Virginia QSO Party 2012

Discovered a nice surprise in the mail today – a letter from ARRL QSL Bureau with a nice certificate from the Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club:

which goes on the wall in the new shack!

Nice memories of the VAQP 2012 will now be reinforced by a nice memorabilia 🙂

NB! Canada Day weekend QSO party in 4 days!

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VA3CTA Field Day 2012

This year I attended my first field day. The field day was organized by the Central Toronto Amateur club VA3CTA. We had 3 transmitters set up including a GOTA station, and used a gasoline power generator to provide electricity for the radios and the lights. The antennas were G5RVs secured to the trees at the site.

VA3CTA

YL journalist from media is interviewing club’s officials Peter VE3EYI and Don VA3XFT

The only open bands on Saturday afternoon were 20m and 40m and they were overcrowded to say the least. Sometime, it was 5-6 different stations working on the same frequency making impossible to work any of them without a very directional antenna. It was nearly impossible to find a free spot on the band to call a CQ.

Too much coffee on the day before and some unexpected emergencies at work didn’t let me to sleep most of the night on Friday so I had to take some breaks the next day in order to compensate the lack of sleeping. I worked 2 hours at the club’s station in the afternoon and then 4 hours after the sunset, and then 2+1 hours from my home station. Altogether, I think I’ve managed to get around 70-80 QSO in a search-n-pounce mode.

Nevertheless, the attitude was very friendly and positive, making this contest a distinct example of fun nature of the amateur radio.

VA3CTA

Ori VA3XW and Don VE3AFE setting up on the 20m station for the first QSO

The station I operated was kindly provided and set up by Don VE3AFE. His Yaesu FT-100D worked very-very well. Great sensitivity and DSP were greatly helping to work weak remote signals. The noise levels were quite low compared to my home QTH – probably due to nature of the dipole antennas compared to a vertical antenna.

Many new club members had their chance operating the club’s HF stations and doing logging/dupe-checking under supervision of more experienced operators. Some unexpected things did happen but have been quickly and successfully resolved. Overall, the event was a lots of fun, great people and great success.

VA3CTA

VA3CTA field day 20m station 2012

Many thanks go to Don VA3XFT, Peter VE3EYI, John VE3JE, Ori, Don, Ward, Tim, Rich, David, and all other fellow club members for organizing and participating in this exciting event. I really enjoyed my time with club friends and am looking forward for the next year’s event.

Is it feasible to work ZL / VK from VE3 with a vertical / dipole?

I have never heard ZL / VK on any band.

At my QTH (FN03), I have a 31′ vertical antenna which captures lots of noise (S4-S5), and does not have much gain.

So I was wondering if it is feasible to work ZL / VK on phone from VE3 land while using just a vertical / dipole? Or I need to

  • study CW
  • get a yagi
  • move to a quieter location
  • all of the above?

Update (2012-10-06): Worked 3 VK stations on 40m SSB at 4am during Oceania DX contest!

Update (2012-06-24): Peter (VE3EYI) worked Australia (VK) on phone mobile from his car when parked above Scarborough Bluffs… So the answer is YES, but the QTH is important 🙂