Click on a year below to view a list of soapbox entries.
Soapbox for 2020
Note: If you are concerned about a Soapbox comment, click on the icon and complete the form to contact the moderator.
Another fun VHF contest. I didn't put in a lot of operating time, but I enjoyed making some qsos. Rig was my Yaesu FT-450d, and most of my qsos were made on my 6 meter two-element beam. 73 de Jim ac9ez
Six Meters robbed the activity from the other Bands. I am sure there will be some huge scores in this Contest.
First time using SDR Pluto.
Despite high expectations, the shack and antennas at my new Tennessee QTH were not ready for this contest. I revived an ancient FT726R to operate on 6 meters with an omni-directional PAR OA50 loop on a push-up pole. On 2 meters an FT857D and OA144 snagged a few QSOs. The SCU-17 digital interface for the FT857D did not work, so FT8 was not possible. I operated old school SSB and CW, with a few local FM QSOs for some extra points. Even with just the low omni antenna on 6 meters I was able to work most of the SSB stations that were heard. The sporadic-E propagation up toward New England was pretty consistent, but I never was able to attract any attention with my CQs. I also had a 6 meter vertical antenna tuned for 52 MHz in hopes of working some FM stations there, but I heard no activity. All in all, the June VHF contest is still my favorite contest.
First VHF contest from J6. Working the bugs out. Propagation was so-so.
This was my first experience using more than 50, 144 and 440 FM transmitters, (I did CW, SSB and FT8 on 6). It was a blast while 6 was open. I slept when 6 became silent overnight, and got up when there was one signal available on the decode. I saw the same issues of FT8 operators not set on contest mode, adding multiple contacts for the same call sign and wondering how they would log me. I bet that I have several stations that may not have the same QSO time that I have logged. Hopefully I added to the interest on the local level with my calling on 146.52, but I had only a handful of contacts there.
VUCC on 10G from the driveway! My 5 y.o. daughter made a few Q's on 2m FM too.
First VHF log submitted in years...logging SW acted up, will submit anyway.
I was running 8 bands like in January, but this time no snow or ice. Only activated 15 grids this time. Due to some delays, my potential end of contests destinations became to iffy to reach so I didn't attempt them. My rove started Southeast of San Antonio TX and finished just outside Tulsa OK.
Operated K2TAS/P from Alley Pond Park in Queens, NYC. I used a Netbook for FT8 and logging with N1MM. Antenna was a log-periodic for 144 on a fiberglass / aluminum tripod mast. Radio was IC-706MKIIG powered by a 6 Ah sealed lead acid battery, continuously charged through a controller with a 100W flexible solar panel. Had a blast.
K3CCR is the club station at the Collington continuing-care retirement community at FM 18OW in MD, just east of DC. In the June 2020 ARRL VHF test, I (N3UM) operated SOLP 3-band, with no spotting. The start was slow; few sigs, all LOS. In 3 hrs before supper break and 1 hr after, I made 20 Qs on 6m, 14 on 2m, and 8 on 0.7m. Then, at 0108Z I got my first 6m. E skip QSO, in EN54. After that, for the rest of the test, most ops just chased the spotlight/whack-a-mole sporadic-E on 6m. I made just 5 more Qs on 2m. and 2 more on 0.7m, but 66 more Qs on 6m, 52 of these on CW. I did better on CW because I was using the 2-el. 40-m. part of our Falcon 20/40 with a tuner; very little gain, but > 100ft. up. Also, my TenTec 6-m. transverter failed after ~25 years, and I had to use a QRP FT818 to work with the 100W 6-m. amp. A good radio on CW, just fair on SSB; no speech processing, no voice- recorder input. From 0108Z to 0230 QRT I made 7 more CW skip Qs in EN and EM, 6 of them mults, and 4 SSB Qs in EN, all mults. At 14Z Sun. AM, no Es; I got 4 LOS Qs. Then at 1425Z 4 Es Qs on CW in 10 min, all in EN52. By lunch at 1608Z I had 12 more Es Qs, 7 of them mults, 1 a double-hop to DM38 in AZ. After lunch 7 LOS Qs, but Es was sparse, just 3 Qs and 1 mult. Back at 0015Z after supper and chores, the Es spotlight was on FL; 6 Qs and 3 mults on CW, in EL97-99. Next I got a last 5 Es mults by 02Z, in EM. All 3 bands then emptied until I got WA3NUF on 2 and 0.7m, plus W4EO/R loud in FM18 for 5 Qs and 3 mults to claim 6.06 K. Our best June VHF claim was 6.35 K in 2016; 2 ops, a real 6m. beam, but only 48 Qs on 6m. Far more ops in 2016 on 2 and 0.7m SSB.
