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Soapbox for 2021
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My son Max (KD9NZB, age 9) and I (AA9RK, age 41) did a limited rover operation at a park, a forest, and a school on Saturday. More contacts were FT8 than any other mode, though we got an okay run going on SSB on 6 meters at our second stop. We learned that a clear horizon is more important than elevation.
some of the times are estimated - was camping and couldn't see my watch after dark.
first VHF contest attempt, first rove attempt
Heard several Europe on FT8 Sunday afternoon, but not able to make QSOs. Several openings, but lots of QSB. Had good opening to N.E. USA Sunday morning, but had to end run due to other activities.
It was a lot of fun. I will look forward to the uhf contest in August, I am out in the sticks that makes it a challenge.
My first contest. Few contacts, but lots of fun!
This was the first time running a multi - transmitter at the home qth. KC9IPR and I had a lot of fun operating on the bands. Station consisted of the Yaesu FT-450d for 6m, an Icom IC-746 for 2m, and a Yaesu FT-60r for 70cm. Interference between 6m and 2m was quite low with the addition of some ferrite beads to the feed lines. We look forward to next year's VHF contest! 73 de station AC9EZ
All Solar/battery power on test. cabrillo.txt
Glad there was some E-Skip on 6 Meters. I missed quite a few people, particularly on the higher frequency bands. They seemed busy with FT8 or FT4. I hope everyone did well.
Mostly using SDR Pluto. My record RS QSO on 10GHz so far .. 515km (322 miles)
There was one typo: RSO: 432 FM 2021-06-14 0128 AF6GM DM12 KK6LE DM13 should have been QSO: 432 FM 2021-06-14 0128 AF6GM DM12 KK6LE DM13
Decided to limit to FM voice only contacts foregoing the 6m & 2m FT8 which was very active. Only operated Saturday.
Dreadful propagation. Then there were some connectivity issues between Windows 10 OS and N1MM+ logger which surfaced after I had tested everything earlier in the contest week. All this, compounded with the sheer tedium of making FT8 contacts, made this a contest to forget. In the early doldrums of Saturday afternoon, contest action was so slight here in NM and the intellectual requirements for making an FT8 contact so minimal, that I fell asleep at the operating position. The almost-exclusive focus on FT8 by contest participants has caused me to re-think my engagement and investment in VHF/UHF contesting. FT8 is not intrinsically good or evil but it is changing severely what a VHF contest is. ARRL will likely just point to logs submitted as a metric of success but I don't think this is a good indicator of contest quality or worth. The low "nutritional value" of FT8 is hollowing-out the hobby; sure, lots of people are using it, but I feel that being a radio amateur is more that being a mouse-clicking automaton, with very little choice in the FT8 contest exchange. And, on that matter, the canned FT8 contest exchange leads to lots of busted QSOs. I know there are such contacts in my log and apparently there was little I could do about it at the time. The "RR73" concluding exchange sometimes does not get received at the other end because of rapidly-changing conditions on VHF yet the logic of the program at the sender's end means that the QSO is complete --- although it isn't. Trying to fix this at the time requires some gymnastics with mouse clicks and keyboard entry and is usually not successful. The development of FT8 and other optimal modes for weak-signal conditions that are available in the WSJTX package are the inevitable and logical development for robust communications under difficult propagation conditions. This I applaud. And which I also take advantage of in filling my FFMA bingo card. But for contesting, the inevitable next step is to remove the operator entirely and let a machine learning and artificial intelligence enabled program run the whole thing, including choice of band, mode, beam direction, etc. I think this is actually entirely doable, right now. (I have some professional knowledge of what's involved.) So, ARRL should stop pussy-footing, bow to the inevitable, and let our computers do all the work in the June VHF Contest. Developing the algorithms and the hardware implementation would be in line with our remit to develop the art of radio communication, and would surely be more interesting than clicking a mouse for 27 hours. I'm seriously re-considering my participation in VHF contesting as a result of this contest. This also has consequences in how I spend my dollars, and therefore for ARRL's commercial supporters. I have already deferred some major amateur radio purchases while I evaluate what I want to do next in radio. It's very likely not going to include a day's worth of FT8 mouse-clicking.
Operated from Canada Hill @ 6600' (39.181, -120.534)
pretty good weekend.lots of fun!bands OK
First time submitting. Using an FT-60 handheld.
only operated FT8 on 6 meter, 50.313 MHz
Disappointed at the condiitons but maybe January will be better. Tnx for the QSOs.
When N6ZE WAS NOT out ROVING, he did some 6 meter operating from a fixed location in DM04ne. 7 of 31 QSO were SSB; All others were FT-8. No Es openings noted on Sunday evening. N6ZE DID NOT utilize FT-8 when ROVING as N6ZE/R. Pete H., Pres. of Thousand Oaks EME Club
Thanks to all the rovers!
Some highlights. Great tropo opening to two good ops (N2JMH and W2FU) in northern NY after the afternoon thunderstorm passed through and I got back on the air. Some 10 GHz Rainscatter contacts in VE3, WPA and WNY. Lots of Rovers out with N6MEJ, KD3PD, WA3RGQ, N9ZL, KJ1K, W3ICC, KM3G, KM4OZH, W4NF, N2DXT, KO4IJH, K2QO and KF2MR. Great that you all went out!! Worked K1TEO on 9 bands. 6m amplifier quit, so ended up a little light on the 6m QSOs and grids. Had a good time making CW contacts on 6m. I received a large number of WSJTX Q65-15B decodes on 10368.200 MHz with Peter VA3ELE at 512 km. Our Q65 contact attempt was well after midnight where AircraftScatterSharp showed no airplanes anywhere near the path. While we did not complete the contact on Q65, the experience showed me yet another new digital capability I did not previously have in the VHF Contest tool box. Fortunately Peter and I worked Sunday afternoon on CW using Rainscatter as a mode of propagation. My QSO breakdown by transmission mode: CW - 90 (15.4%), FM - 18 (3 %), FT8 - 72 (12.3%), MSK144 - 3 (0.51%), and USB - 401 (68.6%). Total 584. [I did not keep track of any statistics for contacts where stations called me on CW while I transmitted in USB, as occasionally is the case]. For the record I remain fully satisfied with the current ARRL VHF Contest format allowing both analog modes SSB and CW and digital modes FT8, MSK144 and other digital transmission modes in VHF Contests, ensuring that all stations have a chance to be part of the fun and competition on the VHFs and up. Thanks to ARRL for their excellent sponsorship of these VHF contests and to everyone who got on and made contacts on any transmission modes in the contest. 73, Dave K1RZ. FM19jh. cu August 222 and Up Distance Contest.
This is always my favorite contest of the year - while the 6m SSB activity was down, and I had a conflicting event on Sunday morning, two factors that without a doubt hurt my score, it was a blast as always.
