OK2KKW Contest expedition into United Kingdom - UHF/SHF Contest IARU 1998

Giles's pub "Toft Lion" in Toft Monks near Great Yarmouth  LOC: JO02SL             Giles (ex G8DWQ and his wife Jann)


After a long friendship with Giles, ex. G8DWQ, based on our cooperation in CATV business, we accepted his invitation and tried to contest from his QTH JO02SL in UK. Giles semi-retired from his original job and became a landlord of a small country hotel Toft Lion Pub near Beccless or Great Yarmouth in Norfolk county. The environment was superb and we were treated really very well there.

Unfortunately some members of OK2KKW were busy at their jobs, so we asked Slavek OK1TN, Jarda OK2GG and Vláda OK1CW for help. They are known as members of HF DX-peditions, good operators and our good friends. Lada, OK1DIX worked in the USA at that time and we met him in London.

We set up our station in Giles's caravan on the parking lot beside his pub and erected 15 m mast with the antennas.


Jarda (OK2GG) and Vladimir (OK1VPZ) are testing the 70 cm equipment.                G/OK2KKW station in the caravan next to Giles's pub.

First impression on 70 cm about 3 hours before the contest was crazy - nobody on the band! We checked all our equipment and SWR again, everything OK. Simple - nobody on the air! After 30 minutes first signals - from Germany, JO40 square! Eventually we realized , that the activity on 70 cm in UK would not be too hot… At least much worse compared to 1994 in France.

The propagation during the contest was very bad, heavy rain, and strong north-east wind. Just a few G stations took a part in the UHF contest. Our results compared to G4LIP and M8V were bad, because our antennas were simply too small for UK.

No comment..

Contesting from UK is a complete different story than in OK or in middle Europe. Because the activity of G stations was poor, almost all QSOs were mostly to DL and PA. It implies that your signals must be very strong there to compete with the sigs of other local stations 400 - 500 km away. It also means that (beside QRO) special antennas are necessary. There's only one advantage with those antenna monsters, that they need to be rotated only in the range about 40 degrees to the east.

We, as G/OK2KKW/p, had two more disadvantages there. First was the QTH - 15 m high mast in a very flat area about 12 km from the coast. It means that the 1st Fresnel zone was heavily disturbed by the ground. The second one - serious TVI problems. There's only UHF TV in UK. Most of transmitters work on four TV channels. It means that the receiver antenna must be a broadband one and mostly equipped by the broadband antenna amplifier. Can you imagine, what happened, if 20 kW ERP on 70 cm was focused in to a broadband antenna at a distance at most one hundred meters? For this reason, we could not beam our antennas to the east for many hours. This affected our results rapidly. You can see them on 70cm and 23cm here. Best DX was with OK1DFC and HB5OK told us, we were his first "G" station on 70 cm!

Our "best result" was then probably the visit of Duxford Air Base museum (there was for example a Spitfire fighter with Czech immatriculation from the Battle of Britain there) and the night hamradio sightseeing tour in London.

We returned back home with the new contest experience and with pleasure, that UHF activity in our continental environment is much better. If we try a contest from G again we have to look for better antennas. We don't consider the 3rd place on 70 cm in the U.K. UHF contest as a win.

After the UHF Contest. From upper left: Matej (OK1TEH), Jann (G8DWQ wife), Jarda (OK2GG), Majka (OK1DYX), Vlada (OK1CW), Lada (OK1DIX), Vladimir (OK1VPZ), Slavek (OK1TN) and Giles (ex G8DWQ)

Vladimir OK1VPZ  -  August 2000


UHF/SHF Contest IARU 1998 - Our results:

* Number of valid QSOs:  152                         Band: 432 MHz *
*                                                                  *
* Best DX: JO60RN  850 km  call: OK1DFC/P      Average: 360 km/QSO * 
*                                                                  *
* Countries worked:                                                *
*  72xDL  38xPA  17xG  14xF   8xON   2xHB   1xOK                   *
*                                                                  * 
* TOTAL SUM OF POINTS:  54858                                      *

 TOP 10            km
 OK1DFC/P JO60RN  850
 HB9CAB/P JN36DA  796
 HB5OK/P  JN47PO  774
 DL4NAC/P JO50XL  754
 DL1WA/P  JO50RK  723
 DK0ES    JN48TN  718
 DK0ALK   JN48AB  674
 DL0GTH   JO50JP  671
 DL4SKF   JN48MW  658
 DK9ZQ/P  JO40XL  623







* Number of valid QSOs:  13                         Band: 1296 MHz *
*                                                                  *
* Best DX: JO31AA  350 km  call: DF0HS/P       Average: 171 km/QSO * 
*                                                                  *
* Countries worked:                                                *
*  6xG   4xPA   2xON   1xDL                                        *
*                                                                  * 
* TOTAL SUM OF POINTS:   2229                                      *

 TOP 5            km
 DF0HS/P  JO31AA 350
 ON4PS/P  JO20KQ 304
 PA0WMX   JO21SM 294
 ON50LVN  JO20EV 263
 PA0ME    JO22OB 254