For the first time in some years and with a respectable sunspot count of over 100, I decided to enter a worldwide amateur radio contest - this is the annual CQ WW CW Contest which always takes place over the last weekend in November. CQ is an American Ham Radio magazine, so it comes as no surprise that the contest falls around the time of their Thansgiving Day Bank Holiday. It also happens around the time of my birthday - the 28th November - this time round I was 68 on the Saturday of the contest. With the current lockdown in England there was no better time to take part in a 48 hour contest - although I would only operate during daytime hours.
When I was younger I would take part in most of the worldwide contests and try to stay awake and operate for the full 48 hours. This just isn't possible for various reasons now so an entry on the 10m band when there is propagation mostly during daylight seemed appropriate. So what equipment should I use?
Ideally a dedicated antenna, such as a 5 element yagi built for the 10m band would be ideal, however this was not possible so I used my every day antenna - the multiband G3TXQ Hexbeam which on 10 metres is claimed by its maker MW0JZE to produce 3.6 dBd gain with a front to back ratio of 16 dB. The rotatable Hexbeam is fed with Ecoflex 15 coaxial cable and it is fixed at 12m above ground on a Tennamast. It is rotated above a 4m/6m yagi by a Yaesu G-1000DXC motor: