Sunday, February 10, 2013

A lot of activity on 80m in PACC

Testing my 80m inverted V during PACC and logging loads of contacts

My agenda did not leave any time for PACC. There were plans to activate PI4ANH (the local club station) but in the end I could not join this nice initiative.

However my appointment on Saturday ended sooner than I expected, which left some time in the late evening (22h CET) to go out and try my 80m inverted V, joining the busy band.

I hoped to work some new DXCCs. I had never really focused on this band as I did not have an effective antenna.  Up till the beginning of this year I had 21 DXCCs worked. I added three to this list last week with my new Ventenna dipole. I bought an extension and coil to use this dipole on 80m. Just last week the parts came in and I tried them at night (pushing my antenna out of my attic window).

I did not know PACC was this popular. There was no quiet place on the whole contest segment of the 80m band. Signals from 9+ to 9++ everywhere. Having a reasonable antenna (as I already suspected the inverted V to be) combined with a mobile radio that does not seem to have very narrow filters, has its downsides.

After a while I found a spot with QRM at only an S9 level. I did have to move a couple of times to get away from incredible splatter. I got so many replies when I started calling that I stayed put (slowly getting snowed in) for 2,5 hours - 1,5 hours more than I planned. In total I handed out points to 173 OMs. As I had not really planned to stay long or log more than a handful of calls I did not bring my laptop. At this moment I wish I had... 

PH0NO contest station in the snow with 80m inverted V (supported by fibreglass pole)
I will have to type my paper logs in to see how many new DXCCs are amongst them. Most of the contacts logged were from PA, DL, ON, OK, OM and YO. There are however two DX contacts in the log from R9, setting the maximum QRB on 80m to 3600km. My first DX contacts on 80m.

The bonus came at the end of the activity when I was ready to pack my stuff. On the cluster I saw a lot of spots for NP4A. He seemed to be very strong in EU (a glance at his towers gives you an idea why). In my modest station he put in a 9+10dB. To my complete amazement he picked me up after calling once. So, the end of the day (actually the early morning of the next day) brought a new record distance on 80m: 7300km.

All in all great fun. I had some time for short QSOs with the guys at my club station. They had started in the afternoon and were at 300 contacts. We agreed to find a way to participate again next year and with a slightly better set up than the club station can provide (long wire on the roof line). I also had a nice chat with Bas PE4BAS that I so far had only met through email and JT65. He was seriously contesting the whole weekend, as you can read on his blog.


  1. Leuk verslag Lars en met een zeer mooie bonus.
    De uitbreiding voor 80m heeft goed gewerkt.
    Zelfs naar Bas. Lukte mij niet hi.

    73 Hans, PE1BVQ

    P.S. Dat is toch wel een mooi plekkie op het industrieterrein.

    1. Ja, dat industrieterrein is top. Kreeg wel bezoek van een achterdochtige bewaking maar verder rustig daar. Stond er ook met CQWW (met beam). Prima plek in de weekends en 's avonds laat. Ga ik zeker bij een aantal contests dit jaar weer staan om DX te vissen.
      Ik had nu de inverted V opgezet. De uitbreiding voor 80m waar ik het over had is voor mijn portable dipool (van Ventenna). Die is - vermoed ik - minder effectief maar wel thuis op te zetten.
      73, Lars.

  2. Hallo Lars, bedankt voor het QSO. Je signaal was prima. Ik heb die NP4A gemist, net toen ik het zag op de cluster was hij alweer weg. Ik heb Hans inderdaad niet gehoord, maar dat kan je je wel voorstellen. Zelfs het beste plekje had nog S9 storing en dat met alle filters en onderdrukking ingeschakeld. 73, Bas

    1. Hallo Bas,
      Ja die storing was ongekend. Op een 857 (met default filters) doe je daar weinig aan. Ben benieuwd naar je plek in de eindstand.
      Ik moet het log nog invoeren. Niet het meest opbeurende werk.
      73, Lars.