VHF roving has all the excitement and all the chaos one might expect if you were to combine ham radio with a scavenger hunt and a college road rally. Five hours into the contest I faced a potential rove ending event when at my first fuel stop I noticed a significant amount of coolant dripping from Rover. I had checked coolant level before the rove and now it was half a gallon low. Hours of idling in near 100 degree heat with air condition running is stressful on the vehicle. With this in mind, and Rover’s 335K miles, I run the coolant system unpressurized during contests. This causes the engine to run a little bit off the normal operating temperature, and it means I need to watch coolant as some will evaporate out, but it significantly reduces the chance of blowing out a hose. Also any leak that does develop will simply leak rather than have coolant forced out and without the pressure the leak likely won’t grow quickly. This strategy was paying its reward now. Had the system been pressurized, steam would have been blowing out, the hole likely would have been much larger, and I wouldn’t have been able to drive without resolving the issue. As it was, I could continue driving. The question was if, with a thousand more miles to go, could I could continue my rove? That was not an easy question and needed some more exploration of the problem. Before getting into that, the contest wasn’t going exactly as planned anyway. I started the contest joining the TX rovers KD5IKG/R, KA5D/R and W5TN/R in the oil fields near Falls City Texas which is a small town southeast of San Antonio. Found in the oil fields is the EL08/09/18/19 grid corner. We had plans to setup with one of us in each grid and focus on working other stations, then rotate periodically. This plan met with mixed results and ultimately several lessons learned. My start was slightly delayed as I discovered an elevated SWR with my 70cm yagi. 2.5 to 1 SWR, especially with the coax losses on that band, could mean anything. I decided to take some time to check out the coax connections, antenna switching relays, and clean the connections on the antenna matching section. All seemed okay, but the SWR didn’t improve with the little I could do. By the time I did get operating, I missed many of the initial contact opportunities. Stations had QSYed to other bands with some of the rovers and I wasn’t able to get into sync. When I did make contacts signals seemed to be unusually weak. A powerhouse station in the area that I expected to be strong was just okay on 2m, lost them completely on 1.25m and 6m was a struggle requiring CW. Yet on 70cm I worked them easily despite the SWR problems so go figure. We eventually worked between us rover, but far from what we could have done had we chose to exhaust every possible combination. It was getting late and the other rovers moved out. As seems to be the norm for me in these things, I was the one lagging behind. I decided to stay to pick up some more fixed stations and ones I only got from just one or two grids earlier. Many were no longer around to be found but, I got a couple and moved between the grids to fill in the contacts I could get with them. This was a bit easier without all the other local strong signals Almost 5 hours after the start of the contest ,and about 220 Qs in the log, I moved off the grid corner to work my way to the Devil’s backbone overlook which is in EL09 between Austin and San Antonio. This was the dinner stop for the TX rovers and a good high spot to work stations who were getting on the air in the evening. It was at my fuel stop on my way to Devil’s Backbone where I discovered the leaking coolant. So the quest was to continue or not? Do I toss in the towel and head back to my local home base in Brenham Texas? Or do I continue? I decided to procrastinate (something I excel at doing) and make the decision later. I was still quite far south and close to three hour drive from Brenham, but I was only an hour away from the Devil’s Backbone lookout. The lookout wasn’t much further away from Brenham than I was at the moment. So going there wouldn’t move me further away from “home” but every mile would get me closer to where the other rovers could support me if needed. So I continued to proceed to Devil’s backbone. I arrived at the lookout and the other rovers without incident. As is my norm, I had continued to operate while working my way to the lookout occasionally working a station along the way. One contact with Korey WA5RR/R during this time stands out as I was on the wrong side of the hill when I worked him and our contact was on 70cm of all bands. Once at the lookout I took some time to work a couple stations and it was from there I had my first distant microwave contacts of the contest. Once I worked those immediately available, I shut off the engine and decided to investigate. I noted that Rover had lost much of the coolant I had added when I found the leak, but wasn’t any lower than that. I looked closer and found a crack in the plastic portion of the radiator on the top surface. That perhaps explained why more coolant wasn’t lost. The level was low enough that that there was air in main upper coolant hose. Could I continue? Timing wise I wasn’t lagging far behind as I usually am. It looked like I would get a good overnight stop for once if I were to continue, but my plans had me running from there out to Little Rock Arkansas before turning and proceeding to Tulsa Oklahoma were I would meet up with the Oklahoma rovers. That was a long way to go with a coolant leak I could keep topping it up, but if it got worse that could leave me stranded a long way from “home”. I decided to procrastinate again and while mulling over the decision socialized with the other ops who were taking a break. Also chatting with the many non-hams that kept walking up to us to ask us about our vehicles. One sad footnote about the Devil’s Backbone lookout. On the fencing around the lookout are many small memorials that have been left by people who lost loved ones at this location as it seems many go to this lookout to commit suicide. I enjoyed the social time very much, but there was that decision. One suggestion was made that some JB Weld could be used, but it was too late to get this material. I eventually decided it would be too risky to continue. The big concern was the shape of the crack. It split a couple different ways and looked like if one part of the crack continued to spread it would intersect another part and make a good sized hole. On my drive back to Brenham, I started thinking about the JB Weld idea again. Just how early do auto parts stores open on Sunday? And yes my plans to get to Arkansas were out the window, but how far was it from Brenham to Tulsa? Would it still be possible to catch up with the Oklahoma rovers? When I got “home” I looked up. Auto parts were open at 8am. Drive time from Brenham TX to Tulsa OK looked like it could work too if I could get on the road before it got too late. Rover could cool off overnight and I had another vehicle which would let me get what I needed without getting Rover hot. Before going to bed I decided to take some time to clean the surface good and scuff it up so it would have time to dry and be all ready for whatever I found in the morning. The JB Weld options (and similar products) didn’t look encouraging. The suitable materials for the temperature and chemical resistance seemed to have cure times that were too long to work for my plans. The more generic 5 minute epoxy’s had good cure times, but how it would do with the temperature or the coolant was unknown. Off to the side though I spotted plastic radiator repair which had a fiberglass reinforcing sheet and a stated 20 minute cure time. That seemed to be exactly what I needed. About 9am I had the leak patched. The instructions said the vehicle could be driven as soon as the material was no longer tacky. I proceeded to load up the car with the things I had unloaded the night before. That took me about 40 minutes, plenty of time for it to cure. It was still tacky. The patch felt hard though and I didn’t have much time. So I decided to fill the coolant back up to normal and get on the road anyway. I was rolling by 10am. Unfortunately I missed all the early morning activity, but I was moving again headed for Tulsa. K5LLL was the biggest and strongest station in the area as I headed out of Brenham. I worked him thru the bands four times as I went thru EM10, EM20, EM21 and EM11 helping me secure those activation multipliers. I also got activity out of K5IM and K5QE during this time. Activity started to pick up more as I approached the DFW area and I worked a handful of stations multiple times as I proceeded thru EM12, EM 13, EM14 and EM24. This is the sort of operating I enjoy. 