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Soapbox for 2023
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Thanks for Your Contacts 222 Distance and Up Contest AA2SD Rove I am a new Rover,AA2sd/R Well it was a slow contest for me and Rove this weekend, and I had some equipment issues to deal with during the Rove, Overall 27 contacts in (2) local Grid Squares on 222 and 70 cm. Nobody said Roving would be easy, l am learning and making adjustments. Thanks to the Pack Rats and others that worked me during the contest! Follow along with me - YouTube link on the Rove https://youtu.be/opemxSXoOt4
Hiked up to Mt Allison (SOTA W6/NC-180) for a few hours of operating. There was a burst of activity about 30 minutes into the contest, then a lot of nothing. My 902 and 1296 transverters seemed like they were overheating in the sun, so didn't make many contacts there. Or maybe the KX3 2m module wasn't working. Either way, it was a good time. Next year I'll need to find somewhere with a bit more shade.
Enjoyed working everyone, especially working W1RGA/R on 8 bands from his three locations. Too bad conditions did not favor the higher frequencies.
I like the way how mid-microwave bands are encouraged now. Hope that will get more stations on 902, 2304, 3400 and 5760 MHz!
Comments: [email] 2023-08-09 04:57:45 I really enjoy a distance-based scoring contest on VHF+. That scheme makes for a much more exciting chase for QSOs. I like the short 24 hour format of this contest as well. With my modest two-band station I knew most of my activity would be on FT8, but I did manage one SSB and one CW contact on 432 MHz. I have given up using N1MM+ with WSJT-X, so I just ran two separate instances of WSJT-X with each dedicated to separate rigs. That arrangement worked out very well, and I was able to CQ on two bands at the same time. It was frustrating to miss some long distance shots with WQ0P, W5EME, W9FF and others who I heard but could not raise. One exciting moment came when I copied K1OR on 222 MSK144 on 222 MHz during his sked with K9MRI. After the contest I imported the two logs into N1MM+ to aggregate the QSOs and compute a final score. My mast-mount 432 preamp was inop, but the built-in preamp in the 70 cm PA worked surprisingly quite well. I still have more work to do shielding and choking my new i7 Win11 machine to stop its RFI from getting into my 432 receiver. 222: IC375A (30 watts), 15el M2 Yagi at 30 feet, mast-mount ARR preamp 432: FT857D, TE4450 amp (170 watts), 21el M2 Yagi at 28 feet Thanks for the QSOs. See you in September. 73, Walt, AJ6T, EM66GM
The first afternoon and evening of the 222 MHz and Up Contest seemed to be a fairly typical period in the northern New England area. I was only on the two bottom bands and wanted to get some time operating different bands from the same operating position. That is a new feature for me. In the past the station was only a multi-op setup. I was getting tired running to different band chairs! On Saturday evening my typical range seemed normal with contacts with big stations approaching 500 miles or 800 km. Extended range VHF contacts on 222 and 432 MHz for Saturday afternoon and evening are posted below. Late in the evening I tried a successful meteor schedule with W8RU on 222 MHz. I think that was his first 222 MHz meteor scatter success.That contact was the only unusual QSO of the first afternoon and evening. 18:56 VE3ZV 222 en92 752 km tropo scatter 23:31 W8ZN 222 FM09 777 km tropo scatter 23:31 W8ZN 432 fm09 777 km " 00:36 VE3MIS 222 fn03 700 km Tropo scatter 05:40 W8RU 222 EN82 1027 km Meteor Scatter I started operating at 10:16 UT on Sunday morning. It was a normal sounding morning until I asked VA3IKE to try a schedule on 432. He is in Michigan and almost 1000 km away from me, and beyond my normal range. We used FT8 and after a few minutes,Ike was thinking that he was wasting his time with a 600+ mile schedule until he started decoding me. I had been decoding him almost from the start. We finished,and I was immediately aware that conditions to the West were a bit above average. This was at about 11:30 UT. I started looking for suitable partners for other long haul skeds. I soon found KE8FD in central Ohio. He is a good 650 miles away and can only be contacted with a bit of lift. As soon as we started,we found each other on FT8, with good signals and easily worked on both of the bands I had. Signals were similar on 222 and 432 and we could have had easy CW contacts. Gary was pretty loud! It was then when I was firmly convinced that there was actually a decent VHF band opening going on between New England and the upper midwest. Such times have been few and far between. VE3MIS at 700 km was worked on 432 followed by my only EME contct of the weekend. W6TCP showed