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Soapbox for 2020
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Cold and windy day on SOTA peak Loma Alta, W6/NC-350, in CM88qa. It was too cold to spend all afternoon on top, so my score suffered compared to last year. Made my first contacts on 902 and 1296, including a 280km one through multiple mountains to the Sierra foothills near Fresno. After the wind blew over my mast for the 3rd time I decided to just pack up and go home. Full report and photos at https://longgreentunnel.blogspot.com/2020/01/w6nc-350-loma-alta-2020-january-vhf.html
I had some time on Sunday to operate and hand out some Q's while working on projects in the shop.
My first VHF contest and I must say I had fun. using FT-8, dual band loop at only 15 feet with 50 watts. Looking forward to the next one
220 antenna down
new to vhf contest and the n1mm logging program. Intended to submit 3-band category, as on the upload page, and the log seems to be all FM. Not sure how to address that. Please advise if I need to fix something and resubmit. firstname.lastname@example.org thanks for your help!
ARRL VHF January 2020 combined log with FT8
only worked last 3 hours of contest
Stacked Loops and Yagis Decoded IA and WI during the contest Was able to work FL,AL,MS,IL and AL !
6 meter log only, 2m system had some problems. Never heard anybody on 222. All digital log also, since I never heard anyone on CW or phone on any band. Conditions generally poor. Is FT8 the beginning of the end for VHF contesting? Maybe, but too early to say for sure, especially since propagation in the January VHF Contest is often a challenge. Might be better to wait and see what the June contest reveals. But imy sense is that it's not looking good. FT8 is just not very useful for these very short openings --- I saw lots of "one and done", i.e. one 15 second decode only. You can get a whole SSB or CW contest contact in 15 seconds if both stations know what they are doing. I'm embarrassed to say how much time I spent to get my whopping total of 29 contacts. The saving grace of this contest was that I found two new grids for my FFMA chase.
I thought I might have a low-key operation from my new QTH in Tennessee, but with no antennas or ham gear setup yet, I decided to operate my barefoot remote station in Alabama on 6 meters FT8. The only antenna available to me was an all-band OCF dipole, but it worked remarkably well. There was a bit of sporadic-E and meteor scatter to spice up the expected flat band conditions. I hope to be active from EM66 in the June contest. 73, Walt, AJ6T
The 10 GHz operation was from the garage. I was able to work two obstructed paths easily and even picked up grid #10 on the band. The most interesting was working K2UA garage-to-garage with snow-backscatter on a terribly obstructed path for both of us. I even had some local hams visiting to see what fun these microwaves are.
FT8 ruled under weak conditions. 116 FT8 contacts, 33 SSB, and 2 CW.
100w to 20m beam
This file generated by home brew logging program written by K1PDY 01234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789012345678901234567890123456789
just dabbled - had to work this weekend... Best was MA - TN on 6m SSB
K2AMI operated on 2 meters and 6 meters with the FT-8 mode only.
Had fun, will try to get the rest of the club involved next year!
For this contest I setup at a parking lot across from where I live, using a generator and three ICOM radios, 746 Pro, 910H, and 375A. Started setting up for the contest in a snow storm. Hands were numb and I kept dropping the antenna parts in the snow. Finally got on the air an hour after the contest started. Worked FM only again, I always wanted to use my bigger base antennas for FM instead of mobile antennas like I usually do. The next day there was bright sunshine and it was easier working on the antennas. Log shows I had a better time to the south and east, I did not get many stations to the west and north to northeast. Bands on FM went mostly dead when football started, but I was able to work a few to get over my goal of 1000 points for the contest. Overall, I had a great time finally using my big base vertical antennas in a contest. I will try this again.
Great contest with a lot of activity! I'm adding back more bands each year. This weekend, before the contest, I ran new feed lines for 222 and 1296 MHz and reinstalled the FO16 for 222 MHz. Started the contest out in the yard in a snowstorm on 10 GHz, working K0SM and trying with N2WK. It was snowing all weekend or I'd have been back out Sunday. Also built a new 222 MHz transverter during the contest (transmit converter failed in the old one), made a total of six trips up the VHF tower (three of them in a futile effort to unstick the rotator for 6/222/432/1296, which decided to stop turning overnight on Saturday night), and drilled through a branch circuit in the house while running a new feed line. Best DX was VE1JF on 2-meter meteor scatter on Sunday morning. Ham radio: Always an adventure!
