WA4ZKO – 144 Mhz Spring Sprint wrap up/soapbox

12 Q’s, 9 grids, 6 states, total score 108.

I did better this time around than last year! The band seemed to be flat, maybe up some to the E and NW.

Worked KA1ZE/3 Stan from Tolland, CT up at his contest site in Pennsylvania (FN01xx) about 420 miles out. This was my farthest contact of the evening.

W9GA Ken in Wisconsin (EN53WE) about 361 miles out.

K4QI with a nice signal from North Carolina, FM06 about 350 miles out.

W8ZN Terry way over in Virgina, FM19bb about 370 miles out.

The continued “silence to the south” is starting to worry me. What has happened to the Tennessee stations? Admittedly I did more “hunt & pounce” this time around, so maybe they were doing the same and we just missed each other. I did spend a lot of time listening to the south and called during a few spells. There used to be several folks routinely active in Tennessee.

The trend of no one on around Lexington and Louisville continues. I think I was the only station on in Kentucky! If others are on the air contesting, I sure didn’t hear them! Kind of glad I didn’t make the Black Mountain run for this one due to weather concerns. With the “silence of the south” continuing, probably best that I stayed in Northern Kentucky.

It’s hard to say for sure if the apparent trend of lower activity is something to worry about. When the solar cycle is low and 6m is only hopping during “easy season” I tend to think a lot of the VHF/UHF weak signal folks pursue other interests and forget about the VHF/UHF activities. Seems like I remember this trend from the 1990’s, but it is worrisome. Today the hobby is also competing against a never ending deluge of new tech/internet “fads” for folks time/interest.


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