up near my Moonset and we had a quick and loud QSO for my best contest point accumulator of the event. A cross country contact made on 222 MHz really adds to the score! Here is a listing of the over 700 km contacts on Sunday morning: 11:23 VA3IKE 432 EN82 964 km tropo 11:53 KE8FD 432 en80 1002 km tropo 1158 KE8FD 222 EN80 1002 km tropo 12:43 VE3MIS 432 FN03 700km tropo 1343 W6TCP 222 CM87 4262 km EME 14:48 W7JW 432 EN82 1031 km tropo 15:29 N8ECH 222 EM79 1231 km ? MS? 16:39 K9MRI 222 en70 1214 km MS The 14:48 UT QSO with W7JW in Michigan was the last of the extended tropo contacts. He was quite happy as Maine turned out to be state # 49 for his 432 WAS. He was having heavy rains that morning, so the long tropo contact was more than a bit special. Less than an hour later came the most unusual contact for me at least. I was calling away to the West looking for more elusive tropo. It was getting very late in the morning and I was afraid that the small inversion had dissipated. On a whim N8ECH told me he was listening from EM79, so I pointed my 222 antenna directly at EM79. In a matter of about three to five minutes, I heard some loud SSB chatter on frequency. I was using CW and had an 800 Hz bandwidth setting. I switched to SSB to see what local was messing up my CQ and copied N8ECH!!! He was S9 at first and we had a nice and quick SSB exchange of grids, all the while I noted that he was fading down as the QSO went along. While discussing how great it was to work him, N8ECH faded out. It was only after it was all over that I suspected that we had worked on a big meteor burn! That was the best DX of the weekend except for EME, at 1231 km on the 222 band. I rounded out my time with a quick meteor QSO with K9MRI in EN70. The entire event took about seven or eight minutes. I was hungry, so quit for lunch and missed the last hour of the 222 and Up Contest. I was very happy with the activity. It was nice to see lots of VE3 and western NY activity, as well as having W8ZN blasting away from FM09 in northwestern VA. It was fun to see all the neat DX worked by a big station in a fantastic location. Such stations can help activity immensely. Having a number of them all yanking and pulling out QSOs made for an interesting contest. N3NGE, N1SV, WW2Y and many others all helped to augment the activity from the regulars. I only worked two stations to my northeast: K1DY and KV1J in FN54 and 44. With my only two bands, I split my time between both and ended up with an almost equal contact total per band and 109 Qs with a DX point value of just over 71K before errors are deducted. I sure had fun with just the two bands.
Temporary install - LPDA 8ft above ground on a rotator
I had a lot of fun wish I had a 220 SSB rig,and 901megs
For the Distance contest this year, the plan was to activate four grids near West Union, IA on Saturday and two more near Cedar Rapids, IA Sunday morning. We could travel Saturday morning the 120 mi to West Union outside of the contest time and be ready to start at 145 mi from W0ZQ our most likely first contact. That worked BUT fewer stations were on and propagation was weaker than last year, so we struggled all Saturday afternoon in the first two grids. That left the other nearby grids for Sunday morning. Picked up three new stations in Madison & Janesville, WI and Rockford, IL this year. Only 41 Q's this year compared to 84 last year ! Best DX ws to K0AWO at 300 mi and 480 km on 432 MHz CW, a real stop sending to hear R R R coming back !
Another quiet one!
First time being a rover in a contest, had to set up and take town station in 110 degrees, Just too hot!!! but it was a learning experience. Can only work what you hear.
Manning a portable repeater for a public event and needed something to do in the meantime - I had a good spot, but not much UHF in Montana
Maybe I'm the only one, but I really miss the old UHF contest. Seriously, what are we doing here? UHF contest - Small stations and HT types could contribute in a meaningful way. 222 & up - 1pt, worthless UHF contest - encouraged grid corner activation/roving (more potential QSOs for everyone) 222 & up - no grid multipliers, less roving, at least in Chicagoland. True in your neighborhood too? I get that the distance scoring is unique/different, but I'd strongly suggest the following: - Revert back to the old UHF contest rules (but probably too late to salvage activity - sad.) - Keep track of contest record distance contacts per band (sponsored traveling trophies appended with the new record would be even cooler - but potentially difficult to manage). We don't want to discourage technical/operating achievement, but do we want to encourage it by increasing barriers to entry? I was sad when the UHF contest perished. I won't be sad to see this one go.
