On September 6th & 7th the RSGB & IARU R1 - 144 MHz International Trophy Contest took place. I was out active with The BlackSheep Contest and DX Group under the callsign "G8T" from Locator square JO01KJ.
The G8T Station
I arrived on the site Friday morning and helped the Team put together our station for the weekend. We worked hard and got all antenna systems built and working by the Friday evening.
4x10ele + 6x3ele + 4x9ele + 2x14ele
G8T Team raising a Pipe Mast with 4x9ele
This contest was eventful more so than usual, despite testing our new pre-amplifier failed and had to be repaired. Luckily it was installed on our Versatower which allowed it to be lowered and raised again without too much effort!
60ft Versatower on the way down
Later the bearings failed in the alternator of old faithful 2-cylinder diesel generator that the Team have been using for 25+ years! The backup petrol generator was unreliable also and we didn't have enough power for the radio station and the cook house! Fortunately the farmer of the site had a spare John Deere 6330 tractor and a 25KVA 3-phase PTO generator that we were able to use (after fixing it). :-)
2-Cylinder Diesel Generator
John Deere 6330 Tractor and a 25KVA 3-phase PTO Generator
We had an intermittent connection in the TX IF drive to the Transverter which lost us nearly 2 hours during set up as we couldn't get any power out of the station, then during the contest the logging computer (laptop) decided that it was imperative to reboot at 10am on Sunday morning in order to install Microsoft updates and went off-line for 25 minutes forcing us to do a session of paper logging, nothing like going old school in the heat of battle:-)
Tim G4LOH operating the station
Bill M0BTZ in the heat of Battle...
As for Band conditions they seemed flat or slightly above average, some useful propagation to HB9 and southern France was welcome. We also managed QSOs in to OK, OE and SM and Mike G8TIC worked S57LM on a long meteor burst (over 30 seconds at 59+) around time of the reported asteroid pass and meteorite strike in Nicaragua.
We finished this contest in 2nd place with 773 QSO's and 319,629 Points our ODX was S57LM at 1,162Km, Thanks again to everybody who called us throughout the weekend during the contest.
Once again got to say a big Thank you to the guys of the Blacksheep Contest group for inviting me along again to contest with them, it certainly was a fantastic experience on 144MHz I'm looking forward to the next one.