6m, 2m and 1.25m seemed to have poorer than average conditions while the APRS map suggested different for 2m. I don’t know why. I did discover during this period that I had my RF gain down a bit on my FT-736 which was affecting 2m and 1.25m but even with that back to its normal position it didn’t help much. On the other hand 70cm despite the funky SWR was working great as well as the microwaves. I heard almost no 6m activity with most stations worked there being ones I QSYed with there. I only was doing SSB and CW so didn’t see digital activity. I expect if 6m was really open there would have been some activity on SSB and CW like last June. I occasionally tuned to the FT8 frequency and heard stations there but couldn’t tell if local or distant. I’ve heard many were getting some good DX on 6m using FT8 so clearly there were openings that worked for that mode. At one point I heard a FN20 and FN21 station very weak but couldn’t get their attention. One of the highlights of the contest for me was when I worked WQ0P who was in EM19 in Northern Kansas while I was still south of Tulsa about 240 miles away in EM25. At first we just worked on 2m, but then I heard WQ0P ask WD5AGO/R to QSY to 23cm. They didn’t connect but I had very good copy on WQ0P so I worked WQ0P on 23cm. Before we could work other bands I crossed the line into EM15. In hindsight I should have halted till we worked the other bands. Anyway we worked on 2m and 23cm again with me in the new grid and then proceeded to work 70cm, 1.25m, 33cm and 6m in that order. Six bands and six new multipliers for me. I caught up with the Oklahoma rovers N0LD/R and K5SRT/R along with Tommy WD5AGO/R at the grid corner just south of Tulsa for the last portion of the contest. I was able to make my first ever 5cm contacts with Tommy. There was one event that marred the contest a little. As usual rovers draw attention and our position in one grid was residential and there were many locals about. Most were curious, friendly and had no objection but one individual approached me a bit more confrontationally. I answered the questions as usual, but I could tell by his words, even if not sounding overtly hostile, that he was not happy with our being there. He asked how much longer and I said less then 5 more minutes. In fact we would have been done were it not for his interruption. I saw where this was going, he would keep talking, likely get more negative, and just waste time. So I offered to go if he wanted me to. He said he thought that was a good idea. So while I headed out he proceeded over to the other rovers and told them to leave. I see no good in these situations trying to stay. Yes it was a public road, but there is no telling what the guy would do. If he were to call the police, the police likely would ask us non-locals to leave the neighborhood for the sake of peace even if legally we have the right. It would simply waste time and draw unnecessary attention. Worse it could create an incident that potentially make us unwelcome in other areas of the grid corner. As usual it was a fun and exhausting time. I am glad I decided to find a way to continue even if I wasn’t going to finish as well as hoped. I had planned a couple days off after the contest and my plans were to visit in Oklahoma. I was sort of using the contest as one leg of the travel and when I had decided to scrub the rove I was doubly disappointed as that affected my vacation plans. Continuing the rove allowed me my vacation time as originally planned. Final tally for this rove is around 450 Qs and 110K points. One of my lowest Q totals since I went from Limited Rover to Classic Rover, but pretty reasonable for how long I was out of the chase. Only 18 grids activated of the 24 I expected to activate. As an aside, one of my vacation stops was indirectly related to roving. That stop was in Wakita Oklahoma, a small town that was featured in the movie Twister. With Rover often confused with being a storm chase vehicle, and much of the romanticism about storm chasing created by the movie Twister, I thought a photo of Rover in Wakita would be cool. P.S “home” refers to my Breham Texas QTH while home (without quotes) refers to my Sparta NJ QTH.
Never was so much time spent listening for so few QSOs. I kept checking the band but never heard very much except an occasional signal would rise from the void and stay audible for 30 seconds before drifting back into the muck. Lots of spots but almost all were for digital modes. What happened to CW and even SSB?
Most exciting qso was with WA8RJF on 10G RS 300 Plus miles
Ended up working an all digital (FT8/FT4) effort with my all indoor low power station using only 6m and 2m. I did listen to 432.130 and 432.174 but no takers that I couold hear from FM18. Met my QSO goal and came within 12% of making my multiplier goal. Great contest, good opening and glad to see some DX stations participating, even on FT4!
Big disappointment to find so few ssb/cw ignals on 6, 2, 220 and 432. Yes, I am using indoor antennas, but most stations seem to have diverted to digital modes. I suggest they spend a little time on ssb and cw. My highlight was working two VO1's (Newfoundland) on 6, with an indoor Saturn-6 halo.
"It was great to have so much activity on SSB and CW!"
First ARRL contest in 30+ years, only made a few contacts to get my feet wet, but hopefully will be back in force for the next one. Getting started in FT8 and other digital modes has revitalized my interest in ham radio, and 50Mhz was open to a lot of the continental US Sunday morning. So much fun! 73!
NICE E-SP OPENING ON SUNDAY
CW and SSB, no Digital.
I was thrilled when a duct opened between EA8 and NTX for a few minutes and I was able to snag not only a new DXCC on 6m but by far my longest QSO on that band in my one year of operating on 6m.
Change name of contest to "June 6M FT-8 Contest"
Activated 8 grids and put 225 QSOs in the log with 114 multipliers. It was quite a weekend. I've documented the full story at https://www.k5nd.net/2021/06/arrl-vhf-june-2021-contest-bone-weary-equipment-wary-early-quitter/ Thanks everyone for the QSOs and working my puny signal. 73, Jim @ K5ND/R
FT8 is slow SSB & CW faster logging contacts
SSB & CW, 6 m. only - so very few contacts.
Thanks to HOA, all antennas are in the attic: http://k5tra.net/TechFiles/K5TRA_attic_antenna_farm_Jan2020.zip
FT8 is so busy that it is impossible to work anyone. CW and SSB are so much better.
Travelling with the family and couldn't fully participate. Made one QSO in the parking lot of the Portland International Airport.
Great contest, Great team, Great scores, Brutal weather! We were operating while temperature outside reached 116 degrees.
Lots of fun on Saturday. Great openings all day. Unfortunately, I had a dinner to go to right in the middle of the best JA opening I've had for quite a while. Sunday was a different story. Never had a decent Es opening all day. Lots of scatter, tropo and meteors which made for many broken contacts. I would call a station who was very strong only to never hear him again and also got called by many stations who I also never heard from again. Equipment was a K3 and 400W amp and 2 fixed 4 element homebrew yagis one pointed east and the other pointed northwest. 73, AL K7CA
Roved Saturday (separate log), Operated from the home station (this log) for a few hours on Sunday after putting all the rover equipment back into the home station.
Only had time for 2 grids on Saturday. Worked from home station on Sunday (Separate log). Paul WA9BTV and Mike K7MDL were the operators.
Pretty low score but a minimal station and no propagation. Still a challenge and a good time. First VHF contest from new QTH in ID.