Miserable score, but health issues kept me from using anything except
Planned periods away from QTH during the contest and a lack of a rotor negatively impacted score. Most of the contest I was physically holding a dual band yagi from a second story bedroom, and occasionally holding a homebrew 223 yagi. 6m FM activity was frequent and had I not suffered an equipment failure I could have had up to a dozen or more 6m FM QSOs rather than one. I corrected one operator who was using an unusual grid square for his exchange, when I happened to know his real one. Got argumentative quickly. It was inadvertent and took considerable persuasion to determine the problem. His geographic coordinates in QRZ had some problem, so it generated his grid square in the geographic center of the United States, and he was giving that as his exchange. It may have impacted several other op scores who received the initial incorrect grid, as that was the one given in the exchange, but should not be the one he should submit for the contest log. Kudos to most of the SOTA activators and chasers for moving to adjacent 2m calling frequencies. 2m FM 146.52 was already very crowded and there were few SOTA chasers compared to contesters. One operator berated me for contesting on 'the calling frequency'. This is a very sore subject for some ops locally, with some running informal nets on 146.52 and most contests utilizing this frequency. This controversy may be a matter of settled discussion at the League level, but I've run into this in every contest thus far and I would advocate a change to this rule. I have had at least one random QSO in every contest from travelers using .52 who were unaware of the contest and confused why everyone kept asking their grid. I only worked one /rover during the contest. There may have been 1 more I missed early in the contest, but did not see any others. Weather was a significant factor in the days leading up to the contest.
"There should be separate contests for digital modes. Those who have no interest in operating FT8 are disadvantaged by the current contest rules and have lost interest in operating."
Used a vintage Kenwood TS-700A with a homemade figure 8 antenna for 2m SSB operation with only 10 watts, stock. I live in an HOA with many restrictions and obstructions but fortunately I was successful with making my first ever contact on 2m SSB which was my goal for this weekend.
Lots of digital contacts. Miss the operators that used to plug in their microphones and work several bands from each of my grid stops. See my blog for more detail on my rover experiences in this contest. www.k5nd.net
Everything was working perfectly when we began. But, once again, Murphy set up a mini-HQ at our contest station. We had failures on the 222 station(could not fix) and the 2M tropo station(finally fixed). We lost a lot of points due to these failures.
K5SRT/R Unlimited Rover operators K5SRT, K3NT, KG3DUK in ARRL January 2020 VHF Contest from North Texas to Oklahoma
ATTIC ANTENNA FARM
Most activity on FT8. Only 2 SSB QSOs!
Operated portable in Scottsdale on roof of a condominium (4th floor). Vertical for 6m, small yagis for 2m and 440.
Stuck at home with no summits to activate so I decided to join in on the January VHF Contest for this weekend.
Not a lot of VHF activity here in Boise, but it was fun!
Worked both days but only made contacts on Saturday...Small Moxon for 6, getting the tower up and a bigger 6m antenna is moving way up the list!
Worked the contest frm PSTA summit W7A/AW-040 as part of the Arizona Summit 2 summit madness. Made 17 S2s contacts on all bands worked. Longest contact was 74 miles on 1296.41
I have limited VHF antennas up at this time. I got on to give out some points to whomever could hear me. I worked many new calls on 2m and 70cm FM. I believe that the FM category is attracting interest from a whole new group. Congratulations to all.
WOW! Lots of activity for a Jan VHF Contest. Began with some decent 6M FT8 Tropo over the Sierras to CA from DM06 to CN90. 2M SSB to N/S CA was in good shape along with several locals on FM who gratefully answered my CQs on FM. 432/446 was manly a local thing again thanks to those called in. Station: 6M- Flex3000 at 90W to 6ele DK9ZB design at 28ft. 2M- IC-746 at 80W to 16ele yagi at 24ft. 70CM- IC706mkIIg at 35W to 29ele 9wl K1FO yagi at 26ft. One of the better Jan Contests in a very long time. Thanks for the Qs! 73s de Tim - K7XC - DM09jh... sk Succeed!
I never heard a single CW signal on 6m and heard one SSB for a few seconds. Just managed a handful of FT8 Qs. Sad conditions in NE Ohio
Slowest contest i can remember. This is the kind of score i had years a go in an apartment. not to mention if you wern't on ft8 you really wern't going to do much, and that's to bad
We are Der Funkwagen. KA5D.com
Low Activity on SSB and CW for 50, 144 and 432. Digital modes are hurting ssb/cw. Ops I talked to that are non-digi are thinking of no longer participating in ARRL contests unless bonus points are awarded for ssb and cw contacts or digi ops get their own contests separate from ARRL ssb/cw contests. ARRL must make changes to increase activity for ssb/cw or risk losing a lot of participation!!!
KB0YHT=Nick Farlow, KC0QIE=Jim Enix, and Jason Meirowsky
Great weather; definitely a relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, first contest with a rate in hours per qso instead of qso's per hour
Eagerly awaited this contest due to the fact that contesting with FT4/FT8...but conditions weren't nearly as good as during last year's June VHF. On top of it, as a hopelessly addicted QRPer, it was tough going. Perhaps more antenna is needed for future attempts.
lots of technical issues, but got thru it!
