Category Archives: UKAC

2012 UKAC – The results are in!

The 2012 V/UHF UK Activity Contests have been entertaining! Campaigned by Andy, G4XKC, usually out portable, and Ian, G7DWY at his home QTH, the results have been better than expected.

50Mhz

On 6m, I started the year in the “Open”, or high power section, with middling results. I realised that I could gain better points for the club by switching to the “Restricted” section and winding the power down to 100w. Scoring in all these contests is normalised, and your best eight scores count to your annual total. By entering in two sections, I didn’t get a full eight results, and thus did not maximise my placing, still I finished 9th of 28 in the open section, with only three results and 10th of 176 in the restricted.

Andy only entered the last six contests on 6m, and managed a very creditable 10th of 77 in the low power section.

Overall, the SVARS finished13th of 74 clubs who entered on 50Mhz.

70 Mhz

I was the only club member to contest the 70Mhz UKAC. This band only runs on the 5th Tuesday of the month, so there were only four contests in this series.

The G7DWY 4m station consists of an FT847, with the PA1O modifications, giving about 40w into a Vine 5 element dual band (6/4m) beam. This was all that was required to secure 3rd place (of 78) in the “restricted” section and (unofficial) leading “fixed station”  – an achievement I am very happy with.

That translated into the SVARS achieving 10th place of 37 clubs with members active on 4m.

144 Mhz

This is probably the most activated and closely “fought” of all the UKAC bands. Andy campaigned in the low power section, usually portable either from the car at Buckstones (IO93AO) or out hiking at Blackstone Edge (IO83XP). I had aerial woes at the end of 2011, so had a 6 ele for the first six months of the year, before building a new 12 ele. This took some getting used to, and saw a dip in performance overall until I adapted my technique!

Andy finished the year 14th of 112 in class, and I finished 13th of 272. This tally meant an overall placing of 19th of 92 clubs on 2m.

432 Mhz

I always seem to struggle on 70cms, a band I don’t “love”! QTH is more of a factor the higher in frequency you go, and I think I need a complete re-think towards my station on this band. Andy, on the other hand has gone from strength to strength – He even ventured onto the top of Pen-y-Ghent (IO84VD) for one session!!!

Andy ended the year a superb 5th of 75 in the Low Power section, and I managed a somewhat disappointing 26th of 181 in the Restricted category.

This gave the club a position of 10th of 64 entrants.

1296 Mhz

Neither Andy or I are active on 1296. I am considering an entry in 2013 from the QTH of a friend who has a pretty good station, though this will be occasional operating rather than a “campaign”.

The Overall Result

The results on all bands are summed for an “Overall UKAC” category for individuals and clubs. There are no sections as all the scores are normalised, and the final stats are –

Spen Valley ARS – 15th of 113 clubs entering

Andy, G4XKC – 46th of 532 entrants

Ian, G7DWY – 11th of 532 entrants

Final Posn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2013 campaign

I don’t know whether I will be making a full campaign in 2013 – it is a little tying and there are lots of other things, both radio and not vying for my time. I will be active in some of the contests and have considered moving into the “assisted” category, which allows higher power and the use of the DX cluster and chat forums, but does not allow the use of points toward the club score.

Contesting isn’t for everyone, but these VHF contests are friendly, and only as pressured as you make them. I believe it is always a requirement to say hello and thank you, and even have a couple of sentence “quick chat” exchange. Over the year I have made friends with many people, and now have a natter with Richard, G4HGI (Merseyside); Dennis, G3UVR, (Merseyside); Dave, GW4ZAR (Flintshire); Paul, GW8IZR (Anglesea); David, GI4SNA (Co. Antrim); Dick, GM4PPT (Kilmarnock); Andy, GM4JR (Dumfries) and Dave, G7RAU (Isle of Wight) along with many others.

If you would like to enter in a UKAC, drop me a line or read up on it at the RSGB contest committee site at http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/howto.html

 

UKAC Round-up July 2012

July 2012 is one of four months throughout the year with five Tuesday’s, which means this month 4m (70Mhz) gets an airing for UKAC.