My primary rig suffered a driver failure rendering it useless. Tried to get the backup Flex3000 reinstalled and supporting FT8 but for some reason it decided not to play nice and pass audio back and forth. That forced me to bring out the old stalwart, a very old and ailing IC-746 that on a good day with a ice cold PA deck has 50W output power which is what I ran all weekend. Tried hard to have a 400W Harris SS 6M amplifier integrated and running in time for the contest but it was not to be. All day Saturday I operated looking over my right shoulder while working to finish converting the 400W Harris Module into a working device. I was finally done late Saturday night. Waking up at 530AM I tried to get some more rest but my mind would not stop obsessing over the amp. Needing only to wire up the 3000W Meanwell 50V DC supple, make all the necessary connections, turn the drive power all the way down to 5W, fire up the Bias, Relay, and B+ supplies and perform the initial smoke test... and.... A brief flash of power out and POOF... It was DEAD! 5.2W would drive the amp to 400W out but the radio must put out more than the advertised 5W with the drive all the way down. Had the primary radio not died it would have not been an issue as it starts at 100mw and scales up. With that control it would have been easy to find the correct and safe drive level while not turning the module into a paperweight. 2M was MUCH WORSE! For some reason unclear to me, the 16ele 2M yagi was totally FUBAR W/O warning leaving me only my trusty 50W TR7850 to beg for Qs on FM. points is points! Saturday would have much more productive had I focused solely on operating as the band was open almost all day. 6AM Sunday the rocks were awesome! plenty of full sequence burns making 6M very productive until 9AM when the band went flat. With no propagation all day except for brief spotlight openings it was typical Western States dead conditions. The timing wasn't there to work the NI5P/R group as they dashed through the rare North-Western DN grids. They had periods of great openings to the East making many FFMA types very happy indeed. So it wasn't outstanding but it was OK. I now know the amp needs a Pi Input Attenuator to protect the Module that will replace the dead one. Thankfully I have a couple of spares. TY to all who managed to work my weak signal, It was tough sledding to log them all. 73s de Tim - K7XC - DM09jh... sk
This was a fun contest.
Fun 6M operations, I worked France my best DX ever! All contacts on FT8 did work any other mode.
I participated this contest for the first time last year and made my first 6m contact that day. I was using a HF dipole and about 60W. I had so much fun that this year I prepared a resonant 6m antenna and a linear in time for the contest. There were many moments where stations suddenly appear for only a couple of minutes and disappear due to the rapid propagation changes. I had to work them very quickly and it felt totally different from HF contests. I loved it!
Fun contest. Not as good of band conditions as other years but still good. Thanks 73 Matt ka0pqw
Hour and 1/2 on Sunday morning.
We are Der Funkwagen. https://ka5d.com
There needs to be a separate digital only event to avoid having the life sucked out of this contest.
FT8 has ruined this contest,little or no activity on SSB, need to have a seperate contest or catagory for it. Then storms moved in.
Truly enjoyed the contacts. Thanks for all the effort.
Had a good time in the contest working from a new location. Very few 6m contacts without FT-8. Solar power budget precludes a computer, so no digital, and thus only 1 6m contact.
Fun to make contact with EM00 on 6M from the Rover Mobile !
Phone + CW only. Propagation much better last year. Score much lower this year. Luck of the draw. Thanks to all for the QSOs. 73... Kurt
Just a small effort this time.
Using only my 6m vertical, it's amazing the stations that can be contacted.
first time with ft8
It was a fun contest even with Mr Murphy riding along for the first day. Finally was able to boot him out of the Rover and get things back on the air. After bench testing everything in pieces, I assembled the rover on Friday night after work, and then started to see that Mr. Murphy was lending a hand. The PPT was not working, every time I Keyed up, all the microwaves stayed in transmit mode.... solved that on after a little re-wiring. Then on Saturday when I went to test the 6 m radio, all I heard was garbled audio, with the help of KA5D/R, W5TN/R we were not able to solve the issue so we rewired the radio to use one for all bands instead of separating the 6/2/70cm on one and all transverters to a second radio.... it was a nice thought with two Yaesu FT-991A's. Reset radio to factory, not solved, Delayed our drive to the starting point by an hour, rewired and added electronic RF switches to swicth 144 between Transverters and TE System amp.... all was good. Placed a lifeline call to K2EZ/R to update her on our delay and issues with my radio..... she did a google search and came up with a means to identify the culprit.. pulled every connector off the offending radio and then re-started connecting things one by one. no issues until got to the PPT cable and it happened again. pulled it out only to find a bent pin that was shorting to another pin. I am sure that Mr. Murphy did that when i was rewiring the PPT Friday night in the dark. Oh well, we were able to get both radios online Sunday at lunch time and was able to try FT-8 on the rover for a few contacts. At the end, it was not a great score. But I had fun, enjoyed the company on the trip and the great meals provided by KB5PRZ from the Vanagon..... So the casualty of the trip was one PPT cable and lost time. See you on the Bands next time.
KD6EFQ/R was schedule constrained for the event and participated from two grids. 6m 2m and 222 seemed to have variable propagation at the California Pacific coast from western Los Angeles to central San Diego County. The operating locations I selected (could easily access on public roads) may not have been optimal in Eastern San Diego County along Hwy 78. Terrain may have blocked my signal as many stations I heard along coast did not reply to my calls. At times mid-day Saturday, FM phone was too congested on 146.52. SOTA station KN6MGZ operated on 146.58 and seemed to get good business on 2m FM; I think it was good he kept off 146.52. During contest, some operators with only FM HT reported (on air) surprise at how well simplex FM phone worked without a repeater. KF6WTN had only used repeaters on 1.3m before my QSO with him on Saturday. KM6ZQB reported a VHF QSO from DM12km to CM98 with HT. Great fun and useful outcomes for amateur radio operator experiences on air.
Had fun participating in the VHF contest. West coast never showed up in New England, a real disappointment. Of course have yet to see an AK or HI station on 6m in New England. Challenge logging some stations who were using the standard signal report format, not contest exchange. Hard to go quickly back and forth with WSJT-X, can't have everything! TOM KE1R (CT)
Operated from FM29jw CW Contacts: 15 Unique Grids: 8 15 CW QSOs x 8 Unique Grids = 120 CW QSO Points Thank you for the 2021 ARRL June VHF Contest.
This is the first year I've downsized my rover, and switched to a Flex Radio. It was fun to be able to "see" the band.
Love those 6M band openings
I had a family emergency and was only able to work from one grid. Still submitted my log just to make sure the people who I contacted got credit.
Great to get more experience on 6 meters!
This is my second year participating in the June VHF contest. For this year I decided to hike up to Willard peak which is not far from my QTH. I chose Willard peak, which is at 9700' because of its great line of sight in all directions. The peak is barren from any trees which made it difficult to find a support for my mast. I ended up using a crack in the rock to hold my mast which worked. On the mast I mounted my 2m/70cm yagi as well as a 6 meter dipole. The peak was relatively free of wind, but was hot.I operated for 6.5 hours before my battery's died. I didn't get as many grid squares as I hoped for, but I ended up with a decent score. Overall it was a great day.
Times are estimated. Goat Mountain.
