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Soapbox for 2018
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Went up to SOTA peak Grouse Ridge, W6/NS-195 to operate. Awesome views, and a great day to be on a summit. I watched the North Fire burn a few miles away while I operated, but the wind kept the smoke away. I missed the first hour while driving up and getting set up. Should have left home a bit earlier. I heard some SoCal stations when I first got on the air, but they couldn't hear my puny signal. My setup seemed to work well, but there are a lot of things I can improve. I need a better way of sharing the one transceiver output between multiple transverters. I need separate antennas for 144 and 440. And I need transverters (and antennas) for 902 and 1296. Gotta get those mults. Overall, this was a better location than the peak I went to last year for the September contest. I still haven't found the ideal SOTA summit for these contests. Maybe next time.
Only had 2 hours to operate so did hiltop portable. No contacts at all then a rover (K2TER/R) parked about a mile away form where I was away so that worked out well! High SWR on 144/432 antenna caused all sorts of grief till I replaced teh coax then worked fine. Wish I had more time to operate.
CONDITIONS AS POOR AS I HAVE EVER HEARD THEM. THE GOOD NEWS IS WE INTRODUCED A NEW HAM TO VHF CONTESTING AND ROVING.
All contacts were made from antennas and radios inside my house.
First serious contest attempt and first time on SSB!
Plans for station upgrades for this contest fizzled. The boom-to-mast clamp for I had to run with a single omni loop 21-element 432 Yagi arrived with no elements in the box, so small Arrow Yagi was used on that band. At the start of the contest I was finally got active I made a 4-element Yagi before discovering that the SWR mast-mounted preamp was sky high, so that was the end of operation contacts on 6 meters on on 432 on another rig. My most contact with W4NH at over 200 miles in EM85 North Integration of WSJT-X with N1MM+ worked well with WSJT-X controlling N1MM+ automatically via UDP, and The only problem there was that I had to be select the band when logging manually to N1MM+. In the end decided to call this contest a learning experience combined with a chase for QTH in EM64.
TO TEST WEB LOG UPLOADER READINESS FOR 2018 SEPTEMBER VHF CONTEST
The Rovers, FT8, and MSK144 really livened up the contest
With only limited time available for this contest, I elected to be an FM only entry. According to the rules, I was restricted to the use of only the 50, 144, 223, & 446 MHz bands. I used an FT857 and TM231A with small whip antennae only. I operated from a very minor hilltop in the middle of the city of Thousand Oaks, CA (DM04ne). Because the Santa Monica Mountain range lies just to the South of Thousand Oaks, I was glad to be able to work the San Diego, CA (DM12) area on both 2 meters & 70 cm despite my marginal setup! I made 40 QSOs on 4 bands with a total of 9 grids worked and 16 unique calls worked. Best DX on 70 cm was about 130 miles.
Flat conditions and the conflicting ARRL New England Convention really affected the contest
I spent an enjoyable day with ham friends at the Boxboro, MA, hamfest on Saturday, so that limited my contesting time. But I didn't want to miss this fun VHF contest!
SUBMITTED AS A CHECKLOG
K3CCR is the club station at the Collington continuing-care retirement community at FM 18OW in MD, just east of DC. N3UM operated SOLP in the Sept. 2018 ARRL VHF test. Steady rain fell often. Rate was very slow, just 16 Qs in the first hr, 9 more in the next 2 hrs, and a total of only 35 Qs in nearly 4 hrs. of trying. N1MM+ calculated only 2.7 hrs. BIC because twice I went more than 1/2 hr. between Qs! I did not hear any E skip on 6m. Only one QSO each on 903 and 1296 MHz, both with K1RZ. Could not work W3EKT or W3IP on either band, even though in Sept. 2017 I worked both of them plus 2 others on 903, and W3IP on 1296. It could have been heavy soaking-wet tree foliage, or water in my coax or feeds. After the test the SWR on 903 was 2.8; it has always been less than 1.5. I hope the low activity this year is just a fluke, not a trend. In Sept. VHF 2000-2011 at another QTH nearby, with comparable gear, I averaged 110 Qs on 6 and 2 m, ~half on each band, vs just 25 this year and 34 in 2017 on those two bands. We did get 95 Qs at K3CCR on 6 and 2m. in 2016.
