You might be wondering what happened to us in 2010 with a "no show" on VHFNFD. Basically, we towed the mast and generator trailer up to site on the Friday afternoon and then returned home for T'Van - in the two hours we were absent from site, the mast was vandalised and the entire contents of the generator trailer stolen! I had packed a lot of equipment in the space around the generator and all that was taken, along with the generator itself that weighs some 200Kg and was bolted to the floor! Amateur Radio Insurance Services were extremely supportive, but the year's contesting was trashed.
Great to be back in 2011 for VHFNFD with some smart new kit thanks to the insurance!
This year was a chance to try out our new 2m antenna array comprising 4 x 11 element Pro Tonnas which seemed to work extremely well. On 2m we have a Yaesu FT-1000MP MK 5 driving a DB6NT transverter, with an IF of 14MHz instead of the more common 28MHz. QRO is provided by a Beko HLV-1500 amplifier - Beko is not a particularly well known make over here in the UK, but their amps are stunning - physically very small and they run dead cold at 400W output. An SSB Electronics MHP-145 masthead preamp is employed to make sure we can hear everything and all the feeders are Ecoflex15.
For our entry in the Restricted Section on 6m we use an Icom IC-7000 and Optibeam OB6-6 Yagi. The IC-7000 is pressed into service again on Sunday for the Low Power Section on 70cm, with a 29 element Pro Tonna and SSB Electronics SP-7000 masthead preamp mounted on T'Van's Hilomast.
Really enjoyed ourselves. 2m was very busy for the first few hours and we were soon over the 100 mark. Overall though, conditions seemed a bit flat, with nowhere near the number of F and DL stations worked as in previous years. Had a nice couple of openings down into EA. Where were the ONs?
Decided to keep the antennas pointing towards the UK during the end of the contest to pick up as many Backpackers as possible and this certainly paid off, with a corresponding increase in the QSO rate.
Went a bit berserk with the digital camera this time...................................
|The Girls at sunset!|
|View to the south||View to the west|
|T'Van with the 6m and 70cm antennas||Same antennas, different day|
|Yet another sunset photo!||Really like this shot - about as arty as I get!|
|Rest area at the side of T'Van||Richard G4GHI joined us to see what contesting was all about....after an absence of over 20 years from the hobby!|
|The 2m array luffed over for dismantling on Sunday||What a mess - did I really do that on Friday?!|
Squares worked during VHFNFD 2011
(click to view our log)
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