Second VHF contest is done. Made a few changes since January, beams for 70 and 2m, Moxon for 6 and a last minute loop install for 222. Met several rovers from the greater Phoenix area in Southern Arizona at the front edge of DM41 just south of Tucson. Moved over to DM42 with a much better view of Tucson on "A" Mountain. As the heat tipped the thermometer to 109* I slipped up the freeway to work a desert lot in DM32, then up to the Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa DM33 (was tempted to take a break and donate a few bucks to the local economy). Finally moved over to the Sacaton rest stop in DM43. Followed up with a little limited 6m FT8 the following day, but I was too beat to take the truck out again. Looking forward to making a few changes for Sept. (Test the 2m amp prior would help...), already added a rotator to the mast, would have come in handy on Saturday. Enjoyed meeting Dave AC7FF/R, Dan N7DSX/R and Justin KJ7JC/R on the road, seeing their set up and getting a little advice. The looks I get driving down the road is priceless.... 73 everyone, See ya for Field Day 2021. Bud KI7OFL/R
Just submitting so the other guy gets credit.
Picked up some more 6m grids, thanks! 73, David
A more careful reading of the rules indicated I had a multiplier of 5; three discrete grid squares on 6m, two on 2m. Please disregard first submission, count second. Thank you.
My station photos and antenna pictures are featured in the September 2020 edition of CQ Magazine in the article: "Antennas of the Pandemic"
Even though the population is small up here in Alaska we still have a ton of fun in these events. The Alaska VHF-Up Group has been hosting a rover entry in contests to drum up activity and has had great success. https://kl7vhf.org/ This time around I had a new truck and radio, so I elected for a more limited route to be sure everything worked well. In retrospect I should have done the full Anchorage-to-Homer route I did in a previous year, since everything worked great. We had a good turnout of people, particularly for such a "small town USA" region. Operators were slinging radio waves on everything from 6 meters up to 23 cm, and using everything from FM, to SSB, to DSTAR. Some of our fixed stations also worked openings to the lower 48 on 6 M. It was a great contest. https://brandonclarklabs.com/amateur-radio/vhf-contesting/2021-arrl-june-vhf/
Claimed Score: 9174 N1MM Score: 9108 Band Mode QSOs Pts Grd 50 FM 2 2 2 50 USB 61 61 41 144 FM 17 17 2 144 USB 16 16 9 222 FM 2 4 2 222 USB 5 8 4 420 FM 8 16 1 420 USB 7 14 5 Total Both 118 138 66 Score: 9,108 Difference claimed vs N1MM is one duplicate entry at two different times and one mobile that I worked both mobile and at home in the same grid. First time contesting from sea level. First time in SOLP. I normally run FM ONLY in Northern VA, a hotbed of FM activity. I have on several occasions scored much higher in FM Only where I have a lot more QSO's but a lower multiplier count. I knew this would be a learning experience going in and that I would get crushed no matter what I did. FM ONLY the score would have been just 369. SSB Only the score would have been 6464. With the two combined I was 9,106. FM added a bunch of QSO points and two or three multipliers. Being at sea level in an urban area FM was generally limited to 15 miles except when working stations over the Chesapeake Bay where 50 miles was common. The only FM highlight was working W4IY (4000 ft ASL) on 223.500 FM at 150 miles (they were on an omni at 25W). SSB was good on Saturday as were the pickings on 146.520 FM. FM was very slow Sunday since I had worked most stations already. Sunday morning e-skip was very very exciting as many I am sure will discuss. I wish I had not stayed up so late Saturday and gotten up earlier on Sunday, in the Jeep at (0800). I had a gap of almost 6hrs late Sunday with no QSO's due to having worked almost all the FM stations already and e-skip dying off for SSB. If I only had FT-8, that 6 hour gap would not have happened. FT-8 worked two weeks ago but I stupidly updated windows Thursday before the contest and FT-8 was no more. FT-8 is essential. I got so desperate during the 6hr gap that I even tossed out some straight key SLOW code CQ's on 6m but either no one heard me or they didn't want to mess with my glacial pace on CW. No regrets there but I am glad I tried. I have a whole new appreciation for the Urban FM guys who score a few hundred to a couple thousand points. Even with my "big FM station" I was one hurting puppy when it came to local FM. I am going to put more emphasis than ever on FM pre-coordination and even tiny altitude increases in my FM contesting presentations and papers. Highlights for me were working 4 bands FAST with N2NT SSB voice (300 miles Saturday night), 4 bands including 223.5 FM 25W at 150 miles with W4IY adn 4 bands SSB with NG4C. How can I not easily hear 1KW on 222.100 at 20 miles when 432 SSB had him yelling in my ear? VHF/UHF contesting is fantastic. No paper for the wall this time but next to my first VHF/UHF outing it was the best learning experience ever. 73 John KM4KMU
Yaesu FT-8900R, 2m/70cm squalo, 17' above ground
Got a lot of exercise during contest running from room over the garage to the ant &ant and back.
Started out the weekend not intending to contest, then got sucked in after a QSO with W6DMW operating at N6RO. Spent a long stretch each day working out in the garage while listening to the radio for new contacts to rack up and had a blast! Icom IC-7100A Kenwood TM-V71A Comet GP-6 @ 25' above ground 55' of LMR-400 and a 2-way switch between radios and antenna
I had so much fun I drove over my cell phone! Absolutely worth it, 10/10, would VHF contest again.
Had a great time working my 2nd ever VHF/UHF contest. Performed as well as I could expect for being a new HAM. As always I learned a lot and enjoyed myself.
For 2 years in a row in this contest couldn't find any ssb or cw activity so FT8 is where the action agn this year. Ran 50w to my TH3 Tribander! Yes, it loads on 6m 1.2 to 1 no tuner up 50'. Also same prop opening both years ok Sat. Vy little Sun.
Casual operating just for fun.
Only one decent Es opening, on Saturday late in the afternoon into SoCal, but still had a lot of fun, and a pretty decent score for me, all considering. Lots of new local calls heard! Thanks for all the Q's!
Fun to work Texas EM00 on 6M !
Had to work both days. Got on when I could. During a work break Saturday afternoon picked up W7GJ/p in DN38 with the venerable MFJ-9406 and a mag. mount whip on FT8. Best 6M DX CM2RSV EL83 and N4EME FN57 Sunday evening, also FT8. Caught rare FFMA grid FM13 - W4UDH/r. Only SSB Q was with NS4T EM73. Some local tropo on 2 Meters Sunday morning to K0TPP EM48 and KB0ZOM EN00, also FT8.
Despite best effort, this has become pretty much an FT8 contest even though all would have been strong enough and more expedienbtly workable on analogue modes. At least all Q's on two were CW or SSB.
Enjoyed working 6m. From nearest QSO with KG6CIH/ROVER (about 2 miles) to openings with 4-land and then later with 9s and finally 0s. Thank you to the organizers. Peter.
MY FIRST ARRL JUNE VHF CONTEST
100 Watts and a wire
Single Op, Limited Rover, Activated FN42, 32, 31, 41
VCAT.3.2. 100 W on 50 and 144 MHz, 50 W on 432 MHz
God of propagation was out to lunch. QSO's I had were very rewarding!
I spent too much time on ft8, miss qso's with friends.
