The 2m Practical Wireless contest on June 14th had Ian (G6OVR) and Michael (M6FFK) both on Rombalds Moor above Ilkley braving the elements to take part.
We started off in drizzle and thick fog up the moor road and than made our way on foot to a suitable location near the summit. Both of us had our FT 817-ND 5W portables.
I set up my new Sotabeams multi-function antenna system. This is a neat antenna that collapses into 4 pieces. Made of plastic tubing, it is very light and fits neatly into a rucksack.
Whilst Ian assembled his Elk antenna, I had a scan on 2m ssb and listened to a couple of QSOs.
Once Ian had put together his mast, it was time to erect his 2m antenna – an Elk 2m / 70cms log periodic from Amsat. Placed on two aluminium poles and a length of plastic tubing, the mast stood around 15-18 feet high and was guyed down.
We made a couple of contacts before the contest then dropped the power down to 2.5w at 10am, as per the contest rules.
We started off well, picking up Chris (M0RSF) loud and clear. Ian then got another couple of contacts before conditions dropped and there was silence. The rain followed!
I quickly put up a tarp against the wall and used a walking pole to raise the front end, leaving us with a very snug shelter from the wind and rain. The rain somehow seemed to improve conditions and Ian picked up several more contacts over the following hour.
With other commitments, we decided to call it a day around 11am and came off the hill. It was however a memorable and enjoyable first SOTA and Contest for me.