[(10)*(1) + (7)*(2)] * (3+4) = Score 168 Duplicate AD6AF not counted
Propagation to this rover was weak in the blizzard with 45 mph wind gusts on hilltops !
Was set up for 8 bands and then had a catastrophic failure at the start of the contest, reconfigured the rover during the first hour in order to salvage the contest.
First Rover set up in less than a week with local and internet advice. Not much 70CM activity here. Was really happy with the 6m opening on Sunday. Special thanks to N0PB for following me to all 6 grids on all 3 bands as well as the support of those other rovers that gave me advice. I still have a lot to learn. Please let me know of any questions or other documentation I might need to submit as a rover.
Operated from FM29jw 5 Contacts * 1 (Point per Contact) * 2 (Unique Grid Squares) = 10 Point. Thank you for the 2020 ARRL VHF Contest Contest.
My contest entry consisted of a 5 hour Summits On The Air (SOTA) activation. Pete WA7JTM the association manager encourages activations during the VHF contests. Many of the activators are active on 5 bands.
Lot of fun. Want to give a special thank you to all the rovers that went out. Ya'll really add a lot to the contest! I tried to work every one I could hear.
Stellar turnout from the new operator, newly licensed folks as well as the ARES/RACES/CERT/AuxComm folks. This was an effort to test and ensure that ARES EC's and DEC's were able to "map out" who they could work from a volunteer perspective in their given areas of responsibility and across the region. Having additional folks traveling in and through the area en route to Quartzfest as well as a modest inversion layer along the coastal areas and slightly inland helped with additional grid squares and surprising more than a few operators! More info in a future ARES news article to demonstrate home, mobile, portable and hilltop operations! There were notable "on the air" challenges as you would expect with FM Operations, folks doubling, tripling, quadtrupling, etc. and everyone having to do their best to sort out who was actually contacting who (especially where we had a large number of operators on the air over a wide geographic region, or even over water where the paths were often well over 50 miles), essentially all real world possibilities. My thanks to all that participated and especially for all of the email relays in advance of the event where we proposed operating methods and techniques, "rally times" and frequencies, how to log contacts and get new and first time folks on the air. Operators using multi-band, handheld radios that had 220 capabilities, as well as those that dusted off their mobile radios for the first time in many years helped validate that while 2 meters was the prevalent band for reliable VHF communications in and around the region, 1.25 meters was and still is an excellent alternative, especially when other systems are congested or simplex communications are challenged on 2 meters. Not as much activity on 6 meters (which for FM was not a surprise), however we also had a great turnout on 446 FM, with many folks, even with handhelds, making contacts with other stations doing the "heavy lifting" over 20 and even 50 plus mile paths. Station configuration planning also helped, and although the M2 6M5X was never intended to be used as a solo vertical, or in the FM portion of the band, with the tuner in the radio to compensate for the expected SWR mismatch, it performed quite well. Aside from high-gain verticals on all four FM bands, I also used an M2 222-10EZ, and then pairs of Cushcraft 13B2's and 719B's with phasing harnesses and power dividers, vertically oriented, which made a dramatic improvement in working grid squares otherwise difficult or out of reach - also a prequel to getting more of my "junior" EME station running. Looking forward the June ARRL VHF Contest, where I can build on the learning gained this time around.
I had a great time this January and had more QSOs than last year. I had some antenna problems the first day and ongoing issues on 70cm throughout the contest that can hopefully resolve before the June contest. Hopefully i'll have 1.25m available for the June contest as well. thanks to the ARRL volunteers that do the hard work of score checking
This contest was a blast. The Valley of the Sun is was hot this winter with VHF/UHF. Roved 5 grids and put down ~500 miles. I found some great spots to set up and was able to work more than I had imagined. This was by far the best rove yet and I'm excited for June already!! The station performed awesome and i had no problems at all. Except for my 2 meter amp not working. Even taking rough roads to the tops of peaks to about 7,000ft outside the Phoenix area. Well worth it. Was a challenge working so many stations and pile ups for the first time, but got the job done. Its helping me become a better operator. Best contact made was from Dm33 to Dm55 with another rover KK6MC/R on 6m 2m 70cm and 23cm. Just want to thank all the other Rovers out and about, the 2m FM locals who really piled me up Saturday night, and all of the S.O.T.A. guys Sunday morning being patient while i made radio adjustments. And most of all N1AV for always putting in the effort, help, and knowledge to every single person in the hobby. AC7FF, for doing a good thing and getting people together and involed in radio, and the all our local VHF/UHF locals who i have become friends with because of this exciting hobby. You know who you are! Tom N7GP (Az Grid Pirate) we all missed you this go around. I heard stations talking about you on he air this contest and were all ready to hear you on the air come June for the AOCC club!! Thanks again everyone! KJ7JC/R
First run for the new club call sign. Go Alaska VHF-Up Group!
