The March – Contest report 2007 (by DB5SB) :
The weather forecast for the contest weekend was not clear. Some forecasters announced storm with heavy rain and temperatures about 2-5°C. Others announced snowfall.
The vans were loaded on Friday and at 14:00 (CET) we started in Gotha to our winter contest HQ, the Wetzstein. We arrived around 16:00 in the afternoon. Olli (DL2ARD) and Frank (DL1WA) were already on site and finished the installation of the 70cm antennas.
We unloaded the vans and started with the installation of the microwave equipment. We wanted to install as much antennas and transverters before dawn as possible. The sky was cloudy and it was kind of windy and sometimes really gusty on the tower.
Oliver and I (DB5SB) started to install the 23cm antenna and the new 200W PA on the first mast on top of the tower while Harti (DL6AUI) and Frank (DL2ALF) installed the transceivers in the microwave shack and set up the contest WLAN for the first tests with our new contest software. After some configuration issues the software ran smoothly and the voice and CW keyers were set up.
After dawn we tried to set up the shacks and went to bed at 1:00.
At 7:00 in the morning Harti waked up the crew for some energy spending breakfast with “DL1WA -Special-Coffee (black oil)”. The weather was gusty with a mixture of snow and rain. We continued setting up our equipment. The antenna masts for 2m were installed, the PA and shacks for 2m and 70cm were set up and we continued to mount the microwave antennas on the tower which took several hours even because of the bad weather.
We decided to put the microwave antennas on the tower this year because of the additional 15m height over ground we gained. At 14:00 (CET) everything was set up and running.
At 16:00 Detlef (DL3ALI) told us that he hears us on 3cm with a very strong signal but we weren’t able to hear anything. The receiver part of our new 25W transverter seems to have a problem. We decided to replace it with the “old” 5W equipment we luckily took there for backup reasons. At 16:45 3cm was QRV again (with “QRP”).
The contest itself provided us some really good results. Unfortunately the weather on Sunday changed during the course of the morning. As we got up at 7:00 it was a sunny day, temperatures around 0°C and about 3cm of snow which felt down during the night. At 8:00 some strong fog was coming up and the SHF-Crew couldn’t get as much QSO’s as expected.
At 14:00 we started deinstalling and unmounting the microwave equipment while the sun came out and provided us a nice and warm afternoon. While demounting a stunt pilot showed some really spectacular stunts with his aircraft in the sky near our contest location.
At 17:30 we finished loading the vans, took the obligatory team photo and we took our ways home.