SSB Field Day 2021

After a break in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, CDARS was active once again in HF SSB Field Day, held on 4th / 5th September 2021.

Every year the rules and contest sections seem to change, and this year the only section that suited us was the “Low power unassisted multi-operator” section.

Low power means 100w maximum, which suited our barefoot TS590SG.

The other main limitation in this section was we were allowed only a single wire antenna, and two support poles. We decided to use the trap dipole and the two fibreglass push-up masts that the club had recently received as a donation from an inactive amateur. We had used the trap dipole at Brill Windmill and at our club QTH so we know that should work all right. We decided to use the two fibreglass masts to support the middle section of the trap dipole, so that the weight of the coax (Mini 8) would not lower the feedpoint too much, and then droop the ends down with long cords to keep the ends as high as possible.

It was easy to put the masts and antenna up, so plenty of time to check out the match with an antenna analyser. Unfortunately this showed absolutely no resonance at 80m, but a good match at 40m. Nothing for it but to drop the antenna and check all the connections. After some prodding and dismantling we discovered a corroded connection on one of the traps which had not caused a problem before, but had now gone fully intermittent. A temporary re-make of the connection and we were good to go!

The generator, rig and antenna behaved themselves for the whole weekend. There was brisk business on 40m at the start, with some excursions to 20m, and switching to 80m later in the day. There was almost no activity on 15m and none on 10m, we will have to wait for more sunspots.

The Sunday proved slower, but was a good opportunity for some of our more recently licensed operators to try their hand and gain some contest experience.

We finished the weekend with a respectable 373 QSOs, and much enjoyment by all.

Thanks to all the members taking part:

G3XZG, G3ZNU, G8FMC, G8MFH, M0IHY, M6WTL, M1DTG, M7RMF, M7CKP, M0GUY, M0JCQ, and thanks to G3MEH for temporary storage of equipment and access to the outside tap!