Saturday, June 27, 2015

A successful PA45FREEDOM activity

The whole month of May we operated a series of special call signs commemorating 70 years of freedom with WW2 ending in May 1945.

The series consisted of 8 calls running from PA45FREE up till PH45FREE. We also used PA45FREEDOM during one weekend (refer to our previous post).

The team consisted of PA1WBU, PA3BAS, PA3FYG, PB7Z, PD7YY, PE1BVQ, PE4BAS, PG8M and PH0NO.

We managed to log more than 11.000 contacts with almost 6.500 different operators in 117 DXCC.

This is more than we expected and means we have a lot of QSLs to send out. The QSLs arrived this week and will be processed by the station manager of PG8M.

QSLs being stamped

Ready for transport to the QSL bureau

YNOMY reached second place in PACC

Today the results of the PACC contest we operated in earlier this year was published. It tuns out that we managed to reach the second place in our category (multi operator, single radio) with our special call PE55E. 

We are actually just a stone's throw behind number one (6 QSOs, 11 multipliers difference).

We are very proud we were able to achieve this in our second serious attempt in this contest. It is remarkable we came this far if you consider we are working from a caravan with a temporary set up of mainly wire antennas - not a big gun contest station.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

PA45FREEDOM - a weekend at Winssen

The weekend of May 16 & 17 we planned to gather most of the P*45FREE operators in Winssen on a camping place we already used before during the PACC contest this year. 

The idea was to activate a special group call PA45FREEDOM on several bands simultaneously during the weekend.

YNOMY was present with PD7YY (PD45FREE), PG8M (PG45FREE) and PH0NO (PH45FREE). We were joined by PA1WBU (PA45FREE), PA3BAS (PB45FREE) and PA3FYG (PC45FREE).

Temporary shacks of  Hans PC45FREE and Bas PB45FREE (to the left of the picture)
Bas PA3BAS had not been able to work a lot of stations using his own special callsign (PB45FREE), so he used that call from Winssen. The others operated PA45FREEDOM.

Main shack with two running stations 40m-6m

We used up to five different radios in parallel. Hans PA3FYG and Bas PA3BAS operated from two different corners of the field, the others were operating in or (weather permitting) around the mobile home we rented for the weekend. We used wire antennas, a 6m beam, a 2m beam and a hexbeam.

Even with band filters we did have to fight some interference between the stations but during this weekend PA45FREEDOM managed to log 1331 calls from 1237 different operators in 69 different DXCC.

Although the weather was not as we hoped for (cloudy with some rain) - we did enjoy the field-day-mandatory-BBQ. 

PG8M providing the necessary food

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Celebrating 70 years of freedom with Special Event Stations

Within the YNOMY DX Group an idea was born at the beginning of this year to place special attention on this year's WW2 liberation celebrations as we have been living in peace here now for 70 years. 

70 years ago the allied forces liberated The Netherlands from Nazi rule, ending the second world war five years after it started. The southern part of The Netherlands was liberated in the autumn of 1944, while the northern part was only liberated in the spring of 1945.

On May 4, 1945 the German forces formally capitulated to the British Field Marshall Montgomery. The capitulation was effective the next day.

We therefore celebrate the end of WW2 for the whole of the country on May 5 every year ("bevrijdingsdag").

We were thinking of activating a range of special calls during the month of May with a group of operators. The range P*45FREE (PA-PH) was chosen after some debate. We also planned a group activity in the middle of the month with a special group call PA45FREEDOM.

We asked around and were able to organise a team of 9 operators that were supportive of the idea and willing to play a role in it by applying for and activating one of the special calls. The team consists of PA1WBU, PA3BAS, PA3FYG, PB7Z, PD7YY, PE1BVQ, PE4BAS, PG8M and PH0NO.  

So we are moving from an idea to a whole range of special event stations that will be active during the month of May 2015.

