Thursday, 11 July 2013

VHF NFD 2013

VHF NFD was a truly classic year for the Wexford VHF group. Superb WX and DX combined to give is a fantastic weekend.

The Team from L to R. Linas, Pat EI8IQ, Tom EI5ASB, Pete G4CLA, Wilf M0WLF, Dan EI3JZ, Neil EI3JE, Declan EI9HQ, John EI2FG, Mark EI3KD, Billy EI7FJ, Mat M0MAT

Inside Billy's secret tower making shed @ EI7FJ a home made trailer and tower is made ready for its trip to the mountain. In the foreground towers waiting to go for galvanizing.  

Mat looks on in amazement at the home made tower base, whilst Billy admires his handy-work  

And there's plenty of raw materials left for several more towers :-) 

Everything at EI9E is done on a big scale. Here Billy is loading the "Water Butt" for the weekend with the aid of a fork lift truck of course! Already loaded onto the back of the truck is the 70cms and 23cms operating "play pen".

After a mile or two of forest track the final few hundred yards leading up to the top of the mountain are rough and steep. Plenty of 4X4 vehicles needed to get everything to the top.

 The view from the top looking north towards Mount Leinster. The sky is a very unusual blue colour. Actually the fact that you can see the sky is unusual!
 The veiw to the south-east. What's that strange silver horizontal tree I see?

All the stations are positioned along the length of a narrow path at the top of the mountain. Its a difficult logistical problem as everything has to be backed into place and all in the right order.  The 4m and 6m sheep trailer goes in first. 

Then the 6m/4m and 2m generator is next. 

A tower head unit just off the production line, still to be galvanised. 

The 2m tower is next to be back around the twisting track.

The 2m operating trailer and 70cms tower wait their turn in the marshalling area. 

With everything in place it's time to start un-packing ! The 6m and 4m "sheep trailer" is handy for transporting pole and antennas.  

Mark checks the rotator end-stop inside the new 2m trailer. The new 2m amplifier is still in its crate! Hope it works ;-) 

Neil, Mark and Wilf set about building the 2m antennas.

Mat takes the last few poles off the sheep trailer. 

Meanwhile Tom, Declan and Jim start to build the 70cms system.

The 70cms and 23cms generator also powers the cook-house.

It's soon time for tea! A large casserole feeds the hungry crew.

Back to work, Wilf and Mark continue to build the 2m system.

If you need a tower winding up, Wilf is your man !

And up they go...

Everything is going well and it's smiles all round. 

But all is not well with the 23cms rotator. The meter readout is shot. 

And here is the solution! Worked great, in fact probably the most accurate system we have ever used ! 

The 2m and 6m antennas up and ready for testing.

The 70cms system well on its way to completion. 

All hands to a most important job. Building the home made portaloo !

70cms finished and ready to go. 

Mark assembles a makeshift 2m station late Friday night to test the aerials, and work the pile-up of DX stations !

Saturday morning. The 2m aerials seem to work so more winch winding to be done!

The skyline starts to take shape. 4 x 35ele for 23cms in the foreground with the 70cms tower. 2 x 19ele for 2m just to the left and 6m 7ele in the distance to the right.

 The contest starts and more smiles as the QSO numbers quickly build up. Conditions are the best we have ever seen from our IO62 site !
Wilf operating on 6m.
 Mat operating on 70cms, with a spare  round of bread for emergencies. Conditions were fantastic with lots of EA and southern F stations in the log. 

John operating 23cms, it's his birthday on Sunday, what a birthday present with 123 QSOs on 23!

Saturday evening, close to 11pm and still light. 
There must be lots of DX to be worked, as the kitchen is empty!

Ah, Sunday morning and the WX is back to normal for a while, yes we are in the cloud and mist. All DX has gone. Not for long though..

Breakfast time! Nothing short of a full size cooker in the kitchen at EI9E/P!

Neil and Wilf operating the 4m station,.

It couldn't last. Sky is back to its normal colour for a while on Sunday.

The 2m tower in the foreground with the 2m station to the left, the kitchen just to the right and behind and the portaloo!

The contest is over! Time for another feast, all cooked on site. Wilf tucks in while Mat looks on. 

Tom and Billy start to dismantle the 70cms system

Wilf and mark start to take down the 2m serials.

And down comes the 2m tower.

Here you are Mat, you can use this to cut the cables-ties, will have the stations dismantled in a jiffy.
Erm, no thanks Pat !

 Even the portaloo has to be dismantled  and stored away for another year!
Finally we all start to arrive back at base and the sun's out again!
Looks like the cats haven't been finding many mice whilst we have been away !

Stations worked on 50MHz

 Stations worked on 70MHz

Stations worked on 144MHz 

Stations worked on 432MHz

Stations worked on 1296MHz 

Full claimed scores here

Pete, G4CLA


  1. Excellent activity. Greetings from the Argentine Patagonia.

    LU4VI Javier

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