"Only a few local stations worked on 2m FM."
Conditions flat with rain during most of the contest. Rovers accounted for over 50%.
wow glad there were rox falling from the sky or else we would have had just ONE contact!!
7 grids activated. Generally good results on 2 m and 70 cm. Tough on 6 m even with FT8. Thanks to everyone for QSOs and a few other rovers that kept up with my progress.
Wish 6 was open
Once again, terrible propagation. 6M was poor and FT8 took forever to work anyone. 6M meteors were fair to good. 2M EME was also fair to poor, but I did work a new CQ Zone on 2M...only two left. I also worked AK on 222 EME for a new state on that band. We had a lot of problems with equipment after a lightning storm Saturday night. We were able to fix everything, but we did lose some time on the bands.
We operated primarily in KS - most of our contacts were from KS soil.
10 minutes of operating. Wire antenna for 6, ground plane for 2/440.
Note - there were handwritten comments/soapbox in this paper log file but they were not transcribed. Observed two QSO: lines on 222 log page where two times were entered for each; entered duplicate QSOs for both times. Also observed a few likely mis-written callsigns but transcribed them as written.
No summary sheet included with log submission and no address info provided on the pages that were submitted (looked up at http://www.arrl.org/fcc/search)
I operated one day (7 hours) mountaintop portable on Mt Pilchuck from a high vantage point looking over the city of Everett and all of Puget Sound. This is a premier VHF location in western Washington State. I had a modest station: 6 and 2 meters, barefoot 9100, 3-element yagi. Portland CN85 to the south was loud and I also worked CN84 further south. Mark VE7AFZ/R to the north in BC was easy copy in all three places he was on the air with his backpack portable station. Dave VE7HR also had a great signal here. I even worked VE7DAY in CO70 - great fun. I heard Mark W7MEM in DN17 to the east but I guess he never heard me; I was facing a big hill in that direction. Often I was the first to work a new player on the band, leaving the crowd to tail-end him in a big mess while I switched to my other band. I almost feel guilty, but I just love these outings where all the contacts are easy. Gosh there were a LOT of portable and SOTA and Rover stations in the PNW! Incredible. Heartwarming. I am amazed. Nice job guys, thanks for going out. More details and photos at https://coilgun.info/travel/2018-09.htm
First time VHF Contest Rover
Slow start to the contest here, It seemed to pick up Sunday afternoon. I had fun casually operating throughout the weekend. I'm VERY happy to have had some great Q's into the CN85-87 corridor (and beyond). This was the first time at new QTH that I've had so many good Q's.. I was worried my new qth was shot for anything above 50mhz, boy was I wrong! K7YDL and a couple others about blew the brakes off my radio. 1296 was on all weekend and one contact made. (that's a win for me). Thanks all! .-James K7KQA DN06
Operated on Samish Overlook at 1300ft CN88, and Mt. Pilchuck CN98, and my Driveway on Camano Island (CN88)
Wasn't up to operating at all on Saturday and worked who I could find Sunday until the activity died away to nil. Barefoot 746 on 2M and barefoot 706mkIIg on 6M & 432. Not one digital QSO all weekend which felt good to be going back to my roots in VHF contesting. See you in January!
SINGLE OPERATOR PORTABLE from Table Top Mountain, 4300 ft elevation, 30 miles east of Gila Bend AZ. High point was reaching into Tucson with 4 watts, 7-el yagi on 432 with a signal report of S9+15 db! (Yes, the receiving station had an EME array!)
Operating limted rover as K8JH/R
Was only able to get on for a few minutes here and there. Operated home station remotely while traveling. Thanks for the qso's Dave ka6bim
My second September VHF QSO party entry. Didn't hear much and only worked one station!!
Fun to try six grids.
SECOND LOG SUBMISSION
Log Transcriber notes - 3 QSO: lines show band as "220" - Transcribed as written but it was necessary to edit them to be "222" to get the web uploader to accept.
Not a bad score, one bad coax left me off 222 till I got a break to troubleshoot with KA5D/r's analyzer, ( mine went tumbling down the highway last contest when i left it on the car roof), Hice to hear other rovers out there this contest, worked 5 other rover this contest!!! I heard an additional rover up in Dallas area but could not connect.
