„Dreaming of a White Christmas…“
Here is the March contest report (by DL6AUI and DL2ALF) :
It was the coldest contest weekend with heaviest snow we ever gone through (see pictures below). But the results were much better than we expected.
The loading was completed on Friday as usual. A „checklist“ helped indexing all parts needed and showed the responsible OM’s. At the same evening we started our trip to the „Wetzstein“ (JO50RK).The roads were mostly clear and so we arrived at 1700UT already.
Just arrived, the first job was to eliminate a snowbank, 1.70m high, blocking the access to our contest QTH. See checklist, section „snow-shovels“… After that, narrow paths were made to reach all points inside the area. We started to sweat immediately even though the temperature was -10°C. About 2000UT pit stop with grilled sausages, beer and strategic discussions until 2400UT.
Saturday at 0800UT a snow-cat cleared the contest area : the only chance for deploying the equipment. The improvement of our outdoor units really paid off and so we finished the erection quite relaxed 1 hour before 1400UT. The only delay happened on 2m, where the SW – TRX died during the tests, the only failure during the whole contest. It was replaced by an IC-746 as „backup solution“.
On Sunday the microwave equipment for 24/47GHz was transported by sleigh to our „GHz – ramp“ (tnx Alex for the idea). We finished the erection of a tripod with 10/24/47 GHz quickly during heavy snowfall. At the end, we were happy to complete 2 QSOs per band, accompanied by bright sunshine.
We stopped contesting already at 1300UT but packing the whole „travelling circus“ lasted 3 hours at all. A last crew photo completed an extreme contest weekend. And now we hope for good results!