The Remembrance Day Contest is one of the biggest contests on the Australia/New Zealand calendar. The only question that I had was where was I going to activate from; keeping in mind that I’m also trying to increase repeat activations in some local parks to go for the Boomerang Award (5 parks with 5activations; consecutive days don’t count).
I ended up settling on Bouddi National Park (VKFF-0049), where I did this contest from last year.
As you can see in the maps, it’s a decent trip. Takes just under an hour to get there. Longer when you drive for ten minutes before remembering that you forgot your headset.
It should also be visible that I forgot to turn on APRS when I left, so this is the track home. To get there, I went on Scenic Rd to the east.
As noted, I left my good headset at home and had to go back for it. With this and a few other issues in the morning, I didn’t get to the park until about 1:15pm and took most of the remainder of the first hour up in getting set up for a 24 hour run (well at least being set up for 24 hours).
Funny how a desktop looks much tidier at the start of an activation.
I was able to set up in my normal spot, though I had to park a few spots away from it. These photos were taken just before I packed up at 1pm, Sunday.
This weekend I had two new additions to my kit. I bought two 6m telescopic poles (not squid poles), as they have a wider top segment (8mm vs 2mm), so don’t flex like the squid poles.
I used one of these on each end of the dipole, while using the 10m pole for the centre (with the antenna on the second top segment due to weight).
Above and below is the southern end.
Looking back from the southern end to the centre.
Looking at the northern end and then back to te centre from the northern end.
As you can see this was a busy car park.
Running QRP in a contest is always difficult, but having CW on board as well certainly helps.
I got started around 2:30pm. I had planned to go through the morning for triple points but ended up calling it a night around 2am, getting started the following morning around 8am.
I made contacts on 40m and 80m; tried 20m without much luck.
I really wanted to try 160m, so I brought my 22m end fed and ran it up the 10m pole. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to tune on any band so I had to give up on that idea, which is a shame as a CW contact on 160m between 1am and 6am would have been worth 12 points. I also heard quite a bit of SSB on 160m going on as well. I’ll write up another blog on what the problem here was.
The contest also coincided with the Lighthouse activation weekend so we had a number of operators who weren’t part of the RD contest on air as well. Most of these helped out by providing a serial number, however I did have to remove one from my contest log as the didn’t and then I couldn’t get them back for one.
I also noticed more than a few CW operators sending using computer. One in particular was sending the 599 before te serial number at a ridiculously high speed and every time they did I was thrown on listening to the serial number. I ended up spending another 10 minutes or so listening to other folks contact him before I got the number.
OK, yeah, I still need to work on my CW.
The back of the car after getting up on Sunday morning.
Modes CW: 21 SSB: 82 Parks VKFF-0789: 1 VKFF-2185: 1 2 park contacts - 2 unique Bands 40M: 52 80M: 51 86 unique contacts (17 duplicates) 103 log entries
Removing one contact for the contest, I submitted a log with 102 contacts for 133 points in HF QRP mixed mode.