7 Dec 2015

RSGB 144MHz AFS Contest 2015

On the 6th of December 2015 from 10:00UTC -16:00UTC the 144MHz AFS contest took place. The Affiliated Societies contests are open to both individual entrants (who must be RSGB members), and to teams made up of a number of operators who must all be members of the same affiliated society, but not necessarily RSGB members themselves. 

The results from the 6m, 2m and 70cm Affiliated Society contests contribute to the AFS Super League. All members of a team must operate from within 80Km of the Virtual Meeting Place of the society and must be within the UK. No station may represent more than one society. No operator is allowed to use more than one callsign during the contest. 

In the case of national societies, each team must define a separate virtual meeting place, and each team member must operate within 80Km of that designated meeting place. 
So with this The Blacksheep Contest and DX Group which is an affiliated group of the RSGB had 4 stations taking part in this years event.

The 4 stations making up Team Blacksheep consisted of Roger G3MEH from his QTH at IO91QS, John G0ODQ from his QTH at IO91NQ, M0BAA/P Team (Andy 2E0IBF, Bill M0BTZ, Nick G4FAT and Mike G8TIC) from Sheppey at JO01KJ and M0XII/P (Matt G0XDI and myself Pat EI5IX / M0XII) from a portable location on a chalk escarpment called "The Chiltern Hills" at IO91MP.

Matt G0XDI and myself EI5IX / M0XII decioded to go to the Chiltern Hills and operate from locator IO91MP, the contest started at 10:00UTC and finished at 16:00UTC the weather conditions were very windy and wet but we managed to get a dry spell to put up the antenna and get a station together we got on air about 45 minutes into the contest and managed to get 141QSO's .with 22,159 Total points and our ODX was DF5HC at 705Km, we worked 11 DXCC entities and 28 WWLs. The equipment used was an FT847, 300w SSPA and a 11ele LFA antenna at 10m.

G0XDI laying out the pipe mast 

 G0XDI Roping up the pipe mast

 1st test of raising the pipe mast "all good... now put an antenna on it"

Looks a bit wonky but nearly there... 

And up she goes.... 11 ele LFA 144MHz Antenna

G8TIC's Trusty old Honda Generator

Matt G0XDI having a tune around the band

Pat M0XII testing the Antenna 

I'd like to thank my team mates for making the effort in this contest (G3MEH, G0ODQ, 2E0IBF, M0BTZ, G4FAT, G8TIC) and I'd like to thank Matt G0XDI for all his hard work out portable with me for this contest, That's the end of the VHF/UHF contests for 2015, Thanks to all for the points throughout the year, good luck in this one and I hope to hear you on in the next contest... 73.

UPDATE 23/12/2015

144 MHz AFS 2015

The number of entries for this event fell by 9% compared to the 2014 record entry level. This may well be as a result of Storm Desmond putting people off. Many of those who did take part had their masts at reduced height. The nineteen portable stations across the country had torrential rain and high strength winds until the storm died away during the contest. Forty seven clubs took part of which nine fielded a "B" team.

Many entrants commented that the conditions were flat at best and challenging at worst. Conditions did appear to generally improve as the event progressed. The QSB was described as "wicked" and numerous comments described the increasing problem of higher noise levels. The overlap with the French contest during the first hour was exploited well by those placed nearer the south coast.

In total there were 397 stations recorded in the logs in 62 squares (including 21 UK squares). Outside of the UK there were 12 DL, 1 EI, 55 F, 2 HB9, 1LX, 8 ON and 16 PA logged. The best DX was between M0BAA/P (JO01) and F4CWN at 872 kms. There were 84 QSOs greater than 600kms of which 23 were greater than 700kms and 8 were greater than 800 kms.

A number of entrants commented on the lack of activity later in the event. However, 12% of QSOs took place in the fifth hour and 12.7% in the final hour! The current levels of activity support a six hour event and the current timings are probably the best compromise to allow portable stations to set up and take down mainly in daylight. However, comments are welcomed to the adjudicator.

Given the difficult conditions, logging standards were slightly better than average with 4.4% of QSOs being disallowed during adjudication. A number of leading stations lost less than 2% of their claimed scores which is a target for entrants to aim at. As logging errors were equally spread across callsigns, locators, signal reports and serial numbers it is worth remembering that all elements of the QSO are checked.

In the club competition we have a new winner - the Blacksheep CG who win the G3MEH Trophy relegating Bristol CG "A" into the runners up spot.

In the individual sections congratulations go to:

M0BAA/P (operated by 2E0IBF, G4FAT, G8TIC and M0BTZ) for winning the Open Section;

G8NEY/P (operated by 2E0NEY and M0GHZ) for second place in the Open Section;
Dave, G7RAU for winning the SF section for the second year running;
Richard GD8EXI for second place in the SF section;
Arthur 2E0RTY/P as the leading intermediate entrant in the Open section;
Steven 2W0JYN as the leading intermediate entrant in the SF section;
Andrew G4HVC as the leading fixed station running 25 watts or less into a single antenna;
Jacques F1BHL/P as the leading non-UK station in the Open section;
Frank, PE1EWR as the leading non-UK station in the SF section.

Sadly there were no Foundation level entrants.

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