I worked Spain and Mexico on 10 watts and a moxon beam, that was amazing!
ALSO POTA K-1204
FT8 only Saturday only Wife had a stroke on Sunday
Digital modes other than CW need their own separate VHF contest and should not be permitted in this contest.
Not bad for a simple dipole and 100 W
I was extremely disappointed this year not to hear more ops on phone on 6m. Even when the band was open, there was very little phone activity. One of the things I really enjoyed as a younger ham was getting on 6m and making phone contacts with under a 100w and a two element quad because of good openings. It doesnt take much to make a contact when the band is open. Its even more disappointing when there are +25db reports on FT8 and people splattering the band with over driven signals, and there is not a soul on phone or CW. I hope that in the future the ARRL will change the VHF contest to allow for separate phone/CW and digital contest like on HF. My elmer that got me started on 6m has been a ham since the AM days, and I dont really think it is fair to those ops who arent into digital to run a contest and make less than 100 contacts, while the rest of the band is loaded with FT8. I hope that I dont have to spend another VHF contest staring at a waterfall with gangbuster signals drooling myself to sleep just so I can make a contact and not stare off into space listening to rain static on 50.125. Please ARRL as an organization with fresh leadership, consider making a change and help keep the 6m band we all used to enjoy from turning into a VHF 30m. You have a real opportunity to make a difference, so use it. Andrew L. N4LAZ EM95
Why wasn't anybody on FT4 FT8 is like watching grass grow and FT4 was designed for contests. There was much more activity on FT4 in previous years!
Forty years as an amateur and these were my first SSB contacts on 2 meters & 440. I also had 6 meter capability with a 4-ele yagi up 20 ft on a 2800 ft ridge but had ZERO contacts :( Is all the action on digital nowadays
This was a good contest. There was a lot of time that band was open nicely, sometimes it was only in one direction.
SSB only, just trying to keep it alive. Ran FT8 QRP during the sprint last month.
Portable from Flint Peak. DM04vd. KX3 @ 5 watts/3 watts with 100' CAT5 fed doublet. Baofeng UV-5RV2 with roll up J-pole. The highlight was working EM13, CN87, DM98 and DN09 QRP on 6 meters.
Operated from DM15aa in open desert near California City, California, in converted television news van.
The June VHF Contest was an interesting event for N6ZE/ROVER. Notable Items: 1. microwave QSOs on 3 bands with WA6EJO who has built up multi-GHZ rigs 2. operated from 3 DM04 locations: Saddle Peak, Pepperdine Univ., & Ventura 3. Operated from 2 DM03 locations in Palos Verdes 4. Did NOT use FT-8 or any other data modes at all. 5. Did some operating as K1FJM, The Thousand Oaks EME Club on 6 meter FT8 and a bit of USB at beginning of Contest and also near end of contest. 6. 50 thru 432 MHz with Whips only; small yagis or whip for 902 & 1200 MHz.
Similar conditions as last June except there was a brief N-S openning this year on 6. Heard some scatter on 6. Not set up for digital, but looks like FT8 is becoming the dominate mode.
IC-7100, VIRBOPLEX SINGLE PADDLE, ARDUINO KEYER, LOOP OR HENTENNA, TU ALL GL 73.
Last contest from this QTH. Moving to EM66 in TN. Best score in this contest in a long time. Glad there was activity on 6m to keep me in the chair. Was able to find some activity on SSB and CW on 6 If FT8, FT is going to be the new contest mode, It needs much improvement to be more user friendly and flexible to accommodate sequencing contest exchanges and standard "signal report" exchanges, without the op having to manually go into settings to switch between contest and non contest exchange in the middle of a Q. Some ops just "WON'T" go into contest mode as they require a signal report, as they are obviously not participating in the contest as active participants. It's easy and quick to sort that issue out on SSB and CW with simple and quick communication. N9TF will be QRT from EN52XG as of June 15, 2021. Back on the air sometime in October of 2021 from EM66, Clarksville, TN. 73 Gene, N9TF
Thunderstorms ended my contest early.
Saturday started strangely, with a lot of signals, but hard to complete QSOs. I settled into a sort of rhythm (20/hr) on FT8(there were very few stations on CW or SSB most of the time) as openings moved from E to NNW to NE to ... The band stayed open albeit not more than 1-2 hops until about 2100Z when I had to leave to pick up family at the airport. Sunday was the type of day that nightmares are made of. There was almost no Es the entire day and what little there was lasted for only a few minutes at a time and to single hop distances. I went into Sunday with over 80% of my final score, and this would have been more save for a lot of local contacts (zzzzzzz). One of these years, we'll actually have decent conditions for both days of the contest, but we'll have to wait 'til next year. On the bright side, I picked up two new grids towards FFMA and now have 440. Thanks to all for the contacts! 73 de NC6K
Fun contest. Installed New M2 HALO at 15ft, 50ft LMR400 to ICOM 7610 bareback.
Fun contest even with a modest station.
Murphy struck bigtime this year. Only could get my 6M WSJT-X setup in time. Of course, 6M wasn't in the best shape during the contest. Oh well, something to look forward to for the fall.
Unfortunately a busy weekend with Family and Work obligations.Only a few hours to operate.
got on via remote just to give out a few points to the guys on 10GHz. Was rather shocked how strong many of the signals were and even a new grid worked(#43) with Jeff K1TEO in FN31jh at 587km via Rain Scatter. 73 de Peter VA3ELE FN03dm
Several firsts for VA3MA - first vhf contest and first time rover! Lots of fun and work using QRP mobile rover with just vertical... Looking forward to be better prepared for September contest!
Separate contest needed for the digital nerds.
First Rove. Much worked, some didn't, including operator stamina. Given I'm coming off a long period of "liff" I'm pretty happy with how it went overall. All (of the pitifully few) contacts from FM, en-route. All but one in CN88. Split between 2m/70cm, one on 1.25m Disappointed I made no contacts on SSB (2m/70cm) from my second grid, at the final and intended operating location for the Sat evening, at Sombrio Pt. I suppose no one was pointing NW from the busiest nearby grid. Possibly as I hadn't sent out a confirmation message I'd be there. Very glad to have proven much and accrued ideas for the evolution of my Rover. Thank you to the FB Ham Radio Rovers and to the PNWVHFSoc. for all the kindly offered advice. 73, John
All contacts in this contest were made with 20 watts USB Phone in an inverted VEE.
Only analog (ssb)
A lot of fun - as usual, the VHF contest weekend coincided with a major sporadic - E opening, that worked its way as far north as the Great Lakes! With the dramatic decrease in CW/SSB ops due to FT8 activity, it was fun to find the band crowded!
Not 100% sure what this field is for. I'm a new ham with no contest elmer. These contacts were made while pursuing the POTA Six-pack award: I did not plan to participate in the contest specifically, but I'd like to see how I do as well as confirm the contacts for others. I have edited the log to show my call as VE3GKT/R. As I did not plan to participate I simply used VE3GKT on air. If this disqualifies me so be it. Unfortunately I had an error with WSJT-X and some of the grid squares are off. I operated from EN93 then FN03, at two locations only. I did not update this in the log, as then the log would not match the on-air exchange. It is obvious when there was a gap in time while I was moving from EN93 to FN03. Thanks for your understanding!
