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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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