First time Unlimited Rover category. Team of K3RW and K4PVA; first VHF contest for K4PVA. COVID concerns changed our plans to roving instead of Limited Multioperator. Heavy rain during the contest hampered some off-road roving locations. A rare tornado was noted during the contest in CN85. Highway blockades due to protests and in some cases, riots, impacted our ability to rove in Portland, it threatened to block our grid transit to CN95 on Mt Hood, and I-5 was reportedly shutdown in the Puget Sound area. We had planned at least 5-7 grids including CN87, CN88, CN95 and CN96, but managed only CN85, CN86, and CN84. We managed to activate two SOTA summits in CN85. We noticed several rover stations calling /r in voice modes but not signing /r in digital modes; this may adversely affect our score as well as numerous other participants. When we asked about other planned grids, one station inconsistently calling /r and had no plans at all to rove in a second grid, apparently did not know this was a rover requirement and did not know where the gridlines changed; we gave that info, and urged they rove to at least one other grid square during the contest--after the QSO was compete the station again reverted to calling without /r again despite pleas to be consistent from us and other operators. Replies to CQs and changes between grids, bands, and modes inadvertently produced several dupes; we logged all QSOs even if dupes however we expect other stations may omit theirs causing some NILs. We frequently emphasized the callsign as being K3RW/r and not K7RW or K3RW without the /r; however in past contests the /r is frequently missed by other operators and the 3 area call is missed by others despite our best efforts, and we expect that the combination of both may produce some NILs. We signed K3RW/R in FT8 though some rover stations apparently did not know how to, or chose not to; some operators may have logged these incorrectly without the /r. It should be noted that FT8 diligence to change the grid in the configuration software, especially when roving and approaching grid changes. As the RF gremlins emerged, we discovered our 6m screwdriver would not tune under 3:1. We made several 6m FM QSOs then gave up on 6m until the next day. We were forced to use a 2m 5/8s whip, cross-polarized and mag mounted, as our 6m FT8 and FM antenna as well as our 2m FT8, SSB, and FM antenna. We made a contact on each band from 6m through 1296; FM-only on 223, 927, and 1296. No 902 FM activity was observed. Due to high SWR on the 2m 5/8s vertical we made no 6m SSB or CW contacts but made numerous FT8 QSOs, most while in-motion between grids. Per usual, we found a few QSOs likely to be uniques from Sunday drivers and several from operators with heavily compromised systems and poor local propagation due to geography. We encountered a concerned neighbor in CN84 adjacent to a vacant hillside field who said our activity appeared suspicious; a well timed CQ from another ham that was clearly audible assuaged her concerns we were somehow spying on her with electronic equipment, and rather part of an ongoing contest as we had claimed.
Great to hear all the SSB stations during the contest, no FT8 used here.
First time i had a radio that could do 6 meters. It was great. Now I have to put up an antenna for 6 meters!
I enjoyed operating my 1st VHF contest since I was initially licensed in 1960 and hope I can do it again next year. It was very slow on Saturday, but Sunday morning there was a 6M band opening and it got busy.
Butt in seat = 14 hours contesting and 18 hours driving -- including drive to the start as well as back and forth to home for the evening. Best ever results with a few great openings on six meters. Surprise of the contest was calling FT8 CQ TEST and getting a response from EA8RH, didn't work him though. See my full blog post including a three-minute video overview at https://www.k5nd.net/2020/06/arrl-june-2020-vhf-contest-results-driving-and-wsjt-x/ Thanks to everyone for the QSOs particularly those that worked hard to add my grids on 144, 222, and 432. 73, Jim, K5ND
The Old Guys Started Late and then got busy.
