I entered this contest for an hour and worked a few of the usual suspects. Best DX was Nick G4KUX as usual, but we were able to use SSB this time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.