[UK-CONTEST] April UHF (23cm/13cm) UK Activity Contest

Ray James gm4cxm at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Apr 21 03:30:08 PDT 2010

Hi all,

Last nights contest certainly represented a challenge for UK operators on 23cm. A check on aircraft radar identified a pretty good increase in continental airspace activity whereas over the UK you could count the number of aircraft on the fingers of one hand.
To make matters worse, tropo conditions were abysmal and more than one operator thought they may have a receiver or antenna problem, including myself.

The silver lining was that there appeared to be a vast increase in numbers of operators active and even the ON4KST "GHz" chatroom was noted to have over 130 connected on occasion and substantially more UK stations listed than normal. 8 stations were active from Scotland including myself and only Jim GM3UAG in IO87 went unheard.

Gordon GI6ATZ was his usual good signal but nothing was heard from David GI4SNA which would have been a nice multiplier from IO64.

Further south is where the difference was found on the night.
Bill G3JYP in IO84 is usually worked on CW but we made it on SSB for a change. David M0GHZ and Tony GW8ASD were also worked easily on SSB and Roger G3OHH on CW early on when I was still ignorant how dire things were to become.

Despite Neil G4BRK and Bryan G8DKK usually being very easy to work on AS or tropo, not a peep heard or trace seen last night.
A similar story with John G4EAT though we both heard each other briefly when a aircraft from Doha bound for Heathrow appeared. It had taken an un-typical route across the North Sea and circled a few times off the Teeside coast before suddenly heading directly south to LHR. Perhaps if we'd taken 15 second TX/RX periods we may have completed but the 1 minute periods chosen was far too long unfortunately.

Ian at G8OHM was obviously on the wrong side of whatever wall I was hitting as his signal was at least 4 or 5 S points down on usual.

I finished with 12 contacts of which half were GM including Robert GM4GUF/P who braved the elements at over 2,000' and worked the same number as myself but appeared to benefit from his greatly elevated position.

I expected a challenge and I wasn't disappointed!

My contact map can be seen at http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/kml_files/2010/OXSE5szB4epDMznWL4V8PCbd1txsyJw

A reminder that you do not have to be an RSGB member in order to give points away plus non-members can also use the web based log generator system at http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/ and use "checklog" rather than "open" or "restricted" to put your stamp on the ever increasing record of microwave activity. 

73 Ray GM4CXM


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