Thanks to all the rovers who make it fun! I only melted a couple of things this time.
This was a fun contest.
We are Der Funkwagen. KA5D.com
100 WATTS, 120 FEET OF RG8X, 40 METER DIPOLE AT 20 FEET. STILL HAD A BLAST.
Driver: Mike Farlow Paralleled the course of N0LD/R. All radios were FM handhelds. Only one external antenna - the 2m, 70cm. It tripled for 1296.
This is a corrected log. The club name was wrong on the first submittal.
My son, Jason (currently studying for his technician), and I headed up to the northwest corner of FM19 to a mountain in WPA on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the mid-60's during setup. After making a few phone contacts on 6m, 2m and 70cm, I switched over to FT8 on 6m. It was almost nonstop from there on out on 6m, only taking a few breaks every once in a while to make a few contacts on 2m. Contacts were consistently made on 6m up until around 2am EDT when things slowed significantly and I decided to catch a few hours of sleep in the back of the truck. When starting again around 6am EDT, the action on 6m continued for the remainder of the contest. We only stopped to ensure we didn't have to disassemble and pack up in the dark.
Fun to get called in the rover on 6 M by a fixed station in CT. 30 MPH headwinds into the antenna stacks caused the truck to shift down at only 50 MPH speed. But they didn't blow loose or off !
TxRx Kenwood TS-590SG
I made a very unique contact. I called CQ for the June VHF contest. I made a contact both Saturday and Sunday with "Parachute mobile". Go to 9:15 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SktstqPpMqE&t=20s Go to 6:30 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNufdvtcBJI&t=469s
I'm still recovering.... some pictures available or check my QRZ page later. 73! Taking antenna and coax donations. LOL.
Working FM only in my back yard
First time on VHF+ SSB, new antennas. 6m on IC-756proII 5el, 2m on TS-700A 13el, 70cm on FT-897 6el. Caribbean cruises cancelled. Time for Ham Radio!
Shorter rove this June due to the pandemic. Enjoyed the 6m E-skip, though missed a lot of valuable runs on 144 MHz and higher. Managed one FT8 contact in 20 minutes - not time well spent. The rover has been equipped with WSJT-X for two years thinking it would provide some competitive advantage. The reality is, that has not panned out - poor run rates for, at most, a few multipliers. No offense to the WSJT-X team, but to help justify roving I support solutions that bring more human-intelligible activity back to the bands for the VHF contests.
First time solo effort to a familiar mountain top. Was slow getting started and then got chased off by rain, storms. But did what I came to do and that was camp out, ham radio, and mountain-topping. Might not do it solo again though. Thanks for the stations dealin with my bad audio on 6m, need a new mic...or radio.
Had lots of fun.
Here are some photos of my "semi-permanent" antenna array as mounted on my rooftop in Eagle River, Alaska. I use the term "semi-permanent" because our home was severely damaged in the November 7.1 earthquake and will have to be torn down in the near future. Therefore everything that you see is easily removable in an afternoon and can be broken down and transported to my new QTH hopefully without damage. Since a rotor was not available, I used parachute cord pulling on a steering tiller to access the shack through a scrap plywood window replacement panel. The cord then passes immediately above the operating position to a bungee-tensioned laundry pulley. Small color-coded zipties attached to the parachute cord are used as directional indicators: blue (cold) for north, green for due west, and red (hot) for south.
FT8 played a major role for me in this contest. Tropo on 2M and up was not the best. Many contacts were possible only on FT8. I am an old-school contester and a convert to digital mode when needed. On VHF and UHF I used single squalo antennas. Enjoyed the contest!
I didn't get to participate in this contest like I would have liked. I ended up stuck out of town with access to only my 6 meter station via remote. One band and not a much free time. I did what I could to give some points out to others.
Lots of fun from the top of Utah Hill. Worked the first 7 hours of the contest. Good activity for this area, but only two skywave six meter contacts.
Fun to get called in the rover on 6 M by a fixed station in CT.
