September 30, 2012

MT0SCG Isle of Man

Hi all,

Many thanks to all who worked the MT0SCG team on the Isle Of Man (EU-116).

We are all now safely back home and re-building our shacks.

A few of my thoughts on how it all went. Hughie, Paul and Steve will probably add their own perspective. The overall consensus was that the event could not have gone better.

We worked just over 1000 QSOs on the "40M rig" mainly Paul and Hughie, and just a couple under 1000 QSOs on the "20M rig" mainly Steve and Andrew. Giving an approximate total at this point of around 2025 contacts (final numbers still to be confirmed). We had a handful of contacts on other bands, possibly 80M, 15M, 17M and certainly 10M.
Paul and Hughie also had 13 SOTA contacts from Snaefell (The Snow Mountain).

All the radio and aerials worked fine, once we had resolved the laptop charger problem. We did not need the phased arrays or amplifiers. As most of you will already know, we put up 80m and 40M dipoles on the wooden flagpole at the side of the house, firing East/West across the water. The 20M 1/4-wave vertical was pitched on the grass next to the beach, with the 10M vertical on the beach beyond. The 20M Moxon vertical was placed further down on the beach once the weather improved. With hindsight we should have put up the 15M vertical, as we had little success on 10M despite the band being open for most of the week. I also played around with a 17M dipole on the KX3, but as expected interference was a problem.

My "f##ting about with a moxon in the dark" (see Hughie's comments below) paid off as we worked 2 X VK (Adelaide and Sydney), Falkland Islands, Algeria, St Helena, Barbados and 2 X South Africa, as well as numerous stateside stations on the Moxon. ZL was also heard at S5, but not worked, as I didn't want to spend too much time breaking the pileup, whilst we could have been running our own pileup. The Moxon was showing zero noise floor whilst the 20M vertical was giving S3 noise when the problem laptop charger was running. The Moxon was also giving an additional 2 S-points of signal over the single 20M vertical. Before we solved the charger problem, I was switching between the 20M vertical for Tx and the 10M vertical for Rx, whilst operating on 20M. The 10M aerial was further from the house and showing zero noise floor.

The Moxon fell down during the night during a particularly high tide; I should have noticed the Full moon. We had positioned one of the stakes where the tide hadn't previously reached. The aerial must have come down kindly as there was no damage, and the aerial was still completely intact. As this was very near the end of the dx-pedition it didn't go back up.

The pile-ups on 20m and 40M were almost continuous, and at all times of the day. The peak rate observed was 196 QSOs per hour!  Taking into account that we were away from the house sight-seeing for several full days, over 2000 QSOs with two main rigs and four operators seems a great result.
I will post photos as soon as I can

Andrew G0LWU

1 comment:

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