2M Practical Wireless QRP contest at The British

trig point at the British


My amateur radio club (Newport Amateur Radio Society) entered the Practical Wireless 2M QSP contest on 11th June which of course needed someone to scout the proposed location for suitability, and so the day before the contest I headed up to a gorgeous spot on the southern side of the southern Brecon Beacons called The British. It’s not really remote, but it is remote enough to appear to be in the middle of nowhere, being several miles from the nearest village, and a whopping 1,500′ in elevation – so a great take-off for the 2M contest… or so we thought!

Whilst I was there on the scouting mission I decided to have a little off-road adventure which was fun, but I have since discovered that despite my little motorcycle being an adventure model and more than suited to venturing off road, I am not at all good at any form of off-road riding and don’t think I will be having another bash at this any time soon!

unwelcome screw in tyre
Screw in tyre

I just about managed to remain in the seat and not fall off, but found this very difficult ending up wobbling all over the place. Kudos to any riders who make off roading look like an art form, I give you full credit for what you can do – if only I’d have had my helmet camera turned on, I am certain it would have made for entertaining viewing!

Whilst I didn’t find my off roading abilities, I did manage to find an unwelcome visitor in the form of this darned screw collected somewhere whilst off roading. I have no idea if this is a short one or a long one, either way it needs to come out – not by my hand though!! Not had time to get this repaired for a few days but I will be taking a visit to my local tyre repair centre ensuring this gets repaired today – update in next blog.

inside the van
450w solar panels

If conditions allow, I will always try a little radio play and duly set up the slim-jim on my telescopic pole and made a few contacts. Plenty of local activity with fellow club members, and a few more afar, so things were looking good for the next days 2M QSP contest. Thanks to Gareth, MW1DCF we were equipped with 450W of solar power and an equally impressive van within which to operate, several members arrived early on the morning of the contest to help set up.

Conditions were not perfect for 2M, and did we manage to make enough QSO’s to warrant the effort – I guess we will just have to wait and see how we did.

It sure is a beautiful location, but I am not convinced on it being suitable for the 360˚ angle of coverage best suited for contests because many stations were returning serial numbers orders of magnitude above our current serial number. Now I am not talking twice the number, I am talking 5 or 6 times the number, which is just so baffling – with one station returning serial numbers in excess of 150. So, if there were that many stations participating in the event at the time and the contest is QRP i.e. 5W at the output of the radio, then the main limiting factors are actual location (density of participants), height of station above sea level, range of the angle of coverage, and antenna gain. In any event a great day was had by the club members who attended.

club members participating in the contest

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