□ About the contest
This contest was the sixth of six contests forming the AFS Super-League, which Cambridge University Wireless Society and the Camb-Hams (the social part of Cambridgeshire Repeater Group) entered jointly.
I operated as G3PYE/P together with M0LCM from 'Flossie' (the CRG's van) at Wort's Causeway.
□ The Rigs and Antennas used in the entry
IC-910, Amplifier, 21-ele yagi at 20m.
□ The summary of points we made during the contest
Our claimed score is 5196 points, from 49 QSOs. Other Camb-Hams scores include G4ERO with 7931 points and G4VHF with 6293 points.
□ My comments about the contest
This really was one to distinguish the dedicated/mad from other contesters! Several inches of snow had fallen overnight before the contest, and so a group of us had agreed to meet on the local repeater at 6am to discuss the situation. Fortunately, the roads were not impassible, and so it looked as though we would be able to meet up and operate from our respective locations as originally planned.
When we arrived at Flossie, however, we discovered that we could not start the van. An intermittent fault on an internal light had meant that the light had been on for several days, and so the battery was now flat. We tried jump-starting it from the petrol generator, which didn't work, then from the on-board utility battery (blowing a fuse in the process), until G3ZAY offered us some jump-leads. By now, it was 7:30, and so (having wasted this time), we decided to switch to our Plan B instead. This had me going with Lawrence and Flossie to Wort's Causeway. Plan A had involved me going to Wort's Causeway with M0VFC, while Flossie went to another location at Brinkley.
After a bit of sliding around, we left from Flossie's parking place, and drove (slowly) to Wort's Causeway. On arrival, the snow in the field was up to 9 inches deep, and so we had to dig out a space from which to operate. Eventually, we managed to get everything set up, by which time it was 9:30am - thirty minutes after the start of the contest. Our final task was to pump up Flossie's pressurized mast. But, as with AFS SSB a few months earlier, it was frozen. It took nearly twenty minutes with a fan heater to thaw it, and so (despite the early start), we were 1 hour late.
Our next problem happened about an hour later. Bearing in mind that we had used the generator to charge Flossie's battery earlier, Lawrence remarked that we should probably check the fuel level sometime soon. A couple minutes later, the power died as the generator ran out. We restarted everything only to discover that we could not open the log. The MySQL database that runs behind our logging software had been corrupted during the power-cut, and we now wasted several more minutes trying to use myisamchk to recover it. (We eventually managed about 30 minutes later, so no QSOs were lost, fortunately).
Conditions in the contest seemed poorer than we had expected, but that might have been lack of activity if stations had decided not to brave the weather and so abandoned their entry. We had very little DX however, only working a couple stations in the near continent, until the last ten minutes of the contest, when we worked two GM stations in a row.
□ How to get a QSL-Card for a Contest QSO
QSL is OK direct to M0VFC or via the bureau to G3PYE. Please do not send me cards for this contest entry.
2012-02-12: Page launched