Thanks go to: K2EZ/R, K1TEO, N2NT, KM4OZH/R, KC5JSR/R (a trucker), N3NGE, Terry W8ZN and the several hundred Hams who got on the air with FM in Va, Md, Pa and WVa. Score: KM4KMU, John Young, FM Only 50MHz 33 QSO's 7 Grids 144MHz 97 QSO's 9 Grids 222MHz 23 QSO's 9 Grids 432MHz 51 QSO's 7 Grids 277 QSO Pts, 31 Grids Score 8,587 N1MM gave a score of 8,773 which is what I claimed. It will be interesting to see what comes up after Log Checking. Previous all time high January FM score is 8,172 by KG6IY in 2018 a great 3 band and FM operator. I am hoping my January curse is over. Did I finally get my White Whale? January Background: January 2016: First contest. My rig was built with bad mountain weather in mind but 4ft of snow shut me out of the best sites. 100+Q's but I only submitted a log that included stations who promised to submit a log. Doom on the Newbie. FM is 70% unique's who don't log. January 2017: I made it up to Reddish Knob at 4,400ft but lost to W2EV by 60pts out of 6,300 after bailing out early due to ice. No better person to loose to. January 2018: I worked from Blue Knob Ski Resort and was crushed by noise from cars in the parking lot and LED parking lot lights. January 2019: Due to high winds, single digit temps and ice I could not get up to Reddish Knob and worked from Freezeland Road at 2,400ft which lived up to its name. I set up in a ice storm and went QRT after 4hrs with 1/2 wall thickness ice tubes over my antenna's, high VSWR, 40mph winds and single digit temps. 2020 Preparation: I started in October with a reconfigure of my rig "Mad Max" to make it more comfortable to operate from. All cables tested for low loss and 1:2 or lower VSWR with several cables replaced. A back facing passenger seat, large operating table and a used Ham IV rotor in place of the Armstrong. This was two edged sword. Slower to spin but less tiresome plus I am not holding onto the lightning rod. I installed a CX-333 triband omni low on the Jeep with RF switches for 2m, 1.25m and 70cm so I could quickly go to the omni that is better for close in pile up QSY's, less likely to ice up bad and easy to clean if it does. This was a back up if the big beams, which take and hour to drop, clear of ice and reset go iced. Many new FM guys wont wait around for me to swing the sharp beams on the QSY to higher band to find them, but with the omni that does not matter. I discovered my SSB 70cm preamp was blown, bought a new one ($$), the 2m brick amp blew up in testing so it got replaced ($$), then the 2Kw generator refused to idle smoothly and a carb rebuild didn't help so a new generator was purchased ($$). The XYL was very understanding of my quest for the White Whale. Terry Price W8ZN help me set up a sequencer (yeah I am still a newbie) and provided an older DEMI 222 transverter to replace my ancient Kenwood 222 FM only rig. A massive upgrade. The FT991 is very easy to interface if you know how to solder up a cable. Love it. 3wks before the contest I sent out my usual 300+ email blast to regional FM operators I had contacted in the past and set up my Scheds with the big stations and rovers. 2wks before the contest I got permission to operate from Reddish Knob deep inside the National Radio Quiet Zone next to the Green Bank Radio Observatory and right on top of the Sugar Grove "Listening" site. The weather started to look dicey about then. Friday I staged to Harrisonburg for an early Saturday drive to Reddish Knob but the VA mountain weather forecast started to change. The rain turned to ice and went from an overnight ice storm to an all day Saturday ice event with 1/2 of ice expected on the roads and temps in the low teens or single digits. Not good on steep switch back roads even with 4wd, lockers and chains. I decide to shift locations to Freezeland road at 2400ft. Raced home, resent my email blast letting everone know of the change, a lot of grids would now be out of reach and Q count would be king. A new strategy was needed. I got to Freezeland road at 1100 local Saturday in a light ice storm. Was this to be another 2019? The contest started with a 301 QSO to K1TEO on all 4 bands. The local FM crowd showed up in a big pile up, so thankful for the Omni and sloppy Cushcraft 6m beam. Made the Scheds with K2EZ/R and it was off to the races. Hit all the Scheds, racked up a lot of QSO points and shockingly ended up with 30 multi's when I expected 20. K2EZ/R got me FM07 on 2m & 1.25M over two ridge lines. I only needed 6m in FN20 to max out on possible Multis and they were on the Sched for Sunday at 1100 local. At 1900 local Saturday the beams iced up and I had to drop them to clean just before a Sched with K2EZ/R. We did the sched on my Omni. Cleaned the beams and had them up in time for our last Sched with her in FM07. Temps got above