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2m Backpackers Contest

This Sunday sees the first of the new-style RSGB 2m Backpackers Contests. The rules have been changed this year to bring them more into line with “proper” backpacking. These contests can be a lot of fun to do with very simple equipment. The contest runs from 1100z-1500z.

Rules here:

http://www.vhfcc.org/cgi-bin/contest_rules.pl?year=2009&contest=144backpack1&seq=

If you don’t fancy doing the whole contest, why not try a hour or so? I hope to be on from somewhere.

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

If my Sotabeam arrives in time i might operate from my partners QTH for an hour or so :slight_smile:

Good luck whoever enters the contest

73

Mark
M3RHJ

In reply to M3RHJ:

Anybody know how to find the postcode for a remote summit?

I still think 100 metres is a rather feeble pack but its a step (or a hundred steps!) in the right direction.

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G3CWI:

Working all weekend :0(

Hey that could be a new mid-week contest! - CQ CQ WAW.

Steve

In reply to G8ADD:

You only need the first two letters of the postcode so find the nearest pub via Google maps and then look it up in the telephone book on line.

Steve

Actually forget the last bit Google maps will give you an address and phone number.

In reply to G3CWI:

Well if the weather is OK :wink: I thought I might go out and give people a few points.

I can’t decide whether to stick with the feeble 2W from the FT-817 or go for the 10W section - my linear will give about 9 or 10W for 1W (actually 0.8W) input - either way I’ll be at a decent site requiring a lot more than 100m walking!

Hope to catch you at some stage.

73
John
GM8OTI

In reply to GM8OTI:

Sorry I don’t understand this running 8-9W in the 10W section. I thought the point of all contests was ignore the power limits and adjust the drive until the Tempo’s (if you’re a lightweight contester) anode meters are pinned to the end stop and the generator is groaning under the load!

Or have I missed something here? :wink:

Seriously, it’s good to see the changes to make the contest more justify its name. WX looks ropey for this Saturday, I haven’t seen Sunday’s forecast yet.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:

In the old days when I was newly licensed and poor I only had one rig. I had saved up for the best two metre multi-mode I could afford and that was the Trio 9130. I had a twelve element ZL special up and could only run 25 watts. I lived in a house with a great take off by Mike GW0DSP at the time. I never could do these low power contests so I contented myself by giving away points. It always amazed me just how strong some of these stations running FT-290’s in to a HB9CV were. Pull the other one it has bells;0)

This Sunday sees the last of the Backpackers 2m contests for 2009. It runs from 1100-1400z. They often struggle for contacts in the last hour so let’s support the SOTA guys (and the other Backpackers) by giving them a call!

2m SSB is the place to look - usually between 144.200 and 144.350.

73

Richard
G3CWI

I worked all the Backpackers I could - All 6 of them !

I did hear another (G3xxx/P) but I have no idea where he was and whilst he seemed to hear me he appeared to turn his beam and then vanished.

Giving some indication of your location when calling CQ helps those of us that are struggling to hear have some idea if the beam is the correct direction !

Stewart G0LGS

In reply to G0LGS:

You did better than I managed. I only worked Tom EYP. I heard Keith HXE but missed him as he was doing s&p at the time. With a halo in the shack they were the only stations that I heard at 1315z. I had intended going out but my wife had other ideas…

73

Richard
G3CWI

In reply to G3CWI:

I missed HXE, unfortunately, but got Tom, and GW0IBE/P on SW-002. I had an unexpected run of three Scots sounding like locals, and heard them and others working into Germany but the only EDX I heard was from France. Very odd conditions, I’ll turn the beam to the continent this evening and see if anything is happening. It looks like a fairly big high pressure system will start building up midweek, so I’m looking forwards to a stay in the Newlands Valley next weekend, and a few LDs…

73

Brian G8ADD

Well, it was a good day for me. I originally intended doing Pendle Hill G/SP-005 with Jimmy M3EYP for this 5th and final Backpackers, but an illness to Jimmy meant that he was grounded and I was relatively grounded. I therefore had to choose between my local threesome, and on balance of projected QRM from other contesters, and likelihood of being asked to move on by wardens, I opted for Gun G/SP-013.

All turned out well. I got S2S with GW3GUX/P on Mynydd Bodafon GW/NW-071, G8ZAY/P on Ruardean Hill G/WB-021 and GW0IBE/P on Waun Fach GW/SW-001 - who thanked me for the descent route I described on the reflector in the last few days, which he used as his ascent! I got quite a few Maidenhead locator squares that I had never got in my log previously on VHF, and QSOs into G, GW, GM, GD, GI, EI, PA, ON, F and DL. And there was me thinking that Gun G/SP-013 would be too close to The Roaches (not a Marilyn, but 130m higher) to get any DX into Europe!

