• RSGB – 432MHz Trophy Championship Contest

    On May 7th 2016 from 14:00UTC – 22:00UTC the 432MHz Trophy Championship contest took place.

    For this contest our Team consisted of Blacksheep members: Nick G4FAT, Andy M0MUX, Bill M0BTZ, Matt G0XDI and Pat EI5IX / M0XII. Band conditions were variable with a lot of QSB and a high noise floor that certainly didn’t help but all in all it was a fun weekend with some fantastic weather about on the south east coast of the UK.

    We finished with a claimed score of 109 QSO’s 34,137 points and our ODX was DL7AFB at 824Km.


    2 x 21ele 


    4 x 17ele

    G0XDI & M0XII

    Matt G0XDI and Pat EI5IX / M0XII 

    G0XDI & M0MUX

    Matt G0XDI & Andy M0MUX

    M0XII & M0BTZ

    Pat EI5IX / M0XII & Bill M0BTZ

    Thanks to all for the QSO’s hope to see you in the next one. 73 

  • RSGB – 432MHz AFS Contest 2016

    This was the first RSGB contest that we entered for 2016 out portable. This was an Affiliated Societies contest and was open to both individual entrants (who must be RSGB members), and to teams made up of a number of operators who must all be members of the same affiliated society, but not necessarily RSGB members themselves. So an affiliated group effort was required for this contest and we managed to get a team together under The Blacksheep CG which consisted of Single Fixed Operators & Portable Operators: Roger G3MEH, John G0ODQ were Single Fixed op’s and out portable were  Pat M0XII/P and M0BAA/P (Andy M0MUX, Bill M0BTZ, Matt G0XDI and Nick G4FAT).

    The contest started at 09:00UTC and ended at 13:00UTC. There were very very windy weather conditions let alone poor band conditions with heavy QSB at times, Thankfully everything worked okay for us on the Isle of Sheppey at JO01KJ.

    We finished this contest under M0BAA/P with a claimed score of 21,727 points at 241 points per QSO and managed to work 90 QSO’s. Our ODX was 625Km with GM4JTJ, Thanks to all for the QSO’s and Points during the contest, looking forward to our next one.


    L>R: Andy M0MUX (KST’ing), Matt G0XDI (Eating) & Bill M0BTZ (Operating) & Nick G4FAT (Photographing)


  • RSGB VHF Championship 2015

    Delighted to announce that the Blacksheep Contest and DX Group have won the 2015 RSGB VHF/UHF Championship for both SSB & CW and what an amazing year it has been too. We would like to thank you for all the QSO’s and points you gave us throughout 2015 it was very much appreciated and we are looking forward to working you in future contests.

    73 from all at the Blacksheep CG


    VHF Championship 2015

  • RSGB VHF CW Championship 2015

    This is the fourth year that this CW Championship has been running and it includes the 50MHz CW, the 70MHz CW and the 144 MHz CW contests.

    The entry level for the VHF CW Championship has remained strong with 65 stations entering this year (70 in 2012, 65 in 2013, 57 in 2014). The results continue to demonstrate that CW on VHF benefits DX and local contacts under marginal conditions and with simple stations. A good crossover with many HF CW operators is also apparent.

    Congratulations and certificates go to:

    Open section: The Blacksheep CG (M0BAA/P & G8T) in first place,

    Single Fixed : G3MEH operated by G3XZG in first place ,G7RAU in second place ,

    Low power: G4XPE in first place, followed by G4RYV

    VHF Cw Championship

  • RSGB – 144 MHz AFS 2015 Contest

    On the 6th of December 2015 from 10:00UTC -16:00UTC the 144MHz AFS contest took place. The Affiliated Societies contests are open to both individual entrants (who must be RSGB members), and to teams made up of a number of operators who must all be members of the same affiliated society, but not necessarily RSGB members themselves. The results from the 6m, 2m and 70cm Affiliated Society contests contribute to the AFS Super League. All members of a team must operate from within 80Km of the Virtual Meeting Place of the society and must be within the UK. No station may represent more than one society. No operator is allowed to use more than one callsign during the contest.