What a great contest! Great to get together with other club members and give it a go at Limited Multi-Op. Thanks to Andy VA3CW, Mark VA3HES, Hugh VA3TO, Carl VE3AXC, David VE3MDX and Lali VE3NE for putting in the log hours with butts in seats. See you in the next one.
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 88 45 144 75 20 222 29 12 432 27 11 902 18 10 1.2G 18 10 2.3G 14 9 3.4G 3 2 5.7G 6 6 10G 11 8 24G 7 7 123G 9 9 LIGHT 9 9
I did a limited run at limited rover HI HI. The propagation was poor and I didn't get too many contacts. 6m SSB never opened up for me.
Had fun the first time by my self. seeing how many I could do.= '2 Was hopping the band would be like the day before. I could do.= '2 well it was a learning to send in log. had to remove all my 2 meter and 70cm. as I could not find how or what frequency to put in. I found on Bruce Horn, WA7BNM,site for 6 meters you put 50 for the band. tried 146, 144, 2, 14, 02, 2m even the 14690 that the radio was on. was using HRD log. next time will try N1MM.
My transmitted mode is shown for cross-mode contacts Equipment - 50 MHz K2 + homebrew xvtr + amp 70W, Moxon 144 MHz K2 + DEMI xvtr + amp 100 W, dipole. For FM FT-290R 20 W, indoor GP 222 MHz K2 + XV222 20W, 7el. indoors 432 MHz K2 + MM xvtr 10W, 10 el. indoors. For FM FT-818 6 W, indoor GP 903 MHz K2 + rx conv., homebrew tx, 5W, 7 el. indoors 1296 MHz FT-290R + MM xvtr + SSB Elec. amp 6 W, 10 el. indoors 10 GHz K2 + DB6NT xvtr/amp 2 W, 2 ft. dish indoors Log contains 3 duplicate QSOs not counted in claimed score
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 14 14 144 9 9 222 11 9 432 9 9 902 9 9 1.2G 9 9 2.3G 9 9 3.4G 0 0 5.7G 5 5 10G 8 8 24G 7 7 123G 9 9 LIGHT 9 9 TOTAL 108 106 POINTS MULT
I had a lot of fun operating this Contest. I experienced my first opening on 6 to CA. Rig used FT-897D.
Considering that I "don't really do contests" a good time was had by all! A couple of "local contacts" on 6m were about 140 km and 200 km. Two down in California were about 1000 km and 1200 km. Four 6m CW contacts were a nice addition.
Check log only.
Very odd propagation - lots of backscatter and no long duration strong openings.
Poor conditions out here in the SW is my excuse. Saturday was fair but Sunday the band was belly up. Disappointed in the CW activity, Only made 7 QSO's. Still need Del. for was on 6 CW-Digital.
June VHF Rover Contest Log
New to Newington just this week, and first time trying VHF from W1AW. Conditions were sadly poor most of the weekend, but 6m opened somewhat Sunday morning for a while and some good runs. Great to hear many long time friends in this contest.
Thank you for sponsoring the contest. 73 - Dan, W1QK
Pretty much a 6 meter and FT8 contest! FT8 needs a separate contest!!!!!!
Worked LOTS of other Rovers this outing! That was nice!
6M wouldn't stay open for long. Many exchanges could not complete. Thanks for the fun. 73!
Even though it rained the entire weekend and were covered with bug bites, we peaked out at 15 humans on Flagpole Knob (FM08jm) plus a bear. This was almost a participation record. We set up two stations. The main station included CW+USB+Digi on 6m through 1296. We ran about 500 watts on all bands except 903 (10W). The K3S and Q5 five band transverter combination worked great. Our antennas were long yagis and loopers mounted on a single mast supported by an AB-577. Our second station was a IC9700 on 2M and 440 FM, with an omni dual bander. Kudos to WA0DYJ for doing a lot of prep work for the contest. He devised a set of aluminum mounting plates for each of the antennas. One plate was mounted on the mast at the right stacking distance. The plate had four bolts for the matching plate on the antenna boom. To mount the antenna, we simply matched up the two plates and tightened the nuts. No discussing stack distances or fiddling with rusty mounting clamps. We also have a new set of feed throughs mounted on the side of our trailer complete with lightning protection. (Luckily, untested!) Propagation on 2M and 432 was poor. We didnt experience any tropo openings. So, we spent most of our time on 6M. FT8 was the default mode, but when we saw the signals come up as the band opened on Sunday, we shifted to USB. When the band slowed down, we shifted back to FT8 and worked several stations in Europe! With a single USB/Digital station, a 6M opening and the addition of FT8, it was tough to spend time on 2M and up. We tried to run the bands with a station when we could. But, this was a little tricky for new operators. As a result, our higher band scores were down. Adding the second station for FM really helped.
6M had less openings than last year, lack of phone and CW operators is sad:(. First time using Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries and Samlex inverter and worked great. Helps to mark director end long beams if your old like me! If your near others with cheap solar controllers good luck! Tim W4YN
Ran station remote from Aruba
Comment: Had little time to operate, band was really poor, very few sigs on CW and SSB, FT8 in and out at all times. DX worked close in and all on FT8: VE3, VE2, CO, TO, PJ2, 9Y4, KP4, XE
It was hot in Arizona both the air and for the day on Sunday contest-wise. I operated from the saddle just below the summit of Mount Ord Arizona. The day started off a little slow but at around 17z it took off. QSO's were coming one after the other and I kept watching my score rise. I operated with a Yaesu FT-817. I also had 2 transverters for 222 and 1296 and a 33cm Alinco HT. I used a dipole for 6m, ELk Log Periodic for 144/432 3 element beam for 222 6 element beam for 1296, and a 7 element beam for 33cm. My highest power was 5 watts on 50/144/222/432 900 and 1296 were less than 2 watts. I operated from 1445z to 2300z on 6/13 The weather was hot and clear. My original plan was to operate from Pinal Peak but the Telegraph fire killed that plan.
WO4O is entered twice on 6m, one cw and one ph, but counted once for score.
Lots of fun! Thanks for the QSOs and 73! -Ron (W8RU)
part time, single band operation
Was a rover in 6 grids in northern IL and southern WI. Not a bad contest. Could have done better. First time ever using ft8. Not a good time to learn during the contest. While fumbling with that mode, let many contacts slip away. On top of that, trying a new transceiver for the first time. All the action was on 6m ft8, followed by 2m ft8. Made a fraction of ssb/fm contacts on 222 MHz and 432 MHz compared to past contest. In fact, only made 4 contacts on 222 and only a dozen or so on 432. Did not hear a peep on the ft8 frequencies on 222 or 432. Wonder why nobody on those bands on ft8?
First time on 6 mtrs since 1970's! Not sure if this log is even in proper form.
Great activity levels, 6M e-skip helped!
