Last week the results were published on-line and I came sixth in the 24hr single op HF phone section. Since I was not out to set the world on fire I was happy with this. I was also last of the submitted entries but that doesn’t really matter. As a measure of performance I was only 4 points behind 5th place. Greg, VK3FUNK, came in 3rd place in the 6 hour, single operator, all bands, phone category which was an excellent effort considering he was working from the mobile at a good, but not fantastic, location in Kangaroo Ground.
Last Saturday was the annual VK trans Tasman contest. A contest that encourages contacts between Australia and New Zealand that has special scoring zones and times to encourage participation on both sides of the ditch. Quite a challenge considering there is a 4 hours difference between sunset in ZL and sunset in VK6 and the contest only lasts 6 hours.
I worked the VK3SAT call sign along with my son, Ash, VK3FASH, down at the Officer Scout Hall. I have worked from here before and it is a good location as it is only 5 minutes drive from home and has some sizable trees that work well to hold up antennas. This time around we worked from inside the hall. My previous operating from here has been outside in the car. I much prefer being inside with table, chair and computer!
Two things surprised me while we were working this contest.
One, my 80 m dipole, that I normally set in an inverted Vee formation, had high SWR when it was set horizontally. I have seen this before with my trapped antenna. Perhaps I need to make two 80 m antennas, one for inverted Vee and one for flat topping.
The second surprise was, after the normal serial number exchange, a station said, “Great to hear you on, I’ve read your blog”. This was a surprise as I was not running my normal call sign so not only had the operator read my blog but he had remembered that I run different call signs in contests. I didn’t note who it was, so, if you are reading this – Hello, you know who you are!