30 Nov 2015

CQWW CW Contest - November 28th / 29th 2015

Call: G2F
Class: M/S HP
QTH: Wisbech
Operating Time (hrs): 48
Location: Northern Europe

Band      QSOs     Zones    Countries
160:          190       18               66
80:          1125       28             107
40:          1296       40             138
20:          1646       39             131
15:          1049       38             141
10:            113       28               89
Total:      5419     191             672 

Total Score: 9,496,452

After Storm Barney caused considerable damage to one of the towers and the LF verticals only 12 days before the CW contest, we weren't sure if we would be able to recover, but we did, although one tower was not fully raised due to the forecast high winds for the weekend we managed to get on the air for the CW contest. 
 Damage from Storm Barney

More damage from Storm Barney
Antennas Back up for the Contest 

Verticals and SteppIR back up and Running

The 10m band never opened for us over the weekend with most of the QSO's on 10m being made on Saturday, There was some positives from the weekend the new 40m and 80m antennas performed as well as to be expected from our 70m x 70m plot which has all our antennas crammed in, we still have some issues to resolve which we know will improve our score and more improvements on LF RX antennas are required but in all we had a great time. 
This year we were short on operators due to not really being able to commit to having a station ready in time for the contest, also one op couldn't make it until Sunday so the first 32 hours was ran by 3 operators (M0CKE, M0VKY & EI5IX ). We are pleased to report that there was no more storm damage over the weekend even though we had some really strong winds and gusts during Sunday between 2pm and 8pm. 
Nice to see the usual UK activity in this contest and Thanks again to everyone for the QSO's We hope to see you all in 2016. 
From all @ G2F

16 Nov 2015

RSGB AFS 1.8MHz SSB Contest November 2015

On the 14th of November the RSGB AFS 1.8MHz SSB Contest took place from 20:00 - 23:00UTC, I was out with the affiliated Blacksheep Contest & DX Group at our VHF/UHF contest site on the Isle of Sheppey. 

For this contest our Team was Blacksheep members: Nick G4FAT, Bill M0BTZ and myself using the club callsign MX0BAA as the Club HQ during the contest. Roger G3MEH and John G0ODQ were also on the band from their own QTH's as Club Members of the Blacksheep Contest & DX Group. 

Weather conditions were very wet and windy on the Saturday but it didn't stop Nick and Bill getting the antennas up just before darkness set in at 17:30UTC. The Antennas selected for this contest was a 270ft Doublet antenna in an Inverted V configuration, we also tried a Sloper antenna on a fiberglass pole off the top of the Tower approx 90ft from ground, the Transceiver used this time around was a Yaesu FTDX5000MP at 30w with a M0BTZ Homemade ATU.

Looking up the tower at 160m Antennas the next morning.

270ft Doublet & 160m Sloper in the wind

 Testing the DX conditions on the Bands, 40m sounded great!

MX0BAA in the AFS Contest on 160m

M0BTZ & EI5IX/M0XII under MX0BAA in the AFS Contest on 160m

 M0BTZ in the AFS Contest on 160m under MX0BAA

We finished this contest at 23:00UTC on the 14th with a claimed score of 123 QSO and 1559 points, We contacted 7 DXCC entities and found that there was excellent activity on the band and we all really enjoyed it, just before the contest started and under my own callsign M0XII/P on 160m I had a FB QSO with Khvicha 4L1HD and he had a great signal with us on Sheppey with some QSB at times but his RST was 55 / 57 it was a nice surprise and a ATNO on that band for me. Thanks again to everyone who gave us points during the contest it was an enjoyable event, looking forward to the next one.


9 Nov 2015

IARU / RSGB Marconi 144MHz CW Contest - November 2015

On November 7th & 8th the 24hr IARU & RSGB - 144 MHz International Marconi CW Contest took place. I was out again with the BlackSheep Contest and DX Group under the callsign "G8T" from Locator square: JO01KJ

We arrived on site later than planned due to work commitments that delayed setting out by several hours, traffic on the M25, etc. so we didn't do a huge amount of work on Friday afternoon as we only had about 2 hours of light.