Usually I run lots of bands. This time I ran just 2m for something different. It was fun; I have a good 2m station and the eme and MS q's really added to the grid total.
First September VHF! Woo!
outdoor 2M: Yaesu FT857D cw, usb WA5VJB Yagi (ARRL 2018 Handbook 21.64-6 Auto tow-hook support (photo) for roof snowrake mast indoor 6M: Icom IC-7300 cw, usb Comet ground plane Guess what? No FT8 QSOs... Thanks ARRL for hosting this TST. FB comments on the tow-hook support at K0YD club monthly meeting de kj0p dit dit
Thanks to Jessie for helping with some of the driving.
operating from Frazier Mountain, Calif. 34.775931, -118.969118
power=80 W, grid=FM18eu, antenna=dipole, equipment=TS570S, comment=antenna is G5RV at 10 m in trees, Thanks for the fun!
Low pressure systems + low effort = low score.
It was fun roving with Mom.
Casual operating to test station/antennas.
I had limited time on Saturday to operate, and not much more on Sunday, but was pleasantly surprised by all the activity. No openings, but managed to work over the mountains to CN94 and DN06. Lots of rover activity as well, which kept things lively. Thanks for all the QSO's!
Only spent five hours on this one.
Had to work both days of the contest. Thanks to Marshall, K5QE for my first msk144 contact on 50 MHz.
We operated primarily in KS - most of our contacts were from KS soil.
The only date in the Paper Log file was "19 SEPT" at the top of what was marked as the third log page. All QSOs were transcribed with date of 2018-09-09 except for last two, which were entered as 2018-09-10. QSOs with W2RG at 2007 and 2009 might be out of time order or could have been mis-written, and times should be 2107 and 2109 - transcribed them 'as written'. QSO with W1PAT did not show a Grid Received, transcribed the QSO as an X-QSO:.
RoverLog is terrific!
Flat conditions on 6m, had to spend a lot more time on meteir scatter. Any time spent VHF contesting is a great time!
Times appear to be in local rather than UTC, Adding 4 hours when transcribing times (and adjusting dates as needed).
PARTICIPATION SEEMED DOWN FOM A YEAR AGO - FEWER ROVERS (PERHAPPS PUT OFF BY THE TERRIBLE WEATHER WE EXPERIENCED), THE BANDS". THIS MAY HAVE TO DO WITH THE GROWING USE OF FT8 CAUSING PEOPLE TO BE GLUED TO THEIR COMPUTERS. IT HAS CHANGED THE NATURE OF THE CONTEST IN A WAY I AM NOT SURE I LIKE!
2018 ARRL September VHF Contest
Too many operators think it is cool to ragchew and babble on the calling frequencies. Ridiculous. QSY or STFU !!! Never been this bad. These are longtime ops who should know better than to do this chicanery !!
Equipment: MFJ 9406 6 Meters SSB rig, TE Systems 0510G amplifier, home-made copper squalo up 24 feet.
FOR VHF-SEPT-2018 3-MAN ROVER TEAM: K6MI/R, NI6G/R, N6MTS/R GUEST ROVERS: K0DI/R, KF6YYV
RoverLog is terrific!
N6ZE/6 (DM04ne)Thousand Oaks, CA, made 2 QSOs on 33 cm FM. N7WLC (DM04ne) and N6UTC (DM03wt), Signal Hill, CA at 50.46 miles Note: The Santa Monica Mountain Range lies directly between N6ZE/6 & N6UTC. Rig: ALINCO DJ-G29 FM handheld and 11 element M>2 yagi
TRANSCRIBED PAPER LOG
Dates on log pages are written as "8/8/18" and "8/9/18" but are being transcribed as "2018-09-08" and "2018-09-09". Also noted dupes of N1RWY on 50 and 144 which were transcribed as written.
Poor Condx Rain all weekend Poor Activity
"ROVERMANIA", Midwest style. How to make a contest fun without a 6 meter opening.
Considering the conditions, it was not the best that September can offer. Fortunately, the rovers came through thanks to KF2MR/R,VE3SMA/R, VE3OIL/R, VA3TO/R, K2LTD/R,VE3CRU/R and VE3ZV with whom we were able to make 7 band sweeps. Also made first 9 band sweep with VA3ELE for my first 3456 and 5760 contacts. Great fun all around. Hope to have everything together for January 2019 up to 5760.
