Monday, 27 January 2020

Another WFD done...

Another great Winter Field Day down and done.

VE3ULC making the
satellite QSO.
This year we did a "3 Outdoor" QRP entry using the Upper Canada QRP Club callsign of VE3UCC.  It was a tight squeeze in the tent with 7 of us, but we made it work.

We set up the three antennas starting at about noon on Saturday.  I used a HyEndFed 9:1 Balun with 71' of wire, and it worked beautifully, just as advertised.  It went vertical up about 30' in a tree, and the horizontal component was aimed due south.  I also used two 12' radials on it.  The KX3 loved it and tuned it very quickly on all bands - 160m to 6m.  We also had a 80m OCF Dipole up and a EFHWA, both of them up about 40 feet.

Saturday, for most of the day it rained heavily, and that coupled with the snow on the ground made things very wet and damp.  Later in the day it turned to snow and we ended up with another 6" of it.  At least it wasn't very cold, in fact it hovered around 0C for most of the weekend.

Propagation was steady for the weekend and was:  SFI=72. SN=0.  A Index=5, and K Index=1.

The bands were very busy with people calling "CQ WFD", quite unlike several years ago when you hardly ever heard a station calling for WFD.  How times have changed!!
VE3MNE at the satellite station.

I used my KX3 powered by a 12 amp hour battery and was very impressed at how long the battery lasted.  The KX3 pulls very little out of the battery and it lasted forever.

Our main contacts were on 80m, 40m, and 20m.  We heard nothing on 160m, 15m, and 10m.  We did manage simplex contacts on 6m, 2m, and 70cm which added to our multipliers.

We also managed two DX QRP contacts on 20m,  one with Lithuania, and the other to the Canary Islands.  Both were easy to make, even at QRP power levels, and we received good signal reports back from them both.

However, at about 2000 hrs Saturday evening the bands just disappeared.  The signals for the most part just faded away.  Luckily our digital station managed to pull in a few more contacts before we shut down for the night.

Sunday we finally managed to get a satellite contact with a station in Western New York.  That was quite the occasion and the cheers in the tent were deafening.

It took us hardly any time at all to take everything down and coil up antennas and coax, and of course it was raining again.

Now we're looking forward to the warmth of spring so we can get out and play some more portable radio....but you never know, we'll probably be out before the warm hits.

One of our two KX3 stations.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice run down of the event sounds like you all had a blast.