8 QSO’s, 5 grids, for the barn burner score of 40. Looking over past years, usually only have about 3-5 QSO’s. Turned out to be my best 432 Sprint score yet and that with only 45w to 18 elements.
Yeah you read that right, 8 Q’s is an improvement! We recently began resurrecting our little informal VHF/UHF group (NKDXE) and mailing list from the late 1990’s. This in an attempt to help promote/coordinate more activity on VHF/UHF…seems to be helping some.
Best DX of the night? Probably a tie between K4QI (about 346 miles) or K2DRH in EN41vr and was surprisingly easy at 360 miles.
Seemed to be some very light enhancement to the SW around to just shy of WNW and I think K2DRH was on the edge of that. Downside of that? I don’t think there’s much activity out that way on 432.
W3SO in FN00 was heard weakly a couple times on 432.112, but never strong enough to work. They’re usually pretty easy to work once you get their attention.
Band to NE seemed to be WAY down. Chicago area was surprisingly dead (or the band was down that way). Did barely detect W9RM in EN52.
No sign of the usual EM85/EM86 mountain toppers or big guns other than K4QI which is more around to the ESE for me. South seemed completely dead/inactive.
Other than some locals, Ohio and Indiana seemed dead or they were working other areas. As in the 2m sprint, I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only one on the air in KY? Really miss K4TO’s big signals to help draw attention down our way.
None of the usual rovers heard either. N1LF came through on I-71/I-75 for a business trip to Columbus OH. He was very QRP into a 5/8 wave vertical, but gave a few of us EM78/EM79 Q’s. Hey it all helps and he seems like a nice OM trying to stir up activity. I’m guessing the $3.50/gal gas prices are keeping a lot of them home this year.
I agree that the use of the calling freq for contesting is a problem. I try to avoid it and often will not work folks on, or just a kc or two, the 6m or 2m calling freq’s during contests. IMHO, operating 1, 2, 3 KHz off the calling freq is pretty much the same as operating on the calling freq. Yeah such an approach on my part costs me points, but hey I’m in it for reasons other than solely winning an award.
Now on 432 it seems to be very tough to not use the calling freq if you want to make any contacts around here. I’d say 50-75% of my contacts last night were on the calling freq. Before realizing W3SO was on .112 I sat calling on .110 and .115 a lot keeping the rotor very busy. Think I got one contact that way. Couple of the locals were 5 up or down though and having a tough time too. Yeah a loop stack might help a lot, grin.
I’d say the fact that most are using very sharp patterned beams contributes to the perceived need to camp out on 432.1 during a contest, especially during flat band conditions. From there it sort of becomes a self perpetuating snowball. Tough and hot topic for sure. I remember chuckling at a spot for 432.101 (why bother, you’re as good as being the calling freq anyways.
Personally, I think we should petition to have contest contacts made on or +/- 5 KHz of the calling freq’s as not valid for contest contacts. Not everyone on the bands are on them for the contest! Bad idea? Good idea? Maybe I’m nuts?
Thanks to W4SHG and KJ9K for sponsoring the Sprints! Kuddo’s to all that took time to participate so that we’d have the scores we did get.
73, Jeff, WA4ZKO