9M2/G4ZFE ARRL 10m contest

2002 ARRL 10m Contest

Picture: TH3 Junior beam The original plan for a serious Multi-Single effort fell through. Fourtunately I was able to return from business in India two days before the contest. Unfourtunately I picked up a throat infection and flu which left me without much of a voice and brain for the contest. Thank goodness for CW and computers!

I sadly started the contest two hours late and missed the initial W6/W7 opening. Saturday morning was spent running JAs with the occassional welcome call from stations such as A61AJ, VR2BG, ZS6DX and JY9NX. Around lunchtime the band opened up to UA9 and shortly after to the Ukraine. At 08:00 Europe was coming in well, signals were not strong but band noise was quite low. The band closed early at 12:30, shortly after local sunset. 589 QSOs were made in the first day.

Ten metres is noisy in S.E Asia with loud illegal SSB signals from YB fishing vessels in the CW band. At 22:30 (Sunday morning local time 06:30 ) the band opened up to W6/W7. Unfourtunately the band was very noisy with a rushing sound passing across the band and stopping on frequencies for a few seconds. This combined with the illegal SSB signals made Sunday hard work. Some east coast US stations were audible but I was unable to work them. In the end I only worked 29 US states.

Again enhanced signals were observed just before local sunset and I ended the contest with a good European run. The band noise made it slow work though with many repeats required. Apologies but hopefully the audio clips will tell the story! The band closed even earlier on the Sunday and that was the contest over as I had to work the next day - the contest finishes at 08:00 Monday local time. A total of 1093 QSOs were made with 29 states and 70 countries in 20 hours of operating.

Picture: Station The photo above show the antenna - TH3 Junior at about 10m agl - and the HRPT/CHRPT satellite weather dish. The station has a good take off to Europe being on a hilltop and the week before the contest a large tree was cut back which was directly in the JA/W path. The site used to be electrically very quiet but recently hundreds of street lamps were added in the area and also the Malaysian National Space Agency has moved in next door (incidentally the director of the NSA here is licensed - 9M2MAZ - and she is a frequent visitor to the station).

The station used an Icom 765-PRO and IC-PW1 amplifier. The legal limit - 400W - was used and that's the limit of the antenna as well! Writelog was used for logging and to record the contest as MP3 audio.

The weather during the contest weekend was great - 30C plus - with no rainstorms to worry about (the IC-PW1 has already been out of service due to a lightning strike). The good weather also resulted in a number of visitors from the general public. The shack is co-located with the Satellite Tracking Station which attracts attention due to the antenna hardware (sadly not the HF beam!). Some time was spent showing the HRPT/CHRPT weather satellite images. Some good passes were captured and that's when the image of 9M2/HS/YB was taken on my index page (taken during the ARRL 10m contest!).

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