Good Start In The New Contest Season
…or DL0GTH’s first contest report 2006 (by DL6AUI and DL2AKT)
The contest weekend exceeded all our expectations:
1. There was more snow than ever before in our long time contest history. Please have a look at the photographs. They look almost white with something others than white.
2. The weather forecast on Thursday promised snow storm with heavy snow for the Thuringian forest. We had serious doubts that we could reach our QTH in 792m a.s.l. or to be able to return home. However, we were lucky. Only the arrival on Friday was a bit challenging. No snow, no winds on Saturday and Sunday; just beautiful cold winter weather because the bad weather went to the south of Germany. No idea how our competitors managed the conditions.
3. Results were much better than expected with more QSO’s on most bands compared to last year. Great fun.
The meteorological spring already started on 1st March. It seams that the weather does not know that fact. We experienced true winter. But this is the real good thing about the German VHF/UHF/SHF contest trophy. We have contests on all four seasons giving the right challenge for teams and equipments.
Business as usual, we always start loading the vans and cars on Friday. But only in March we also go to the contest QTH on Friday because of larger distance but more important because we know that we need to move a lot of snow to be able to open the door to the contest area grounds on the Wetzstein mountain. Traffic was terrible on the motorways. Therefore we used other roads and arrived with some delay 7.30 pm.
Most important items on the mandatory equipment list were snow shovels which we used extensively till 11 pm to clear the door and some foot paths. After that exercise we enjoyed some beers and Thuringian sausages in the mountain hut.
We welcomed a snow clearing vehicle on Saturday morning at 8am and after 90 minutes of work we had enough space cleared for our antennas and the vans.
At 14 UTC all bands from 1.3 GHz to 10 GHz were ready and with short delay 144 MHz and 432 MHz followed. 24 GHz and 47 GHz were used on Sunday morning only. All equipment was up and running without any problems.
There are many large trees at the Wetzstein QTH with a lot of snow and therefore not ideal for microwaves. We used a sled to carry our 24GHz and 47GHz equipment on the highest point to avoid the trees. This helped us to make two contacts each on booth bands.
We were ready to take the final picture just three hours after contest. After we arrived at home we watched TV and realized our good luck with the weather. There was a total snow chaos in southern Germany. There is no doubt, sometimes in future the weather will win the competition against DL0GTH.