It was a good year for 10 meters and 80 meters. From the BCIT ARC I made 514 contacts in a rather small amount of time.
Friday evening I headed to the station around 7/7:30 after finishing dinner and driving down there. On my way I listened via my phone to a local station (VE7GL, Dale) as he worked probably EVERY JA on the band. Once I got there, the first thing I did was spin up 10 meters and found wall to wall stations. By the time I had the N1MM software loaded the band had gone soggy as the grey line had long since passed.
I dropped down to 15 and made about 30 Q’s by hunting for mults and calling CQ a time or two. My CQ’ing was cut short by RF blowing up the computer and getting into everything. Well deserved tho, we are using a laptop as our main station. The RF issues continued as I jumped onto 20, then 40, and eventually 80. By 3AM I figured I should head out, and I made my way home.
The next morning I had plans with some co-workers to take our XYL’s to a pumpkin patch, but all I could think about was picking off rare DX on 10. By 14/1500 local I was back on air and went directly to 10. For the next 4 hours I hopped between 10, 15, and 20, mostly looking for mults. I took some time to call CQ, but found I did better when busting up pile ups. I did have a pretty good run on 28.501 (Giving plenty of room to the DXpedition on 28.490).
Don, VA7LNX came to the rescue, and brought in some toroids to deal with the RF leaking into the USB! Problem solved!
The station stayed empty Sunday as I didn’t get out of my warm bed until after 11 – I was burned out.
Here is my final score after just a few hours invested – maybe 10?
Band-by-Band breakdown of Q’s, Points, Zones, and Countries.
I watched a YouTube video by Randy, K7AGE, where he talked about building a 6 meter dipole. This super simple antenna is so easy that I would have to find an excuse to NOT make it. Randy’s video (and many others on the net) made me want to try it out and I wanted to play on “the magic” band. After a few minutes of thinking I jumped in with two feet and started looking for 6 meter yagi antenna designs. I stumbled onto the YU7EF EF0604s antenna.
This antenna is a simple 4 element beam that is relatively compact, the longest element is just over 9ft and the boom is only 8ft! I started off wanting to make this antenna portable, however after drawing up the design I visited my favorite metal retailer for some aluminum tubing and discovered that they did not carry the sizes that I needed to make the elements telescopic. I ended up settling on single lengths of 3/4inch aluminum tubing with 1/16th inch walls for the elements. The boom is an 8ft piece of 1inch square aluminum tubing. The elements are held to the beam using hydraulic hose clamps. The boom is mounted to a pole using a pair of pipe/exhaust clamps which are bolted to a 4inch square plate of 1/8th inch think aluminum.
I posted the pictures from the build and testing phase via Google+
Click here do download the PDF sketch of the visio drawing I did:
Visio mapping of the antenna. Click to download the PDF
We operated single-band on 6 Meters from inside of a local telecommunications companies microwave site compound. Conditions were poor the first day, however the band opened up Sunday morning as we were packing up. We did not operate after 11AM as we started ripping everything down so that we could be out of the site before the sun set.
In this video you will see me operating the last few minutes of the end of the contest.
Here is VE7HHS working the pile up while VE7STK marks the grid squares.
As mentioned, conditions were poor for the most part, and we really did not really have a rate going until Sunday. Weather was interesting up at altitude, and it even snowed on us (on and off) for a few hours on Friday night, however none of it really stuck. Sunday, as is always the case, was our nicest weather day, and we had nice temperatures the whole time.
Me “operating” the contest when band was shifting. I typically call/run during contests but in this first video I am running around the band looking for others. In this video I end up working XE2K in DM22 Mexico which is a pretty damn good contact on 6 meters. I also worked WA7JTM in DM46 (Grand Canyon) who had a massive signal from his location.
In this video I am running up the contacts from inside the station. We set up a low power FM transmitter inside so that we could listen to the operating position from outside of the building. In the video you will see the other operators and the microwave site we camped out at.
All of the videos in this series are filmed by VE7HHS.