Did a "legacy old school" single op QRP Portable on 6 Meters with a 2020 update for WSJT-X. Radio was MFJ-9606 @ 10 watts, antenna 2 el yagi on a 15 ft mast. I made contacts on SSB, and also FT4 and FT8. The little radio did a credible job on the WSJT-X digital modes. Audio from radio to laptop via a small USB microphone. Audio into radio - held the microphone over the laptop speaker. I made my first FT4 contacts including one with K1JT. FT4 worked fine, contacts seemed easier to complete at times than on FT8. FT4 moves quick, and I needed to pay close attention to what was going on. Picked up some rare new grids including DL78, DL99, DM57, DN84, and DN88.
Lashed a PVC-and-tentpole 2-element 6-meter yagi, fixed southwest, to a short mast on the roof. Had a blast on CW and SSB.
great opening on 6m on Sunday.. Thanks for all the rovers.
Beginning June 8th with help from N1NK, WA1BXY, N2RDF, AA1ON, W1HY and W1YM this station added VHF, UHF and FT8: M2 6M5X 5L6M yagi @ 75ft at 800W, Cushcraft 14L-LFA-2M yagi @ 65ft at 1kW on a common mast & IIX side-mounted rotor, switched by an Ameritron RCS-8V. On Sunday morning of JUNE-VHF I added A DSE432FO 25L-432-yagi @ 90ft fixed SSW at 50w into the RCS-8V switch. Had a fabulous time adding these bands to the station, enjoying the propagation and having fun with my friends! CU next year with more fire-power on VHF & UHF. Tough in VHF contesting when more than 60% of the grids around you are an OCEAN, empty of stations or multipliers to work. Maybe we need a YCCC Ocean Rover Regatta & Fishing Tournament !! It could happen !
I guess everybody was on 50mhz as I heard nobody on 144 or 432 despite spending a little time calling on those bands.
New to Contest. Filed so the others can get the points.
Due to being on-call for work, I ended up operating from my shop as time allowed with the antennas out in the driveway. Nice 275 mile contact with AI5I at a few watts using the internal 2 meter transverter and a 14 element big honking beam, as well as several 6 meter QSOs.
1st 900 MHZ Contact, Short cable length is more important than a good antenna on 900 MHz.
ARRL: How do I submit 2 logs from 2 computers? I see no way to combine logs on my Mac! I lost points by not being able to add my 2 meter contacts! uggh!
After not being active for pretty much a year, I spent the last 6 months doing my best to update the station and make a big bang this last contest..Re-tuned every antenna, updated main feed lines to LMR-600, New amps on 3 of the 4 bands. New radios to include IC-7300 and a IC-9700. New Hy-Gain Rotor and digital control box. Things I missed and cost me a few points. Rotor tails were not checked. I was focused to much on the main feed lines. This caused the antennas on 2M and 432 to fail the 2nd day. The 6M Cushcraft is not rated at 1KW, only 500PEP and it started showing high SWR the 2nd days also. The 2nd day I was down to 1296 at 50W, a 6M loop at 40 feet, and 2M loop at 45 feet. Knowing these were not able to handle 1KW I backed down the amps power to just under 500 Watts. The new amps put out 2Xs the power as before and the lower rated items gave up after a constant 18 hours of 1KW being feed to them. Im thinking the Connectors were not up to stuff and I need to upgrade to much better versions. The SWR rises as the power is increased and settles back down at lower power. Lesson learned. Don't cheap out on anything if your going QRO. Over all I feel pretty good. 6M was open in one direction most of the time with a few direction changes through out the contest. 2M did not see an opening, but the M2-18XXX and 1KW while it lasted was reaching out and touching stations 5-600 Miles with ease. 432 Was reaching up to 300 miles, and 1296 was reaching 150 miles. I did switch between SSB/FT8/FT4, with some MSK meteor scatter on 6/2 when times were slow. Even got in a few JT65 on the higher bands. I wish we had more 432 and 1296 stations on the air for out out in the weeds grids to work. With that note.. This contest was my best contest in 10 years.. Hope to see a few of you in the next one! 50 Mhz : 216 Contacts / 110 Grids 144 Mhz : 42 Contacts / 25 Grids 432 Mhz : 5 Contacts / 5 Grids 1296 Mhz : 1 Contact / 1 grid Totals 264 Contacts QSO points 271 Multipliers : 141 Score : 38,211 Dave N5ITO / EM23
