Should contest rules allow and act upon 599K QRM reports?

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

RSGB VHF Field Day 2008

I took part with interested members from our local club (Mid-Lanark ARS). A location had previously been found near sea level on the Solway Firth (West coast Scotland) which eliminated some of the hills between our home location and a S - SE direction and afforded us a bit of a sea path for the West side of England. The SE direction was partially blocked by a spit of land approx 1 mile away and then the peak district (only 30 miles away over sea) and was still a major thorn in our sides from having a clear path to the SE. Our path was also majorly blocked to the North by several mountain ranges. Using stacked yagis on 2m probably wasn't a good idea for this reason. We changed over to a single 9 element yagi mid contest (pointing SE) and signals dramatically improved, although some of the team thought that it may have been down to bad coax (time will tell).
As usual the weather oscillated between glorious and awful and we were soaked and dried many times throughout the weekend. I tried out my Carp umbrella for the first time and was happily making tea and admiring the view in the dry even through the biggest downpours, but it did bounce around rather too vigorously on it's guys during some spells of high wind.
I also used my new fishing trolley to cart my leisure cell around trying to find a good spot for the WIFI network we used to link WinTest together between the various stations (6/4m, 2m and 70cm). I'm pleased to say that WinTest and the network were solid and trouble free for the whole weekend.
Getting a group of people to use the more advanced features of WinTest is always very difficult when no practice sessions have been arranged beforehand. We did however manage some passing of stations between the 2m and 70cm operators which hopefully will spur the others into using this facility in the future.
I did feel saddened that the same effort was not afforded to the HF field days, but the majority of the Mid-Lanark ARS seem to be more interested in VHF and above.

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