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LF: HFC weekend

To: <[email protected]>
Subject: LF: HFC weekend
From: "James Moritz" <[email protected]>
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2006 21:41:15 +0100
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Dear LF Group,
We had a reasonably successful weekend at the RSGB HFC on the LF front - thanks to all those who listened for/worked MB2HFC on 136kHz, and who came to the talks and visited the station.
The LF station was set up after torrential rain on Friday afternoon, with the TX antenna supplied by G3KAU and the Crawley club, and the TX and RXs from M0BMU. I had only finished the 1kW TX a couple of days before, and so this was its first real test, which fortunately it passed well. We were able  to get out a decent transmit signal almost straight away, but receive was another matter, with very high local QRM levels on the TX antenna (as expected). By Saturday morning, an FT1000 at the Crawley club shack was available via the internet and Ham Radio Deluxe software for remote LF reception at the convention. This worked quite well, and several stations were worked through it, but it was an odd experience for the operators; hearing your own signal with about 1/2 second delay was totally confusing! The audio was very "digital" sounding, but obviously a big improvement on local reception.
By Saturday afternoon, we had set up a receiving loop antenna, on the end of about 120m of coax in an electrically quieter spot (this was out at the back of the hotel by the bins, on a patch of rough ground, oddly enough under some high voltage power lines!) This gave really quite good local reception, but unfortunately the CW callers seemed to have dried up by that time. We did work a number of stations in slow CW, until I got chucked out of the LF operating area at about 7pm, so that it could be locked up (I suppose they were worried I could have raided the RSGB book stand). A few more stations were worked on Sunday. The operators were mainly Derek G3GRO and myself. The station generated quite a lot of interest from passers by.
I gave two talks on LF, one on receiving, the other on transmitting, so there was a strong LF component in the technical sessions. With this, and setting up and operating the LF station, it was quite a busy weekend. Next year we should know exactly where to set up the antennas in advance, so things should go more smoothly!
Cheers, Jim Moritz
73 de M0BMU
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