    In the case of national societies, each team must define a separate virtual meeting place, and each team member must operate within 80Km of that designated meeting place. So with this The Blacksheep Contest and DX Group which is an affiliated group of the RSGB had 4 stations taking part in this years event.

    The 4 stations making up Team Blacksheep consisted of Roger G3MEH from his QTH at IO91QS, John G0ODQ from his QTH at IO91NQ and M0XII/P (Matt G0XDI and Pat EI5IX / M0XII) from a portable location on The Chiltern Hills at IO91MP and the M0BAA/P Team (Andy 2E0IBF, Bill M0BTZ, Nick G4FAT and Mike G8TIC) from Isle of Sheppey at JO01KJ

    The contest started at 10:00UTC and finished at 16:00UTC the weather conditions were wet and very, very, windy 50-60Mph at times but we managed to get a dry spell to put up the antennas up and get our station together for the contest. There was flat band conditions with no tropo and we were lucky to get our ODX within first hour of the contest which was at end of French contest. Otherwise unspectacular and we just kept grinding away at QSO’s where we managed to get 232 QSO’s at the end of the contest with 66,238 Total points and our ODX was F4CWN at 872Km.


    M0BAA/P Station


    Mike G8TIC operating M0BAA/P station


    Andy 2E0IBF operating with Bill M0BTZ the M0BAA/P Station.
    Photos by Nick G4FAT.
    Thanks to all who called us and Thanks to all for the points, we are looking forward to working you in next years VHF/UHF contest.


    UPDATE 23/12/2015


    144 MHz AFS 2015

    The number of entries for this event fell by 9% compared to the 2014 record entry level. This may well be as a result of Storm Desmond putting people off. Many of those who did take part had their masts at reduced height. The nineteen portable stations across the country had torrential rain and high strength winds until the storm died away during the contest. Forty seven clubs took part of which nine fielded a “B” team.

    Many entrants commented that the conditions were flat at best and challenging at worst. Conditions did appear to generally improve as the event progressed. The QSB was described as “wicked” and numerous comments described the increasing problem of higher noise levels. The overlap with the French contest during the first hour was exploited well by those placed nearer the south coast.

    In total there were 397 stations recorded in the logs in 62 squares (including 21 UK squares). Outside of the UK there were 12 DL, 1 EI, 55 F, 2 HB9, 1LX, 8 ON and 16 PA logged.  The best DX was between M0BAA/P (JO01) and F4CWN at 872 kms. There were 84 QSOs greater than 600kms of which 23 were greater than 700kms and 8 were greater than 800 kms.

    A number of entrants commented on the lack of activity later in the event. However, 12% of QSOs took place in the fifth hour and 12.7% in the final hour! The current levels of activity support a six hour event and the current timings are probably the best compromise to allow portable stations to set up and take down mainly in daylight. However, comments are welcomed to the adjudicator.

    Given the difficult conditions, logging standards were slightly better than average with 4.4% of QSOs being disallowed during adjudication.  A number of leading stations lost less than 2% of their claimed scores which is a target for entrants to aim at. As logging errors were equally spread across callsigns, locators, signal reports and serial numbers it is worth remembering that all elements of the QSO are checked.

    In the club competition we have a new winner – the Blacksheep CG who win the G3MEH Trophy relegating Bristol CG “A” into the runners up spot.

    In the individual sections congratulations go to:

    • M0BAA/P (operated by 2E0IBF, G4FAT, G8TIC and M0BTZ) for winning the Open Section;
    • G8NEY/P (operated by 2E0NEY and M0GHZ) for second place in the Open Section;
    • Dave, G7RAU for winning the SF section for the second year running;
    • Richard GD8EXI for second place in the SF section;
    • Arthur 2E0RTY/P  as the leading intermediate entrant in the Open section;
    • Steven 2W0JYN as the leading intermediate entrant in the SF section;
    • Andrew G4HVC as the leading fixed station running 25 watts or less into a single antenna;
    • Jacques F1BHL/P as the leading non-UK station in the Open section;
    • Frank, PE1EWR as the leading non-UK station in the SF section.

