Feeling the Magic – 6m Contesting QRP-Portable

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Over the weekend I tried my luck in the CQWW-VHF Contest. I operated only in the “Magic” 6-meter band”, QRP/P, from the backyard of the QTH (FN25ej): Icom 703 @ 5W & the Buddipole at 16Ft. The key was the Bencher BY-2. Contacts were logged with only three stations, all within 30 min on Saturday at dusk (close to 00:00z):

  • VA3SY (ON, FN25nn), CW at 62 km (38 miles), bearing 72 degrees.
  • WB4WXE (AL, EM74dm), SSB at 1,473 km (921 miles), bearing 219 degrees.
  • K4PI (GA, EM73oq), CW at 1,515 km (947 miles), bearing 214 degrees.

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At the QTH and with the equipment used, the band remained closed for most of the duration of the contest. The stations worked were the only ones heard.

Scanning the band to hear only the background noise and the occasional steady spurious signal was not too enchanting. Hence, while still monitoring the 6m band in the 703, the 706MKIIG was fired-up on its side, and 40 QSOs were logged in the NAQP-RTTY in the 80, 40 and 20m bands.

The background noise in 6m was very low, except for Sunday morning where it raised close to S5 to later decrease back to zero around noon. It is possible that this might have been due to the arrival in the early morning of a CME announced in Spaceweather.com: “Geomagnetic storms are underway on July 16th following a CME strike at 0545 UT.

 

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