SSB Field Days 1998 - 2000

SSB Field Day 1998

By 1998 this time the group was using a site on Lansdown owned by Bath Race Course for both CW and SSB Field Days. We borrowed two mobile Varestowers from the Local Authority Emergency Services. Though we had reasonable success between 1994 and 1997, we had not won SSB Field Day.

A few weeks before the contest we found a way to get right to the edge of the escarpments that overlook Bath to the south east and Bristol to the west. With two beams we could cover 270 degrees off the sides of the hills. This is what it looked like from the main tower...

NFD Station

L to R: Stuart G0KDS, Dave G4NKT, Robin G3TKF and Colin G3YHV.

The DX kept rolling in on 20m and 15m. 20 metres was open almost all night to the USA including a lot of west coast stations and even Hawaii. VK and ZL were coming through strongly in the morning (over 40 worked). 15 metres opened up for hours to Japan and Korea during the day especially near the end when we worked 60 in the last hour (170 JAs altogether).

Even the weather was good to us. We were promised a gale for the weekend so we didn't put the antennas up to full height, but luckily it didn't show up.

Result: WON the Open Section and Northumbria Trophy

SSB Field Day 1999

Conditions were not so good this year, particularly on 15m. Last year we were working into North America up to about 2300z, but this time we had to drop back to 20m before 1800z. On 10m all the DX was equatorial with the exception of a brief opening to JA right at the start of the contest. On a positive note, the extra effort we put into hunting for multipliers seems to have paid off.

The warm weather brought out the weekend walkers. As our 100ft tower was situated right next to a view point we got a lot of attention from the general public. So many people wanted to know what we were up to that we thought we would get some information sheets printed next year and charge an entrance fee..

Result: WON the Open Section and Northumbria Trophy again


Field Day antennas on Lansdown

SSB Field Day 2000

This year we managed to find another location on the edge of the escarpment. Once again the excellent takeoff from our site was our greatest asset. We are quite sure 20m was closed at some time during the night for most other stations, but we were able to work into North America all night. To quote one W7: "What are you guys using ? You're 10dB over S9 and we can only hear one other G who's running around S3." It's amazing what a bit of height and sloping ground can do.

So the problem became, how much time to spend on the LF bands ? Having got fed up of the noise on LF in previous years Neil, M0AXF, built some beverages to use on 80m and 40m. Unfortunately conditions on LF didn't seem great - only a few North Americans worked on 80m, and TI4CF, was his normal booming signal.

Japan was the main atraction on 15m. So long as we gave our age for the All Asia contest, as well as serial number, everyone was happy.

  • Location: Lansdown - next to fire brigade
  • Rig: TX/RX FT1000
  • Antennas: 2 x A3S TRIBANDERS EACH AT 80FT, 2 X 40M SLOPERS, 80M DELTA LOOP, 80M DIPOLE, Beverages for receive
  • perators: G3XSV, G0WKW, M0AXF, G0KDS, G4NKT, G6FFR

Result: We won the Open Section and Northumbria Trophy again