Like many I can’t operate 80m from home, the noise from the local plasma TV and various SMPS makes it rather hard work. The RSGB run a series of events on 80m in the evenings, lasting just 90 mins.
They run these events on various dates, and the modes cycle through Phone, RTTY and CW. I have tried both the RTTY and Phone, but the CW event is certainly not my cuppa char.
The band is especially busy, with well defined (and policed) areas of the band that you can operate. The contest is one of the most popular, with hundreds of people taking part each week, and as a consequence the band is extremely busy. Its not uncommon for stations to bag a frequency 30 mins before the event starts, otherwise it can be impossible to find a run frequency. Having said that their is nothing stopping you giving away points, the exchange is simply 59 and a sequential number.
On this occasions I operated from a country lane close to Hornchurch Country Park, using the 12m roach pole and a dipole cut for 80m. The centre of the dipole was up at 12m, with the legs pegged close to the ground. The radio and external battery provided 100w, and the the fun ensued.
Having found a frequency 15 mins before the event started (7.45) I started to call CQ, and without a voice keyer this became a theme for the night … As soon as the clock was seconds passed 8 the contacts started to roll in. Working more than 4 a minute was not uncommon, and within 20 mins I had already worked 60 stations.
The pace did slow a little, but needless to say after 90 mins of almost continuous talking my voice was a little strained. The final score was 151 stations in 90 mins, who says HF is dead ?
It also goes to prove once again, with nothing more than a bit of wire you can put on a competitive stations even on 80m. Our score was very respectable, and most likely in the top 15 (out of around 200 entries). The top stations worked around 200, and the best stations work 150 to 175 Q in 90 mins.
Once again a fun way to spend 90 mins, having worked 8 DXCC including some very loud SM and PE.
Further info on the RSGB 80m CC can be found here
73 Dave M0TAZ