The Northern Lights Contest Group at IO74qd.


The RSGB 50mhz Trophy contest is my favourite 6m contest of the year. It's very well supported by all the European countries that have access to 6m, and when the band opens with sporadic E, it sounds more like 20m than a VHF band.

The antenna system shown in the photo below is a mix of 6element and 7 element yagis, and one 69ft 6M11JKV 11 element yagi. The 6m11jkv was a recent purchase in 2005 primarily to be used as an EME antenna, but we also found that it proved to be an excellent long range antenna with regards to multi hop SpE.

The system as shown consists of, from the left: You can see the top antenna of the 2x6 system, the top antenna being at circa 40ft by using scaffold poles, this antenna is used for LA/SM and OH, and perhaps OZ, ES.

Next, and just in front of the house is the portable 60ft tower, this has the 6M11JKV from M2 on it and it's at 60ft. The box at the feed point contains the mast head pre-amp and relay system. This antenna normally remains situated on YO and LZ direction, but as it's fully rotatable, it can be used for weak signals in any direction.

n front of this tower is the first of the 2x7 systems, again this system is built on scaffold poles with the top antenna being at 40ft.
This antenna system is normally used for SP down to YU and Italy.
 (Although not part of the 6m station, next on the right is 8x23 for 23cm, and the 70cm system consisting of 4x20)

And then on the very right is the last of the 2x7 systems mounted on a fixed Strumech type 40ft tower, the top antenna is around 60ft. This system is also fully rotatable, and is normally used for Italy round through EA to CT.

In an ideal world, each system would remain in it's allotted quadrant, but sometimes they get swapped around, and having 4 systems to use, if a pre-amp fails for any reason, the missing area can be covered by the other three systems whilst repairs are carried out.

Yes, we use pre-amps in all our 6m antenna systems.  

The barn with the open door is where the station is set up

If you look beyond the house and barn you can see the take off from this site, you can see horizon on both sides of the picture, the first of the 2x7 systems is point due south

So, the question right now is, "Does it all work"

The four systems in this format work very well indeed, as can confirmed by our results:

The RSGB 50mhz Trophy contest runs concurrently with the IARU contest, the RSGB results are  here:


Year  Pos Group  Call   Locator  QSOs   Score   Mult   Total  Best DX  Km Power Ant  Equipment
2009 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
2008 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V  IO74QD 426 429,347 173 74,277,031 4X1FQ 3952 400 11+2x6+2x7+2x7 IC756proII
2007 2nd Northern Lights CG MD6V  IO74QD 455 463434 169 78,320,346 WP3UX 6,542 400 11+2x6+2x7+2x7 IC756proII
2006 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V  IO74QD 766 946842 224 212092608 4X6ON 3952 400 11+2x6+2x7+2x7 FT650
2005 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V  IO74QD 593  528546 174 91967004 UT1IC/P 3067 400 11+2x6+2x7+2x7 FT650
2004 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V IO74QD 456 356111 144 51279984 5B4FL 3643 400 11el+2x7+2x7+2x6 FT650
2003 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V IO74QD 848 982631 235 230918285 4Z5LA 3955 400 2x7+2x7 +2x6+6 FT650
2002 1st Northern Lights CG MD4K IO74QD 800 924378 230 212606940 4Z8GZ 3941 400 2x2x7+2x6+6 FT650
2001 1st Northern Lights CG MD6V IO74QD 521 308929 133 41087557 9H0O 2499 400 2x7+2x7+2x6 FT650
2000 2nd Northern Lights CG MD6V IO74QD 560 475446 180 85580280 EH8BPX 3016 400 4x7+3x6Y IC756pro+FT650
1999 1st Northern Lights CG MD0V  IO74QD 616 420319 158 66410402 5B4AGM 3653 400 4x7+3x6 IC756pro+FT650
1998 1st Northern Lights CG MD8V IO74QD 751 521873 159 82977807 TR8CA 6021  400  4x7 + 6 FT650
1997 1st Northern Lights(A) GD4IOM  IO74QD 657 484863 168 81456984 IC8/IK0FTA 2236 400  4x7+6el FT650
1997 2nd Northern Lights(B) G0EMG/P  IO94RJ 246234 377 148 36442632 CT3HF 2734  400   2x6+5el  
   In 2009, personal reasons dictated that we simply never had time to participate in the contest, BUT... the weekend in question saw some of the best Sporadic E for many a year. From my home QTH I could still hear SpE stations being worked at 02:00 and yet still at 05:00, the band was open for most of the weekend, if not all !! It has to be said that, had we been on, we couldn't have beat the guys operating the station at G8T... Hats off to you guys!  
   In 2007, GW6YB/p beat us...  after 6 wins in a row, we'd become complacent taking time out of operating for a decent curry, plus our favourite TV programme, Dr Who. it wasn't until Sunday morning we saw just how bad things were and we simply didn't catch them up. This gave us a repeat of the wake up call back in 2000. Sadly, in 2008 we were up for a decent contest, only we found it easy once again as GW6YB was no were to be seen. Darn it all !  
   In the year 2000, the Blacksheep Contest Group using G8T in IN79jx gave us a much needed wake up call !! We came a respectable 2nd place to their 1st. We were just over 100 QSOs behind, but some well practised and keen operating on their part gave them around 25 multipliers more than us, resulting in a huge win for them. Although relegated to 2nd place, this proved to be one of the more enjoyable contests for us. And I look forward to another contest like that one.  
   In 1997, not all of our group could make it to GD to take part in the contest, so we split into two teams. Team A being GD4IOM, the B team used G0EMG and came 2nd to our 1st place.  





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