freezing at 2300 local and it was a strange, warm cloudless night. I turned in at 0130 local with 6,100 points. FM rocked well into the night. I could not sleep. Q's are king. I got up at 0330 local and began working Ham Radio Truckers, rovers of a different breed. They run up and own I-81 and I-66 across 3 or 4 grids to make morning deliveries. KC5JSR/R was ham trucker standout. I gave him the mile marker at each grid boundary. We rag chewed all night, bringing in more activity. He called me back at each new grid, 2 bands on 4 grids plus we drummed up a lot of early morning activity. KM4OZH/R (an FM rover) and 3 FM fixed stations worked all night calling CQ. I caught the Church rush early Sunday, mobile hams going to church. Then the activity got slow. I pity the few who got on mid morning Sunday. They were new FM blood in the water and were jumped by a half dozen ravenous FM contesting sharks begging for Q's and QSY's. It was a feeding frenzy and everyone had a great time. By 1100 local I was at 8,000 and wiped out from the ice, effort and lack of sleep. I just needed that final couple of Multi's from N2NT at 213 miles to put the icing on the cake. N2NT was joy to work we ripped through all 4 bands in a couple minutes and I was DONE with 8,700 points. By 1330 local I had the rig packed, the clouds came in, winds were up and the temps were well below freezing again. A white knuckled drive home (I was stupid tired) but a great day and got home by 4pm. If I had worked until 11pm it would have been ugly with the refreeze. Did I make a mistake by not sucking it up and pushing through? time will tell. Deepest appreciation to all who worked me or tried. 73 John KM4KMU
My first contest!
First contest. Had a number of nice QSOs along the way. Tnx to Bruce KG6IYN, strongest signal on the bands, for his coaching and advice to those on frequency. Limited to 15W max into an indoor 20'' magmount. A few stations heard on 222, none worked w/ 5W + rubber ducky.
First attempt as a newly licensed ham, Thnks to my mother and also to my sister for their help!
Propagation was almost non-existant in central Illinois this weekend.
Conditions pretty poor throughout the contest perhaps due to the snowstorm going on here. Finally some 6 meter e-skip around 2300 utc Sunday evening. FT-8 also took a lot of activity away from the CW and SSB modes.
New QTH with squalo antennas on 2M 432 and 1296, and dipole on 6M. The new IC-9700 worked very well, had a blast.
ARRL is terrific!
Thanks to Bill, K2TER for the loan of antennas and FM radio stack( 144 thru 1296)
Very little activity seen on FT4 this contest. I called CQ constantly during the time I was on 144 Mhz and only got 2 QSO responses, both less than 25 miles distance. Using the FT4 contest mode during this contest was a bust. :(
Only 5 SSB QSO's out of 63 total.. Lots more FT8 action on 2m this time around - really helped on the grid count. Biggest thrill was finally working KA6BIM down in CN73 - I've been hearing him on every contest but could never make the QSO..
Roving is a Big Bad Bummer in a Blizzard!
Some sporadic-E Saturday evening with XE2CQ decoded, and Sunday evening to W1 and W2.
N0LD/R, K5SRT/R, KB0YHT/R, K5ND/R, and K2EZ/R all working together! Be aware that this did not happen without some difficulty! All the rovers had some unique challenges to meet the schedule to work together.
Great contest, enjoyed the activity on 3.4 first time on the band. Great signals! Thanks to all the rovers.
Still had a good time !!!
Possibly last contest at my current location. Looking to relocate within same town/area for a bigger house and better location. Its been great past 15+ years of contesting. Conditions for this contest fair, we had snow on Saturday on Long Island, a little E's to Florida both days. Too much FT8, we need more activity on 50Mhz SSB. Hope to be back in September or for January 2021 contest. 73.
Another January VHF contest with the usual snow and freezing WX in WNY. This contest has the tendency to be a 6m and 2m contest. I say that because of the folks who seem to be stuck on Digital, FT8/MSK. It's extremely difficult to move stations above 144 MHz. Calling CQ on 6/2m CW is almost fruitless. I usually work lot's of VE3's on cw but no takers this year. Didn't even work K1RZ who I usually log with no problem. I used FT8/MSK144 to pick up needed mults. It's great technology and it works but limits usage on the higher bands. I found that N1MM logs the wrong mode after switching back to SSB/CW. It still thinks it's in digital mode tho reading the radio display. Thank You to the Rovers, without them it could be a boring contest. I had fun but would still like to utilize the 8 bands more above 2m I have. Looking forward to June VHF. Thank You for all the Q's
Everything digital now ???
