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Soapbox for 2022
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Thanks to W1RGA/R for providing many contacts. Conditions were bad. Best DX was W8ZN at 704 KM on 222 MHz CW.
Used Quartz Mountain for my drive-up portable operation. Overall I have positive memories even though this was a very slow contest with not a lot of stations. Achieved a new personal distance record on 1296. Made 23 contacts on 3 bands (222,432,1296) with 11 stations. Was active for 6+ hours. Thanks everyone!
Operated single band on 222 MHz with a barefoot IC-375A (30 watts) and 10-element M2 Yagi at 30 feet with an ARR mast mount preamp. With that small station I stuck to FT8. I did hear one station on SSB but he disappeared without identifying. Thanks to WB8LYJ/R I got one new grid (EM75) toward 222 MHz VUCC. I ran a sked with a local on 223.5 FM but I could not hear his 5 watt HT. My best distance from middle Tennessee was with N0URW in EN41GO at 662 km. I did not find any tropo enhancements for DX propagation. Unfortunately my antenna SWR shot up to 5:1 for no apparent reason on Saturday night, and that was the end of my operation.
My rover had just two bands for this contest, 222 and 432, but more gain and more power than last year when I had four bands but about 20db less signal. I intended to activate four (4-digit) grids around a grid corner on Saturday, but with the lack of activity and 100+ heat index I gave up after just two grids and 17 contacts. I saw more contacts on Sunday when I activated my home grid around noon, also making my longest contact of 300 miles on 432 FT8. I'm grateful to superstations W8ZN, K1TEO, and N3NGE for almost half my contacts by being willing to make a sched even though I can only give two bands.
I operated portable from FN12fs. Peter, VA3ELE, and I were attempting another long 47 GHz QSO, but the conditions were flat. Glad to work a few others on 10 and 24 GHz during the short time that I was on the air!
Where was everyone !
Thanks to Mel (KC0P/R) and Carol (N0HZO/R) for the majority of my QSOs. I really miss the past high activity levels from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Overall, a fun contest and I was still able to get some stuff done around the house. My 902/1296 systems were working great! Days leading up to the contest we had excellent tropo conditions. I was able to work W0LGQ EN21 up through 1296 with S9 signals and worked down to MO, OK, and KS. Come contest time, we had a storm/rain front roll through and destroyed it! So close to having a banger! I could only work W0LGQ on 222 FT8 and he was weak. Best DX was: 222: W0LGQ EN21 @ 327 miles (FT8) 432: VE4MA EN19 @ 438 miles (Q65) 902: K2DRH EN41 @ 221 miles (CW) 1296: K2DRH EN41 @ 221 miles (CW) Thanks to the following stations for getting on and working me! KC0P/R, N0HZO/R, N0AKC, W0ZQ, N0HJZ, KA0PQW, W0GHZ, N0UK, W0ZF, VE4MA, K0AWU, K2DRH, N9CIQ, K9WKJ, KG0VL, W0LGQ, AA9D, AA9MY, N9UM. K9MU Station: Elecraft K3 IF - no LNAs: 222: DS 12 element yagi, 80 watts Mirage amp, DEMI transverter 432: M2 38 element yagi, 50 watts, DEMI transverter 902: DS 33 element looper, 110w Cellwave amp, DEMI transverter 1296: DS 45 element looper, 120w W6PQL amp, Q5 Signals transverter Let's hope for a good September contest! Get on, CQ, use our online resources to coordinate, make some QSOs, have fun! 73, Justin, K9MU EN44ht
Slow contest. Maybe it's time to refink the test. the bands were open days before the test and that seems to happen mor offten then not. So maybe an activity week would work better. Thanks 73 Matt ka0ppqw
For the Distance contest we planned a Rover Route to circle past 2 grid square corners to stretch the distance back to MSP & Eau Claire, WI. This included the corner at St. Charles, MN & West Union, IA. Potential bonus was getting close enough to add Madison, WI & Chicago Suburbs. Best early DX was EN33wx to EN37ed 236 mi/377 km. Three bands on SSB. Biggest surprise was hearing K0AWU in mi/245km) on 222MHz when we were in EN42bw ! Record distance of 305mi/488km. At last half hour of contest when all the fixed stations have already worked all/ everybody they can hear, if a rover shows up in a new grid, its Fresh Meat & starts A feeding frenzy. Fun to be the DX and work the long haul stuff. Stretching the distance worked, Madison & Chicago never showed up.
This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I'd love to see this contest revert back to the original UHF contest rules. Why? 1) Local activity has tanked. The motivation for serious competitors to use the local non-ideal grid corner is now zero with distant scoring. 1B) Casual operators are nowhere to be found. I believe strongly linked to point 1. Are we satisfied that the changes made to this contest were actually beneficial?
It is a beautiful view across the Upper Iowa River valley at Hanover, IA. Everyone was kind and helpful to us in Iowa. Fun rover trip.
This contest was a lot of fun. All QSO's were SSB and CW.
This is the first 222 and Up contest I've participated in. Using Ukranian 222 transverter into 25W RFC Amp. Radio is IC-7000 as IF for transverter and for 432. 7 element 222 Cushcraft Yagi and 13 element 432 M2 Yagi. Operated portable from nearby hilltop.
Where were the rovers?
Due to life's challenges, I was only able to spend a limited amount of time on this event. For 1.5 hours, I operated from 2 favorite locations in Ventura County's Conejo Valley/Thousand Oaks: DM04nf on 222 & 420 MHz with mobile rigs/whips (Low power) DM04ne on 222, 420, 902, & 1294 MHz with ALINCO handhelds with whips (QRP) My DM04ne location atop Tarantula Hill is a SOTA style location involving a 1/2 mile walk up 250 feet above the surrounding city. Thanks to the locals who got and particularly for WA6EJO's continual encouragement
Had a Bad Day (no radio!) Saturday. Sunday, instead of Rover plans I set up a 7 el 432 MHz Yagi-Uda on the apt. balcony and worked four ops. Was good to play radio, confirm the rig worked on 432 (doubts during a previous 'test), and remember when it's fun it's worthwhile. It was a treat to log to software directly. As well as the log being easily completed I was also pretty happy to see the distances calculated. Not bad for the kit in use. Tnx to my contacts.
First contest entered in years. I was using single yagis at less than 25 feet above ground. QSB was all or nothing from one sequence to the next but several contacts over 400 miles My 40 year old FT736R VFO is unstable when warm so I entered fixed frequency on 222. I hope to get my longer antennas up higher for Septmber VHF Test. Overall good fun contest.
Conditions seemed flat. Had a high VSWR problem on 1296 - it's a miracle that I made any QSOs at all. The remainder of the station worked well, thankfully. Thanks for the QSOs and 73, Ron (W8RU).
Not many contacts but ran only 6 watts using a 1 foot dipole on 432. Made it all the way up to Agawam, Ma. It's a great band and would be nice for more activity on 432 Mhz during the year when there is no contest. Very 73 Dan
The Really Weak Signal Group