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Yet more VHF contesting on G/SP-015


#1

Tuesday 2nd February 2016 - 2m UKAC

The most likely options struck me as operating from the home shack, or operating from my car on Merryton Low, or maybe Warrilow Hill, given the dire weather forecast. However, by 7pm, everything outside seemed much calmer than the Met Office had predicted, so I went for The Cloud G/SP-015.

I was rewarded with the weather remaining “relatively” benign albeit cold all night. OK, it was very windy, but nothing that my portable gear couldn’t handle, and I sheltered myself by the topograph.

72 QSOs, all 2m SSB, squares worked: IN99, IO64, 74, 81, 82, 83, 85, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, JO00, 01, 02, 03. Then straight home to watch my Tivo box recordings of Match of the Day and Celebrity Big Brother…

Sunday 7th February 2016 - 70cm AFS

Back to The Cloud G/SP-015 once more. Half the activity (of a typical Tuesday night event) in nearly twice the time window made this a bit of a yawnfest.

41 QSOs, mainly 70cm SSB with a couple on CW. Squares worked: IO74, 80, 81, 82, 83, 91, 92, 93, JO01, 02.


#2

Weather doesn’t look too great for this evening, but I’ve alerted for a 70cm contest activation on The Cloud G/SP-015 for now. It may get pulled at teatime! If the alert remains, please have a look around 432MHz SSB for me. I obviously won’t be self-spotting, but I will be there somewhere!


#3

Just realised that I had a missed opportunity on Sunday when I was on Waun Fach. My handie (VX-8) cover 70cms and I would probably have worked a few stations from there. Need to consider a good 70cms aerial similar to my RSS or the MFD - thoughts?

73 Glyn


#4

Glyn

The Sotabeams MFD is a really good 70cms aerial. Vicki and I use it on all activations.
Waun Rydd is next for us too; putting up an alert for Wednesday, snow permitting.

73,
Rod


#5

Thanks for that suggestion Rod I will look into it though I would have thought the vswr would be out of limits. Shame the MFD doesn’t come with a 2m & 70cm dipole inside the tube with a common feeder - hint Richard!!!

Nice to work the 2 of you last week S2S from Pen y Fan. It will probably be a couple of weeks before I am back out.

73 Glyn


#6

That would indeed be a pleasant surprise if the SOTAbeams MFD worked on 70cm FM. Must give that a try sometime. My custom made 10m/6m trap vert + GP from SOTAbeams is brilliant on 2m, so you never know. Glyn - don’t think you did miss an opportunity on Sunday - all the contest traffic was on SSB of course!


#7

That crossed my mind Tom after I posted my comment doh!!


#8

Vicki has 742 points off 216 summits on 433 FM, so there can’t be much wrong with it :wink:
73,
Rod
Edit - some will be off the stick aerial but its range is a bit short.


#9

144Mhz and 432MHz are harmonically related in the same way that 7MHz and 21MHz are. In both cases, a dipole cut for the lower band will work as a one-and-a-half wave dipole on the higher…

Adrian
G4AZS


#10

who are the two stations and what locators below the word IO82 on your map?
They are in my favourite stamping ground.


#11

Hi Glyn / Tom

As correctly pointed out by Adrian the bands are harmonically related. My MFD variant (cable tie Dipole) works amazingly well on both 2m and 70cms. Viki will no doubt testify to this as we have had numerous s2s conatcts on 70cms using this set up… VSWR on my dipole is very low on both bands. Run a few tests…

Sorry to hijack this thread although I do have a question for you Tom…what is the software that you use to present your contacts on a map as shown above?

73 Allan GW4VPX


#12

It isn’t quite that simple, as I understand it the end effect means that the dipole will resonate at a frequency slightly above the third harmonic. How well a 2m dipole matches at 70cm probably depends on its thickness since a dipole made out of a thicker conductor will have a wider bandwidth than a dipole made out of a thin conductor.

Brian


#13

That may explain the MFD’s secret. One half is thin, (co-ax core) the other thick (co-ax screen). However it comes about, as far as I am concerned the important feature is that it works reliably. I used it for a year or two, Vicki has since taken over and the logs are adequate evidence of its effectiveness.

73,
Rod


#14

I’m pretty sure one (at least) of the DK7ZB lightweight 144Mhz yagis on his site works well on 70cms he says


#15

Allan, when you enter a VHF RSGB contest, you get an email back with a link to a map of your contest QSOs.


#16

Thanks for the info Tom.


#17

Hi Rod. Both the elements on my dipole are made from the inner core of RG58…works for me :slight_smile: Hoping for an s2s with you and Viki from GW/MW-001 later (now 00:20 Wednesday).

73 Allan GW4VPX


#18

Well I went for it tonight, and walked up to Cloud summit for the 70cm contest. The weather was better than forecast, and I remained mainly dry, except for setting up - in heavy snow! Thereafter, I used my bothy bag to remain relatively cosy. It had stopped snowing and raining by then, but the shelter from the wind and the effect of an extra 3 degrees of temperature, was welcome.

I got off to a good start with 36 QSOs in the first 44 minutes, but then things came to a juddering halt. Sudden horrendous VSWR indication on the FT-817 screen prompted me to exit the bothy bag and inspect the antenna - where I found that a crocodile clip had broken off the feeder!

I managed (after a while!) to strip a bit of the coax core with my teeth, then use the separated crocodile clip to hold it against the driven element. It worked - but will need proper attention before I go out VHFing again!

I finished with 54 QSOs on 70cm - 51 on SSB, 2 on FM and 1 on CW. Squares worked were IO64, 74, 81, 82, 83, 84, 91, 92, 93, 94 and JO01.


#19

Have you ever thought of investing in a pair of these Tom??

Although initially expensive, they’re Swedish made and once purchased you’ll never need another pair of sidecutters! Certainly cheaper than a dentist bill.

My old man was right, buy decent quality tools once and you’ll never have to buy tools again!

73

Matt


#20

I’d feel naked without my Swiss army penknife, on its own its as good as a small toolbox and the bottle-opener blade (well used!) includes a small notch for stripping wire. Your OM was right, a swiss army knife will last a lifetime, although in my time I have lost one and had one stolen I have never had to replace one as worn out!

Brian