G3TXF : CQWW 160m CW Contest : Jan 2019
G3TXF Claimed : QSOs : 1,280, DXCC : 77, States/Prov : 37, Points : 867,654, Single-Op Assisted, QRV : 24 hours

The main feature of this year's entry in the CQWW 160m CW Contest was the assembly of a vertical antenna using a 100ft trailer mounted crank-up tower. With a suitable pole in the top, this allowed the vertical section of the 160m antenna to be about 108ft, with the resulting horizontal section being only about 20ft.

The relocation and positioning of the tower together with setting out the fifty odd radials as well as hand-cranking the tower took up much of the week preceeding the CQWW 160 Contest.

The weather is a significant factor at this exposed North Devon location. There were high winds (a local weather station recorded 82mph gusts) over the weekend. The antenna wire snapped during the contest and had to be fixed during the height of the gales.

With the high winds causing the antenna wires to move, there were constant PA trips. Some 25 radials were laid on the ground, in addition to a further 25 radials already buried. The clearest sea take-off is from South West round through West to the North.
Five levels of guying were used which meant that fifteen guys had to be prepared. Once in position the trailer needed to be carefully levelled as the ground was already gently sloping at that point.
There was a long list of nice potential multipliers that were heard (or more likely just "seen" on the RBN screen) but that were not worked.
These included : 4K6FO, 9M6NA, various BYs, C31CT, CE3CT, E2X, HI1LT, various JAs/HLs, KH6LC, KH7B, KL7RA and ZP5DBC.
Conditions on Topband were mediocre. The Far East was unworkable. Only a very small handful of West Coast stations could be worked at close to my SR on the Sunday. The poor conditions were particularly disappointing after working the whole week prior to the contest to build the 160m transmit antenna. This included towing, repositioning and then cranking by hand a 100ft trailer tower. The full-size 160m vertical had about fifty radials on the ground. All in all, a lot of physical antenna work for just one Contest - with lousy conditions!
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