October 2011: weather like summer, and quite nice condx

Our participation in the IARU UHF contest was questionable for some time because Henning DF9IC had been ill. But when the weather forecast was great for the whole weekend we finally decided to make it. We started on Friday morning and were only 3-4 persons during most of the day, but until evening all antennas were installed, the mast halfway erected, and the 70 cm station fully working.

Saturday morning we added the preamp boxes and cables for 23 cm, pushed up the mast and calibrated all the antenna directions. There was already some problem with one of the PCs which later had to be replaced by a spare one from the 2 m station. Otherwise everything worked well. The 23 cm transistor PA with a new driver arrived only late after lunch time, but its installation went smoothly so that the 23 cm station became ready in time for the contest.

Martin DL5NAH visited us as a guest OP. We had more visitors during the weekend, including some OM spotting our antennas on a bicycle trip on Friday. The temperature went up to 21 °C on Saturday (in 1000 m asl) but there was no real temperature inversion. As soon as the sun had set the air became extremely humid through the moor but the sky was completely clear.

All the equipment worked well without failures. We did not yet have the new masthead PAs for 23 cm so still thick 7/8'' cables with loss, but at least the old PAs showed their reliability. The only new part in the system was the restored preamp box for 70 cm (lower 3 antenna systems) with a low-loss input filter and a new version of the proven preamp, which did a good job and is now also"TETRA proof" in case our new neighbours will switch on 400 MHz equipment.

For 70 cm we had the usual 3 systems of 6 x 9 ele together with the big 8 x 23 ele on top of the mast. Compared to last year we had put more effort in the mounting and calibration of the big antenna. For 23 cm we had the same antennas as in May and July, consisting of 2 groups of rotatable 6 x 23 ele and the double 36 ele quados, fixed to NW and NE.