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SARL Field day 15th - 16th Nov 2008

One of the routes to upgrade to a ZS licence is by making 100 independent contacts with other radio hams.

I decided to try this route and see how long it would take. I also decided to try and use a field day competition to make these contacts and see how many people I could contact.

The day for this competition was the 15th and 16th of November. I thought probably the best place for this station would be at the scout hall at 9th Benoni next to Homestead lake. I took the caravan down on Saturday morning and Lindsay joined me later on. Setting the antenna up was a real mission on my own. I need to find something simpler. Anyway, I got it up on my own and set up station.

The weekend was brilliant. It was excellent getting out with the caravan. On the Saturday night, we were joined by Shane Ros and Ryan for dinner. A little later after dinner was finished, Marc (ZS6MDH) and Veronique (ZR6VG) joined us and had a coffee. Then to sleep peacefully and wake up to a glorious Sunday morning.

As for contacts, I made just over 80 contacts. 43 have responded as of Monday afternoon. Just over 50%. Now... I simply can not wait for the next contest which is the second week in February. If I am correct, we will be in Sabie with the Scouts. So here is looking forward to the next contest.

Anyway, read below for more commentary: -

 

Here we are set up at 9th Benoni. The weather was absolutely awesome apart from the initial humidity. The day before, it had rained substantially and with the heat on Saturday morning, the air felt decidedly damp!

Here is the antenna.

I purchased a number of tent poles from Tentco for the mast. This was sort of successfully. I ended up not using two poles as it was simply too wobbly and one pole actually broke!

Anyway, up I got it. The antenna was a G5RV which worked a treat over the weekend and gave some awesome contacts.

 

In order to be a field station, there are certain requirements that you must meet. Some of these are: -

1 Setting up only 24 hours before the contest

2 Not being able to move once started

3 Not being able to use mains power. To the left you can see I was using the battery on the car to meet the power requirements. I could also have used a generator or solar power

4 Not using an existing antenna that is permanently in place.

This was just "some" of the requirements.

 

Here is Lindsay and I at the radio. Lindsay did not work as a Field Station, but just helped out with contacts for people that really needed them. I.e. there was one guy 6 contacts short of his 200 stations worked certificate.

To say that I really had fun on this event is an understatement. I will definitely be doing this again! I can not explain exactly what the feeling was like, but it was just fun contacting the various stations and chatting with some of the Hams and finding out where they were.

Lindsay and Hayleigh started badgering me to stop waffling and hall ass towards the end of the contest and get more contacts. Problem was I was just having fun.

Lastly, what would it be like without showing you the scenery we were in. Right next to Homestead dam and listening to the frogs during the night.

Till next time keep well, travel safe and enjoy.

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