In the mean time we have designed a special QSL card and are in the process of designing an award. This electronic award can be obtained free of charge when an OM or SWL has collected 45 points. Each P*45FREE counts for 9 points and the PA45FREEDOM call counts for 18 points towards the award.

Hope you will have a chance to work several of our stations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

PACC 2015 results - a visual impression

We have visualized our log data of PACC 2015. It gives a nice impression of how we went on in the 24 hours of the contest (12:00 CET - 12:00 CET)

QSO rate per hour per band
The QSO rate per hour / band shows a 24h clock with a couple of peaks primarily on the low bands. 

Initially we focused on the higher bands. We used 10m sparsely aiming for NA/SA (see map below) in the early evening. We were mainly on 15m and 20m until around 18h CET.

The first peak is around 19h CET on 40m, followed by a peak around 20:30 on 80m. During the night there are smaller peaks on 160, 80 and 40m. After visiting 20m and 15m (aiming for Asia), we ended the contest with another nice run on 40m around 10:30 CET. 

Animation of our contacts logged over the 24h of the contest
The animation above shows you how PE55E went around the globe in the 24h of the contest. The high bands are represented by red (10m), orange (15m) and yellow (20m). While the low bands are represented by green (40m), blue (80m) and black (160m). The stars indicate CW contacts - the dots SSB contacts.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

PACC 2015 - YNOMY's Contest Summary

Pre-contest preparation
We prepared ourselves a bit better than last year (which already was a lot better than the first year). We got ourselves a nice temporary special call PE55E and we constructed and tested a number of different wire antennas well before the contest (last year M was still working on the 160m antenna a few hours into the contest).

Pre-contest modeling of our wire antennas

M had arranged a proper location at a camping ground near to where he lives and - importantly for this contest - in our province of Gelderland. The place definitely was an upgrade of the cold and windy hut we were in last year. It even featured WiFi so we had online cluster info in N1MM.

Our shack during PACC 2015

M started the installation of the antenna park together with his station manager on Friday. They installed the three main poles - 12m, 18m and 12m high - that were holding the wire dipoles for 160m (supported by all three poles), 80m (inverted v from the center pole) and 40m (inverted v from the nearest pole).

Low band wire antennas

We tested this setup before (more info in this post). Modelling showed this setup results in more gain on 160m and less gain on 40m than last year. As we would be running 3 to 4 times the power of last year on the low bands we weren't too focused on getting the maximum gain though.

Final preparations 
Saturday morning NO and YY arrived to complete the contest station,  adding an end fed for 20m, a hex beam for 20-15-10m and a yagi for 10m. As NO had to leave Sunday morning before the end of the contest - taking the hex and the yagi - we set up an extra 5/8 vertical for 15m we built and tested just 2 weeks before the contest.

Our beams: portable hexbeam and home brew 3 element yagi

When we finished setting up the station we had 7 antennas at our disposal - quite an impressive set-up for a temporary station. We were running 300-400 watts PEP into them via an icom 756P3 hooked up to a pc running N1MM.

Contest operation
We manned the station for 24h by sleeping in shifts. The camping provided us with two extra sleeping places conveniently located outside the noisy shack.
M was our CW operator while YY and NO took care of the phone contacts.

M on CW logging in N1MM with YY following the proceedings closely

As the weather was much friendlier than last year we had no calamities (as blogged about in this post). All went rather smoothly. Conditions on the high bands seemed a bit better than we remembered from last year. We will have to compare our logs to see how this worked out.

A better preparation allowed us to operate with minimal switching times between operators. We used our experiences from last year to choose the right band and mode at the right time and we had more power at our disposal on the low bands (300-400w as opposed to 100w last year).

This has resulted in far more contacts and more multipliers than last year. We logged approx. 800 contacts last year during our first real try in this contest and came in 6th place. This year we set our goal at 1000 QSOs and surpassed that by a considerable margin.

We will add more information about our results once we have taken the time to run our log through the PACC log robot and compare our results in more detail with the results of last year (numbers, multipliers, dx per band).