wtorek, 15 lipca 2014

IARU 2014 - photos

Some conclusions from this year.

Again many, many thanks to Herr Müller who let me use his field for my station setup. 

Every year I think that this time I have everything ready. And every year when I start preparations (usually 2..3 months before) the task list contains tens of issues..

This year I was quite prepared however main improvement - SO2R - didn't fulfill my expectations. I made maybe a few qso(s) from CQ sent from the "second" radio. It definitely needs more training and maybe some additional equipement (like some smart radio switch). I had many ideas how to build it ...just before the contest when it was much too late... Maybe if I read this text before next contest (what I usually do) I will start to think about some solution early enough in 2015..

This year preparation last: 
Friday, 11:00-21:00 (antennas built, spiderbeam ready and erected, GP ready on the ground). 
Saturday: 9:00 - 13:30 (erect GP, station build).
First time I decide to use specially designed desk that could carry two radios and the laptop. This configuration took more time to assemble but was much comfortable to use.

Probably for the first time I was ready before begin of the contest :)))

This was my main nightmare before. New, more powerfull notebook (I planned to use RFSpace-IQ SDR for bands monitoring), new radio - KX3 and device increasing voltage from 12V to 24 for the rotator (much faster heading) required more energy then year before. Estimated demand was around 150..200 Ah for 24h contest. 

I was using three bateries - AGM 107 Ah and 2x100Ah (from the car).
AGM was powering: K3, KX3, RFSpace-IQ
Auto batteries: rotator, laptop (Dell)

Total capacity was around 300Ah but I could not use 100% of car batteries (they dont like it). In fact I wanted to use not more than 50% from them (100Ah) and up to 80% from AGM 107Ah (80Ah).

I had to start the engine a few times for 20..40 minutes to be sure that will have enough energy later to come back home. My biggest concern related to these batteries was that they are already 7 years old and need to be replaced soon.  

RF-IQ was almost not used. Much better idea would be probably using some panadapter for KX3 (it has IQ exit so could be used with some good sound card). I tried such setup with EMU0404 but this didnt want to work. Should be tested before next contest.

Storms: I lost around 90..120 minutes due to lightnings nearby. 

This year result - can I publish this before log deadline? Probably yes - around 67000 points (last year 64000). Slightly better :)
I did some North and Sout American stations (States, Canada, Brasil, Argentina). This year I had not far East stations - this direction seemd to be closed.

More pictures and films in progress...

The film from the contest station preparations. This film is awaiting for permission from Warner Music for the music used - Pat Metheny Group-Finding and Believing. Hope to get it but in meantime Youtube has right to remove film any time. Enjoy.