Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Time for serious contesting during PACC

Entering PACC in multi op mode as PI4ANH from a deserted camping ground

This weekend I will have my first serious contest. I have entered contests before but mainly for either of these two reasons: (1) absolute boredom - contacting stations randomly or (2) serious DX-ing - trying to get new DXCCs in the log, like with CQWW 2012 and CQWW 2013.

The idea was born last year
Last year the idea to enter the PACC contest with the our local ham club call was coined. A few club members met in our club house for an afternoon & evening activity. Unfortunately I was not able to join as I had other commitments. On my way home that Saturday I could not resist setting up my newly constructed 80 inverted V on a deserted parking area and entered the contest anyway on my own call sign.

This year I have been able to block the PACC weekend. Together with PD7YY and PG8M - who mainly operated our club call PI4ANH during the contest last year - we drew a plan to make a more serious effort this year. The contest runs for 24h from Saturday 12pm UTC to Sunday 12pm UTC and we aim to be active during the whole contest with the three of us and some other club members visiting on Saturday.

Finding a location
We decided to use our club call PI4ANH again but were quite keen on finding a more suitable operating location. Our club house has a long wire running over the roof. This is not a very effective antenna that on top of that features matching problems on 80m. Even if we could do something about the antenna we would have to fight QRM at S9 on 80m and high QRM on 40m as well. This would limit our operations to the higher bands which close in the early evening.

After some searching PG8M found a camping ground near to his QTH that is closed at this time of year but agreed to house this crazy party of hams. The camping features two cabins - 1 comfortable one that is usable in the current weather conditions to sleep in and 1 that will be a challenge to keep warm but that is located next to the sports field and the camping owners allow us to set up antennas on the sports field.
The camping is in our own province so we will be handing out GD as exchange code. 

Set-up: antenna farm
If all goes well we will be using four to five antennas. On my aluminium push up mast we will set up my tried and trusted hexbeam for the higher bands 10-15-20m. If 10m is busy we might add my 4-el yagi (in a set-up I used during CQWW last fall). 
For the low bands we will be using a full size inverted V for 40m and one for 80m. They will be on my new 17m long SpiderBeam fibreglass pole. I added this pole to my collection only last week specifically for the 80m inverted V. On my 12m pole the tips of this antenna nearly touch the ground.
The last antenna we will install will be a 160m full size end fed constructed by PG8M. This will run horizontally over the sports field on a height of 10-12m. Most probably not a "killer DX antenna", but it might help us to gain a few multipliers.
We will hook up the antennas to my IC-756ProIII and run N1MM to log our contacts.

The three of us are all phone operators, so we will focus on SSB. In the late afternoon on Saturday we expect to have a couple of CW operators visiting us - so we will do some CW activity as well. Another mode does not give us any extra multipliers but it might give us a couple of new calls to log.

I hope we will do well and meet a few friends in the running.

73 from PI4ANH


  1. Ik ga jullie vast werken hi. Sucses! 73, Bas

  2. Moet zeker lukken. Ga je ook weer actief de strijd aan?
    73, Lars.