5P5T Danish VHF contest group
Region 1 144 MHz September contest from JO64gx
Interested in visiting/operating from 5P5T in the 2016 September contest?
Contact OZ1FDH claus.felby (at) gmail.com
5P5T September contest 2015 – interesting weather and tough work
OZ1FDH, OZ1IKY, OZ1GER, AG6QV, PA5DD, OX5T (missing)
September is the month of late summer days, the smell of morning dew in the fields and the feeling of a summer almost gone. However, this was not exactly the experience for this years VHF contest. It was more like a collection of low-pressure ridges with high accompanying joyful winds and heavy rain. For the past 5 years we have been lucky with the weather during the VHF September contest, and just a week before the contest the weather forecast looked nice, but then it started to turn bad. At one point there was a storm warning, and if you are at the top of a hill right next to the ocean, that is not a very good combination. We had experienced the October contest 2008 with a full gale, and where considering canceling this years contest, but fortunately the weather forecast got slightly better and we decided to go all inn as usual.
As always we started preparations a little too late building, repairing and fixing equipment, but as the week before the contest arrived everything seemed to be in place and we could start loading the equipment. We try to keep the antenna setup and station as simple as possible, and every year we bring a little bit less equipment, but still it is quite a logistics operation to set up a full VHF station.
Figure 1. Loading the equipment.
For this years contest we had changed a few things; the 4x 6 el were replaced with 4x 3 el DK7ZB, the horse trailer operator room, and its smell of the other friendly users, is now of the past, and we have a nice big cargo trailer with plenty of room. Another addition was a new operator Kenneth OZ1IKY who joined us. Kenneth is a very serious HF contest operator and we persuaded him to try a major VHF contest, but could a HF operator really perform in a VHF contest?
We started Friday with the ritual dish of fried fish and potatoes at Klintholm harbor and made it to the top of Kongsbjerg with all the equipment in the first try – there is nothing like a good old Land Rover. Weather on Friday was all right and OZ1IKY, PA5DD and OZ1FDH started to assemble the antennas (24 individual yagis in total). OZ1GER arrived with the 2 tons generator and we continued putting it all together. In the evening we were 60% done and could sit down with a few bottles of red wine, just relax and enjoy the view. Friday evening is one of the highlights of the contest weekend, sitting at the southern tip of Moen, talking to old and new friends and looking at the light from the German cities more than 50 km away is just nice. Unfortunately the low pressure ridges where starting to arrive and wind was picking up so we had to make it for the cosy interior of the trailer. We all went to bad not too late, but winds where picking further up and some really heavy rains gave us all some unrestfull sleep.
Saturday morning arrived and everybody was a bit groggy after the nightly storm, as Kenneth put it “I better get some new rain gear”.Breakfast was buns a’la OZ1FDH, unfortunately we forgot the butter and milk, so we had to make with just buns and coffee, but we survived. AG6QV, Frank (OZ1GPI) arrived somewhat late Saturday, due to a marathon race; the police had sealed of a major part of the highway and Frank had to make quite a detour around the southern part of Denmark.
Saturday around noon all was fine, everything performed like a clockwork, only the 2nd operator receiver was missing. We had all 4 antenna systems up; 4x3 el at 90 deg, 8x3 el at 160 deg., 8x 3 el at 210 deg and 4x10 el on a rotor. There was lots of time to relax and rest before the test started in the afternoon, but where we to be fooled ……
The PTT for the PA started to become a little “shaky”. Everything was reconnected and looked fine for a short while, but then things became really strange. The PTT worked on and off, or in the opposite mode. The sequencer for PA and antenna relays in the DB6NT transverter apparently was broken. But no, everything was OK in the transverter. Disconnecting and connecting cables, turning the 12V supply for the antenna relays on and off, all gave very confusing results.
Figure 2. OZ1FDH with a high pulse fixing the relays box 20 min before the contest
30 seconds before kick off there was an operator with a red face and a high pulse rate (OZ1FDH) ready at the station and we could start. The first 15 min were really sluggish at our part, but the QSO rate started to pick up, however, we only made 59 QSO’s the first hour, it did not look promising at all. PA5DD, Uffe took over and boosted our bandwidth by simple will power. The QSO rate improved and stayed pretty high for this far north, we kept 60 qso’s/hour right until 20 GMT. No major DX, but we actually made quite a few QSO’s into JN59 and JN48 keeping the points coming. Then the effect of the new 6 hour class kicked in from one minute to the next and the QSO rate dropped with a big splash. Comparing the hourly QSO rate of 2015 to 2014, clearly shows the effect, see figure 3. The idea behind the 6 hour class was to increase activity, but whether or not it only concentrates the activity during the first 6 hours remains to be seen during the next years. The 6 hour effect may also have reduced the normal Sunday morning peak. However, we will have to see the trend for a few more years before anything can be concluded on the effect of the 6 hour class.
Figure 3. QSO’s vs time, compare 2015 (top) to 2014 (bottom)
Figure 4. OZ1IKY’s shoes drying on top of the power supply.
