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 432MHz, and up, contests. 
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Post 432MHz, and up, contests.
The 432MHz trophy takes place on 5 May from 1400 to 2200UTC. Using all modes, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Also on 5 May between 1400 and 2200UTC, the 10GHz trophy takes place. Using all modes the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Finally, over the weekend 5 and 6 May, the 432MHz to 248GHz trophy takes place between 1400 and 1400UTC. Using all modes on the bands between 432MHz and 248GHz, the exchange is signal report, serial number and locator.

Further information here. http://www.rsgbcc.org/vhf/

I'll just be on 23 & 70cm, as and when I have the chance.

Cheers

Tony

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Fri May 04, 2012 10:28 pm
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 432MHz, and up, contests. 
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
The weather is looking good up here, with sunshine and low wind speed, so off to the hills shortly.
Hope to work you on 70cm later Tony.
Please point you antennas North at some point and listen for GM6MD/P.
We will be in our usual spot at 2300 ft ASL in IO75VG.

73 and good luck in the contest.
Iain.


Sat May 05, 2012 9:37 am
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
MM0TFU wrote:
The weather is looking good up here, with sunshine and low wind speed, so off to the hills shortly.
Hope to work you on 70cm later Tony.
Please point you antennas North at some point and listen for GM6MD/P.
We will be in our usual spot at 2300 ft ASL in IO75VG.

73 and good luck in the contest.
Iain.

I'll look North at the start, before the Saturday pilgrimage to the pub :D , then I'll be back on later.

Cheers

Tony

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Sat May 05, 2012 10:00 am
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 432MHz, and up, contests. 
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
Thanks for the QSO Tony, and thanks for turning the antenna to the North.
It was a bit of a struggle on 70cm today, conditions seemed pretty flat up here, and activity was very low.
I wonder how you faired further south?
On the plus side, everything worked fine, and the weather wasn't bad up on the hill apart from the odd snow flurry, but it stayed dry and there was hardly a breath of wind.
And the views were spectacular. We could see the Scottish Highlands, the Clyde Islands and Kintyre, right down into England, across to the Isle of Man and the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland. Couldn't see Wales though, unfortunately.
A good day, but not as many QSO's as we would have liked.
Hope the weather allows us to get out in a fortnight's time for the May 144MHz contest.

Iain.


Sat May 05, 2012 11:04 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
Was good to work you (Alex).
Here I had 30w and a 21 ele tonna at 7ft over the ground with 3.5db feeder losses.
You were about the same strength as GM3HAM/P peaking 59+10db

HAM/P really struggled to hear me, they didn't have a mast head preamp on 70cm would you believe!

Rgds
Ian

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Sun May 06, 2012 8:24 am
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
Hi Ian,
Thanks very much for the QSO, I was logging as Alex worked you and I did recognise the callsign. You were actually our last contact. Conditions were so poor that we decided to call it a day at 1730z.
We were running 400w and stacked 21 ele Tonnas at around 25 feet and we were roughly 2300 feet ASL.
We do not use masthead preamps either. We go for the KISS approach, and masthead preamps at the top of a mountain do not fit well with that! :D
You can see some pictures of the location on our QRZ.com page if you are interested.
Thanks again for the contact.

Iain.


Sun May 06, 2012 9:29 am
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
Not on sorry had visitors over the weekend. Plus I was as a gig last night at the o2 in birmingham. My ears would struggle with the dx hi!


Sun May 06, 2012 6:42 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
MM0TFU wrote:
Hi Ian,
Thanks very much for the QSO, I was logging as Alex worked you and I did recognise the callsign. You were actually our last contact. Conditions were so poor that we decided to call it a day at 1730z.
We were running 400w and stacked 21 ele Tonnas at around 25 feet and we were roughly 2300 feet ASL.
We do not use masthead preamps either. We go for the KISS approach, and masthead preamps at the top of a mountain do not fit well with that! :D
You can see some pictures of the location on our QRZ.com page if you are interested.
Thanks again for the contact.

Iain.


No masthead amp on 432. OMG you miss out on so many QSO's. I have one if I switch it out many Q5 stations are gone to the noise. I have ldf 4-50 so I do not do feeder loss either.!

Reg g8VHI


Mon May 07, 2012 9:29 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
G8VHI wrote:
MM0TFU wrote:
Hi Ian,
Thanks very much for the QSO, I was logging as Alex worked you and I did recognise the callsign. You were actually our last contact. Conditions were so poor that we decided to call it a day at 1730z.
We were running 400w and stacked 21 ele Tonnas at around 25 feet and we were roughly 2300 feet ASL.
We do not use masthead preamps either. We go for the KISS approach, and masthead preamps at the top of a mountain do not fit well with that! :D
You can see some pictures of the location on our QRZ.com page if you are interested.
Thanks again for the contact.

Iain.


No masthead amp on 432. OMG you miss out on so many QSO's. I have one if I switch it out many Q5 stations are gone to the noise. I have ldf 4-50 so I do not do feeder loss either.!

Reg g8VHI


Reg I call mine the night & day switch, because it makes that much difference.
Having an N.F. of perhaps 5db on the receiver I recon is the main problem; the preamp forces that down to just over a db which makes a big difference even before any feeder losses come into play.