I could only operate 4 hours on Saturday due to family visiting South Florida from the cold North. Didn't they know it was the contest weekend?!? Usual Murphy problems hit my 6 meter xmtr after only making a few Q's on FT8 with the band open with some Es. No more 6 meter xmit. 432 developed a 3:1 SWR of unknown origin & the mast preamp was getting paralyzed by a local TV transmitter - that was new to my setup. It took a while to figure out that I could hear stations with the preamp power off by disconnecting the power feed to the preamp. With the power connected, the built in xmit power sensor would switch itself out with a ~2 sec delay after transmitting where I could briefly hear a station. After getting that resolved, I could make some normal contacts even with the high SWR.
Some of the worst conditions I've seen in January contest, propagation weather and operators (lack of). If you don't have FT8, you will communicate with no one.
RoverLog is terrific!
My First Contest Submission - I hope it's OK
Moderately busy out here in Southern California, and it was fun to hunt and peck away at a relaxed pace! Happy to work a few Texas stations on 6.
Most of Saturday was taken up with a fire dept comms exercise so I just handed out contacts for a few hours on Sunday.
N6ZE/R, operated by Pete, N6ZE. & Woodie, WA6WDY, made just over 250 QSOs on 6 bands from activating 4 Ventura & Los Angeles Co. grids. Our 7 hour stint at our Saturday location in the Santa Monica Mts (DM04qb) yielded 150 QSOs. Of particular interest, on Saturday, we noticed lots of activity from the San Diego (DM12) area. We made 25 FM & SSB QSOs: 3 on 6 meters; 16 on 2 meters; one on 135 cm; and 5 on 70cm. 16 different unique callsigns were worked. I think that is the biggest turnout we have ever noted from DM12. Most, if not all contacts, were made with roof mounted verticals on the pickup truck. For most of Saturday, our location in the Santa Monica Mts., experienced a cold Santa Ana wind. However, when looking Southward, we could visually see light brownish color over the Santa Monica Bay: this typically indicates a temperature inversion. This was borne out by SkewT – log P plots provided to us after the contest by NWS Oxnard/LOX: there appeared to be a temperature inversion, some 2800’ thick. On Sunday, we activated DM14, DM13, DM03, & DM04. Of note, we did very little transmitting when in motion due to maintaining LA Freeway safety. While driving Eastbound early in the morning at 65 MPH, with very strong, gusty NE winds, we heard a very loud bang, but could see that nothing had blown out of the bed of the pickup. It turned out that the 6 meter mag mount vertical had briefly encountered a gust of over 100 mph (65 mph ground speed + 40 mph wind) which dislodged the mag mount and subsequently broke the magnetic bonding of the other 2 verticals. They all ended up in the bed of the truck. Phew! Despite the Topa Topa Mountain Range to our North, best DX for the weekend was with K6MYC; SSB contacts were made on 2m, 135cm, & 70 cm at a distance of 217 statute miles. In the words of WA6WDY, some of our roving station activity was akin to a monkey chasing a football: An FT857 mounted in the cab of the truck was used for 6 meter SSB; 2 meter FM & some 2 meter SSB; 70 cm FM & some SSB. For 135 cm, a Kenwood TM331 was utilized. We just used a ¼ wavelength vertical for 6 m; a small dual band 2m/70cm vertical; & a ½ wavelength vertical for 135 cm. For long haul comms on 2 m, 135 cm, 70 cm, & 23 cm, we used an elderly barefoot FT-736 sitting on the tailgate of the pickup truck along with a rotor & small yagis for those bands. On 33 cm, we utilized an ALINCO handheld with a hand-held yagi. Band changing speed varied from 10 seconds to a couple of minutes! During the weekend, N6ZE/R had from 1 to 14 QSOs with 7 other Rovers who participated: N6GP/R, K6JEY/R, K6LMN/R , N6MI/R , KK6WLD/R, NQ6X/R, & KM6ZJY/R. Contacts were made with three SoCal PNWVHFS Members including AG6AG, WA6EJO, & K7JA. Thanks to the ARRL for sponsoring the event and to those who participated this year.
Had a great time working the contest this year.Thanks to all of the SOTA ops, Rovers, and Home stations for the contacts. Looking forward to next January!
Added 902, 1296, AND 2304 bands and new antennas on a second tower for a huge improvement to my score over last January. No 6m opening in the contest was a bummer but the SOTA guys helped ease the pain. Also ran FT8 on 6M for a few extra points. A big thanks to all the Arizona Outlaws and Rovers for their effort too.