BAND QSOs MULTS 50 39 13 144 63 18 222 30 10 432 26 9 902 16 5 1.2G 17 5 2.3G 16 5 3.4G 7 5 5.7G 8 4 10G 11 5 24G 4 4 LIGHT 4 4
My transmitted mode is shown for cross-mode contacts Operation from ONS and GTA sections Log contains 4 known duplicate QSOs, not counted toward claimed score Equipment - 50 MHz IC-706 100W / IC-7300 100W, Moxon/mobile vert. 144 MHz IC-7000 / FT-90 50W , 5 el. Yagi/mobile vert 222 MHz K2+XV222 2W, 7 el Yagi/mobile dipole / Handheld 1W, ducky 432 MHz K2+MM xvtr 10W / FT-90 35W, 11 el. Yagi/mobile dipole/mobile vert. 903 MHz K2+rx conv+tx 5W, 7 el. Yagi 1296 MHz K2+2m xvtr+MM xvtr+amp 6W, 10 el. Yagi 2304 MHz K2+2m xvtr+ homebrew xvtr 1W, mobile horn/55 el. Loop Yagi 3456 MHz K2+2m xvtr+ homebrew/DEMI xvtr 1W, 15 dBi horn 5760 MHz K2+2m xvtr+homebrew xvtr 50 mW, 15 dBi horn / modified cordless phone 10 GHz K2+2m xvtr+Kuhne xvtr 2 W, 2 ft dish 24 GHz K2+2m xvtr+homebrew xvtr 250 mW, 1 ft dish / Homebrew WBFM Xcvr 150 mW, 20 dB horn 300+ GHz Red Laser, 2" Rx Lens
I enjoyed the contest.
Boxboro! 2018 delayed start. Rotator frozen WNW.
Generally had a good time. our new 1296 beam worked well and we had lots of new people (Freshmen and others come by and operate with us for a bit. VHF bands just died on sunday though and that was kind of sad. -KC1EPN
Conditions poor with some moments of enhancement. Weather rotten. Rain all weekend when operating in a tent on a Hill top is not the most fun
I am 78. Licienced [sic] 63 years. First serious VHF contest in 40 years. Fun. Noticed a trend. Of 57 contacts on two meters, 40 were digital (FT8). All distant grids were FT8.
Saturday was grim. Sunday was probably grimmer. My overall Q-Rate was 1.2 QSOs per HOUR!!!!! Besides myself there seemed to be only 3 other regional ops on for the contest -- and one was ALSO A ROVER!! (Unless everyone went over to the FT-8 Computer Contest.) Probably my last ARRL SEPT VHF.........
I operated from the summit of Elk Mountain in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Preserve.
All QSOs were made using FT8; my logger will not accept this.
Another fun contest. First time running FT8 along with SSB and CW. Definitely found some atypical grids on 6m using FT8. Mr. Murphy visited a couple times but was able to drive him off with some effort. Thanks to all for the QSOs and 73.
*OLD* summary sheet used so default to SOHP QSOs found on log page by band do not match the count on summary sheet for 50 and 432 and found one more QSO overall, 31, than the total listed on the summary sheet, 30. Band on_log_page on_summary_sheet 50 11 QSOs 9 QSOs 144 13 QSOs 13 QSOs 222 1 QSO 1 QSO 432 6 QSOs 7 QSOs Total 31 QSOs 30 QSOs
The band condx were terrible. I heard no phone or cw signals. I only heard/worked these 6 FT8 stations. Maybe June? 73, George WA5KBH
Portable at Shenadoah National Park, Hogback Overlook again. Cut short due to inclimate weather.
Operated from 9am to 8pm Sunday local time.
CW or SSB only. Propagation seemed to be only to the north and east. No California stations heard this time. I called CQ to the multiple times on 2 meters (4 x 15el, 1500W) but never heard a thing. I wish they would point their antennas this way!! Lots of stations in central and southern AZ. Hoping to see more 222 activity. Its not that expensive to get on with the Ukranian Transverters and the 2 I have used have worked well. Thanks, Doug WA7XX Log Transcriber notes - Handwritten dates are inconsistent with the dates of the contest. Transcribing most dates one day earlier than written but some on 432 and 1296 log pages were transcribed TWO days earlier than written. Also noted that QSOs times are somewhat random, transcribing in the order they are on the log pages.
