wythall radio club

having fun with RF

G0MTN operating G4WAC/P for The CW National Field Day Event: 3rd June -4th June 2023

June 09, 2023 By: john daws Category: Club

Lee G0MTN  heroically entered the National Field Day 24 hour contest  last weekend , operating alone in his garden , using low power (QRP) with a battery pack and topped up with a solar cell. Such was the heat in in the gazebo during the day that the 3D printed paddle started to melt and the laptop overheated!

During the night the opposite occurred and 4 layers of clothing , a winter coat and thermal trousers failed to keep Lee warm: under these harsh conditions Lee reports that the last hour of the contest was a real challenge.

Lee’s full report appears below:

‘I operated the RSGB National Field Day CW contest from the garden. The rules say no existing structures are to be used, so I put up a gazebo and ran a 250 foot doublet as the main antenna. I didn’t want to use a generator, so opted for one of the QRP sections and ran on a battery being refreshed by a solar panel in the daytime. The antenna was mounted on a 12m Spiderpole. I used my trusty FT817 as the transceiver.

I didn’t have any real aspirations other than to give it a serious go.  I’ve not entered NFD properly for a long time, and never QRP.  The build went successfully, and the antenna seemed to tune ok.

As the contest began at 4pm Saturday I started the process of tuning up and down the band, trying some CQ’ing, and repeating on other bands as propagation and activity beckoned. At the right moments I could call CQ and get responses, although overall CQ’ing brought one third of the contacts and the majority came from tuning and calling others.

As expected I almost only worked Europe – there were a few USA stations early morning on 20m, and then later on 15. Canary Islands, and a non-counting Asiatic Russian. I did hear 5V4ZJ, 9N7AA, VP2MKP, Brazil and others but they were ‘gotaways’. But discounting the DX, even France or Wales weren’t easy multipliers on easy bands. I moved Chris G3YHF from 40m to 10m to get an extra multiplier there!

It was fun to put the club call on the air again for the full 24 hours. ‘

Lee’s  tally of points was impressive as shown in the final table submitted   

A total of 639 QSO’s with 129 separate DX entities worked and a final magnificent score of  249357  (129×1933)