Introduction

The next Practical Wireless 144MHz QRP contest will be held on Sunday 15th June, 2014. The official website with rules, times, help etc is here: http://www.pwcontest.org.uk/. I have participated in this event twice before, first in 2012 with Cwmbran & District Amateur Radio Society, Club Callsign MC0YAD (links to http://www.mc0yad.co.uk/), and then once again in 2013 with the same club.

For operating with Cwmbran & DARS (links to http://www.mc0yad.co.uk/) the plan is to use computer logging, but as a backup plan we have customised the official log sheets (links to http://www.mw0llo.com/download-files/144MHzLogsheet.rtf).

Cwmbran & DARS Past Results

2012: 1st Entry in Contest

Here are the results of Cwmbran & DARS first attempt at this contest.

Pos Name Callsign Score QSOs Squs Sngl op Loc Ant. asl,m Tx/Rx
31 Cwmbran & DARS MC0YAD/P 315 35 9 No IO81 9-ele Yagi 307 Yaesu FT897

2013: 2nd Entry in Contest

Here are the results from the second attempt at the contest in 2013. Whilst further down the leader board, the score was almost doubled from 315 to 605, with QSOs up 20 from 35 to 55, and an extra 2 squares worked.

Pos Name Callsign Score QSOs Squs Sngl op Loc Ant. asl,m Tx/Rx
36 Cwmbran & DARS MC0YAD/P 605 55 11 No IO81 9-ele Innov LFA Yagi 307 Yaesu FT897

2014: Sunday 15th June 2014

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Planning

Below is a list of equipment (in no particular order) that might be necessary to support a typical amateur radio field day such as one incorporating the QRP contest:

Antenna(s) and Mast

2 x 9 element 144MHz LFA PBP Yagi (InnovAntenna (links to http://www.innovantennas.com/) 9-element LFA Yagi )
51mm external diameter swaged aluminium Mast sections (5ft each) (from Moonraker (links to http://www.moonrakerukltd.com/))
2 x 2.3m long Ecoflex 15 feeder patch leads to connect between each antenna and power combiner \ divider
2 port 1/4wl 144MHz 50 Ohm power divider 144-PS-2 (from InnovAntenna (links to http://www.innovantennas.com/))
1 x Ecoflex 15 feeder patch lead to connect between power combiner \ divider and masthead pre-amplifier (parts from Nevada (links to http://www.nevadaradio.co.uk/))
Microset PRH-145A masthead pre-amplifier (from Waters & Stanton (links to http://www.wsplc.com/))
Ecoflex 15 Feeder (£5.99 per metre from Nevada (links to http://www.nevadaradio.co.uk/))
Dyneema Guy Wires
Tiltover Mast Base (from Antenna Engineering, 60 Main Street, Hoby, Leicestershire, LE14 3DT, UK (links to http://www.antennaengineering.co.uk/))
Ground Stakes and Removal Bar
SPID-BIG-RAK Azimuth Rotator (from InnovAntenna (links to http://www.innovantennas.com/))
4-Core Rotator Cable
Rotator PSU \ Controller
Rotatable Guy-Wire Clamp
Gin Pole Mast Sections and Attachment

Cable Connectors

7395 N-Connector Male for Ecoflex 15 (links to http://ssb.de/ssb/files/7395_n-connector_solderless_ecoflex_15.pdf)

7397 N-Connector Female for Ecoflex 15 (links to http://ssb.de/ssb/files/7397_n-socket_solderless_ecoflex_15.pdf)

Antenna Details

The manual for the antennas used gives the following detail for vertical stacking: (2.05 – 3.0m) 2.899m.

Radio Station Proper

Leisure Battery
13.8V Mains PSU
Rig FT-897
Rig Fused DC Power Lead
N-type to SO-239\PL-259 adapter
Rig Microphone
Leisure Battery
Leisure Battery Mains Charger
Generator
Fuel for Generator
Mains Extension Lead \ trailing extension socket
QRP Power Limiting circuit as published by PW for FT-897

Operating Setup

2m Bandplan (links to http://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/vhf-uhf/144mhz-band/)

Chair
Paper Log Book
Pens
Contest Rules
Clock
Laptop
Wireless Mouse, plus USB receiver
Laptop PSU
Operating instruction sheets, locator map etc.
Compass
Desk Lamp

Welfare

Mobile Phone
Mobile Phone Charger
First aid box
Food
Paper Plates, Cutlery
Drink
Disposable Cups
Bin Bags
Tent
Tea \ Coffee \ Sugar \ Sweetener
Kettle
Tent

Tools

Socket Set
Screwdrivers
Allen Keys

Consumables

Cable Ties
Electrical Tape

Operating QTH

During the 2014 contest I plan to operate with other members of Cwmbran & DARS from the local "Mountain Air" location, which is a layby just off Mountain Road near Cwmbran:

The contest relies upon exchanging "locator squares". These are squares that define areas of land upon the earth as set out in the Maidenhead Locator System (links to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maidenhead_Locator_System). I have used the calculator at http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php to plot out the locator square that I plan to operate with Cwmbran & DARS in 2014, ie IO81LQ.

Locator Square IO81LQ

IO81LQ Locator Square

WAB Square: ST29

Nearest Postcode: NP4 5XZ

Landranger OS Grid Reference: ST278981

OS X (Eastings): 327814

OS X (Northings): 198156

Longitude: -3.04547 W (-3o 2' 44" W)

Latitude: 51.67784 N (51o 40' 40" N)

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