The 2019 Camb-Hams DX’Pedition is over, and to me this year again clearly demonstrates how much easier VHF is from the right location. This year, with little Sporadic E, GT3PYE/P managed 160x QSOs on 6m, 24x QSOs on 4m & 130x QSOs on 2m, including those made in the UKAC, but not the MGMAC, events.
In the Islay DX’Pedition last year, we managed more 6m QSOs, due to better Sporadic E propagation, but we only managed 27x QSOs on 2m. The increased QSOs on VHF are mainly due to the Isle of Man being further south than any other DX’Pedition location we have operated from in the past, further south by the following amounts:
- 166km further south than Arran (2011 & 2016).
- 200km further south than Islay (2017 & 2018).
- 270km further south than Mull (2008, 2012, 2013 & 2015).
- 460km further south than Harris (2010 & 2011).
What is also evident, is the increased activity of MGM on 2m, this is great to see, and mixed with the more southerly location, it certainly kept us busier on 2m than previous years.
We were QRV on QO-100 from the day we arrived and on LEO satellites for the last few days. We used SatPC32 to drive George M1GEO’s IC-9700 (with the CI-V address set to 60h, that of the IC-910) on LEO sats which after some configuring the contrast of the SDR waterfall turned out to be a very usable combination, although the number of QSOs was limited the site was surrounded by tall trees and a few buildings which would have blocked much of the signals. Last year I built a phase switch box for the satellite system and this year it again proved its worth.
I’ll update this post & add more thoughts regarding the 2019 DX’Pedition as they come to mind.