OZ5E, one of the biggest Stations of Denmark, invited the youth of IARU Region 1 to work the IOTA contest from their tremendous station. This Station of the DCA (Danish Contest Academy) by Jan (OZ1ADL) brings all the antennas and tech you want to work up to Multi 4 in HF operatiom. In the end 3 youngsters followed the call. Mattheo (IU2GGL) and his friend Nicola (IN3GJH) came from northern Italy and Lars (DL4APT) from northern Germany. A british youngster unfortunately couldn’t make the trip.
The IOTA contest is all about islands and even if Denmak has it’s share of them, OZ5E is on the mainland. With the contest rules dictating that only islands can run as a multi station, we decided that we will have to settle with just a checklog. But on the other hand that means we could bring up 3 signals at the same time when everybody wants to operate. After a quick discussion we decided to stay on SSB only because nobody of us had the CW experience.
Our main rigs were two FT DX 3000 and a Flex 6700 as spare. Every band had it’s own more or less switchable independent antenna. On 80m, a 4 phase controlled verticals in a four square, allowed for an interestingly high amount of control. The problem with the 4 element 40m beam was that the broken rotatir couldn’t be replaced due to high winds thus leaving us with just a rope for manual turning. Both 20m and 15m had big 5 element beams. Only on 10m we had to use a Multiband Beam (8 element 10m – 40m) as the new tower for the 10m beam only arrived days before.
One FT 3000 was connected to a manual amplifier and thus only used on the 20m beam to prevent retuning the amplifier when band switching. The other two stations were connected to remote Acom 2000’s. It was interesting to have a deeper look behind all the tech of a big gun station. Especially all the needed switching and filtering that is needed to get the right antenna connected with one of the transceivers. We even did the N1MM setup on the 3 PCs ourselves.
Short before the start things got a little bit hectic. DL4APT took some final audio recordings on the N1MM voice recorder. And the others received tips and tricks from OZ1ADL. The idea was to start with the two FT DX 3000 one on 20m and the other on 10/15m. But calling on 10 and 15 didn’t work due to crap conditions so we decided to switch to 40m. And 40mit did instantly an awesome run (177 QSOs in one go) and the station never left the band for the rest of the whole contest. Thus we used the Flex to work 10, 15 and 80 when we all 3 were operating. Each Station hat a bell we hit every time we got a new multi, sometimes leading to competition if 2 stations did a search and pound.
Even with little contest experience to start, with little help and support from Jan, the Italians quickly stated to get accustomed to the contest. So we 3 were working at a good pace and switched radios from time to time to have a quick break and get to work on different bands. A bit after 2am local time in the morning Nicola and Maztheo got their well deserved sleep. So for the night Lars was regularly switching between 40 and 80m. Around 5 in the morning 40m had a great opening to North America even tired working a pileup can be energizing and more than fun. Later in the morning Mattheo came back and some time later Nicola. They did the main work from that point on. Dead tired Lars searched for multis and new stations on the Flex.
In the end we had 1435 QSOs with more than half on 40m. And we finished with a score of 2.181.984 pionts with 204 multis. 10M didn’t work that great and on top of that the multiband antenna picked up a lot of noise from the other stations even with the bandfilter. But most important we had lots of fun and were more than satisfied with our result.
After the contest the Italians cooked some pasta. Invigorated with the much needed meal and short rest we all together visited one of Denmarks highest hills the Himmelbjerget with 147m. Then the Italians left for Copenhagen where they stayed the night before they travelled back home.
And in a little bit of British YOTA tradition DL4APT came most of the way to and back from OZ5E by bicycle. Just on the way to the station it was a bit to hot (up to 35 °C) for an enjoyable ride so he took the train till Flensburg to shorten the travel to 1 day. On the way back he slept one night in a wooden shelter and was home before the Wednesday club meeting.
We like to thank the IARU for the invitiation and support of the YCP and the DCA, especially OZ1ADL for having us at OZ5E.
Youngsters, please apply for the upcoming YCPs! It is definetely worth it. Making new friends and doing contest at the same time is just awesome 🙂
73 de Lars, DL4APT
YCP team member
at OZ5E 2019