Figure 5. View from 8x3 el pointing 160 degrees
Figure 6. PA5DD and AG6QV operating Saturday evening
Figure 7. All antenna systems and the operating trailer
Conditions were definitely average, but distances were not that bad, we seemed to work more German stations at the 600-700 km range. Signals weren’t fantastic, but manageable.
Then just around midnight GMT tuning across the band there was YT4B with a steady 59 signal. A quick call gave a quick reply, and we finished the QSO in seconds, the ODX of 1305 km was in the log. He was clearly audible for more than 2 minutes, was it MS? Probably, but with very slow QSB and a steady signal.
The late hours and early morning brought some good DX just below or above 1000 km with UY5W (as always) and S59R, S59P, S59ABC together with TM0W during the dead zone in the night. We missed UR7D in the log this year.
OX5T (OZ5BD) joined us Sunday morning with breakfast and gave rest of the crew some time off from the radio. We were also visited by approximately 100 runners participating in a Danish “mountain race", some of them forgot running to in surprise of finding us on the top. The antenna relay for the 8x3 el got stuck in the TX position, but to take the system down would require that we also took the other systems down because the guy wires were in the way, so we decided to leave it and use the rotor mounted system as RX antenna. Sunday morning the activity picked up, but the level was quite low, and it was more a question if we would make 700 QSO’s than 800 QSO’s. We crossed the 700 mark in the last hour including HB9BA finishing off with 715 QSO’s and approximately 357000 points in 94 locators and 19 DXCCs.
The sun came out at the end of the contest and winds dropped. Making the disassembly and packing of equipment uneventful and without any problems, but boy do you feel tired….
2015 was not a great contest, but all in all we were quite satisfied with the result. In many ways 2015 was a full radio sports event; rough weather, Murphy type equipment failures, hard work and good company. Next year 5P5T will be back and will then be QRV for the 10’th time in a row. Thanks for all the QSO’s and we do indeed look forward to next years contest.
Top 20 QSO-points
1 20150905 2348 YT4B 59 451 59 207 JN94SD 1305 155
2 20150906 0039 TM0W 559 460 599 287 JN36BP 1030 208
3 20150905 1948 UW5Y 51 337 59 196 KN18OO 1019 130
4 20150906 0009 S59P 559 455 599 376 JN86AO 963 164
5 20150906 0008 S59R 559 454 599 424 JN76OM 959 168
6 20150906 0111 S59ABC 51 466 59 266 JN76TO 956 166
7 20150906 0309 HG1Z 529 479 599 343 JN86KU 953 160
8 20150905 2253 HA2R 539 435 59 276 JN87UE 938 155
9 20150905 2030 HG6Z 53 368 59 075 JN97WV 937 144
10 20150905 2036 HG7M 53 370 59 116 JN97WW 933 144
11 20150905 2234 HB9RF 55 426 59 190 JN47FB 926 200
12 20150906 1323 HB9BA 55 703 55 210 JN37SG 925 204
13 20150906 0049 HB9CYF/P 559 461 599 175 JN37OJ 921 206
14 20150906 0227 HG1W 539 474 599 381 JN87GF 906 160
15 20150905 1929 HA1KYY 55 318 55 189 JN87FI 891 161
16 20150905 1824 F1AZJ/P 59 256 59 136 JN28OK 885 218
17 20150906 0222 HB9FAP 559 473 599 574 JN47PH 882 196
18 20150905 2217 G3M 41 418 57 252 JO01NC 876 245
19 20150906 0057 TM2W 59 463 59 470 JN37NV 872 208
20 20150905 2345 OM3RM 53 450 59 476 JN87WV 870 153
Figure 8 QSO’s vs. QTF
5P5T Winner of the 2013 Region 1 VHF multioperator section
The full story about the contest can be found at www.5p5t.dk
From the DARC VHF UHF contest website:
Contest site on Kongsbjerg in 2011. The operator room is in a horse trailer (we left the horse back home) and the PA's are in a separate trailer in order to keep the blower noise levels down
Take off to the south from Kongsbjerg
Final results and trophy IARU VHF 2011
The station is an ICOM 7700 + a DB6NT transverter and for the 2nd operator RX we use an ICOM 756 Pro II. In general we use simplicity as the guiding principle for our station setup. The more simple the operator interface, the more the oprator can focus on the QSO's. The logging software has so far been Taclog developed by OZ2M. This software has the most simple and best user interface of all logging programs we have tested, unfortunately it is no longer compatible with the recent windows systems and we probably need to change to a more modern but also less user friendly logging software. Alternatively we may rewrite Taclog for windows, -stay tuned for more info on this.
An often forgotten part of the portable equipment is the mains supply. We are fortunate to have access to a 30 kw diesel generator, which delivers 240 V of pure sinus AC and keeps all the equipment in good health.
PLEASE READ THIS
5P5T Dream Team 2011
The 2011 Dream team from left to right PA5DD,OZ5BD,OZ1GER,OZ1FDH and OZ1DJJ
6719822 Last modified: 2015-09-18 14:57:37, 30679 bytes
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