20 Jul 2015

RSGB 70MHz Trophy - July19th 2015

On July 19th the RSGB - 70 MHz Trophy Contest took place. I was out active with The BlackSheep Contest and DX Group under the callsign "M0BAA/P" from Locator square JO01KJ. Mike G8TIC, Bill M0BTZ, Andy 2E0IBF and I arrived on site on the Saturday evening and set up the antenna system which was a 8 element Yagi on our Versa Tower at 20m, we finally setup the Yaesu FT5000DX with a DB6NT Transverter and a 4CX250B valve linear amplifier producing 160 watts and once everything was prepared we had a quick listen on the bands, had a few QSO's on SSB & CW working CT & PA to then discover that there was some 144MHz Sporadic E's building over France, so we quickly threw together a 7 element Yagi into an FT897 at 50 watts and Mike G8TIC had a Play on the 144MHz band, unfortunately we were too late as we missed the opening that built up over France so we decided at that point to call it a day and go for a beer and some food then get some sleep before the start of the contest at 10:00UTC.

The contest was hard work with very little Sporadic E or Tropo conditions throughout the contest, We finished the contest at 16:00UTC with a claimed score of 115 QSO's 32,214 points with 69 Multipliers and our ODX was Keith CT1JAD at 1752Km.

Thanks once again to everyone who called us in the contest, look forward to the next one.


EI5IX / M0XII    

UPDATE 02/09/2015

70 MHz Trophy 2015

The number of entrants for this event continues to show a healthy increase with 59 this year. In general the weather was kind to the portables but the further north you ventured, the wetter you became!

There was a sporadic-E opening from the start of the contest until 12:06. In this period there were 64 QSOs greater than 1000kms with three CT and two EA stations. The best contact was between GM4ZUK/P and CT1JAD at 2249kms. Comments regarding the tropospheric conditions varied from reasonable to poor. In total there were 6 DL, 2 EI, 1 LX, 2 ON and 19 PA stations together with all G prefixes except GD. The best QSO was between G3TCU and DK5YA at 737 kms. There were 24 QSOs in excess of 600kms. In total there were 217 stations in the logs with 152 G, 30 from other G prefixes and 35 non UK stations.

Logging standards were generally good with only 2.8% of contacts being judged as not valid. In all three sections the top two stations were separated by very small margins and logging accuracy was key.

Congratulations go to:
The Blacksheep CG, M0BAA/P, for winning the Open Section and being awarded the VHF Managers Trophy;
Erik, G8XVJ/P, who won the single operator (others) section and, as the highest scoring single operator entry, is awarded the Four Metre Cup;
Fred, G4BWP for winning the single operator (fixed) section;

Also to the other stations identified in results who will all receive certificates.
Roger - G4BVY

EI5IX / M0XII    

13 Jul 2015

70MHz (4M) Awards

To celebrate the likely adoption of the band 69.9 – 70.5 MHz as a secondary amateur allocation in the European Common Allocation Frequency Table and Ireland’s significant involvement in the process, IRTS (Irish Radio Transmitters Society) is pleased to launch two new 4m awards.

The purpose of the awards is to recognise and promote DX achievements
by amateur radio operators interested in the range 69 – 74 MHz.
In-band and Cross-band awards are also available.

Log extracts are required and there is currently no charge for the awards. Full details are available on IRTS website

73's DE EI5IX / M0XII - Pat

7 Jul 2015

RSGB VHF/UHF National Field Day 2015

The weekend of 4th & 5th of July 2015, I ventured out with the Blacksheep DX & Contest group for the VHF/UHF National Field Day.

We were operational on 50MHz (6m), 70MHz (4m), 144MHz (2m) & 432MHz (70cm) from Locator Square "JO01KJ" under the call-sign "M0BAA/P".
We arrived on site on the Friday at 15:00BST and began to set up our portable stations, weather conditions were amazing on the Friday with the sun beaming down on us as we constructed the stations for the contest which were starting on the Saturday at 14:00UTC until Sunday 14:00UTC. We worked hard into the evening on Friday until the Thunderstorms ceased our operations, so we decided to order a Take Away and have a few beers then bed down for the rest of the night to which got up early on Saturday morning and finished off the rest of the station builds. Weather was certainly a lot different on Saturday morning a lot cooler and the land was wet from the torrential rain the night before. 

Team Building the 144MHz - 4 x 10 Array

 Team erecting the 144MHz - 4 x 10 Array

144MHz - 4 x 10 Array up and running

432MHz Shack going together

432MHz Station - 4 x 17 Array on a Versa Tower

 50MHz 7 element antenna on a Versa Tower

 50MHz / 70MHz Shack

The good old Power Horse Generator (Now RIP)

EI5IX / M0XII rolling up Eco Flex 15+ Cable

When things go Wrong....

We had a lot more challenges than usual present them selves this time around but we just put the head down pushed on through then suddenly it was 14:00UTC...CQ Contest!!! 

I had the pleasure of operating with Stephen G4SHF and Nick G4FAT on 50 MHz. Mike G8TIC along with Matt G0XDI and Andy 2E0IBF operated on 144MHz and Dave G7RAU with Bill M0BTZ operated on 432MHz for the start of the contest. We kept rotating operators on the stations which was great as it gave every body a feel of the different bands over the weekend. 
Once 50MHz had finished at 22:00UTC we had to dismantle the station and built the 70MHz setup for the next morning at 08:00UTC, Operators were getting tired so we said we would finish the setup on Sunday morning only to find a few more issues which delayed our start on the 70MHz band by 45 minutes. 

Once 14:00UTC on Sunday appeared on the clock some very weary and tired contesters began to disassemble the stations and get ready for the next stage "packing up", We decided to stay overnight Sunday and go for some Fish and Chips have a few beers then get some sleep and be fresh for the morning. We got up Monday early packed up the stations and left the site in the afternoon for journey back home.

We finished up the contest with the following claimed scores and entries into the Open section of this contest with the following:

50Mhz (6m):

182 QSO's - 40'809 Total Points with an ODX of 2007Km with 9H5MC

70Mhz (4m):

91 QSO's - 21'284 Total points with an ODX of 779Km with GM3WOJ

144MHz (2m):

657 QSO's - 268'429 Total points with an ODX of 1100Km with OL7M

432MHz (70cms):

227 QSO's - 75'752 Total points with an ODX of 969Km with OL3Z

I have got to thank the Blacksheep DX & Contest group (Mike G8TIC, Stephen G4SHF, Nick G4FAT, Matt G0XDI, Bill M0BTZ, Andy 2E0IBF and Dave G7RAU) for the hard work they all put in over the weekend and especially for making VHF/UHF NFD contest a success for us even though we had some issues along the way the Team stayed positive and pushed on through, I really enjoyed the weekend, it was great craic and a good laugh and I'm looking forward to the next one.


UPDATE - 07/08/2015

I'm delighted to announce that we won VHF / UHF NFD contest for the second successive year, though the margin was incredibly close (00.6%, or 21 Normalised points. Thanks (as always) to those who worked us and to VHFCC for the super fast adjudication. Full results at : http://www.rsgbcc.org/cgi-bin/vhfresults.pl?Contest=VHF%20NFD&year=2015

All the Blacksheep Group Team receiving the various Trophies that we won throughout 2015 including for the Open section the VHF National Field Day  "Surrey Cup
which Matt G0XDI and Mike G8TIC are holding in the picture above.