For the June VHF contest (June 13-14, 2020), I drove the N6MI ham van to DM15aa. I camped in the open desert. For a few photos, visit n6mi.com. It was nice weather. Not too hot during the day and not too cold at night. On Friday, the wind peaked at about 50 miles per hour. However, the wind was usually 20 miles per hour or less. No, I don't use outriggers on the ham van. The Will-Burt pneumatic mast just sways a little... On 6 meters, I operated the Yaesu FTdx101D and ACOM A600S amplifier (about 500 watts on USB and CW). I used a five element yagi at 60 feet. The FTdx101D is a fine contest radio. I used an ICOM-9700 for 2 (100 watts), 432 (75 watts), and 1.2 (10 watts). I attached an external Leo Bodner Precision GPS Reference Clock; I don't have any drift problems with this setup. On 2 meters, I used a 12 element yagi, mounted about four feet above the six meter yagi. On 432, I used a mid-sized yagi, about 15 feet high, mounted on a push up mast from Will-Burt. On 1.2, I used a small Comet yagi, about 20 feet high, mounted on the top of the Will-Burt mast. This mast required an "arm strong" rotator. On 223.5 FM (only), I ran 5 watts to a whip on the van roof. Several hams said, "I have never heard or worked a ham in DM15 on this band." Super! That is why I try to travel to amusing spots for the June VHF contest. This was my first contest with FT8. I like the FT8 activity, but I still prefer voice and CW modes on VHF. On Saturday morning, I received a surprise visit from K6VCR. Tom tracked my location on APRS. We shared (socially distant) cups of coffee and caught up on old times. My most difficult QSO was with N7DA in DM12. We worked at it until we received some airplane flutter assistance. Band Mode QSOs Pts Grd Pt/Q 50 CW 9 9 4 1.0 50 FT8 51 51 13 1.0 50 USB 38 38 9 1.0 144 CW 2 2 0 1.0 144 FM 1 1 0 1.0 144 USB 24 24 9 1.0 222 FM 5 2 1 2.0 222 USB 4 8 3 2.0 (should be FM) 420 FM 1 2 0 2.0 420 USB 16 32 7 2.0 1240 USB 4 12 4 3.0 Total Both 151 181 50 1.2 I will work you from the van on Field Day. Remember! Field Day is a contest.
Other commitments prevented me from participating during "prime time" which cost me many possible contacts. I observed no openings when I was able to operate. No excuses. I plan to be back next time better prepared. "No score is too small". Rig: Elecraft KX3 with 5 watts output. Antenna: Radio Works "Carolina Windom" an HF antenna. 73, Steve N7VS
I decided to not use ft8 this time. Missed most of the good openings. Local noise at this qth is terrible.
Could have done better, but can only take too much FT8.
Great Conditions, 6m open almost all weekend!
During Transcription, entered dates one day later for QSOs showing times starting with "0"
I'm just submitting a log because I was handing out a few points. Not a "serious" contester, and I didn't have much time to devote to it. It was fun , though, running the TS-440S into the Hallicrafters HA-6 and HA-2 transverters.
My rove started in BP46, 25 miles south of the Arctic Circle, then thru BP45, 55, 65, 64, 54. Not sure which was worse; wildfires, lightning storms, or the mosquitos. Tnx to the Fairbanks/North Pole hams who listened for me in very quiet grids. Special tnx to Larry KL2R Two Rivers Contest Club and John KL7HBK.
My first VHF contest and what a great time it was!