One of the favored contests with my club, BARA. 6 Meters has been a new band for me made possible by antenna restrictions here at the QTH....HI HI.. I've been amazed at some of the ground wave contacts possible on that band not to mention the sporadic E, which is very friendly to low power or QRP... Great Hobby!! 73 Dan
I finally got a real 2 meter beam up the day before the contest and I was doing great until the 6 meter antenna stopped working at 1AM Sunday morning! Thus I totally missed out on what looked like a great sporadic E opening on Sunday! Maybe by September I can also add 432 to the mix.
MURPHY struck early causing me to lose time from the start of the contest. The problems continued for most of the weekend resulting in a very disappointing score. Activity was good. Propagation was great with plenty of openings and DX to keep things interesting. Looks like I have plenty of work and maintenance to do to get my station back to acceptable performance.
Didn't do too terribly given the band conditions and cut-off stumpy wooden tower. Couple of good sized thunderstorms blew through and 6 and 2 were very noisy. High point was getting the N3FJP logging software working on a couple of my linux machines. MUCH nicer than using a spreadsheet, exporting a TSV, and gen-ing up the Cabrillo headers by hand! Already looking forward to September. Maybe I'll have the antennas back up a decent sized tower by then.
I had an error on my submission. I forgot to put down that I was FM ONLY. I hope it’s not too late to change this. If it is so be it. There’s always Sept!
The 6M band went dead on Sunday.
Made first lightwave contact in years. Used 855nm LED transceivers. Made 5cm, 9cm, 13cm contacts using HackRF One Portapack transceivers with preamps and power amps.
seemed like the and opening Sunday was a one-way event!
Got over 15 new grids. Openings to Mississippi River Valley and Western Coast. 1st time on 6 meter contest.
This was my first VHF Contest that I worked on my own. Had a lot of fun, but the activity on Sunday was nil here in Washington State.
Operating QRP portable in DM41 from Rogers Rock in Madera Canyon near Green Valley, AZ. Rock: 1 hour, 25 minutes. power using internal battery pack. yagi; Arrow 5-element 70cm yagi. tracking during hike: Anytone 878UV-Plus. early hike due to excessive heat warning for the area. this location due to early morning shading from the Santa Rita Mtn ridgeline and that this location has a clear line-of-site view towards the northwest including most of Tucson and Phoenix. I worked 7 stations in less than 1/2 hour and headed back down before I got cooked. Drank plenty of water, no heat related issues, and had fun working the contest.
Although we used my call sign (WB0JNR) all of the transverters (50, 144, 432, 902, and 1,296 MHz) were homebrewed by WB0GAZ and driven by a Radio Shack HTX100 10 meter transceiver. Maximum output on the lower frequencies was 8 Watts. Antennas were a VHF/UHF log periodic and a six meter vertical mounted on a two decades-old Subaru.
Saturday had very little Sporadic-E activity, so the time was spent working adjacent grids. Sunday morning had very good Sporadic-E activity with the midwest and the south coming into Long Island, NY.
6m into SFL was poor during the day, improved late afternoonn and early evening
As always, this year's contest was great and the 6 meter opening on Saturday made it even better. I also tried something new this year, FT8. Wasn't quite sure what I was doing at first, using FT8 in contest mode, but after a couple of hours it got to be more fun, especially with 6 meters open. I was able to rake in some grids that I would have normally not got. This year's score was the highest that I have ever had. With solar cycle 25 finally here I'm already looking forward to next June. June VHF Contest ROCKS!
Fun contest... I had some time on Saturday and a bit on Sunday to play radio. It sure brought out a lot of people in my grid, CN85. Hopefully, next year I will be better prepared and have a true contest logging program linked to WSJT. Still not hard to take the list from AC Log and input it into WriteLog for dup checking and scoring. I was surprised that there were only three dups while I was CQing. Thanks for all of the QSOs this weekend.
Had fun. Glad that there were two big skip openings on the six meter band. Unfortunately, the 2 Meter wave band condition was very poor. during the event.
The conditions were marginal, the E-clouds were south of me, no runs to speak of in phone or cw, mostly FT8 which can be frustrating. I wasn't on as much as I wanted to be, my score suffered. I managed a few rovers, thank you rovers, My best dx was EA2XR, he was in there only long enough to complete the QSO and was gone. Tnx SMC'ers & everyone for the Q's.
BETTER SHOWING THIS YEAR. ALTHOUGH GRID EM50 IS WHERE RADIO WAVE PROPAGATION GOES TO DIE!!! 73 CHARLIE WD5BJT
I operated portable at the top of "Mount Hamilton," a hill at the US National Arboretum in Washington DC. I tried several new things during the contest (a new radio, a new homebrew 6m antenna, and operating portable FT8/FT4 with N1MM) and learned that RFI into a laptop will happen even with QRP power! Got tired of resetting the radio and software after practically every transmission and was too lazy to make a paper check log and so I went QRT after an hour and a half. Fun anyway to made contacts on SSB, FM, CW, FT8 and FT4, and a good test of me and the equipment. Will equip chokes next time. I used my meager 3D design skills to make an antenna bracket for a 6m dipole. It holds a UHF connector and a 3/4" (19 mm) dowel that had been epoxied into the ends of two fishing poles, and fits over the third smallest section of a Spiderbeams collapsible 40 foot mast . I set aside the two smaller sections of the mast as the weight of the antenna caused excessive flexing.
New grid on 2 meters DM37 working into Utah, over some mountains!!
My first contest. I had a lot of fun, but am clearly a noob.
We had a great contest!!! It all started within 50 yards of where the station is built today. In 1994 my dad KW0T, and good friend Todd KA0KAN and I operated portable on my hill for the first time for the June contest. I retired on 1 March 2021 and spent on average 6 hours a day rebuilding the station to get it ready for our June Multi-op effort. It all paid off I believe. We had a great time and everything worked flawlessly! We made some great contacts. Taller towers, better feedlines, bottome line, the best station that we have had to date!!! 50: Kenwood TS-2000X, SB-220 conversion 1000 watts, 5 ele M2 at 50 foot 144: Kenwood TS-790A, Henry 3002A 1000 watts, 17ele M2 at 50 foot 222: DEMI Xvter to Kenwood TS-940s, AM-6155 400 watts, 7WL M2 at 43 foot 432: Kenwood TS-790A, AM-6155 300 watts, 13WL M2 at 60 foot 902: DEMI Xvter, Motorola 150 watt brick, DS 33 ele looper at 55 foot 1296: Kenwood TS-790A, DEMI 60 watt SS amp, 2X45 ele DS loopers at 55 foot Thanks to Bill WA0ARM, and my good friend Todd KA0KAN, we made a good showing again this year. Perhaps the highlight of the weekend was being able to host N0LD/R, and K5SRT/R both Friday, and Saturday nights here! Of coarse, we were able to make many contacts with them and thier efforts are in large part resonsible for the many contacts on all our bands. Thanks to all you rovers for your time and effort. Looking forward to August and September! Greg WQ0P
It was not good propagation in my area