Monday, 17 September 2018

What a Weekend.....

Chillycon 2018 is over.  The annual gathering of Eastern Ontario QRP'ers.

This year it should have been called "Heatcon".   The weather was fantastic, but far too hot and humid for comfort, most days it was 28C but felt like 39C with the humidity.........I know, next year we'll probably be complaining about how cold it is.  We had lots of bugs out as well making things a bit itchy at times.

The propagation was nothing to write home about, SFI = 68, SN = 0, A Index = 6, and the K Index = 2 at 1430 UTC on 15 September.  DX was a rare commodity.

I brought my new toy with me, a Palm Paddle straight key, what a lovely action it has now that I have it set up to my liking.  I'm going to enjoy this.

My FT-817ND performed very well, but I have been told I need to turn down the SSB audio level as it's a bit too high right now.  I forgot to turn it down after I started to use the DYC-8x7 external Dynamic Speech Compressor.   The chosen antenna for the weekend was one that Steve, WG0AT, put me on to.  It's a 41' radiator, a 17' counterpoise, and a 9:1 Unun.  It works great.   The parts for this antenna came from a SOTABeams Bandspringer Midi that I had purchased and regardless of what I did to it would not work very well.  I used the parts and built Steve's version and get great results now.

The good weather brought out many familiar faces and many new ones.  This year was the all-time biggest attendance for a Chillycon to date.  Twenty-Six people sat down for a pizza supper on Saturday, and for the first time in many years we had no fire as it was simply far too hot to have one.   Normally the park is fairly empty on the last open weekend, but this year was different, it was full and we had hams scattered all over the park as there just was not enough spots available on our loop to hold them all.

Michael, VE3WMB, won the Upper Canada Trophy for DX Excellence this year with a 30m CW contact into southern Australia, and was the first recipient of the brand new trophy.   Many thanks to Rick, VE3ORY, for building it for us.

Eric, VE3AMX, was in second place with CW contacts to Finland and another in Denmark, and in Third place was Rick, VE3ORY, with several CW contacts into Denmark.

It was a great weekend, and I really am looking forward to next years Chillycon.


Below are some photos of the event.....

Eric, VA3AMX, trying to win the DX contest.


Guess who actually showed up this year......YES...the elusive  Bob, VA3QV.


Speeches after our pizza supper.


My FT-817ND and new straight key.


VE3UNA, VE3ORY, and VE3ULC chatting in their site.