2018 ILLW DA2018LH

2018 ILLW DA2018LH

Hello ham friends,

this report describes our radio activity at the ILLW 2018 from the Island of Fehmarn.
After a successful return to the ILLW in 2017 we decided to join this great and funny event once again in 2018. However, we as the DR2W contest station team decided to retain our call sign nomenclature which we had used on several events in past.  It was not intended to operate in contest style but we didn’t want to take the route of 864km per direction and approximately 8,5 hours of driving with a rental car for only 1000 QSOs.

After the experience one year ago we could improve our setup. We had enough space to erect different antennas for more powerful signals.

We started at first with a huge planning and a lot of different ideas. But in fact after checking our DXPropagation tool on our webpage we cancelled all antenna plans and moved in a totally different direction.  You can’t imagine how many things can go wrong if you don’t discover all details.

Now Mathias was completely in his element. He put up different Excel files showing the equipment and also information material for the potential participants of the ILLW. We applied for the call sign DA2018LH and organized the S-DOK ILLW18. Mathias rattled also with various radio friends since it was really clear that he won’t have all the equipment in stock which was needed for the event.

After a while and some search activities for operators the ILLW2018 team was fixed. The team consisted of DL3DXX Dietmar, DH3WO Wolfgang, DJ2BQ Ewald, DJ2HD Mathias and finally DK1CE Ulmar . Members of our contest group DR2W loaned us as much equipment as needed. Winfried DK9IP lent us an Elecraft K3 and a KPA500. Mathias had his K3 and KPA500 and a lot more. Dietmar brought the ACOM1500 and 2 antennas plus a K3. So we were really well equipped. We also had a replacement TRX, which – thanks God – not had to be used.

The next step was to pack the entire equipment in boxes and finally into the rental car. Here, Mathias had already made a good advance and created the entire packing plan. It was packed and even split up in stations and antennas. So all this had its correct place and so there was no need to carry things around. This was very handy and saved us a lot of time by less walking around and searching for the right part.

The plan of our departure was already fixed. We started on Thursday the 16.08.2017 at 01:00 UTC. The distance to Fehmarn was 864km. Here we had calculated a driving time of 8.5h.

With the approach of the Fehmarnsund Bridge, Fehmarn Island came closer and welcomed us with great sunshine. We were glad to have finally left the night behind us. Firstly we wanted to have a 30 minutes break for the recovery after our arrival. However, everything changed again. Suddenly we were no longer tired and also no longer exhausted and so we went straight to the antenna construction. We had to set our antennas. Two of them are very light and can built up accordingly fast. But our 80m GP with over 800m ground radials and 18m height was an absolute challenge with the gusty wind. In the early evening we had already set up three of the four antennas. The darkness runs quite fast over the island and we couldn’t set up everything like planned. But it wasn’t so bad. We took a focus on setting up the 3 stations inside the building. This took even a lot of time. After Dietmars arrival in the evening we prepared everything to start with the last antenna settings early in the Friday morning. So after hours we finally finished our last set up.

Now we are happy to have a lot of great and powerful antennas around our station.

  1. Logperiodic Antenna 10-20m
  2. Vertical GP with elevated ground radials for 30m
  3. Four Square for 40m
  4. Vertical GP with 800m lying ground radials for 80m

Ewald immediately took care of the IT structure as all laptops in the box number 4 had to be networked and should also log the data’s from all stations and even his one should share the DX-Cluster news to the other network clients. After some minutes it worked excellent. However the only possible internet access via GSM-USB-Stick was annoying and really slow. The DX-Cluster was not a topic but the upload of news or QSOs into Clublog needed huge patience and forced Ewald at every upload.

The radio conditions were very modest and presented themselves exactly as we could already see in our prediction http://dr2w.de/dx-propagation.  The conditions allowed the best pileups only on 40m, 15m and 20m.

The barbecue can’t be missed during such an event the OM who was not operating at the station had to go to sleep or was responsible for the BBQ.

Despite the bad conditions, we were able to work all continents and 95 DXCC. We made 5010 QSO’s in only 49,1h. The share of all QSO’s CW and SSB was as follows.

  1. 89% EU
  2. 7% NA
  3. 3% AS
  4. 1% SA
  5. <1% AF
  6. <1% OC

All QSO’s are uploaded into CLUBLOG and managed by DL3DXX.

At our event there were no failures or other issues. Everything worked to our full satisfaction.

May be we could motivate you to be a part on the next ILLW event to run your own lighthouse or to join a group activity.

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