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On the 5th and 6th of August the RSGB Centenary Call sign came to Norfolk ARC allowing us 48 hours to get on the air from sunny Norfolk. A ROSTA of operating slots was presented at the club for 2 weeks prior to the event, allowing operators the chance to set the time when they operated, this didn’t work particularly well as most opted to just turn up, this resulted in a lot of sitting around waiting for there chance to have a go….however this did mean we had a great time sitting, chatting and BBQing, the weather was almost perfect and made a great social event for NARC. We did however have the mad thunder storm on Monday teatime, when Julian 2E0DJR and myself had to resort to UK BBQ style cooking….. under the golf umbrella…. Even that didn’t spoil the day as we had the NARC pergola set up between MAC and caravan so we could sit out of the sun (read rain) if required, this all worked well. To our knowledge no one got food poisoning that we know of…. So that was also good.

On Sunday afternoon about 4pm, Tina, my partner and I started to set up MAC and the contest caravan with the necessary equipment to have 3 stations on the Air. The caravan was equipped with the clubs ICOM 756ProIII, Microham KeyerII Interface, SPE Expert Amplifier along with all the switching and rotator boxes to control all the antennas. Anyone that has been here knows there are quite a few antennas and making sure all the control cables were connected to the right control boxes and that none of the wires had broken in reconfiguring the new shack was a bit of a headache…. Several did break and trouble shooting the breaks took time. The HF station had beams on 10-20m, 12-17m, a 30m sloper, rotary dipole on 40m, dipole plus 4 square on 80m and dipole plus vertical on 160m. That’s 8 antennas on 8 feeders plus relay switching, so you can see it can all get very complex.

We had a dedicated 6m station set up in MAC and fingers were crossed for some activity on the Magic Band. The station was an FT450 Yaesu 100w to a 7 ele beam at 75ft. The 2m station also had a dedicated radio, an old Trio TS711 (Kenwood), with a mirage 160w amp and 11 ele Tonna at about 85ft, with a 2/70 collinear above that….

At 11.30pm that evening, the scene was set, the gear ready, all we needed were good conditions and a few operators…So how did we do…

Well having finished commissioning I had been test operating as G0DWV for 20 mins before the G100 call went active and worked about 20 stations on 20m, it was working well, a good start. Then at 00.00z on Monday morning, that’s 1am Local the G100RSGB call started properly, within 10 mins the bands went very quiet and I worked about 19 stations in an hour, not great, so I gave up and went to bed.

The good / bad theme on conditions went on throughout the two days, with some experiencing great periods with big pile ups, while others called CQ a little too much…. We were able to swop bands, modes and make contacts all the time. Every one seemed to enjoy themselves…..and we did make a lot of contacts, 1026qso’s on 160 -10m. there is a summery at the end, nearly as many as the Muckleburgh gang did in 7 days.

I managed to work 1 German station on 160m in about 40mins of calling CQ, so gave up on that. The funny thing was, I was actually trying to set up the digital voice keyer on a shut band, I kept re recording the message to get it right and wasn’t really listening when he called… so nearly missed it…. 160m in summer is not a good band at all, completely different in the winter though. Although the HF station was set up for data we didn’t get that far so no qso’s on that mode, maybe next time…

The HF bands that worked best were 40-20 & 17, this was as expected. Andy M0NKR, Julian 2E0DJR and myself had some huge pile ups on 20m during the evenings till about 1am, this being where we made a lot of the contacts, the USA was booming in and it was difficult to pick out calls from the mass of noise. We worked all across the US with a few mobiles calling us too (cars not phones).

On many occasions we were told we were the loudest station on the band out of the whole of Europe, that and the sort after call sign helping of course. If we had been one of the first clubs to use the G100 call in January February or March we would have worked a lot more and had better results on the lower bands… NARC didn’t get the letter from the RSGB until all the clubs had been allocated, but we were very lucky that we were allowed 2 days to operate by the North Norfolk Radio Group lads from Muckleburgh…thanks guys! Just a shame it was a Monday Tuesday and not a weekend too.

The magic band did open in a very big way and Mike G4DYC and Simon G7SOZ had a great time….. they worked 118 stations in 3 hours, 22 countries and put us (NARC) at the top of the leader board for the G100RSGB 6m ladder, well done Guys….we worked a further 32 stations on the Tuesday mainly on CW, but the great conditions of Monday didn’t return, but that’s Sporadic E for you.

2m was a little neglected as we caused break through on the 6m station and as that was flying we didn’t bother, along with a patch lead issue causing intermittent power, however on Tuesday, after sorting the patch lead we had a few nice contacts in the evening, giving out a few points in the UK 2m AC (activity contest), 15 stations called us and was fun. During the fixing process earlier I was testing the 2/70 white stick and heard a couple talking at about s2 on 145.450, I called them in a gap and when they came back asked where they were. There qth was 15mile north of Market Deeping in Lincolnshire, a little over 85miles as the crow flies, on a flat band, so I had definitely fixed it!.

Im sorry I’ve not listed everyone that attended but I cant remember all the names and calls and the ROTA has gone missing so I don’t remember who was on when, but there were between 4 and 15 people here during the days, with 3 or 4 of us in the evenings, Julian was the only one who stayed up all night on Monday, well done OM! Special mention to Steve M0TZY, he cycled over to have a go…..

Maybe next time we can stick more closely to a list, and set up the program to keep track of who was on when….but not to the detriment of the social side… that’s what made the day for us all.

All in all I think we put on a great showing and John, G3LZQ who is coordinating all the logs has said NARC have done so much better than many others in a short time we had the call.

Well done and thanks to all that helped….

If you are interested to have another go, don’t forget that SSB field is coming soon on 7th 8th Sept, with a chance to perfect your skills with NARC…..

Take care

73

Chris, G0DWV

Editors note - thanks also very much to you Chris for hosting and organising this event in between building work, business and preparing to be the hunted Fox in our Trophy foxhunt the very next day! Thanks on behalf of NARC, David G7URP    PS: Please share the photos you took at G100RSGB onto the clubs gallery too!

Summary of contacts

Band / CW / SSB

160 0 1

80 0 27

40 8 138

30 25 0

20 526 61

17 101 66

15 2 23

12 0 0

10 48 0

6 118 23

2 15 0