North Wakefield Radio Club put an entry into the RSGB Christmas Cumulative Contest on 4m this year. The contest comprised of 4 sessions of 2 hours each on the 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th of December. Getting 2 hours to operate isn’t easy on Boxing Day but deals were struck with the XYL and G4NOK was on the air. Conditions were poor as you might imagine with the awful weather we have been having of late and activity was very low – much lower than the activity contests on a Tuesday night for instance.
This is for several reasons:
- Many had their antennas luffed over to prevent storm damage
- Some were away with family
- Some have less forgiving wives than I do
- Portables won’t operate in such harsh conditions
Anyway we plodded on and did well all things considered. On the 27th there was a rare winter Sporadic E opening and SP3RNZ was worked during the contest, this is quite uncommon. The opening continued for a couple of hours after the contest during which time SP8NCJ, SP3RNZ, SP5CCC and S52OR were worked. The opening started at 15:30 and the last station worked was at 17:22.
On the final day there was a problem with the RX which lost us QSOs with GM4JR and GM4FVM which would have been valuable multipliers. I thought that the the receiver was being desensitised by a nearby but slightly out of band signal. Further investigation over the next few days showed that the problem was the new Ecoflex 10+ coax that we had installed during the summer. It does not appear to be able to take the constant flexing caused by the strong winds we have been experiencing. The braid had more or less given up after another battering by the wind.
Robert, Mick and I have replaced the coax with some good quality RG213 which has a much thicker braid and is much more flexible. There is some extra loss but being on the air is more important than having a theoretically better receive sensitivity!
The claimed scores for the contest may be viewed here:
There were some stations missing that always do well in the these contests, nonetheless an effort was made and the club seems to be the overall leader, so hopefully we will be able to download our own pdf certificate. The RSGB no longer sends out parchments for contest section winners, you have to download your own!
It has been a few years since the club has won anything but if all goes according to plan next year we should be there or thereabouts on a few bands.
We also got 2m operational again after a long lay-off the results during the Quadrantids meteor shower were very impressive – report to follow. Meanwhile the QSO maps for each of the sessions may be seen below.
QSO Map Session 3 28th December
View Larger Map
QSO Map Session 4 29th December
View Larger Map