The 4th edition of the Ferry Contest will soon be here. For those intending to participate please refer to the pages on our website which outline the rules and conduct of the event (Ferry Contest 2019).
Now is the time to dust off the handhelds, charge the batteries, read the rules, plan an approach and study the map. Alternatively you can just turn up on the day for a bit of fun playing radio and travelling our beautiful harbour. The Opal card has a $2.70 cap on Sundays with a slightly lesser charge for seniors.
The weather forecast is currently predicting a temperature from 19-28 C, partly cloudy and with light winds. The chance of rain is 0%. Follow the forecasts at the bureau of meteorology. Being a reformed optimist I shall pack sunscreen, a hat and a rain jacket to cover all options. It can be quite warm on the day. A water bottle is recommended.
For those arriving before the official commencement of the contest at 10:00 am there is the opportunity to check in to the club station which will be operating on our Paddington Repeater (147.025 +600 91.5 Hz) to enter the draw for a fabulous prize. The club station will also make regular broadcasts throughout the day and be available for contacts on the advertised simplex channels.
In addition, to celebrate our centenary, the special event station with callsign VI2BV100 will be operating randomly throughout the day. A contact will add 20 points and earn a special event QSL card. Achieving 5 contacts, each from a different location, will add a “centenary” of points to your final score.
I will be present at Circular Quay between 8:30 and 10:00 and will be watching out for individuals with visible antennas as well as listening on the Paddington repeater. This is a good chance to say hello, ask any last minute questions and gather an additional eyeball contact at the start of the contest.
In case nobody noticed the Ferry Contest is on this Sunday 12th March (10:00 – 16:00)! For those who are contemplating their preparation here are some ideas:
Dust off the radio(s) and check their operation Charge batteries and spare batteries Program the suggested frequencies Print log sheets Study the ferry map and timetable Read the contest rules
What to Bring
Handheld 2m/70cm Radio (+ backup radio if you have one) Extension microphone, headset or earpiece Extra battery QSL cards (Ferry Contest QSL cards are available on the day) Log sheets Pens/Pencil Ferry Map Ferry Timetables Opal Card ($2.50 all day!)
Backpack Rain jacket (for the strange March weather) Hat Sun glasses Sunscreen Water bottle – can fill on some ferries and wharves Snacks and/or loose change for coffee Camera for those unique Ferry Contest Moments
Maps and Timetables
Detailed maps and timetables are available from the Transport NSW website (http://www.transportnsw.info). It is important to refer to the Sunday timetables as there is significant variation in the timing of operation from weekdays on most of the routes.
The Opal card will provide the most cost-effective fare structure because of the $2.50 cap. Details of the Opal card can be found at the Opal card website (https://www.opal.com.au).
The club is planning a country DX station operation for the Oceania DX SSB Contest from 01-02OCT at a rural property near Robertson NSW, about 2 hours south of Sydney. Members are invited to join the contest operation and take this opportunity to participate in an easy international DX contest, where the DX is listening for Oceania stations – that’s us! Further information has been sent via the club email list.
I am looking forward to the Ferry Contest tomorrow. Only a few hours to go. I was thinking about packing my bags and what I should include. The weather looks like it could be hot at around 29 degrees and there is always a risk of a late shower or storm. With that in mind here is my list below.
God luck for those who are participating. I hope to hear you during the day.
On Australia Day, Australian amateur radio operators are allowed to use the special call sign prefix AX in lieu of the normal VK prefix. For NSW amateurs the special prefix is AX2 followed by letters of your callsign.
Celebrate Australia Day on Tuesday 26th January 2016 by using the AX prefix call sign.