21 March 2013 – The Event

some antennas- GD3RXQ

‘The Event’ was the simple way Stewart’s wife Marie referred to the 2012 SOAB SSB CQWW Contest entry which they planned to do on the Isle of Man. Stewart, G3RXQ was going to operate, ably assisted in setting up the station and domestic support by Marie. It became clear that Stewart had put a lot of time into the planning, even to the point of using computer schedules of events prior to packing, setting up and operating.

In May 2012 Stewart and Marie had visited the island on holiday, and whilst there went looking for a potential site from which to operate a contest. A site was found and the arrangements were made with the owner.

A plan of the site was produced showing where best to site the antennas. A portable HexBeam was used to cover 20,15 and 10m. Two phased verticals for 40m, together with a Doublet fed by open wire feeder for Top Band, 80 and 40m also provided good capability. In addition there were Pennant antennas to help with reception on the lower bands should they be needed. On the equipment side 2 transceivers, a linear amplifier, antenna matching unit, five large reels of cable, the operating table, PC and two computer monitors were all carried in a small van by ferry to the island.

The contest went smoothly, helped by unexpectedly good weather. The only real problem, was although Stewart had been assured there would be chairs a plenty in the bungalow, none could be found that were at all comfortable! (Note: put favourite chair as first item on next year’s list)

In spite of the discomfort, the score looks pretty good:  First place on the IOM, about 64th out of 385 stations in EU and about 157 out of 958 world wide. The final scores have yet to be published.

On the subject of final scores, Stewart noted that it is worth checking the published logs to what see what Band Strategies the winning stations employed during their contest.

So, all in all a good contest, in spite of the chair…