OK team February report
During the winter we have some interesting contests in OK. So we were sure to take part in them. First was 2m Christmas contest where OL18YOTA made huge success by taking 4th place in Adult Multi category, Martina will tell you more. In February there is 2m/70cm QRP contest. Honza has really adventurous story from this contest. So keep reading.
CHRISTMAS CONTEST 2018
Under a callsign OL18YOTA we took a part in the Christmas contest.
Contest was on 26th December, in two parts from 08.00 – 11.00 and 12.00 – 15.00 UTC.
With the ICOM IC-7600, TR 144 H, PA-800W and 2 x 10 el. Yagi antenna we did 204 QSOs. Best DX was DL1KFS with 838 km. This number of QSOs brought us the 4th place in the Multi category 144MHz. For some of us it was the first time in Christmas contest and also the first longer contest.
WINTER QRP CONTEST 2019
One of the best opportunities for real men is the annual Winter QRP contest held every year on 1st Sunday of February. The contest starts at 9:00 UTC and consists of two separate two-hours periods – first on 70 cm and second on 2 m bands. Only 10 W power output is permitted, so the best way how to win the first place (awarded by the little „snowman“ statuette) is participation from the highest hill you can find in your neighborhood. But imagine, that it’s winter time and in Czech republic there is normally about approximately two meters of snow cover in the mountains!
Two teams of youngsters decided to participate this tough event this year – Martina OK2YLQ (17) took part from home and tried to give some points to as many portable stations as possible, and Honza OK1JD (24) made a choice to take part from the Velka Destna hill (1115 m asl) with intention to reach at least one of the first three places in each category. Here is his story:
„Sometimes in December I made a choice to take part in the Winter QRP contest on VHF/UHF. And because I have never participated this competition before, I didn’t realise that portable operation in winter from mountains is not so easy as I imagined. So I decided to visit the highest hill nearby – Velka Destna (asl 1115 m). I persuaded also my friend Martin (he is not a ham) to come with me, because I needed someone to help me with all the necessary equipment – FT-817, batteries, 6 el and 10 el yagis, tent, shovel, and so on.
Our little expedition started at 7 am when we packed the car and in 40 minutes we reached the parking place in 900 m asl, 3,5 km far from the top of the hill. First three kilometers were quite easy. The „road“ went through the forest, so the 80 km/h wind (which we expected according to the weather forecast) was not a problem so far. But the last 200 meters to the top were a real hell – every second step we falled down into the snow cover so deeply, that it was very physically difficult to stand up again, especially with heavy backpacks. Aprx. 30 minutes before contest we started to build the tent and both antennas. In the strong freezing wind it was not so easy and we finally started our CQ´s almost 40 minutes after the beginning of the contest!
Because of bad propagation, short antennas, terrible FT-817 (it is really not a TRX for a real contesting HI), icing and of course because of the lack experiences with this contest (it was our first participation) we reached only 24 QSO´s on 70 cm and 52 QSO´s on 2 m. So the result was a far far away from our expectations (we wanted to manage 40 QSO on 70 cm and minimally 65 QSO on 2 m).
Nevertheless the most important thing than number of QSO´s is the excellent feeling that we managed this hard challenge and even when the nature is against you, you can deal with that and you overcome yourself. Looking forward the W QRP 2020!