M7A - EU011 IOTA Contest 1997

Isles of Scilly

Picture: Aerial view Isles

The Isles of Scilly are 28 miles west-south-west of Land's End (South West coast of England). They consist of five inhabited islands, with a total population of some 2,000 and about a hundred other islets. The temperature is remarkably constant throughout the year with only a 9 degrees Celsius variation.

The Isles of Scilly are an excellent place to walk along open cliff land and along nature trails. Scilly is also a unique place for the bird-watcher as the islands are ideally situated for migrant birds.

The islands have some fine sandy beaches and even during the height of the season it is possible to find a quiet beach. Indeed I found it amusing to see tourists flocking to one beach whilst only a few minutes walk around the bay there was an empty beach.

Picture: Beach

The sea is a bit on the cold side for swimming in (it was 16 degrees Celsius during my stay).

I stayed on St.Mary's which is by far the largest of the islands, being three miles across at its widest point and nine miles around its coastline.

Station Details

Picture: G4ZFE operating

I operated from a friends house in Longstone almost in the centre of St. Mary's. The station consisted of an Icom IC-706 and a Butternut HF6V antenna. Unfourtunately the vertical did not get a sea take-off in any direction. I also used a portable PC to log the contest using EI5DI's SDI program as well as my favourite CW paddle - a Schurr Profi.

I brought along a number of High Pass filters in case of any TVI problems. Fourtunately there was no problem - the islands are served by a 500W TV transmitter which ensures a good TV signal.

Picture: Ship to Shore

St. Mary's also hosts (in the North of the island) a Ship to Shore station. This sends the CW signal "STM" in the 80m CW band. My IC-706 had some problems here and images of this signal appeared across the 80m CW band! The TV transmitter and Ship to Shore antennas are on the horizon of the photograph.

I operated from St. Mary's between 22nd and 29th July 1997 as G4ZFE/P and as M7A for the IOTA contest. It was an eye opener being able to work east coast US stations so early in the morning.

Claimed Score

I operated as M7A single operator, CW only, 24 Hours section in the 1997 IOTA contest. I made 835 gross QSOs with a claimed score of 405729 points.

   BAND             80m     40m     20m     15m     10m     Total

   Valid QSOs SSB     0       0       0       0       0         0
   Valid QSOs CW     79     250     399      84      20       832

   QSO Points       492    1523    2274     540     180      5009

   Multipliers SSB    0       0       0       0       0         0
   Multipliers CW    15      26      25       9       6        81

This was my first entry in the IOTA contest and also my first visit to the Isles of Scilly. I found that 100W and a vertical was not competive enough and I lost my run frequency many times.

I went to the Island Disco on the Friday night/Saturday morning which meant that I had to have some sleep on the Saturday night. My host also had a Saturday evening dinner party for some other guests and locals. The food and wine was excellent but may not have helped my score. Still this was a holiday :-)

QSL Card

Picture: M7A QSL

Log Search

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