From: G4FNL
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2019 18:53:14 GMT
I was grateful to have a 3rd go at operating as a Club Station. This year I was behind the call G6XX for the Commonwealth Contest.


Conditions seemed strange to me. For example, I was expecting some long path VK/ZLs on Sunday morning on 20m – but the ones I worked were all on the short path. 15m was hard work – and 10m was dismal as expected. I somehow managed 40 QSOs on 15m – where I found conditions were better at the start and my 14 QSOs on 10m were all with G stns.


We had high winds down on the South Coast this weekend – I didn’t raise the tower until an hour before kick-off. I would have liked the antenna higher – but decided that it would be a safer bet to have the tower lower down at around 50ft. It’s unguyed and so it’s a bit hairy!   Fortunately the winds died down a bit on the Saturday but I had to lower the tower even further on Sunday morning as the gusts became really severe. So, please accept my apologies for being “the weak G.”


I had multiple snags – mainly aerial related problems. The HF Yagi that I use has an intermittent fault that was exaggerated with the high winds – so that’s another job to get that down and do some maintenance on it.  The end result was that the amplifier would trip quite often – especially on any of the HF bands  – and it takes 3 mins each time to reset  – so I tried operating at a lower power which was more reliable – but less effective of course. My apologies if my signal suddenly disappeared – now you know why. I had a similar problem on 40m – so I suspect several days of antenna maintenance is actually.


Overall, it was great fun – but for me it was harder work this year than in previously. There were plenty of ESP level signals to try and copy – but also some standout signals – VY2ZM, VE3EJ, GM4YXI, VE9CB, VK6LW and some excellent signals from the BERU Travellers. (I believe I worked each of you on at least one band.)  However, with the poor signals conditions at times, and the ESP levels, I suspect my UBN report will show a pretty high error rate.


Last year, I had just over 500 Qs. This year I have 87 more Qs but I know my sigs were not as good as they could have been. I think I have a similar number of bonuses. My efforts of laying out another 20 radials for the 80m quarter wave vertical didn’t seem to make it work any better – so more antenna changes to be made I think.  Nick G4FAL operating as HQ station GB5CC certainly had a great signal and seems to have got a fantastic score  – overshadowing most of the other HQ stations.  [NB:  I think we may need to publicise the fact that several “6XX” with the regional variations were active. I had a brief chat with Brian 9J2BO to try and let him know the situation  – because he noticed a downwards variance of the serial numbers.  I’m not sure I explained it properly on the air but either way, he thought it was confusing.] Hey-ho.


It was good to have taken part – and my grateful thanks to all that called and worked me. Until next time…..


73 Graham G4FNL





– I suspect that his antennae are somewhat superior – and riable. Other HQ stations have beaten me. So, a little frustrating – but fun to have taken part……