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 88 53 144 63 17 222 37 13 432 39 11 902 21 11 1.2G 21 11 2.3G 17 10 3.4G 2 2 5.7G 14 8 10G 12 9 24G 0 0 LIGHT 8 8 RVHFG eligible score is 71120 (end of EN92)
My transmitted mode is shown for cross-mode contacts Equipment - 50 MHz K2 + homebrew xvtr + amp 70W, Moxon K2 + DEMI xvtr + amp 100 W, dipole 222 MHz K2 + XV222 20W, 7el. Indoors 432 MHz K2 + MM xvtr 10W, 10 el. Indoors 903 MHz K2+rx conv., homebrew tx, 5W, 7 el. Indoors 1296 MHz FT-290R+xvtr+amp 6 W, 10 el. Indoors Log contains two duplicate QSOs (VE3II, KM4HI) not counted in claimed score
My transmitted mode is shown for cross-mode contacts Equipment - 50 MHz FT-818, mobile vert. 144 MHz FT-818, mobile vert./5 element Yagi 222 MHz HTX-100 + homebrew 2 W xvtr, mobile vert. 432 MHz FT-818, mobile dipole 5760 MHz K2+2m xvtr + 5760 xvtr 50 mW, horn 10 GHz K2 + 2m xvr + DB6NT xvtr + amp, 2W, 2 ft. dish
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 86 54 144 8 8 222 10 9 432 8 8 902 8 8 1.2G 8 8 2.3G 8 8 3.4G 0 0 5.7G 7 7 10G 7 7 24G 0 0 LIGHT 8 8 158 125 OVHFA claimed score 24109, end of EN92
I was very surprised at such a low score in a June VHF contest but enjoyed it.
473 * 110 = 52030 in 7:47
SOME OPENINGS THIS YEAR
Please note and correct my log that I was in the Low Power category, not high power. 73, Joe, W1JR
This was with no digital, only CW and SSB. FT950 feeding KT34XA triband beam up 60 feet. It's fun when there is some sporadic-E.
Don't know how the log got listed as "mixed mode"...they were all Phone QSOs. Neither is it "All Band" .... just 6m.
Well once again I have successfully attained a spot on the HAM RADIO WALL OF SHAME with my measly 18 Q's in the VHF contest. I had a good time though! 73 de W4DL Mike in EL96wf
Great weather and two 6M opening! We worked EU and the Azores on Saturday. FT8 appeared to be the most popular mode, but 6M SSB frequencies sounded like an HF contest at times. Propagation on 2M and up was poor.
Rig: Icom 2730A Antenna: Comet GP-9 at 20 ft Power: 50w
This contest was fun, thanks!
I didn't have any intent of working this seriously, but once I got started, I had a bit of fun. My first VHF contest.
This year I actually made a few contacts here in Michigan, although the number wasn't fantastic. Compared to the last couple of years here in Michigan when I heard and worked nothing, this was a major step forward. I focused mostly on FT8 and 6M, I listened and called on 2M but never made any contacts. I heard nothing on voice. Saturday 6M was pretty much dead the whole time I was parked. The extra elevation apparently didn't make much difference. Sunday afternoon 6M was hopping and then it just died, just about the time I got everything working. Heard more for a short while than I did sitting 800 feet higher, I just couldn't get the system to work them any faster. My friend, El KD8DJL, and I were comparing what I was hearing in Michigan and what he was hearing in Montgomery Alabama Sunday afternoon - much more activity down south. I miss that here in Michigan. I also miss sitting on Mount Cheaha working the contest from the campground right under the peak. This is the first time I've run FT8 on VHF primarily, usually tried voice. I noticed a number of people didn't have their FT8 software setup for VHF contesting - it doesn't sequence correctly when cross connected. The NA VHF Contest CQ TEST really should be changed to CVHF or maybe CNTST or something that indicates you are working the contest. Maybe I missed some memo on how to set it up but it seemed most had it doing CQ TEST. Equipment was a borrowed Icom 7300 and my 7100. I ran everything off of a 105AH battery and an MFJ battery booster. I have a 400W inverter that after a while had a lot of trouble keeping the computer charged and running the rotator, it would fault out every 20 minutes or so. The 6M Beam is an M2 three element yagi. The 2M beam is also M2, 7 element. They have served me well for almost 10 years of VHF contesting. I had a 432 antenna but never put it up, figuring if I can't hear anything on 2M, 70CM won't be any better.
Had grate time... wish i had more time to operate!!
Technically, we going multi-op as we decided to make it a family fun afternoon with my 8-year old daughter, Ellie learning how to operate using FT8 and Phone with guidance from me (W9KVR) and her grandfather (KC9HHT). We didn't set the world on fire with Q's, but it was a lot of fun seeing Ellie make contacts for the first time! In fact she even snagged a few new grid squares for the W9KVR station, hi hi.
