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