Experimented with FT8 on 6m this year.
Except for FM contacts, this was pretty much an all digital modes event. The price of progress I guess.
A heavy coating of antenna ice limited my ability to make contacts. Off the scale SWR probably resulted in radiating only milli-watts of power. The weak signal digital modes saved the contest for me.
First time in this contest from 230' up on top of our condo.
Ran 3 band DIGI but could not find any DIGI on 432 here in N.NY all in lower NY/LI/NJ by PSK Reporter over 24hr period ( 1/19/2020 23:00 UTC ) selected. I have mentioned before that stations above Albany should be in NNY Section ( look at the section map and part of the NNY section "included counties" extends below my QTH here in ENY in N. Washington County ) not ENY as it would be a more even playing field according to station density and chance to earn points. Yes I have made it to MD/DC/VA area before on 432, but it's not easy with a 100W station with 18 element antenna.
This log is a CHECKLOG. DO NOT CONSIDER FOR CONTEST ENTRY. I did not identify as ROVER. I await the June VHF/UHF where I'll be better prerparred 73...
2m/440 radio died contacts made on 2m less than 100mW
RoverLog is terrific!
Very quiet on FM this year. Maybe will try SSB next time, might be more fun.
Jan 2020 VHF so cold I can't turn my antenna's rotor frozen... Darn....
I had no intention of roving, police told everybody to stay off the roads, great advice. Hardly a vehicle anywhere, except for a few rovers. Stayed close to home. Visibility poor, traction dreadful. Managed to pull off 10 on 432 and 20 on 144, no dx beyond VE3ZV in EN92vw. Visited multi-multi VE3MIS on Sunday, roads bare now.
sick but managed a few contacts. Better in June.
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 67 13 144 75 17 222 14 5 432 33 8 902 10 4 1.2G 9 5 2.3G 6 3 3.4G 3 2 5.7G 1 1 10G 1 1 24G 0 0 LIGHT 0 0 OVHFA eleigible score 17331 The EN92 contacts up to 1910 were in EN92xx and are inside the OVHFA circle The EN92 contacts after 2239 were in EN92fn and are outside the OVHFA circle.
Cold, and snowy, but got some corner running done. I am a low key effort. I went to the Hagarsville grid corner on Sunday to try to help out VE3OIL/R with working the corner. I have not been this active for a while, so it was fun. The weather steadily got better as the day went on. I also had a visit to the VE3MIS station. Nice setup.
I am not a contester, only there to support contesters & Rovers. Amazing activity on all bands. QRM on 1296 MHz!
Another enjoyable contest. Not many operators in the area.
A very small effort here given bad weather but it was still fun. See everyone for the summer contest!
Thank you for sponsoring the contest.
I had all 5 transverters working for a full complement of 6 thru 1296. Saturday afternoon was full of SSB on 6 meters but died out later then FT8. Sunday afternoon was all FT8 and a small opening to the Midwest and South. Sunday evening was 2m FT8 very few SSB / CW contacts on the upper bands. I had a great time and put in a good effort. Terry / W1TR
Fun Contest, lotsa new folks on the air too. Milo Hooper got his call shortly after the contest (KC1MNR), other operators included Fischer Moseley, Mario Lopez, and Maxwell Yun.
This was another GREAT contest, Here in the west,(DM24) we saw very little 6m E but could see via PKR that the East Coast & mid west were very active. Many thanks to ALL the Rovers we worked. Station here consist of 6 elm-6 @72'/(2)18xxx @70'/41 elm-432 @66'/23 elm-220 @62'(see Photo by W2ODH)
All contacts made on 2020-01-19 between 2143 and 2259 were Mobile contacts.
Only 1 band opening each day it seemed.
Most activity I've seen in a January VHF weekend Started off right with a CW QSO on 2m Worked 2 new grids and 47th state on 6m Got my new 2m equipment sorted out 70 cm was a bust, need a new antenna NOTE: all but the first 4 QSO were WSJT-X!?!?
Good day for roving!!
Chilly but nice weather for a January Test. First time out as a 9 band Rover. Made my first Qs on 2304 and 5760. Tried Meteor Scatter on 6M for first time with 300W and a Moxon. Made four MS Qs with Murphy's assistance. 300W amp baked a 300W Low Pass Filter! The FT8 battle is over...FT8 has won. Very few SSB/CW QSOs during the test. Lots of missed opportunities for Qs on higher bands. We need to develop a scheme to announce availability of "bands/modes" and desire to QSY during a FT8/FT4 Q. The FT8 free formed text capability might be used to note available bands using the Designator Codes for Bands....i.e. ABCD9EFGHI. It might be possible to encode that data into fewer bits and have WSJT-X display available bands? I only used 902 and up with a couple of other Rovers who I knew would want to run the higher bands. I tried using free form messages like QSY 432174 with no responses. Text or Chat appears to be the only workable method. Some the spots I rove from have spotty cell service which limits those methods. Kudos to N1MM+ and WSJT-X teams for the great integration between the programs. No glitches during the test.