We put up two identical antenna systems - each was 2 x 10-el DK7ZB yagis vertically stacked about 15ft apart on top of a 60ft Versatower. This was all we fancied doing in the 30-50Mph gusting winds, scrawly showers and rain that we had to contend with... at our site just walking around in the field for five minutes you grew in height 2-3 inches due to the mud on your boots!

The station comprised 2 x Elecraft K3/10 + homebrew transverter, SSPA and pre-amps. The IF output from No.1 antenna system (facing EU) was split and also fed to an Anan/Angelia SDR board with CuSDR and PowerSDR/CW-Skimmer. For this contest we used Wintest with rig control for the radios which gave us cluster integration and band-map.

G8T Station in Full Swing 

Tower 1 with 2 x 10ele DK7ZB Antennas 

The Group (2E0IBF, G4FAT, M0BTZ) working on Tower 2  

Tower 2 up with 2 x 10ele DK7ZB Antennas

Our claimed score is here:


342 QSOs, 193,176 points, 565 points/QSO. 

Best DX OM3RBS in JN98KJ QRB 1329Km.

G8T QSO coverage map

Conditions were flat on the Saturday towards EU and activity was very low from the UK. Initial QSO distances were in line with those expected of our site with many German stations in JN48/JN49/JO50. As Sunday arrived were experienced minor/moderate tropo inline with Hepburn & F5LEN Tropo predictions and distances increased to work JO73, JO90 ranges.

Through the night conditions improved slightly and/or QRM dropped and we worked over 50+ QSO's to OL, OK, OM, OE and SP stations with many distances over 800Km.

 Activity throughout the contest for G8T

It became very clear that the centre of activity for this event was Czech Republic / Austria / Slovakia / Hungry from where all the lines could be seen crossing on DXmaps.com. We also found that we (and other larger UK stations) were on the "western edge" of what was reachable to many of the stations in EU and hence it was quite common for pile-ups of DL/DK stations with the odd OK/OE/OM somewhere in the mix.

To give you an idea of what the contest looked like here is a screen grab from the SDR mid-morning today (Sunday) on the 2 x 10el facing EU 
you can turn your head sideways and read most of the traffic! 

Band View of Marconi 144MHz CW Contest 2015 

We did spend a considerable amount of time with the antennas facing in-land panning them around between GM, GI, EI, GW on Sunday and worked most of the "usual suspects" - we think that the only one that got away was Clive, GM4VVX which was a combination of QSB and bad timing. Unfortunately not many EI's on in this contest this year hopefully get to work a few of you next year in other contests.

On this occasion the BlackSheep group consisted of Bill M0BTZ, Nick G4FAT, Andy 2E0IBF, Mike G8TIC and 
Pat EI5IX / M0XII.

Thanks again to everyone that called us and we hope you enjoyed this contest as much as we did! Looking forward to the next one :-)


UPDATE 05 / 12 / 2015

144MHz Marconi CW 2015

A record number of entries was received this year 42, beating the previous record of 28.
The contest was again beset with bad weather but had good VHF conditions to the east on the Sunday, but not so good on Saturday. Those who chose Saturday in the 6 hours section certainly lost out to the Sunday entrants. 

The Single Operator Fixed section was won by Dave G7RAU from the Isle of Wight, with G0JJG runner-up.

The Open section was won by G8T, the Blacksheep contest group, with a fine antenna setup and many eastern Dx contacts. Sadly they were the only Open entrant

Jeremy Brown, G3XZG, operated the G3MEH station again this year, and won the 6 hour Single Operator Fixed section. G4ZTR was runner-up.

John Cockrill, of the Northampton club G4CZB/P, was again the winner in the 6 hour Open section. G3TCU/P was runner up .

Other certificate winners:

G0OOG leading station running 25W or less to a single antenna in SF section

G4HVC leading station running 25W or less to a single antenna in 6S section

No leading foundation or intermediate station certificates were awarded due to lack of entries being received for these categories.

The leading overseas entry was ON4KMB .

This contest was the final event in the VHF CW Championship.

Mike G3VYI