A finishing serial number of 073 was my best ever in any form of VHF contest, although I only do the 2.5 or 4 hour events. I think the only ‘regular’ square I missed was IO91, plus I didn’t hear Don G0RQL in IO70, but this was more than made up for by the addition of the new ones in mainland EU.

Ray M1REK and Andy M1LOL, who had been contesting on nearby Wincle Minn, came to visit me for the last half hour of the contest, just as I switched mode to FM to “mop up” a few last ones before 4pm local.

A good afternoon out, and nice to get some DX on 2m at last.

(BTW, although Keith G8HXE was on Winter Hill, either his location or wkg condx or both were not SOTA qualifying - he told me this in our QSO).

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

It was a good day for me too. An enjoyable walk up empty moorland. Knowing the ridge up to Waun Fach, and wanting to avoid it, I used the route that M1EYP used last week and it wasn’t too much of a slog. Going up, there is a small grassy path that avoids all the tussocks and leads to the ridge a few hundred metres S of the summit. Going down I missed the little path and had rougher route.

I am never terribly competitive on these events, but it was a pleasure to have the bands so active, and to get the chance to work some more countries. But a special thanks to all the chasers who came back to my CQ calls, and the two summit to summit contacts were an added bonus.

After about two hours the wind started to get going, the beam had a mind of it’s own and wanted to beam NW (I was in QSO with F1ISM and he kept missing part of my locator as the beam swung away) and I started to think about the flask of coffee in the car, so I packed up and wandered down. Well done to all those backpacking stations who stayed out for the full four hours.

Richard
G0IBE

In reply to M1EYP:

Hi all,

Perhaps someone could clarify something in my simple Black & White mind!

I really don’t want to rock the boat but I thought the problem with combining SOTA with the Backpackers contest is the fact that using the SOTA-Watch spotting system is actually in breach of the rules of the RSGB Backpackers contest. It clearly states that there should be no use of a Cluster or Chat room (and I assume that includes any real time online message system) or have I misinterpreted the rules?

Thanks for the clarification.

Well done all who braved the wind!

John
M0EAV

In reply to M0EAV:
John I believe that rule applies to the contest operator hence you cannot use the cluster or SOTAwatch (or ask for spots) to find QSO’s (or actively solicit for them) when up on the hill.

If a chaser spots you (without having been asked to) that should not be a problem.

My 10 pence worth…

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Many thanks Marc.

I was concerned that an unsuspecting chaser could spot you and invalidate your contest entry without realising it!

Its obvious now I think about it, it must be Monday!!

Have fun all.

John
M0EAV

In reply to G0AZS:

Hi Marc

My understanding is that pre-contest Alerts are fine as are unsolicited spots. It would however be against the rules and spirit of the contest to self-spot or to solicit spots. Thus having a mate spot you every half an hour would also be poor form.

73

Richard
G3CWI

Richard,

I think pre-contest alerts are fine - so long as they do not pinpoint an exact working frequency. It would be difficult to predict which QRG you will be on anyway, but if you alerted for 144.325MHz SSB, and spent an hour of the contest holding that frequency, that would be out of order. My alert for yesterday was “144-ssb, 145-fm” - which is hardly any more specific than the waveband for the contest anyway!

I sometimes notice (when I get home) that I have been spotted in a contest, and this is because I am on a SOTA summit. I don’t see anything wrong with that, as it is simply one SOTA chaser helping another. In reality, that might result in 2 or 3 SOTA chasers coming on to work me, but nothing major.

Occasionally, when I am worked by a SOTA chaser in a contest, I am asked “Would you like me to spot you?”. I have to give a “No comment” sort of answer!

The internet on the mobile 'phone remains well and truly off in a contest. Self-spotting is a big no-no, and I don’t want to see the SOTAwatch Spots page either. Yesterday, for instance, I may have been tempted to work several S2S on 2m FM had I seen the spots for them, but that definitely would have been against the rules! I got three S2S on SSB, but missed all that were on FM. As it was, I left my phone in the kitchen yesterday, so even Marianne couldn’t contact me to find out when I would be home for tea!

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Occasionally, when I am worked by a SOTA chaser in a contest, I am
asked “Would you like me to spot you?”. I have to give a
"No comment" sort of answer!

73, Tom M1EYP

I asked before spotting you, Tom, the evasive reply was not unexpected but of course I would have honoured a definate “No!”

73

Brian G8ADD