Many fewer stations on this year and WEAK PROPAGATION made slow progress. Fun to try to do the best you can with what you got !
Set up fixed portable in west Lawrence, KS to give Greg, WQ0P a contest contact on 432 MHz. Radio was my old IC-490a @ 10 watts, and HB 8 element N6NB Quagi. I called CQ in a number of directions, but no takers. In past contests, 432.100 MHz was a popular frequency to look for contacts. Guess nowadays people set up schedules in the chatrooms instead.
contest region 11 (MI-OH-VE3-NNY-WNY-WPA)
No WNY rovers this end. Everything worked well this time around. Enjoyed Sunday but only was on for the 1st hour on Saturday. Had a few decent 222 distance QSO's and they add up on this band. The microwave bands I thought were very slow. usually I do well on those bands. Participation locally was down with no rovers out there. Only about 5 or so clubs members were on steady. Low for our club. 73, Wayne
Only operated a few hours Sunday morning after having to repair main radio!
just giving out some points
6 grids worked on both 222& 432MHz: CN86/87/88/89/97/98; most contacts SSB & a few on FM; Not much luck on 902 & 1294.5 MHz this time, but could hear high power stations on CW with my ALINCO FM handhelds. Best DX: VA7SC (CN89ji) @ 169km AND N7KSI (CN86mn) @ 159.11km on both 222 & 432 MHz. Gear: 222: FT-817 & UT5JCW Ukranian transverter & "VJB Cheapie Yagi" 432: FT-991 & M-2 Yagi 902 & 1294.5: ALINCO FM handhelds with "VJB Cheapie Yagis" NOTE: In the days before the contest, I "advertised heavily" among my local ham radio clubs in California as well as my summer PNW WA clubs that the 222 + Contest would be held, so as to stimulate more activity.
This is a great contest - short but to the point - too bad not a lot of people get involved - Is FT8 softening the interest? Are the operators not capable of this type of contest. I drove 500 miles in the rover van to activate 2 major grids and 1 minor grid - due to lack of interest CQ'ing did not produce as many contacts as years past. I wanted to be high and in the clear with the 10 band rover and I was. I firmly believe FT8 belongs in it's own contest on VHF+ A mechanical failure on the rover van curtailed 5 hours of operating. Very satisfying to run 8 bands 73 Allen K3WGR
busy family weekend - just a few qsos
WOW! I worked from FN36ka FN43mj it's 339 kM with a loop antenna VE2GT
I enjoyed giving points to many people!
I had lots of fun this year. The highlights were working K1WHS on 222 meteor scatter and K1TEO on 222 & 432 tropo. Activity seemed good. Thanks for the QSOs and 73! -Ron (W8RU).
The ARRL 222 and Up Distance Contest is one of my favorite contests. Always more to learn about the propagation on these bands. How the WX systems effects the UHF and Microwave bands. Fun to work the Rovers and the many fixed station stations looking to increase their grid totals. Thanks particularly to Allen NN3Q (3 grids), Chris W1RGA (2 grids), KT1R (1 grid), and N3IQ (1 grid) for Roving so the rest of us could have the thrill of the chase. Thanks to everyone who was on. Thanks to ARRL for sponsoring this activity. Thanks to Chief Op Terry W8ZN for letting me operate his new station. I hope to see many of you in the Round One of the 10 GHz and Up contest in two weeks where I'll be on in FN41EE with Dale AF1T, Mickie W1MKY and Steve K3WHC. 73, Dave K1RZ
SDR Pluto used for some of the QSOs
Proud Longshot signaler.
I love this contest, very low pressure, every contact is worth remembering! Operated 22-1296 plus 10 ghz. The 222 station seems to work real good, very pleased with it. Mississippi on 222 from Kansas was a highlight thanks NV4B/R. Looking forward to the next one!
team - The Really Weak Signal Group