After an embarrassing realisation that it had been 2 years since our last VHF/UHF Field day, Nick VK2FS and Geoff VK2AVR activated the hill behind our repeater site for this year’s summer field day. Greg VK2XE met us on location in the morning to help set up and grab some early contacts.
We used the same equipment as last time, IC-7000 on 2m and 70cm and Yagi antennas on a rotatable mast. On 6m we had an FT-897D and Inverted V at 7 metres height on a squid pole. Nick also brought his 23cm gear, an FT-817 driving a transverter and 23cm Yagi at the top of the mast. The 23cm amplifier is not yet finished so power out of the transverter was only around 2 watts. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to find anyone else with 23cm gear to try a contact.
Contest activity seemed very low for us, with a lack of stations on any band. We eventually decided to pack it in and took down the mast and 2m/70cm/23cm gear leaving the 6m radio for last in case we got some propagation. We were fortunate to find some sporadic E’s opening interstate and also across to New Zealand. The propagation greatly bolstered our score – hopefully into “moderately acceptable” territory!!
Unfortunately the sporadic E’s stayed true to their name with several half-finished contacts having to be abandoned due to fading.
Later analysis of the scores indicated our per-band points were inversely proportional to the amount of gain we had on that band. Next time I’m going to try the dummy load!!
We submitted logs under both Gridsquare-based and Distance-based scoring systems, with 33 contacts. That gave us ~420 points under the Gridsquare system and ~9,400 points on Distance thanks to several ZL2 and ZL3 contacts and one VK7. We also heard VK5, VK4, VK3 and ZL4 briefly but no “keepers” due to the brief nature of the propagation.