From 1974 until a couple months ago, I never was interested in VHF communication and thought it would be boring. At the request of a friend,I built a 5 element 6 meter yagi so we could communicate locally. From there, I discovered meteor scatter and another friend mentioned the January VHF contest. I was surprised to hear so many stations even though I couldn't work the most of them running low power with the antenna still only 15 feet agl and surrounded by trees. For two meters, I had recently traded for an old Yaesu FT726R to listen to SSB. I did not have an interface to the PC for digital modes for the contest, so I simply just went primitive and laid the microphone next to the PC speaker and connected a cord from the head phone jack to the PC mic in. I was able to make two contacts on 2 meter FT8 running 10 watts and manually keying the radio microphone when the PC went into transmit. Where there's a will, I guess there's a way. Great fun. Best of luck and 73 to all.
Portable from Bear Mt.
Es was poor this year in the west.
Thanks for having these contests. This one let us try out our new feed line, and it worked great. Unfortunately, our Rotor decided to stop pointed south Saturday evening! We hope to have the problem fixed by the next event! Heard a lot of stations, but our power output of 10W was probably hard for many of them to hear.
Had a good time on 6m despite no Es and some antenna problems. Thanks for the QSOs and 73! -Ron (W8RU).
What a great contest!
Handicapped on 6 meters running an indoor attic dipole until I can get my damaged 5 - element beam replaced. 1st time running FT-8, carried a lot of weight! :)
Every time I enter one of these contests, I learn something about my station of my technique. This contest was no exception. Identified a noise problem in my shack on 2m. "Life is a journey of continuous improvement."
FT8 should be its own contest. FT8 DOES NOT lend itself to running the bands". It kills the upper VHF/UHF/Microwave bands.
Horrible band conditions.
wa6ipz/r first time rover
My contest operation this year was a combination SOTA Activation and VHF Contest from SOTA summit W7A/MN-070. I Hiked up the summit in the dark with a flashlight in one hand, my antenna bundle in the other (six yagis), and a 45 pound pack on my back. I arrived on the summit before sunrise and proceeded to set up my station in the 40 MPH winds and cold temperatures. The station set up was a lot more difficult than I had expected. The contest itself was very busy with pileups on most every band at various times. There were ten SOTA stations on peaks, a bunch of Rover stations, and the usual home stations on the air. I operated until about 2130 UTC and decided to break down even though there was still quite a bit of activity. I had a fair distance to hike out to my Jeep, and the 4WD road back to the freeway to contend with. This years contest was just as busy as last years...maybe even busier.
The weather had quite an impact in my rover activity. But overall it was a lot of fun. I only operated from FN32 and FN33. All the equipment/ antennas worked flawlessly . Only running a 736R barefoot and a 706 with single loops. Thanks to all for the QSO’s.
Happy New Year to everyone and thanks for another enjoyable VHF contest. I am happy to report that I once again worked more stations and more grid squares on 222 MHz than on 432 MHz! The propagation is simply much better at half the frequency, and it's just physics and not determined by the availability of turn-key rigs or even a new contest category excluding 222 MHz. Thanks to everyone who operates 222 MHz, and especially to all of the Rovers and Hill-Toppers who ventured out mid-winter, with a forecasted snowstorm. Best 73, Chris WB2VVV
I was also in NCJ NAQP SSB contest same time. Where did everyone GO! Only few on 2M phone, Missed 2m ft8, mostly on 6m ft8 east of the Mississippi. Sunday evening the E's appeared SE of me, nice openings to the eastern sates, some on ssb. Didn't help we had a terrible snow storm, high winds with sleet with QRN. Missed Saturday because of snow removal for the neighbors, didn't get on until SS, then on Sunday the Packers played. :(( Lack of ON4KST usage for Q's, tried a few times, wished more locals and surrounding states would use it, especially for 2m. I didn't get on 432 because of bad N connector up the tower.
First contest operation in many years. Also first contest using logging software.
DEAD BAND CONTEST
This contests marks our 25th Anniversary of participating in VHF Contests, when we first used our Kenwood TH78 Handhelds with 5 watts on a hilltop in DM13 FM only. I think I just had a quarter wave whip. We've come a long way since then and this marks our first time running as a multi-op in Arizona. We still like contesting both indoors and outdoors. We can always learn something new about our station. KE6GFI