First contest using FT8. Quite a learning curve for an old ham, but I will be ready for you next year!
2020 ARRL June VHF Contest – Thoughts / Reflections – Jeff Pulver WA2BOT When I uploaded my logs I was looking for the category: - 6 Meters Only - Digital Only (FT4/FT8/MSK144) I look forward to the day when we can compete Single Band, Digital Only. I guess I was dreaming but I actually thought this was one of the competition categories. Maybe one year it will be... Who knew FT4 on 6 meters would be so, so good? Operating FT4 during 2020 ARRL June VHF Contest was the highlight for me. At times 50.318 had intensity of operating on 20 meters. I have been a ham since 1975 but it took until about six months ago for me to discover the magic of 6 Meters. My modest "contest" station antenna was a 5 element 6 meter beam on tripod with an "arm strong" rotor. On a good day the antenna is 20 feet in the air. In the 80s, when I participated in a contest, I enjoying having SSB responsibility (sometimes shared) and enjoyed working pileups and speaking as fast as I could. While I can operate a higher QSO rate using SSB, given my operating conditions, I am pretty sure operating digital modes empowered me to make more QSOs and discover more Grids than operating SSB. When the contest started, 6 meters was in pretty good shape and I did net get to sleep much before 1:30 AM the first night. On Sunday morning I enjoyed operating Meteor Scatter for a few QSOs and after 6 meters opened up operated until the end of the contest. The most surreal moment for me was around 2120z on Sunday when 6 meters shut down. At first I thought it was my antenna but no; the magic band ran out of magic...and then it was back! When the band returned I experienced one of the best opening I have had for West Coast QSOs. In the end I submitted a log with 449 digital QSOs and 171 grids on just 6 meters. I look forward to more QSOs and more Grids next year. I am grateful for the experience I invested my weekend in. I am looking forward to using Digital modes in future contests. 2020 has been a surreal year. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. 73s, Jeff Pulver WA2BOT
I operated on Saturday with my QRP Yaesu FT-818. At 5 stories up I have an advantage on VHF & particularly 432 Mhz...Unfortunately sideband on that band gets little use as far as I can tell and so I was surprised to find some activity there late on Saturday night. It's a nice band and even with my V dipole antenna, I can cover a lot of miles with just low power. This, especially if someone on the other side of the QSO has a nice yagi on a tower, pointed my way. After The BARA 2 meter net last week, a couple of us changed to 432.1 just to make some chatter: It was nice.
Super fun openings. All contacts SSB. Highlights were working G8BCG, G4FJK, MW0ZZK, CU3AC, and XE2X. Icom 7300 100 watts and my design of stacked turnstiles to get gain and be omnidirectional (no rotator needed). 73 Jim WA3FET
This one went much better than expected, though I was disappointed at the poor showing on 432. There were good openings on 6 into the northeast and the midwest. Don't think I've ever managed South Dakota before.
Nice 6m openning on Sumday afternoon
Wow Factor FT8 a true game changer for vhf. So many more signals on the air now. VHF is alive and well. See you next time maybe on SSB?
Had fun. The 2M band conditions were very poor. Thankfully, the 6 meter band opened up on Sunday evening - was happy to get a QSO with the VE5 location. Thanks for the VHF opportunities.
A little warm this June and lots of bugs although, still fun to operate Portable QRP. IC706 w/Moxon on 6m and 2m, HB 7ele yagi on 70cm at 17 ft. No Digital Contacts, ALL SSB in the field. x 1 dupe - kd2lgx
Weather predictions dictated a simple and quick setup with simple antennas. Operated from a 4400 Ft. ASL ridge, about ten miles north of the summit of Mt. Rainier
Decided to operate at the last minute. Threw some radios and accessories into the truck Friday night, headed out to site Saturday morning. Operated using only vertical omni antennas. Forgot interface and cables for 6m radio so couldn't do FT8, but openings kept things busy on SSB/CW. Thanks to all the rovers!
After being a ham radio operator for over 55 years, this is the first time I’ve ever operated on 6 meters! What a challenge to work new states and even a couple of countries. Never thought it could be so much fun! I’m hooked!
Major station upgrade for 902, 1296 and 2304 in progress