3 Mar 2014

The Aftermath of the 2014 March 144/432 Contest

So now that everyone has recovered after the weekend's March 144/432 Contest, I would like to express my deepest concern for the lack of UK and EU activity during this major Contest, especially compared to this time last year in the same Contest. 
Poor band conditions with the lack of Tropo & Sporadic E propagation resulted in many stations coming on-air, working what they could hear and then closing down. 
The 144Mhz & 432Mhz Bands overnight were as quiet as a mouse and this is ridiculous in my opinion for a 24 hour national contest. I have noticed that the UKAC activity nights on both bands 144Mhz & 432Mhz has more activity on a Tuesday Night than a full weekend of contesting. This is fantastic for a Tuesday night activity but it seems the same stations have lost interest in Major contests at weekends and it is all about the UKAC these days? 

I for one have lost interest in the UKAC on both 144Mhz / 432Mhz bands as it seems a complete waste of time from IO91 Square, every month you look at the activity on both these bands and you see that this contest favours stations within squares in the middle of the UK and it is great to see that there is nice activity up there on the bands but as for the multiplier situation in this contest the South of the country is forgotten about especially when working stations in EU these multiplier's are not counted in the UKAC contest. A bit of a joke really and off putting to any new station on the bands. The RSGB should really consider stations throughout the UK as a lot of us could not be bothered until there is a level playing field in place.  

However, I enjoyed the March weekend and I must say a big thank you to the Middlesex DX group for inviting me along to participate in this years contest. Thanks to John G0KLX, Jason M1PRO, Simon MW0TBI, Carl 2E1IDC, Steve G1OFW and Kevin G1KAW for putting in a huge effort this year in getting two powerful stations up and running for the 24 hours of the contest.

144Mhz Station

432Mhz Station

Antenna Array's

We finished the contest under the callsign M0MDG/P from Square JO00EW on Sunday 3rd of March at 14:00z on 144Mhz & 432Mhz with a claimed score on 144Mhz of 236 QSO's at 358 points per QSO totalling 84,451 points. 
We worked 12 DXCC entities within 55 different locator squares and our furthest DX contact on this band was DR1H at 782km in square locator JN59OP. 
Our claimed score on 432Mhz was 106 QSO's at 299 points per QSO totalling 31,718 Points. We worked 8 DXCC entities within 28 different locator squares and our furthest DX contact on this band was DL8QS at 637km in square locator JO43KH.
I'm looking forward to the results of this contest as it was like pulling teeth, slow, long and certainly tested the patience of all involved at the best of times.
Thanks to all for the QSO's and the Points I look forward to the next contest. 73's


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