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:
182 QSO's - 40'809 Total Points with an ODX of 2007Km with 9H5MC
91 QSO's - 21'284 Total points with an ODX of 779Km with GM3WOJ
657 QSO's - 268'429 Total points with an ODX of 1100Km with OL7M
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.