25-September-2018 SHF UKAC

Frustratingly, my reference GPSDO refused to fully lock to the satellites, so I was drifting about a bit.

Peter G3PHO & I found our reflection point so he was my first contact on 3cm and the only contact I made to the South of me on this band. Nick G4KUX was my best DX to the North. So just 6 contacts in 3 squares.

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I then tried 13cm with the usual 2W. I was pleased to get Brian G8KPD/P in IO85 and out to John G3XDY in JO02. I even managed Neil G4BRK to the South, which is my most obstructed direction from here, so maybe we got a bit of Aircraft Scatter assistance? Mike G8CUL was another surprise.

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16 contacts in 7 squares. An 11pm finish is a bit late for me, so I gave up before the end and went to bed.

18-September-2018 23cm UKAC

Conditions were not great. Unusually, I couldn’t hear the Martlesham beacon GB3MHZ, so I was very pleased to find Jon GM4JTJ for my first contact. My second contact was Gordon GI6ATZ, so I thought I had started well. I mucked up the log entry for Gordon, so I lost the points for him.

Towards the end of the contest, I tried to work Pete GM4BYF. This was hard work in the conditions and Aircraft Scatter didn’t help. I didn’t get the points for this contact either.

At the end, I timed out with David G4ASR. IO81 square would have given me 12 squares, so I ended with 11 squares for a bonus of 5,500 points, plus 2,236 for km. I was quite pleased with this given the conditions. All my contacts were within the UK.

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1/2-September-2018 2m Trophy contest

Rather than stick with the 4W that usually comes out of the K3, I attempted a fix on a 2m linear amplifier the day before the contest. It is a “30W” Microwave Modules amplifier and I had not used it for so long that I’d forgotten what the fault was. It came apart easily & really there was very little on the board to go wrong. I swapped to two 33uF electrolytic capacitors for higher voltage-rated capacitors & put it back together. With minimum drive from the K3 it produced about 20W out, so fine for this contest. It worked throughout the contest.

There was a bit of a tropo lift and I managed 66 contacts in 29 squares, 19 of them in the UK. The average distance was 245 km & the best DX was DA0FF at 851 km.

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