But first, back to the beginning of the month and 2m. Andy, G4XKC ventured out in the car this month, parking at his favourite location, Buckstones car park on Saddleworth Moor (IO93AO). Running a homebrew “hybrid” beam using bits of designs from both G0KSC and G4CQM, and 10w, Andy achieved his highest 2m score of the year so far, and finished 9th out of 38 entrants in the low power section.

Ian, G7DWY had an awkward month, trying to get used to a new beam antenna. Having moved from a wide 6 element “Jaybeam” to a 12 element design by Derek, G4CQM which has a lot better front to back ratio and a narrower beam width. This style of antenna requires a lot more “active” operating, regularly “inching” the rotator to try and cover the country, and this was almost forgotten, leading to a years lowest score, and 23rd out of 108 in the restricted section.

Moving on to 70cms, Ian, G7DWY was again trying a new antenna – a 5m long 24 ele design by Derek, G4CQM. This was, as expected, “as sharp as a knife” for directionality and front to back. There were, ahem, one or two issues including a late start, power supply failure, amplifier failure and a barrage of interruptions, which led to a mediocre 27th of 61 entrants in the restricted section.

Andy, G4XKC was out portable again, and although and despite difficult conditions had a storming night, finishing 5th of 31 in the low power section.

None of the club members are QRV in the 23cms contests, so we all get a week off!

In the 6m contest, Andy G4XKC headed for the hills once more and finished 6th of 31 entrants in the low power section. Logging errors (three stations logged incorrectly) cost Ian, G7DWY dearly, but he still placed 13th of 65 in the restricted section. This combined score has moved the SVARS up two places to 18th of 61 clubs entered on this band.

The last Tuesday of the month this month was the 4m UKAC. Of the club members, Ian, G7DWY is most active on this band with all modes. Conditions were down on the last 4m contest with no sporadic E, and lots of QSB. A very marginal CW contact with GW3LEW netted IO71 square, which was welcome as the multpliers were few and far between. In the end, Ian finished 11th of 36 entrants, moving the club up to 11th of 35.

Every contact is worth points, no matter how near or far. If you can get on the air and give us some points, we’d appreciate it.

If yo would like some more information about VHF contesting operating, please contact our secretary, and one of the “team” will be in touch!

UKAC Round-up May 2012

May was a mixed month for the contests.

Andy, G4XKC suffered some set-backs, mainly weather related in his “campaign” being blown off the mountain top on more than one occasion, and having a beam antenna that just didn’t want to perform on 6m.

On 2m Ian, G7DWY finished 17th of 121 in the restricted section, making 62 contacts with best DX of M0HJO in Tintagel, Cornwall @ 397kms. Andy, G4XKC/P who was only on air for half the contest finished 20th of 41 in the low power section, working Gordon, GW6TEO in South Wales @ 301kms.

70cms is always difficult for Ian, G7DWY, with an aerial he describes as “rubbish”. Ian managed 34th of 76 in the restricted section, with ODX of David, GI4SNA in Lisburn @ 286km. On the other hand, Andy, G4XKC continues to excel on this band, finishing 7th of 35 entrants in the low power section. Andy’s best DX was also David, GI4SNA.

This was Ian, G7DWY’s second month contesting the restricted section of the 6m contest after a strategic switch from the open (high power) section to gain more club points. Finishing 10th of 66 in this section.

Based on the claimed scores as the results have not been released yet, on 4m, Ian, G7DWY is sitting 10th of 42 entrants. This contest benefitted from a nice bit of sporadic E at the beginning, so ODX was Leonardo, EA7KB @ 1873 kms.

If you are interested in having a go in a UKAC, or any other contest, there is lots of information on the RSGB contest committee website, or use our contact page and one of our contesters will be happy to assist.

 

70cms contest – 08 May 2012

An odd night here at G7DWY. Very slow to get going, and then steady with lots of fading and QSB. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to complete with Gordon G8PNN up in IO95 squsre (only for the contact to be disallowed as I had 5/1 report in the log and Gordon gave me 4/1). Not my finest hour, I need to sort out my 70cms beam – at the moment it’s a lash up of bits from some old 17 element MET aerials!