CQ WW SSB contest s MW5W
The invitation to the CQ WW SSB Contest was tempting: "Come and don't worry about others". The hook was in it, that I don't like heights (weak word) and getting to the north of England in a way other than by air is quite a problem. TNX, rather not…
However, several other favorable factors did, that I already nodded in the summer. Apart from Oliver MW3SDO, I did not know any of the team members personally. They asked me to solve the problem mutual interference in the multi-multi category, which they have had problems with in the past. Oliver was tasked with running the logs and the PC network.
The Railways of the Slovak Republic tried to protect me from the flight. The express had a decent delay, however, I managed to check-in. Boeing 737-700 Sky Europe took off effectively, we said goodbye to Bratislava and after two hours of a very pleasant flight good evening to Manchester. A smiling host - Oliver MW3SDO - was waiting for me there.
Wales is a proud country. He is proud of his people, history and language. The language in particular breathes antiquity. Locals value Slovaks for "ch", which the English cannot pronounce, HI. Thank you is called "diolch". Names and many inscriptions are bilingual - English and Welsh.
A large part of the country is made up of fields and pastures. The houses are very nice, bricks and stone predominate. However, they are far from cheap. The sea can be felt especially in the temperature, in some areas, snowflakes fall only once every few years. It is driven on the left and very correctly, but orientation is sometimes very difficult. Around the farms there are dense high thorn fences and paths with a width of two motorbikes. The main roads are perfect.
Our QTH was located on the westernmost point of Wales on a farm Roba MW0RLJ above the town of Fishguard. Hats off to Rob, moving in a group of radio amateurs for the weekend requires strong nerves and an infinite amount of willingness.
While the first team members (Rob a G1VDP Chris, M3SDE Team, MW0JZE Ant a Charles M0OXO) they have been preparing workplaces and antennas for several days, we managed to get to Rob shortly after midnight from Thursday to Friday. Thanks for the GPS, because otherwise we would probably still be looking for it today.
In the morning we could admire the antennas, which were already prepared: 4the. Yagi and 20m, lambda/4 vertical with raised radials at 40m and vertical at 80m also with raised radials. In addition, a 10m yagi was assembled and a mast for a 15m yagi was prepared.
While the majority assembled antennas outside, Oliver prepared computers and N1MM diary. The webcam was angry, which was not in the end.
The antenna on 160m took a lot of time, which has not been tried. MFJ-259 proved to be an excellent helper. In the early evening, other operators arrived - M0KCM Ian, M3POV Neil a MW0CRI Dai. The 10m yagi was the last to be prepared. We searched for a long time for the cause of the bad PSV, then the rotator went on strike.
The four of us went shopping in Fishguard and… we got lost. The tangle of farm paths above the city has taken its toll on the darkness. You try all the options at the intersection and find out that it is not the right intersection, because no one remembers the tree, which is around the bend. GSM worked erratically, so we didn't return until after dark.
The guys were still fighting with the rotator for the 10m antenna - but already in the rain. They successfully managed the fight and everything was ready.
We agreed on rotations after two hours. Two hours on one band, two on another band, two rests and then again. And sometimes even six hours straight. Chance wanted, that I always drew bands, which were fully open at the time. At the beginning 40m….
The beginning caught me not quite ready. While I was watching in N1MM how connections from other bands were increasing, I tuned and played the connections, because there was no room for challenge. However, the FT-2000 has a lot of options, and after setting the filters to "almost CW width" there was room for a challenge and the pileup was underway.
Contest is a good opportunity to compare devices. Yaesu FT-2000 (80m, 40that the antenna also works in bands) is an excellent device. A joy to work with. FT-1000MP Mark-V (10m) was a good choice for this band. At times when conditions were deteriorating and one station called every five minutes, a second receiver for scanning the band was a good helper. Icom IC-756ProIII (160m) he wasn't bad, but it wasn't that. The spectroscope is fine on the band, which is more or less empty. Then it allows to register a new signal. But what about the band, which is buzzing with activity? Even DSP not much. She completed the lineup Ten-Tec Receipt (15m) and she didn't address much either. A second RX and better filters would be useful here.
Coincidentally, I got the bands, which were always open. I spent the most time on 40m and 15m. The pile-ups were wonderful, but exhausting. However, most of the stations met the ideas of good counter stations, who are a pleasure to work with. It was mainly the big guns that caused the difficulties, who, out of nowhere, launched a challenge on the frequency, obviously with the aim of pissing us off. Even though we had a five-band final stage, stations with four times more power and bigger antennas didn't worry too much about it and played as hard as they could.
I tried to have an attractive operation using the basics of five languages (English, German, Slovenian, Polish and Spanish). It is difficult, but effective. Many OK/OM stations, with whom we worked were surprised, as we know well in Slovak, hi.
Mr. Murphy also visited us, when he damaged the 80m antenna in a night storm. The network occasionally crashed, but overall it worked. Oliver also made several interventions during the race. During my shift at 160m, the computer and TCVR froze in the pile-up. At the end of the race, the 160m ATU also canceled its service. The antenna swayed in the wind, changing the impedance.
Oliver took me to see it on Sunday afternoon Stumble Head Lighthouse – a lighthouse. Have a nice trip!
As the end approaches, there are fewer of us left. The score first swung over 4 million points and then over 5000 QSOs. The forces were running out, since there was no one to replace him. After more than seven hours on 40m and 20m in a piece, when the hinges on the sled were already creaking at "mexico whiskey five whiskey", the end has come for me and Oliver (QRL). Rob, Tim, Charles, Chris, Ant stayed until the end of CQ WW. It's at the end 5155 QSO and above 4.300.000 points.
What to conclude? I had the opportunity to participate in the first big KV contest in a perfect team from the excellent QTH. It is possible to wish for more?
QSL tickets are ready. Team M3SDE offers for OK/OM stations the possibility to get a QSL ticket in a simpler way - write him an email at email@example.com with all the details and you will receive a QSL via bureau.
I would like to thank Oliver MW3SDO with YL Lucka, with whom I spent a wonderful week and to people from MW5W – Edges, To Chris, To Ant, Charlesov, Teams, To Ian, Neilov, Dai and others, who helped make MW5W a success. At the same time, many OK and OM stations, which they called. Thank you all!