26 Nov 2019 Spring VHF UHF Field Day
Last Updated on February 5, 2020
The Spring 2019 VHF UHF Field Day lived up to its expectations for the time of year. Once again 6m saw some terrific openings into VK4 from Mt Martha. This contest. the VK3FS station operated from home from 6m to 13cm. It was a first on 13cm using the FT-818 into a 2.4GHz transverter then into a 50cm Gridpack.
I spent the first few hours working stations from home before heading down to Loch in Gippsland where I caught up with Peter VK3APW. He had built this microwave station on top of a hill overlooking green rolling pastures with the city of Melbourne way off in the distance.
Pictured above is Peter’s 10GHz station. This photo was taken in the midst of a contact with Ross VK3MY some 100km away. Below is the VK3APW trailer. The microwave set up at the top of the mast consists of 4 bands into one dish – 23cm, 13cm, 9cm and 6cm. Results will be published on the WIA site.
Having spent a couple of hours with Peter, I made the 100km trip back to the shack to continue the local end of the contest. When you least expected it, 6m would open to VK4 giving the overall score a kick along, as the contest is a distance-based event.
As the event headed towards midnight, the die-hards remained. The EMDRC station, VK3ER, along with VK3KQ were settling in for the evening with the usual wingers of how cold it was. I must thank the VK3ER team for the 13cm contacts as well. We had a very reliable 110km path between us.
Andrew VK3LTL and I did the quad-band shuffle pretty much every 2 hours – 6m, 2m, 70cm, and 23cm. 1296 was a new band for us as the 109km path was possible due to Andrew’s timely antenna work.
All in all the Spring 2019 VHF UHF Field Day was a fun contest. The wind nearly blew Peter off the hill in Loch, but fortunately, the rain kept away for everyone who made the effort to go portable. The VK3FS total score was 42895 before corrections, and with 6m earning the lions share. This was nearly twice that of the previous contest. This contest was the first time I used the FT-818. It was the IF for 2.4GHz, and what a versatile little radio it is. The beeper mod makes point to point antenna alignment a breeze. No wonder they’re the go-to radio for those who like to play microwave.
On a final note, there are only 55 days until the Summer 2020 contest when we can do it all again… bushfires permitting.
Looking straight up from beneath the array.