    Sadly there were no Foundation level entrants.

    Roger – G4BVY



  • RSGB AFS 1.8MHz SSB Contest November 2015

    On the 14th of November the RSGB AFS 1.8MHz SSB Contest took place from 20:00 – 23:00UTC, we were at our VHF/UHF contest site on the Isle of Sheppey.

    For this contest our Team consisted of Blacksheep members: Nick G4FAT, Bill M0BTZ and Pat EI5IX / M0XII using our club callsign MX0BAA as the Club HQ during the contest. Roger G3MEH and John G0ODQ were also on the band from their own QTH’s as Club Members of the Blacksheep Contest & DX Group.

    Weather conditions were very wet and windy on the Saturday but it didn’t stop Nick and Bill getting the antennas up just before darkness set in at 17:30UTC. The Antennas selected for this contest was a 270ft Doublet antenna in an Inverted V configuration, we also tried a Sloper antenna on a fiberglass pole off the top of the Tower approx 90ft from ground, the Transceiver used this time around was a Yaesu FTDX5000MP at 30w with a M0BTZ Homemade ATU.


    270ft Doublet & 160m Sloper in the wind


    Looking up the tower at 160m Antennas the next morning.


    Pat EI5IX / M0XII Testing the DX conditions on the bands before the contest.
    AFS2Bill M0BTZ as MX0BAA in the 160m AFS Contest

    AFS5Bill M0BTZ & Pat EI5IX / M0XII under callsign MX0BAA in the AFS Contest on 160m
    We finished this contest at 23:00UTC on the 14th with a claimed score of 123 QSO and 1559 points, We contacted 7 DXCC entities and found that there was excellent activity on the band, Thanks again to everyone who gave us points during the contest it was an enjoyable event, looking forward to the next one.

  • IARU / RSGB Marconi 144Mhz CW Contest 2015

    On November 7th & 8th the IARU & RSGB – 144 MHz International Marconi CW Contest took place for 24 hours 14:00 – 14:00 UTC. The Team arrived on site later than planned due to work commitments which delayed setting out by several hours, Traffic on the roads to our site at JO01KJ, etc. so we didn’t do a huge amount of work on Friday afternoon as we only had about 2 hours of light left. Most of the work was done before the contest on the Saturday morning.


    The station comprised 2 x Elecraft K3/10 + homebrew transverter, SSPA and pre-amps. The IF output from No.1 antenna system (facing EU) was split and also fed to an Anan/Angelia SDR board with CuSDR and PowerSDR/CW-Skimmer.

    We put up two identical antenna systems – each was 2 x 10-el DK7ZB yagis vertically stacked about 15ft apart on top of a 60ft Versatower. This was all we fancied doing in the 30-50Mph gusting winds, scrawly showers and rain that we had to contend with… at our site just walking around in the field for five minutes you grew in height 2-3 inches due to the mud on your boots!


    The Group putting together Tower 2


    2 x 10ele DK7ZB on Tower 2


    2 x 10ele DK7ZB on Tower 1

    Our claimed score is here:


    Summary: 342 QSOs, 193,176 points, 565 points/QSO. Best DX OM3RBS in
    JN98KJ QRB 1329Km.


    marconi 2

    Activity levels throughout the contest

    Conditions were flat on the Saturday towards EU and activity was very low from the UK. Initial QSO distances were in line with those expected of our site with many German stations in JN48 /JN49/ JO50. As Sunday arrived were experienced minor/moderate Tropo inline with Hepburn and F5LEN Tropo predictions and distances increased to work JO73, JO90 ranges.

    Through the night conditions improved slightly and/or QRM dropped and we worked over 50 x OL, OK, OM, OE and SP stations with many distances over 800Km.

