HF NFD 2014
Members of the West Kent ARS participated in the HF NFD for 2014, once again from Harwarton Farm located near Speldhurst.

This annual CW (Morse code) field day event is held over the first full weekend in June, as a 24hr contest starting at 3pm UTC on Saturday.

This year it began on Saturday the 7th of June for which their had been forecasts for the contests to begin in heavy rain and winds, but thankfully these did not materialise and we enjoyed a lot of sunshine and high temperatures all through.

The photo on the left shows some of the members relaxing in a pre-contest social, but it might have been a strategy meeting.

The location that West Kent ARS members use is well located being that it is local, just a couple of miles from Tonbridge Wells and around four miles from Tonbridge.

Although the height is just around 100m ASL, it does have a fairly clear take off all round and the hill slopes into the Speldhurst valley below.

As this is a working farm, we share the field with some eight horses of differing breeds, who are just inquisitive and took an interest in the members cars, licking the paintwork but fortunately not causing any damage.

In addition to the horses that roam the fields, we also have the company of similar number of cattle, amongst which were four bulls. In the picture to the right their is a highland bull looking straight at the operating tents, or it might have been the red and white tape fluttering in the wind.

The photo on the left is that of the operating position, ready for the contest to get started.

Alex G4FDC and Dave G4OTV were the club members that did the operating for the 24hrs, with support from guest operator Mervyn G4CCQ, who was a past member of the West Kent ARS, and comes along to support us from time to time.

In all the team made just over 400 contacts on the HF bands from 160m to 10m excluding the new WARC ones.

This event was a major step up from the single handed one day operation done by Alex G4FDC last year, and makes another step along the path of West Kent ARS members honing their radio skills with others in this major contest in the annual club event calendar.

Along with the club members who took on the roll of setting up and operating the station, a number of club members dropped by to see the operation and the lend their moral support by so doing.

Congratulations and thanks to our operators for their efforts over the 24hrs and we now wait to see how we scored when the entries have all been judged.