144MHz Affiliated Societies Contest

Tomorrow (Sunday 5th December 2010) is the 144MHz Affiliated Societies Contest.  This is a contest that I have a real soft spot for as it was the first contest I ever put a serious entry in to back in 1982.  I’ve taken a trip down memory lane and dug out my old logbooks to see that I was placed 19th out of 72 entries.  Not too bad for a 16 year old kid who had never operated in a contest before.

The contest exchange back then was a bit different to nowadays.  Not only did we exchange signal report, serial number and QRA locator (the Maidenhead locator system wasn’t in use then) but also we exchanged location so my logbook is full of things such as “18k SE Wendover” and “12k S Bedford”.  In the eight hours I managed 179 QSOs with my best DX being 485km. I did the same contest in 1990 only this time I had 260 QSOs but I don’t have a record of the final results so I don’t know how well I did.  I do recall that for this one I borrowed an amplifier from the Flowerpotmen contest group of which I was a member and ran 400 watts to a 9 element Tonna at my parents house near Clacton-on-Sea which *may* have caused a little interference to some local television sets in the vicinity.  Oops!

Compare these to the results from 2009 where the winning station had just 173 QSOs and it really shows how activity has declined over the years.

I’m going to be making an entry in this contest tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it.  I don’t expect to work anywhere near as many stations as in previous years although it would be nice to manage 100 QSOs.  Considering I worked just 184 stations in a 24 hour period during the 144MHz Trophy back in September I think that even 100 QSOs will be a struggle but it’s good to have a target so that’s what I’m aiming for.

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