Since I got my IMD meter recently, I’ve been looking forward to the AFD PSK contest this weekend. It’s only the second time it’s been run and I gave away a few points last year. From what I remember, it seemed a lot more relaxed than some of the bigger contests. The contest runs from 00:00 to 11:59 (local time, no matter where you are) on Sunday.
It’s on all non-WARC bands from 80m to 10m and uses PSK31 and PSK63. The initial call should be “CQ AFD TEST” and the exchange is simply signal report and a serial number which increments with each QSO. Scoring is 1 point for QSOs within your own continent and 3 points for QSOs on other continents on 10m, 15m and 20m and 2/6 points on 40m and 80m. Multipliers are DXCC entities and further details can be found on the official website here.
I’m going to retune my Cushcraft MA-5B again on Saturday to the bottom end of 20m and will be having a shout in this contest, probably concentrating on 15m and 20m. Hopefully I’ll get some replies!
On the subject of the Cushcraft MA-5B, I’m seriously thinking about changing it. It works really well and I’ve had great results but unfortunately it only has a narrow bandwidth on 20m (as can be seen here). I want to be able to use the aerial on both the data and phone segments of the band and so I keep having to lower the mast, adjust the aerial and raise the mast again which doesn’t take very long to do, it’s just a pain. The ATU inside the TS-590 will tune it over the whole of the band perfectly but that doesn’t help if I want to use the amplifier so I’m looking around for alternatives. The one which jumps out at me immediately is the Hexbeam from G3TXQ which will give me the bandwidth I need but also more gain and better F/B than the Cushcraft especially on 12m and 17m where the MA-5B is just a rotary dipole.