Sep 2018 recap Equipment: new normal Yaesu FT897-D / Mirage B5018G 100W nominal 13LBA 43 feet up UGH! I’d ask why the 3 VHF contests are always scheduled for wet conditions in the northeast, but there wasn’t much choice this year. And, except for some noise to the SW the last some hours of the contest, noise wasn’t a problem. Acvtivity was awful in September again, as you can see from some large gaps in contacts made. The conditions were not good, but could have been worse. Brief QSB peaks enabled me to pick up some surprising grids. WE1P chose to operate from FN23 this year instead of FN22. Never did get an FN22 - I missed N2SLN/R in that grid, but got him in FN23 (he called ME!) 2 FN233s in one contest? I was also called by NX3B in FM28 and N4RA in FM09 and found K1HC for my 20th grid. However, got the terrible news that this is K2LIM’s last contest, as their site is being dismantled. True, I worked N2SLN\/R in FN12 also, but I fear for the January contest, when rovers will be much scarcer. I never heard KA1ZE, my FN01, because, I was told he was having rotator trouble, and if KV1J was mountaintopping in FN44 I never heard them, either. And I have no idea what has happened to K8EP, my FM08. Their QRZ page is now quite uninformative, and they no longer have an email listed. Never mind that I’m almost 71 and this is a LOT of work. But I should get the SOLP certificate again, I assume. At this rate I just MIGHT get to 50 of them before I’m 75, assuming K9JK continues to translate my logs to Cabrillo format. Of course with the lack of activity came a lack of QRM and no broad big gun signals, either. And unless W3CCX has gone strictly digital, THEY’VE disappeared, too, but that’s only another FN21. WA2GFN had almost no luck on 6, but he did work K2RMX in Brooklyn, and he does QSL. That’s a new county (Peter still needs Bronx, Queen, and Nassau, as well as Manhattan, though he did work a station IN Manhattan once - 4U70UN. Imagine that - none of those and he’s now confirmed over 1/4 of all US counties. See you in January if the storms don’t get me. 73 de WB2CUT PAPER LOG TRANSFORMED FROM WB2CUT'S RTF FILES INTO CABRILLO AND SUBMITTED VIA WEB UPLOADER APP http://contest-log-submission.arrl.org/
The VHF/UHF wave conditions were quite poor from the rain conditions, and no skip accomplished on the 6 meter band. But I still had fun - got w3so and some good local ham contacts.
DEAD BAND CONTEST
It was a very good September contest for us! Conditions were at least normal for most of the contest and then right at the end in the last hour we work stations to the north, WB0TEM EN12, W0GHZ EN34 144-222-432, K0SIX EN35 144-222-432, W0UC EN44 144-222-432. Murphy visitied the 902 ssb/cw station, RX appears to not be working, everyone heard us though. Made a couple 902 contacts on FM with locals and a rover. FT8 and MSK kept the 6m ops turning out contacts. This contest was more work with no 6 meter openings. Tnx to these rovers, K5SRT, N0LD, KB0ZOM, KS0TRC, AND N0MNG For giving us the score we ended up with! See you all next contest!
I roved to 10 grids around Western Washington for this contest. Everything worked very well, and the weather cooperated until rain kicked in for the final 30 minutes of the contest. There was a lot of activity in the Pacific Northwest this contest. The 606 QSOs were with 95 unique calls. The many other rovers (KE7MSU/R, K7BDB/R, K7JSG/R, K7AJG/R, AE7QT/R, K7MDL/R, K7ATN/R, AC7MD/R, VE7AFZ/R, AL1VE/R, W7TAO/R) and the portable operations providing rarer grids (N6LB, K7BWH, WE7X, WW7LW) were very much appreciated. Top QSO counts were with KE7SW (33), N7EPD (32), KE7MSU/R (29), W7GLF (27), K7BDB/R (26), N7QOZ (25), K7ND (24), KE0CO (23), K7JSG/R (20), WA2BFW (19), W7FI (17), N7KSI (17), K7YDL (16), WZ8T (15).
Operated only 12 hours but had lots of fun