The weekend of 2nd & 3rd of July 2016, I ventured out with the Blacksheep DX & Contest group for the RSGB VHF/UHF National Field Day. This year we were operational on 50MHz (6m), 70MHz (4m), 144MHz (2m) 432MHz (70cm) & 1296MHz (23cm) from Locator Square "JO01KJ" under the call-sign "M0BAA/P".
We arrived on site on the Friday at 15:00BST and began to build our portable stations, weather conditions were patchy on the Friday with the sun beaming down on us one minute then a few showers of rain the next, this hampered us a bit as we were still building the stations right up to the start of the contest on Saturday 14:00UTC. This year we had a few testing challenges with generators and we could have done with some extra manpower but we just put the head down pushed on through then suddenly it was 14:00UTC...CQ Contest!!!
50MHz / 70MHz Station
I was operating on 50 MHz and 70MHz throughout the weekend. Conditions on 50MHz was very tough at times with very little SpEs around this year and what seemed like low activity on 50MHz, I was also dealing with static rain at times which didn't help things and my apologies to those stations I had to ask for the many repeats. It's a pity as I was looking forward to some nice Chordal hop opening to North America on CW but that didn't happen. I finished with 106 QSO's and 19,172 Points and my ODX was GM4ZUK/P at 655km.
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 issues which delayed my start on the 70MHz band by 15 minutes or so. The joys of Field Day :-) Conditions on 70MHz was pretty bad, slow at times with deep QSB on some distant stations, having CW really helped confirm QSO's but there were No SpEs on the band that I could find during the contest unfortunately. I finished with 75 QSO's and 16,233 points and again my ODX was GM4ZUK/P at 655km.
144MHz - 6 x 3ele Yagi's
144MHz - 4 x 10ele Yagi's
432MHz - 4 x 17 ele Yagi's
1296MHz - 4 x 44ele Yagi's
1296MHz - 4 x 44ele Yagi's & Station
Blacksheep DX & Contest Team for NFD 2016
L>R Matt G0XDI, Stephen G4SHF, Nick G4FAT, Dave G4FRE, Bill M0BTZ, Bert PE1RKI, Andy M0MUX, Pat EI5IX / M0XII & Mike G8TIC.
Once 14:00UTC on Sunday appeared on the clock some very weary and tired contester's began to disassemble the stations and get ready for the next stage "packing up", we cleared as much as we could before I had to leave to make the journey back to London as I had work the next day but some of the Team decided to stay overnight Sunday go for some beers along with food and then pack up what was left of the stations on Monday morning clear the site in the afternoon.
I have got to thank the Blacksheep DX & Contest group (Mike G8TIC, Stephen G4SHF, Nick G4FAT, Matt G0XDI, Bill M0BTZ, Andy M0MUX Dave G4FRE and Bert PE1RKI) for all the hard work they put in throughout the weekend and especially for making VHF/UHF NFD contest a success for us even though propagation was not great this year the Team stayed positive and pushed on through, I really enjoyed the weekend with the group, it was great craic and a many a good laugh was had and I'm looking forward to the next one.