Ham radio contest – what is it?

As I described in one of the last posts, I’m a licensed ham radio operator. So I’m interested  in all types of ham radio activities. Very popular is “contesting”, which means to attend a competition. In a given time (e.g. 24 hours) and frequency range you need to make as many 2 way communications as possible with other radio stations attending the competition.

Ham Radio contest contacts across Europe

Last weekend we had the chance to watch a group of very professional operators to participate in such a contest.

They had chosen a very good spot for the frequency of 144 MHz which had to be used for this contest: Traisner Hütte at Muckenkogel, Austria. This mountain hut lies at 1.313 meters and has open view in all directions, which is an important criterium.

They had transported a lot of equipment there and had set up 6 different antennas and a shack with all the necessary equipment.

It was just a pity that the weather decided to show its worst side: rain, thunder and fog were poorly conditions for radio communication.

We arrived at a parking in the late afternoon and were picked up by OE3FTA so we didn’t have to walk the last 6 km.

The mood was not very happy as they were struggling due to the bad weather. Everybody was checking the situation on their phones, as the points of every team were instantly transmitted.

We spent a very calm night at the parking while 2 operators where in the shack the whole night trying to make contacts.

The next day we walked up the Muckenkogel again, which took as about 1,5 hours. The weather had not improved and it was foggy and wet. The team was on the fourth place from about 1.400 participants, which I would think a big success but they were not happy. In the end they reached the third place against stations which had not to struggle with the weather so I think they were amazing!

Here some pictures of this event:

Traisner Hütte provided food and beverages for the team

The shack
OE3VVU checking the results

Setting up the antennas

Parking half the way up the Muckenkogel
Cows had to be chased from the antennas, so they wouldn’t take them down.
Colchicum autumnale – “Herbstzeitlose” in German
Hiking up through the fog
View from the hut – normally really impressive
Antennas hiding in the fog

Antenna farm Traisnerhütte @ Muckenkugel

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