Man proposes, God disposes. This year’s 2nd Subregional Contest turned out completely differently than we planned. Every year I prepare a schedule of VHF contests that we will go under the radio club callsign OM3KSI, and which contests we will go to on own callsigns. This year, the 2nd Subregional Contest was also planned under the radio club callsign. Due to the various family or work commitments of our members, there were only two of us, Jaro OM0JKE and I, Peter OM8WG, who could spend the weekend at our contest field KN08QQ. However, we agreed to go under our brands.
Peter OM8ADU told me some time ago that there is grain sown on our contest field KN08QQ, which is close to Kosice, above the village of Kosicka Polianka. I couldn’t believe it, given the profile of that field, so I went to check the place on Tuesday before the race. And Peter’s words were confirmed. There is grain on our contest place. What now? We do not have another contest place. We could be unfolded right next to the dirt road, but when a car drives over it, we wouldn’t be able to breathe in the tent from the swirling dust, and I’m not talking about the dust that would be in the equipment. So I decided to go from the radio club house, under the club callsign and told Dusan OM3WAK to come and transmmit a little on Saturday, but he had other fun. But more on that later.
On Saturday, I came to the club already at eight in the morning, due to the maximum Eta-Aquarids meteor shower was coming out on Saturday and I wanted to use that morning to make a few Meteor Scatters connections. I managed to make three connections with the stations DL1YDI, DJ7YP and SM7KOJ using the MSK144 mode and one connection with the station G4CDN using FSK441 mode. For Meteor Scatter operation, I use software from LZ2HV MSHV, which is very well for me.
About two hours before the contest, I prepared everything necessary for the contest. I started the contest log, tried the Aircraft Scatter software and took a little nap in our chair. :) Since I wasn’t expecting many connections from the club QTH, I decided to try the N1MM log for the VHF contest. I have been used to using DOS programme LOCATOR for many years, and it will probably take me longer to switch to another contest log. Homage, custom is an iron shirt.
Before the contest, Dusan OM3WAK came to complete the Helix antenna for 70 cm, which we started doing on Friday afternoon. Dusan wants to participate in receiving SSTV images from the Orbicraft-Zorkiy (RS15S) satellite. On Tuesday we will install the az/el rotator and he can receive SSTV images all week. Here is a photo from late Friday with the not yet fully finished Helix atenna:
But let’s move on to the contest. So only I, OM8WG, stayed for the contest, as Dusan’s grandsons came to the club and he went to take care of them. Dusan usually attends the 6H category on Sundays, so he transmmited from his home afterwards.
As I expected, from the club QTH it is a fight for every connection. The Faculty of Aeronautics of the Technical University in Kosice is located near the center of Kosice, and the surrounding hills do not allow us to have the same conditions that we would have on the contest field KN08QQ. We have it open only to the south and a little bit to the southwest. Here is the picture from the website heywhatsthat, the profile of our club QTH looks like this:
To the east is the settlement called Dargovskych hrdinov on the hill and to the west the mountains called Volovské vrchy, where we also have hill Kojsovska hola 1246 m.a.s.l. and several other hills with a height of around 1000 m.a.s.l. Many stations from the west meeped me for a sked, but when there is no suitable profile between us and the possibility to use Aircraft Scatter, it is impossible. All connections with OK stations and also with some OM are only thanks to airplanes. Some Czech stations would say that it didn’t always work on the first try. I apologize to many stations from Czech republic, Germany and Italy, that sometimes I didn’t have time to write back to them and especially to explain why it wouldn’t work.
The race started very slowly for me. Many stations turn east in the late evening or on Sunday, and it is difficult to call a station from eastern Slovakia. I stayed in front of the radio until midnight. There was no point in sitting there longer. I preferred to go home to sleep and come back in the early morning and continue the contest.
I was very interested if I will be able to make a connection with LZ station from the club. To my surprise, I did three connections. One, LZ0C, from KN22XS was my ODX and brought 755 points. My disappointment was the southwest direction, where I did only two S5 stations, and YU stations as well. We need to find a new palce for contests.
During the contest I also struggled with a lot of interference, crackling. I had to finish the race on Sunday already at 9:30 UTC and went straight to bed with a fever :(
Number of connections: 60
Number of points: 17 043
Number of countries: 10 (16xOM, 11xOK, 8xHG, 7x9A, 6xYO, 4xSP, 3xLZ, 2xS5, 2xYU, 1xOE)
Number of locators: 25
Equipment: ICOM IC-9700
Power: Duoband TAJFUN1000 – 400W
Antenna: 11el. YU7XL
This is how ODX LZ0C from KN22XS was heard:
The connection map:
What in conclusion? We have less than a month to find a good place to go to the races. The Ondrej Oravac Memorial is approaching and we plan to appear in the Microwave Race. Well, we’ll see how our obligations allow it.
Thanks to everyone who connected with me and especially for the patience that many had, because it was not easy many times with OM3KSI from behind those hills :)
I look forward to meeting you on the band in the next contest and hopefully from a better QTH.
VY 73 Peter OM8WG