[3830] IOTA GW6W Multi-Op LP

webform at b41h.net webform at b41h.net
Mon Jul 26 06:27:34 PDT 2010

                    IOTA Contest

Call: GW6W
Station: GW6W

Class: Multi-Op LP
QTH: Holy Island EU124
Operating Time (hrs): 24

 Band  CW Qs  CW Mults  Ph Qs  Ph Mults
   80:    8       8       40      18
   40:  309      45       54      32
   20:  336      27       33      22
   15:   48       7        6       4
   10:    2       0        0       0
Total:  702      87      133      76  Total Score = 766,752



For the second year running the Dragon ARC ran GW6W from near the breakwater at
Holyhead on the island of Anglesey, North Wales (Holy Island EU124). This was
low power multi-op from the club's caravan using an inverted Vee doublet and a
cheap multiband vertical as antennas and again turned into a contest
training/taster event due to the welcome interest from the wider club

The caravan (aka trailer..!) and several members reside on the mainland side of
Anglesey so there was much to prepare, starting at 8.30 on Saturday morning
(0730 utc). I seriously considered setting up on the previous day and then
sleeping overnight on site but in the end decided this would be too anti-social
after donating a complete weekend to GR2HQ in the IARU contest just 2 weeks
earlier...lack of commitment? - maybe! At 1145 utc on Saturday morning and the
2 stations still not talking to each other, I was beginning to regret my 'lack
of commitment'... 

Saturday morning was thick wind blown drizzle and the hooters from the Irish
ferries echoing out of the mist added to the general 'atmosphere'. Antennas
went up without a hitch and it was my job to set up the 2 stations, one at each
end of the small caravan. I'd done a dry run in the week before using my K3 and
netbook, plus the club FT990 and laptop and everything was working fine
including N1MM, networking and cluster access in case we might be able to
'borrow' some Wi-Fi from a nearby Stena mast on site! Danny GW7BZR then
reminded me of the days of club special events using the FT990 and AN Other rig
with antennas in close proximity and the horrible breakthrough that resulted,
and that we used 2 K3s last year. The disruption caused by reconfiguring to
include my K3 in a K3 only setup was almost certainly well worth it as
inter-band interference was absolutely not an issue at any time; in fact it was
usually possible to operate cw and ssb on the same band though this was not in
the house rules! 

Trying to set up N1MM on 2 stations in a caravan full of noisy tea drinking
club members sheltering from the rain is not ideal but at 1145 utc I finally
realised I had forgotten to change N1MM's 'Station Names' on the newly
introduced laptop; with 10 minutes to go everything started working and
continued without a hitch for the whole time. Most impressive especially with
an IOTA improved version of N1MM released just the afternoon before. We didn't
manage to find any WiFi so we were devoid of any on-line N1MM support if
anything had gone wrong and ofcourse the whole contest was run without cluster

Saturday's conditions seemed reasonable but hardly anything on 10m and little
on 15m (ok - so 40m and 20m were alright!). Ex marine op GW3VVC is our best cw
operator (and one day I'll persuade him to try the F-keys/ESM..!) so we sat him
down at the Run radio for the first few hours to bulk up the log while some of
the others had a go at mult hunting on the second station. For many hours the
only signal on 10m at the mult radio was GW3VVC's 2nd harmonic from 14MHz
sounding like weak Es way down near the noise floor....! In the end much of the
Running was cw and mult-hunting was on ssb but we did persuade some newer/non
contesters to run (ssb) occasionally. Being a multi-mode/multi-op contest with
interesting rules and the potential to make use of sophisticated logging
software makes this an ideal contest for introducing new contesters if you're
willing to sacrifice some points both in potential contacts and busted Qs.
Despite the training element I was hopeful of breaking the 1000 Q barrier but a
real drop in conditions on Sunday put paid to that; even 40m was yielding little
for long periods though 15m did come alive for about an hour in the morning. We
had doublet problems with fairly high swr on 80m which was only discovered
after dark, making feeder adjustment difficult. That reduced our activity on
that band somewhat; and ofcourse no-one had brought an external ATU.
Disappointing as far as DX goes for a contest with the potential to unearth
those exotic locations; a smattering of JA and called on 40m by a couple of VKs
on Sunday morning for 2 OC multipliers were the extent of the dx highlights.
Amazingly missed EU005 on 40m 15m and 10m ssb and 10m cw and wonder if this
would happen if the amateur population of the UK and Germany were magically
transposed - DJs were everywhere as usual. Nevertheless an enjoyable weekend
and a good exercise in team bonding. Four tired people dismantling everything
and clearing the site in just under an hour after the end of the contest was
evidence of that; I wonder sometimes whether station setup and dismantling
against the clock could form the basis of a new style amateur radio contest..?


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