RSGB 4th 144MHz Backpackers' Contest 2013

The 4th Backpackers' Contest coincides with the 144MHz Low Power contest so is run on a Saturday instead of a Sunday and starts later in the day. This session was a solo effort by Gary, G0XAN.

The weather forecast was dry for Sussex, although there was plenty of cloud about and a strong breeze. The station was set up in the usual location close to the trig point at Chanctonbury Ring.

The band seemed quiet but a CQ call brought a steady stream of calls for the first ten minutes or so. Tuning around showed the band to be very quiet without much DX audible. The first hour netted only nine contacts, with the best distance being Birmingham.

Conditions seemed to improve in the second hour, or at least more stations came on air when the RSGB Low Power Contest started. The hour started with a couple of French stations, included longer distances to Yorkshire and Norfolk in the middle and ended with a contact with the Isle of Man for the best distance of the day. A total of 13 contacts although the rate dropped off significantly towards the end of the hour.

The third hour gave only four contacts and seemed to involve lots of tuning up and down the band looking for new contacts which were thin on the ground, or calling CQ with very few replies.

The final hour was more of the same with only three contacts, although all three turned out to be new multipliers. Quite a lot of time was spent trying to contact stations in Wales and Northern Ireland; although they were good signals it was impossible to be heard over the louder stations that were closer to them. They remained the two that got away.

The map of the contacts shows that there was some propagation, but there just didn't seem to be many stations about.

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