    It became clear that the centre of activity for this event was Czech Republic/Austria/Slovakia/Hungry from where all the lines could be seen crossing on DXmaps.com. We also found that we (and other larger UK stations) were on the “western edge” of what was reachable to many of the stations in EU and hence it was quite common for pile-ups of DL/DK stations with the odd OK/OE/OM somewhere in the mix.

    To give people an idea of what the contest looked like here is a screen grab from the SDR mid-morning today (Sunday) on the 2 x 10el facing EU:


    We did spend a considerable amount of time with the antennas facing in-land panning them around between GM, GI, EI, GW on Sunday and worked most of the “usual suspects” – we think that the only one that got away was Clive, GM4VVX which was a combination of QSB and bad timing.

    On this occasion the BlackSheep were Pat EI5IX/M0XII, Bill M0BTZ, Nick G4FAT, Andy 2E0IBF and myself Mike G8TIC. Pat is our hero and “CW Axeman” and did about 95% of the operating (no sleep) the rest of us just filled in the odd gaps for a comfort break! Most of the time the station was manned with three operators, one for each radio and one on SDR/DX cluster/KST.

    Thanks to everyone that called us and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

    We hope to work you in the next contest.


    Mike G8TIC



    UPDATE 05 / 12 / 2015


    144MHz Marconi CW 2015

    A record number of entries was received this year 42, beating the previous record of 28.

    The contest was again beset with bad weather but had good VHF conditions to the east on the Sunday, but not so good on Saturday. Those who chose Saturday in the 6 hours section certainly lost out to the Sunday entrants.

    The Single Operator Fixed section was won by Dave G7RAU from the Isle of Wight, with G0JJG runner-up.

    The Open section was won by G8T, the Blacksheep contest group, with a fine antenna setup and many eastern Dx contacts. Sadly they were the only Open entrant

    Jeremy Brown, G3XZG, operated the G3MEH station again this year, and won the 6 hour Single Operator Fixed section. G4ZTR was runner-up.

    John Cockrill, of the Northampton club G4CZB/P, was again the winner in the 6 hour Open section. G3TCU/P was runner up .

    Other certificate winners:

    G0OOG leading station running 25W or less to a single antenna in SF section

    G4HVC leading station running 25W or less to a single antenna in 6S section

    No leading foundation or intermediate station certificates were awarded due to lack of entries being received for these categories.

    The leading overseas entry was ON4KMB .

    This contest was the final event in the VHF CW Championship.

    Mike G3VYI

    144Mhz CW Marconi 2015

  • RSGB Convention 2015

    The RSGB 2015 Convention held between the 10th & 11th of October 2015 was at Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre in Milton Keynes. There was plenty to choose from over the weekend whatever your interest whether that’s Contesting, DXing, Technical matters or Computing in radio. It is also fantastic opportunity to meet up with some familiar faces and new one’s too. On Sunday the 11th of October the VHF Trophy presentation took place where members of the Blacksheep Contest & DX Group received some silverware.

    Blacksheep Group

    Back L>R:  John G0ODQ, Bill M0BTZ, Andy 2E0IBF, Matt G0XDI, Mike G8TIC, Dave G7RAU, Roger G3MEH.

    Front L>R: Pat EI5IX / M0XII & Rohan M6TIC.

  • 144MHz IARU / RSGB Trophy Contest – September 2015

    On September 5th & 6th the RSGB & IARU R1 – 144 MHz International Trophy Contest took place.
    The BlackSheep Contest and DX Group were out under the callsign “G8T” from Locator square JO01KJ.

    Conditions were flat to poor over the weekend with high winds at times along with no tropo conditions, harder work than usual with deep QSB on some QSOs.
    We finished with a claimed score of 699 QSO’s 271,931 points and our ODX was OE2M at 967Km.
    Thanks to all who called us over throughout the weekend.


    G8T Station



    L>R: “2E0IBF Andy, G8TIC Mike, M0BTZ Bill, G0XDI Matt, EI5IX/M0XII Pat, M6TIC Rohan, G4FAT Nick (Taking Photo)