WRTC 2018 organizers conducted a second round of station testing June 23-25. The effort involved more than 100 volunteers, who set up 15 Field Day-style stations in the Jessen-Wittenberg area of Germany where the international competition will take place in a little more than 1 year from now. Joining the locals were amateurs from Bavaria, the North and Baltic sea regions, and the extreme reaches of western Germany. Organizers said that some familiar faces from the 2016 testing were once again on board, and many excited contesters ranging from 20 to 80 years old, were looked on. Four transporters were needed to move the necessary materials into place at the 15 sites. In addition to the large parts such as masts, SpiderBeams, tents, coax cable, and generators were many tools and small parts.
“At all sites antennas and infrastructure were set up without any major problems. The wind did make antenna construction somewhat more difficult, but luckily the weather was sunny and dry,” a follow-on report on the testing recounted. “The setup process was difficult work, requiring a lot of concentration to make sure all elements and parts went into the right places. Once stations were set up, they took to the air, using a different 2 × 1 call sign for each site.
The testing also included a dry run for an online scoreboard, the use of online media such as Hamnet and Facebook, and logistics. WRTC 2018 team member Michael Hoeding, DL6MHW, said the team took notes, compiled a list of some 200 ideas, and suggested a few improvements, “but nothing was critical.”
WRTC 2018 will involve operation by two-operator teams from upward of 60 individual sites. The event will coincide with the July 2018 running of the IARU HF Championship, although the competition will follow its own set of rules.
“The mixture of hard work and ham radio operating inspired enthusiasm in many faces. New friendships were made and many ideas were born,” the report summary said.