It certainly did when I used a TS2000 last time I played 70cm and it is doing this time on the 821.
I'm guessing that a mast head preamp wouldn't transform things so drastically with a good low N.F. transverter.
We always used one at CKR/P the ability to switch out however was very useful ;)

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Tue May 08, 2012 12:37 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
G0UWK wrote:
G8VHI wrote:
MM0TFU wrote:
Hi Ian,
Thanks very much for the QSO, I was logging as Alex worked you and I did recognise the callsign. You were actually our last contact. Conditions were so poor that we decided to call it a day at 1730z.
We were running 400w and stacked 21 ele Tonnas at around 25 feet and we were roughly 2300 feet ASL.
We do not use masthead preamps either. We go for the KISS approach, and masthead preamps at the top of a mountain do not fit well with that! :D
You can see some pictures of the location on our QRZ.com page if you are interested.
Thanks again for the contact.

Iain.


No masthead amp on 432. OMG you miss out on so many QSO's. I have one if I switch it out many Q5 stations are gone to the noise. I have ldf 4-50 so I do not do feeder loss either.!

Reg g8VHI


Reg I call mine the night & day switch, because it makes that much difference.
Having an N.F. of perhaps 5db on the receiver I recon is the main problem; the preamp forces that down to just over a db which makes a big difference even before any feeder losses come into play.

It certainly did when I used a TS2000 last time I played 70cm and it is doing this time on the 821.
I'm guessing that a mast head preamp wouldn't transform things so drastically with a good low N.F. transverter.
We always used one at CKR/P the ability to switch out however was very useful ;)


100% agree no masthead amp and 400w on 432 is just plain crazy! I agree with the night and day. I find it so much better in. I can also switch it out if I need to!

Reg


Thu May 10, 2012 9:55 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
Ian/Reg,

Thanks for the replies and the comments about masthead preamps. I can see your point, but where we operate from, background noise is not an issue. It's on top of a mountain at 2300 feet above sea level, in the middle of nowhere!

Adding preamps, sequencer, array of antennas etc would only complicate things unnecessarily, and most importantly add considerably more time to the set-up/take down times. Sometimes the weather can be quite extreme and we can have a limited window of opportunity to get on or off the air. Raising the antennas in 30+mph winds and in freezing temeratures can be quite exhilarating and at other times, like when a T-storm is approaching, dismantling the equipment and getting the hell off the mountain is critical.

We are not a large contest group, and there only ever 2 or 3 of us, so while in an ideal world it would be nice to add several other contest result-enhancing features, for a small group operating in a frequently harsh environment, its just not practical. Preamp failures are not at all uncommon, and the repair/replacement time is time we do not have. Operating from the site for a 24 hour period is impossible for logistical reasons, so we can generally only manage the 6 hour sections or less. That is why we have adopted the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach!

Having said all that, going by the "claimed scores" for the 432MHz Trophy on the VHFCC site, we have done quite well, all things considered.

Iain.


Thu May 10, 2012 10:54 pm
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
MM0TFU wrote:
Ian/Reg,

Thanks for the replies and the comments about masthead preamps. I can see your point, but where we operate from, background noise is not an issue. It's on top of a mountain at 2300 feet above sea level, in the middle of nowhere!

Adding preamps, sequencer, array of antennas etc would only complicate things unnecessarily, and most importantly add considerably more time to the set-up/take down times. Sometimes the weather can be quite extreme and we can have a limited window of opportunity to get on or off the air. Raising the antennas in 30+mph winds and in freezing temeratures can be quite exhilarating and at other times, like when a T-storm is approaching, dismantling the equipment and getting the hell off the mountain is critical.

We are not a large contest group, and there only ever 2 or 3 of us, so while in an ideal world it would be nice to add several other contest result-enhancing features, for a small group operating in a frequently harsh environment, its just not practical. Preamp failures are not at all uncommon, and the repair/replacement time is time we do not have. Operating from the site for a 24 hour period is impossible for logistical reasons, so we can generally only manage the 6 hour sections or less. That is why we have adopted the Keep It Simple, Stupid approach!

Having said all that, going by the "claimed scores" for the 432MHz Trophy on the VHFCC site, we have done quite well, all things considered.

Iain.


Iain, the very point that you have little noise is the biggest reason for using an LNA, you can seriously benefit from it.
If you had noise no amount of amplification would help but in an R.F. quiet area it will make a remarkable difference.
Having played with a fully steerable array for EME in a noisy urban environment I found after elevation of around 18 degrees the noise from ground and surroundings would drop off rapidly
and the gain from the preamp really worked well against a cold quiet sky, and that’s at 2m, 70cm is different again. I realise you do not plan to do EME but just making the comparison of pointing to an R.F. quiet area.
Try one, you might find (as I did) running qro attracts lots of callers, without preamp some stations calling were not even detectable, with preamp in it was a difficult but manageable two way.
I found the opposite also true,
I'd work fixed stations in GM on 432 when I was running 400w and they were struggling to hear me due to lack of LNA their end.
Often they would be a good signal with me and on average they would only be running 50w or so.
I'm not a fan of using one on 2m for terrestrial work, it's too noisy where I live but on 432 I actually bought the LNA before I built the antenna's this time as I knew I’d be missing out.
I put a test antenna up (21 tonna) at 7ft and pointed it at GB3ANG, most of the time the beacon is on the edge of being detected, not even 419, with the SP7000 in it’s a good 519.

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Fri May 11, 2012 7:29 am
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Post Re: 432MHz, and up, contests.
That about sums it up.
The quieter the area the more benefit you get from a masthead preamp.

Even at this, fairly noisy, location there is an obvious benefit at 70cm, and above.
On 2M it's by no means as obvious.
With the 910, and 275, it's borderline but does help at times, depending on direction, time of day etc.
I've yet to try it with the transverter but suspect its not going to be needed.

Cheers

Tony

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Fri May 11, 2012 7:54 am
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