RSGB National Field Day Contests

NFD 2023 CW Contest 3rd & 4th June (4pm Local)

The results are out and once again SRS has achieved 1st place in this year’s RSGB NFD contest winning the Bristol Trophy, congratulations to our team.

Telling the story of this year’s event is Tom M0DCG who writes…….

Following hard on the heels of the CQWW WPX CW contest, the previous weekend, the RSGB CW National Field Day contest was held on the weekend of 3/4th June. This year extra time was allowed for preparations so the available G5O contesting members, Evan M0TJU, Dave G0LZL, Pete M1PTR, Kieron M5KJM, Bernard G3SHF and Tom M0DCG assembled the portable station at Common Barn Farm starting on the Friday morning by moving the Worcester trailer mast into position.

This was followed by fitting and tuning the antennas, raising and guying off the mast, erecting the operating tent, laying out the coaxes, connecting switch-boxes, control cables etc. not forgetting the portable electrical supply.

As with the previous year, given the reduced number of participating members available, the agreed plan was for a single, multi-operator, low-power station. To this end, our mast was fitted out with a steerable TH5 Yagi covering the 10, 15 and 20m bands at 66ft, in combination with tuned inverted V dipoles for top band and 80m., and with a delta loop for 40m.

The station itself was housed inside an easy-to-erect tent, positioned about 75ft from the mast, fitted out with a collapsible table, chairs, portable lighting etc. A Yaesu FT1000mp running 100 watts was chosen as the transceiver, with “Assistance” being provided utilizing the cluster (VE7CC) via WiFi, further enhanced for local reception using a skimmer receiver fed from a long wire at ca. 15ft.

Logging was provided for on a laptop running N1MM Logger+ with a second machine being used to provide the station with cluster and skimmer data. Power for the station was provided by our 2.4KVA 4-stroke petrol generator positioned some distance from the tent with the supply filtered to reduce rf noise.

We were in luck weather-wise as it was warm and sunny, with the field nice and dry, allowing easy towing of equipment trailers etc. Assembly proceeded smoothly, care being taken to ensure (a) smooth operation of the Yagi rotator (b) well-tuned dipoles, and (c) easy band/antenna switching arrangements. The station was fully operational by the time we finished on Friday afternoon, allowing for a smooth start to the contest on the Saturday afternoon.

This continued to be the case during the contest and by the end at 4pm on Sunday, when our operating team Evan M0TJU, Carsten G0SYP, Dave G0LZL and Tom M0DCG using call G5O/P had made 1119 valid QSOs with a score of 571,065 points, achieving first place in its class and winning the Bristol Trophy.

We took time to take the station apart and tidy up the site the following Monday, in preparation for our next contest (IOTA) at the end of July. 

We then faced our most daunting task, during station disassembly – folding up the easy-to-erect tent to get it back in its carrier bag.  Three of us struggled for an hour, reading the instructions, watching the YouTube video, etc where two young people did it in about two minutes, bending it this way and that, but in our case to no avail, and in the end the shapeless blob was unceremoniously shoe-horned into the equipment trailer, to be taken home and dealt with at a later date! 

Dave and Tom finally succeeded, and the recalcitrant monster is now tucked away in its bag till the next time!