Last night was the VK Trans / Tasman contest. A contest designed to promote activity between Australia and New Zealand.
I went up to the Gilwell Park scout camp along with my son Ash, VK3FASH, and we worked as VK3SAT and worked all six hours of the contest from 6 pm until midnight.
We had planned to use the FT757GX along with a dynamic PA microphone and foot switch. After setting this up we checked the SWR of the in-situ 40/80 dipole and found it to be 3:1. Since the FT757GX has a solid state final amplifier and it is on loan I decided we would not risk damage by running for 6 hours into such a mismatch.
I had also brought along my FTDX100 as a back up rig, just in case. As this rig has a valve final amplifier, and I have 4 spare valves at home, I thought this would be a better option. The down side was a lower output power and reduced sensitivity as this old girl is just not the radio it used to be. Still pretty good but not as good as a more modern rig.
So we ran the contest and made over 200 contacts. The band was a bit busier than last year and conditions were very quiet. Just the occasional static crash far away.
It was great to work some familiar call signs including Bob VK6POP from over west.
Ashley also had a great time working his first contest and is looking forward to the next one.