VHF/UHF contesting 2020, March
You may find a review of our 2019 contest activities here.
On 15 March 2020 we went to our well-known location near Vulturesti, Suceava for the 1st stage of the VHF/UHF YO Marathon. The team consisted of Magdalena (YO8AGA), Andrei (YO8SSQ) and myself, Bogdan (YO8SBR).
Andrei made great and continuous efforts to improve our contesting setup, building larger antennas, acquiring higher quality cables and connectors, getting a second, dedicated FT857 for UHF, a gasoline power generator for extra RF power output and additional equipment, improving the antenna anchoring system and more. Everything was done by him alone, as usual, can't take any credit. After we participated in the cold marathon stages of November and December 2019, Magda came up with the idea of getting a large tent to protect us from the wind. It worked wonders and proved a valuable asset, with the downside of being a bit noisy when fluttered by wind - this should be resolved with the use of headphones. The truth is that without the tent we couldn't have participated in this month's competition, because, despite being March already, it was colder than last December. There are plans to make yet another antenna for VHF, with more elements and a sturdier boom and mast.
We managed to join the contest around 0900 UTC for a solid three hours, in which we made roughly 14 contacts each. Not enough time to work on UHF, so we focused on VHF. Weather was sunny, but cold (about +2 deg C) and windy. Not as many stations to work with as in the past stages, but we made a fair amount of contacts. The generator is working properly and is not too noisy (noise mitigated by a long power cord).
After the contest we activated the summit nearby (Dealul Vulturesti YO/EC-035) in the Summits on the Air program, thanks to the support of our local group from Suceava.
See a map of my contacts here.
Let's see what next month brings us! Hoping here for less pandemic and more stations worked in contest. :)
The YO Marathon HQ http://uus.ro