□ About the contest
This contest was the fifth 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 together with Rob M0VFC from 'Flossie', the Cambridge Repeater Group's van, parked just to the East of Cambridge.
□ The Rigs and Antennas used in the entry
Elecraft K3, Tokyo Hi-Power linear, dipole. Generator power.
Rob M0VFC operating in Flossie during the contest
□ The summary of points we made during the contest
After log-checking, we had 2650 points, a reduction of 1.8% from the claimed score, which is very good. This score put us in 14th place of 239 stations who entered. As a group, the Camb-Hams A team (G3PYE, G6UW, M1ACB and M1BXF) came 4th with 9650 points. The winning team was Bristol Contest Group with 11070 points.
Claimed score: Our claimed score is 2700 points. Whilst this comparable to the score that I claimed from G6UW last year, it was a significant improvement on the score clamed by the other operators from Flossie last year.
□ My comments about the contest
We parked Flossie in a lay-by on a road just to the East of Cambridge, near the village of Brinkley. The 80m dipole was quickly erected on Flossie's pump-up mast, and set-up went remarkably smoothly. The only technical hitch was that some water in the bottom of the pump-up mast had frozen, meaning that a quick blast with a fan heater was required before we could raise the dipole to full height.
Once the contest was underway, we had some great rates, with Rob managing 72 QSOs in the first thirty minutes. The key to this was getting a nice run frequency (around 3.73) right at the start of the contest which we managed to hold for the whole contest, moving only a fraction to minimise splatter.
Rates were high enough, in fact, that we didn't need any form of passive assistance and, because we only used the K3's built-in voice keyer, we didn't have any issues with interfacing rigs to computers. The only slight problem was that a couple people mentioned that our audio was slightly 'broken' but reducing mic gain and compression didn't seem to help, so we put it down to our unfamiliarity with the rig, and we'll optimise the settings before the next event.
Because we were only on generator power, we were rather reluctant to run both the linear and the heating together, so of course radio took priority. After night fell, and the temperature in the van hit 6c, we did turn the fan heater on, however, and the generator seemed to cope OK. By the end of the contest, the temperature outside was well below freezing, and a layer of frost had even formed on the generator. Lovely.
We returned to civilisation to go to a pub to warm up, with many other Camb-Hams entrants, which then led to Mark M0MJH, Rob M0VFC and I doing karaoke until the small hours. I mention this because it really proves that the Camb-Hams is the 'social side' of the repeater group; it's great to operate with people who can have fun (and make fools of themselves) in addition to being pretty serious contesters.
□ 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.
2012-03-18: Final results added
2012-01-15: Page launched