2010 Remembrance Day Contest

14/15 August 2010


Where were you that weekend ??? Maybe you were one of the exceptions BUT more likely you weren't on the air - in a contest that is in reminder of the cessation of hostilities of the Second World War.


The RD Contest is important to all Australians and New Zealanders.. Participating in the RD Contest even to the extent of handing out 10 numbers is all that is required to enter a valid useful log.



It doesn't matter whether you have 15 minutes to spare - or the whole 24 hours - you can make a difference. The contest winner is the Australian state based on participation levels. If 50% of any state's licensed amateurs each operated for 15 minutes and exchanged just a few serial numbers each, there would be a landslide victory for it.


It was pleasing to see a number of F-calls battling it out on HF.. and getting up some sizeable serial number exchanges too.


What was distressing to me is that in a city the size of Brisbane, the total/collective amateur "effort" I logged over the 24 hours on VHF/UHF ( i.e. 6 metres SSB & FM, 2 metres SSB & FM & 70 cm SSB & FM ) broke down to a core of about 12 callsigns. Yes, just 12 !!!! VK4ZW, VK4ZA, VK4JAZ, VK4OE, VK4GLC, VK4DJB, VK4OX, VK4WIS (Sunshine Coast), VK4AR, VK4KLC and in the dying moments, VK4OD - plus myself.
How many amateurs are there in the Brisbane area available on VHF and/or UHF ??? LOTS !


I worked in two sections more-or-less similtaneously - HF Phone and VHF Phone. I worked on HF for a number of hours Saturday night, some of Sunday morning and again on Sunday afternoon but if I heard activity on the 146.500 FM calling channel, I would return there to see if I could work that callsign, and, where feasible, would move to other bands and modes that the other station had available. I didn't spend all night or all day on the air - but I did try to make sure that I would re-work stations according to the 2-hour repeat rule as my availability permitted.


Logging - both VK3AVV's VKCL and VK5DJ's logging software work for the RD Contest - if you have a computer handy then just log straight to screen. It does make it easy and re-working is a breeze. Jut make sure you have a few goes with "it" BEFORE you try to use it in an actual contest. A quick email of the log file and you are all done !!



My totals :


HF Phone : 135 points for 136 contacts.
Bands : 160m, 80m, 40m, 20m (checked 15m & 10m but on Japanese callsigns heard)


VHF Phone : 83 points for 83 contacts.
Bands : 6 SSB, 6 FM, 2 SSB, 2 FM and 70 SSB


Comments :


I know not everyone wants to operate in "contests" but this one is different - it DOES require participation by as many amateurs as possible.
Keep your eye on next year's calendar and make a point to get a few contacts logged.


Next major contest event for me : the Spring VHF/UHF Field Day, 20/21 November, rules & details on the WIA web site under Contests. Join in & enjoy the fun.



The RD Contest was a good chance to "blow the cobwebs" out the the equipment and make sure that all was operating as it should. In fact, I found that the longwire that I had used a few times for 160m didn't work - and I knew why - but that didn't help in the hours of darkness on Saturday night. I hadn't even though of 160m or the fact that I hadn't yet repaired the damage that I did to it some months ago !! { Note to self : FIX IT !! }


The RD Contest did give me an opportunity to test the PICAXE-based antenna switch that I built last month under contesting conditions. To put it mildly, it worked beautifully. I had set up successive memory channels in the IC-706Mk2G for 6 SSB, 6 FM, 2 SSB, 2 FM and 70 SSB then 70 FM and all I did to skip from one band or mode to another was to rotate the memory switch. I then watched the activity LED on the switcher and typically within a second, I had heard the relays click across and the correct antenna was active on the radio. It was great...


The "HF" station : The Icom IC-7400 transceiver, Yaesu FL2100 linear above (used for a while on 40m on the Sunday afternoon to help get above the storm crashes).

{PS The partial Post-it's on the front of the FL2100 provide the approximate tuning positions for the various HF bands..}

Antennas used : 3 el triband yagi, my Diamond W8010 trap dipole (as per modifications on this web site).

RHS : LCD monitor with VKCL v2p23 on screen.

The "VHF/UHF" station : The Icom IC-706Mk2G with the LDG Z100 ATU (on top) and my auto antenna switcher (sandwiched in between). The arrangement allowed me to operate 50.150 SSB, 52.525 FM, 155.150 SSB, 146.500 FM, 432.150 SSB, 439.000FM all by rotating the memory knob (bottom LHS concentric) to select successive memory channels.

Antennas : 6m : J-pole, 2m : Discone, 70cm : yagi on SSB, collinear on FM. All antenna switching done automatically by the "switcher unit".
LDG tuner in the HF port line so active on 6m SSB & 6 FM..