IARU Region I Fieldday 2016

First Serious Participation

The idea of taking part in the IARU Region I Fieldday came up when chatting with Renรฉ, DL2JRM, during the annual BCC Meeting 2016. It has been decided that DL2JRM provides the Fieldday-QTH and is responsible for all social activities wheras DL2LSM and DK3WE provide the rig as well as housing. The team has been joined by Irina, DL8DYL, on short notice. We decided to play with the big boys in the Low-Power-Unassisted category.

Antenna Preparations:
The low power unassisted class allows for one dipole or vertical antenna to be used during the contest. So, I did a bit of research and found the following DL6RAI Double-Zepp antenna. It is a variable length double-zepp antenna with two short wires in parallel. In my opinion this antenna is not compliant with the rules since it is a two dipole antenna. However, since it passed all checks so far I have been deciding to use something similar. So, I opted for my standard 2-by-22m double zepp-antenna and added some 9m long extra wire close to the feed point. The entire antenna was to be hung as inverted-V with a 15m high center mast. The antenna ends were to be extended by 20m extension cords resulting in a slow sloping construction.

Simulations with the 4NEC2 program showed that these wires improve the omni-directionality for the high bands. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the length of the ladder line available to simulate the feed point impedance. So, there has been the uncertainty that the system was to be matched on all bands by the AT-502 antenna tuner.

Station Setup:
DL8DYL and DL2JRM already had been finished the setup of the generator and the social tent when DL2LSM and DK3WE arrived at about noon local time. Thus, there have been about 4 and a half hours for the station setup. Everything went smoothly and antenna as well as station were ready about half-an-hour before the contest. Unfortunately, my nightmares became reality. The antenna couldn’t be tuned very well on 10m. The best VSWR to be reached had been about three-to-one. It is not that much of a problem since the additional loss in the coaxial cable can almost be neglected. However, the power amplifier of the K3 started to reduce output to about 70W.

Operation:
Operation time has been shared by DL8DYL, DL2JRM, and DK3WE. There haven’t been any technical issues. Everything worked smoothly. Unfortunately, 10m and 15m remained closed for most of the contest or had bad propagation here in the North. So, we ended up with almost a thousand contacts but are lacking quite some multis. Luckily, we haven’t been hit by thunderstorms and have had quite warm and sunny weather almost all of the time. Nevertheless, QRN by distant and close-by storm cells has been quite intense, especially on the low bands and made frequent repeats necessary.

Conclusion and Outlook:
It has been quite a nice contest with an additional social note. There have been a number of visitors, including but not limited to the following hams: DG7EE, DJ4MF, DL9DRA, DM5SB, DO2RL. Additionally, we have been enjoying a great barbecue by DL2JRM and the smoke signs by Tony and Robert ๐Ÿ™‚ Relaxing when not operating has been quite amusing while playing ‘UNO’.

There are a number of technical points to be improved. Namely,

  • The antenna needs to be revisited theoretically as well as practically in order to allow for easy antenna matching on all relevant bands.
  • The AT-502 antenna tuner box needs a new N-connector. The built-in one is a very cheap one and doesn’t give a reliable electrical connection.

Thanks everybody for the QSOs and hope to see you next time with improved setup.

Preliminary Result:

Call:     DR7B/P
Class:    Multi Operator Low Power Unassisted
Operator: DL8DYL, DK3WE, DL2JRM, DL2LSM
Rig:      K3 (100W), microHAM u2r
Antenna:  Double Zepp 'speciale'
QTH:      nr. Lunzenau, JO60IX

Summary:

Total Score:  3089*144 = 444.816

Band   QSO     Multi    Points
--------------------------------
160    103       20       372
 80    214       32       685    
 40    345       33      1047
 20    283       42       818
 15     46       14       157
 10      4        3        10
--------------------------------
Total  995      144      3089

Downloads:

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 10th, 2016 at 11:01 am and is filed under HF Contesting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “IARU Region I Fieldday 2016”

  1. DK3WE Says:

    The claimed scores have been published. We find ourselves at 7th place just behind the southern stations. It seems propagation has been a bit better down there ๐Ÿ™‚ However, the distance to the next competitors is small. So, there are changes possible…

    2016 DARC Fieldday CW - Multi Operator / Low Power / Unassisted
         Call       DOK     QSOs    Multi   Points
       1 DR0W/P	T13	1144	 209	731.918
       2 DL0FU/P	C28	1074	 185	611.055
       3 DP6M/P	A24	1093	 183	610.854
       4 DK0V/P	C01	1110	 175	592.375
       5 DK0MN/P	C12	1092	 168	575.400
       6 DL0LA/P	U08	1068	 171	568.404
       7 DR7B/P	S50	 995	 144	444.384
       8 DL0HN/P	P05	1036	 140	441.420
       9 DL0GZ/P	F16	 912	 154	437.822
      10 DL0GD/P	H04	 902	 152	427.576
      11 DK0FC/P	I18	 970	 135	415.530
      12 DP9A/P	Y37	 950	 142	413.504
      13 DF0TX/P	E38	 942	 130	373.620
      14 DL1HBT/P	G16	 801	 142	362.810
      15 DK0FWS/P	Y18	 839	 135	356.535
      16 DK0ED/P	C25	 801	 138	353.832
     ...
  2. DK3WE Says:

    The final result has been published. We find ourselves still at 7th place as the 1st station north of stations located far south. The error rate is reasonable with just 12 QSOs lost.

    2016 DARC Fieldday CW - Multi Operator / Low Power / Unassisted
         Call       DOK     QSOs    Multi   Points     Error
       1 DR0W/P	T13	1138	 209	728.574    -0.5%
       2 DP6M/P	A24	1089	 183	609.024    -0.3%
       3 DL0FU/P	C28	1066	 185	606.430    -0.8%
       4 DK0V/P	C01	1101	 175	587.300    -0.9%
       5 DL0LA/P	U08	1058	 171	563.616    -0.8%
       6 DK0MN/P	C12	1081	 166	562.740    -2.2%
       7 DR7B/P	S50	 983	 144	439.200    -1.2%
       8 DL0HN/P	P05	1018	 139	431.734    -2.2%
       9 DL0GZ/P	F16	 900	 153	429.471    -1.9%
      10 DK0FC/P	I18	 958	 134	408.164    -1.8%
      11 DL0GD/P	H04	 873	 149	406.174
      12 DP9A/P	Y37	 918	 139	388.505
      13 DF0TX/P	E38	 912	 128	354.304
      14 DL1HBT/P	G16	 777	 139	344.025
      15 DK0ED/P	C25	 790	 136	342.992
      16 DK0FWS/P	Y18	 820	 132	338.052
     ...
  3. DK3WE » Blog Archive » IARU Region I Fieldday 2017 Says:

    […] principle all had been prepared to run this contest as it had been done last year. However, DL2JRM and DL8DYL bailed out on short notice to do an individual approach as DR7B/P. I […]