We started preparing for the IARU VHR Contest several weeks in advance. We really wanted to make more than 20 connections in the contest. :) The result of 92 connections and 28 thousand points is our best result we have achieved in our short modern history. However, we still feel we can do better. We are constantly looking for a competitive spot and improving our antennas.
We planned to go to the contest with a triplet from an 8el. DG7YBN and finally set off for Kojšovská hoľa (1,246 m.a.s.l.). We didn’t succeed in either. While we managed to build the antennas, our plans were thwarted by a combiner and the weather. We couldn’t construct the combiner, having ordered it at the last minute, it didn’t arrive for the time of the race, and as for the weather – you all know what it was like. Rain and night-time temperatures at higher elevations were somewhere around 6°C. At the last moment, we decided to go to a place right next to the hill Hŕbok (530 m.a.s.l.) above the village of Kavečany, part of Košice, taking just one 9el. DG7YBN with us, which we had already tested in the Ondrej Oravec Memorial. At night, I started to regret that we hadn’t gone to Kojšovská hoľa instead, because the weather conditions we exactly the same. We were in clouds all night and it kept raining heavily with strong winds in some places.
Mounting the antenna on an 11-meter-high mast was really difficult. You can watch the process of the construction in the following video. We almost bent the mast. Well, I’m not sure, but if we could have taken the triplet with us, we probably wouldn’t have been able to put it up at all. :)
Dušan, OM3WAK, started the contest as usual and our new member Rudo, OM8ATS, helped. Rudo has been a great addition to our small group and we are looking forward to the next contest with him. I quickly showed Rudo how to operate and write the connections in the computer contest log. I, OM8WG, picked up the baton at 10 p.m. our time and pulled through until the morning with Miro Šmelko. Dušan and Rudo kept working on the SSB and I focused on CW operation. All throughout the night, Miro worked on skeds on the KST chat, thanks to which we were able to make many connections over 500 km. We were pleased with a string of four Bulgarians over 700 km and were finally able to connect with IQ5NN, which was our ODX (883 km). To the west, Kojšovská hoľa was in the way and, of course, we didn’t hear much. We did only 6 OK stations, the very minimum of our stations from the western part of Slovakia says it all. We did well in the south and the southwest, but from what I can see on the map of already recorded station logs from the east of Slovakia, I don’t think we did all that we could in this direction. We finished the race at 1 p.m., because we wanted to avoid packing up in the rain that was coming. Having packed everything up, the clouds disappeared, and the sun came up.
And what are our race statistics?
Total number of connections: 92
Total number of points: 28 093
Number of countries: 12 (25xOM, 14xYO, 10xHG, 9xS5, 6x9A, 6xOK, 6xYU, 5UR, 4xLZ, 4xSP, 2xOE, 1xI)
Number of locators: 35
Transciever: YAESU FT-857
Antenna: 9el DG7YBN
Finally, I would like to thank the boys from OM3KSI, and Janko Bača for lending us the van again. To give you a better idea of the atmosphere during the contest, I include a few photos.