutes of QSOs I got back in the shack and found, to my delight, that the match across the SSB end of 80m was perfect (it is a good match on the CW end too) but I wasn’t able to run the amp. However, with some adjustment of the K3 audio settings I managed to be a bit more audible.

In the end I logged 74 QSOs, which is actually less than I did last year. In fact it’s less by the amount of time spent on hardware trouble.

Lesson learned, the SGC SG-230 is staying in line. The future of the MFJ-994BRT is unsure.

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