Since June 2019, we started to participate in the national VHF/UHF contest. It's a new and exciting ham activity for us. As per usual, the whole thing was Andrei's idea. He did the research and gradually made better antennas and improved our overall set-up. I did the log sheets :D Yay!
For the 3rd round of the YO VHF/UHF Marathon (in June) we've operated while on a SOTA trip, so we weren't exactly prepared for the contest. The number of QSO's clearly reflects that, but it was enough to spark our interest and formulate a better plan for the next month's round.
In July we were ready to give it another go. This time we dedicated the day for the contest, no SOTA or mushroom picking. Andrei made a brand new 5 element Yagi antenna based on a design by DK7ZB. For the location we chose a hill some 20km outside the city. Shade and ease of access were the main requirements in choosing the spot. We used the FT-857D with 40W from a LiFePo4 battery. We were three operators this time, YO8SSQ, YO8AGA and YO8SBR, all /P, and we passed the mic from one another between contacts. It went OK, managing about 10 contacts each. Longest QRB for me was 487km (check the QSO map here).
Come August, Andrei and I participated in the 5th round of the YO USW Marathon. For this round Andrei built a new antenna, this time a 6 el. Yagi with better gain. We chose a different, higher and more open spot, but still near the site we used in July. Besides the antenna, the rest of the equipment remained unchanged. We made more contacts this time, Andrei "bagging" 18, one more than myself. My longest QRB (at the moment unconfirmed) was 676km (check the contacts map for YO8SBR/P). I personally expected more contacts with YO stations, but for some reason that wasn't the case. Even though there were some stations from Poland working in the contest, we couldn't hear them at all. Also, too bad Ukraine is absent from these contests, I'd expect some nice contacts with them.
In all rounds we worked mainly on 2m (144MHz) and only made minimal contacts on 70cm.
Hopefully September's round will find us in good health and good weather. Can't wait! :D
Here are some useful links:
1. The YO (Romanian) Ultra Short Wave "headquarters" - http://uus.ro
2. Online EDI generator - http://ok2kjt.net/edi/
3. EDI Map Visualizer for logs - http://www.opencontest.org/edi/
4. An interesting article about troposcatter / USW propagation - https://www.qsl.net/oz1rh/troposcatter99/troposcatter99.htm
5. More info on troposcatter (PDF) - https://www.comtechsystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Troposcatter-Introduction-Nov-2013.pdf
6. Earth Curve Calculator ... for fun - https://dizzib.github.io/earth/curve-calc/?d0=100&h0=2&unit=metric
7. Tropospheric Ducting Forecast - http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo_eur.html .
Hi, we're a team of hams from Romania. We're into SOTA and other activities. Thanks for stopping by!
Check these too!