October 2012: a complete failure

Our hopes were big, after the problems in May, July and September, to be able to compensate these by a successful IARU UHF contest.

The schedule was tight, as always. We had set up another new WLAN access point at Ekki DF4OR. 432 and 1296 would be running without big changes, but we had prepared everything for the next band, 2320 MHz, with a mast mounted solid state PA and PSU, and a 1.6 m solid dish mounted on a big cantilever which can be swiveled around the mast for the dish installation. Design and realisation of this antenna system which will be used up to 5.7 GHz in future was quite a challenge; it also includes an active elevation stabilization by a gravitational MEMS sensor.

The picture shows a test installation of the half-completed antenna 2 weeks before the contest.

Thursday late afternoon, the evening before we would start the contest setup, the mast truck was already at the site when it happened: Henning DF9IC was struck by a lumbago when lifting some of the material. The heavy pain continued the next morning, and there were only 2 people left for the setup on Friday: so we had to cancel the contest.

This year ended like it had begun: with a dropout.