Archive for June, 2009

WA4ZKO – 2009 June VHF Contest wrap up

Posted in Contesting, Ham Radio with tags , on June 30, 2009 by WA4ZKO

As usual, I had other things going on that weekend and only got to operate sporadically, 30 minutes here, and hour or so there on Saturday. Got in a couple hours on Sunday morning, but operating time on Sunday afternoon was about zilch.

This time I didn’t rack up nearly as nice of a score as I did last year. It was still a fun weekend on the radio. Saturday started off with some nice 6m DX into the Caribbean areas (Puerto Rico, Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba).

It was nice to hear about 7 Kentucky stations on too!

Short summary:

Total QSO’s: 112 (2008 was 125)
Claimed Score: 7623 (2008 was 10428)

2009 breakdown
6m       85        48            13          4        100w       5el 50′
2m       18          9              5          1          45w     10el 58′
432       9          6               4          1          45w     18el 55′

2008 breakdown
6m         90       52           16           4        100w        5el 50′
2m         28       21           13           1         45w       10el 58′
432         7          6             5           1         45w       18el 55′

Long summary:

Good contest, but I didn’t focus on 2m as much as I should and it shows. When 6m is open, everyone tends to forget about the other bands and that can hurt depending on how things play out. No tropo or 2m eskip was noted.

I got to work about 30 minutes of the contest late Saturday afternoon. 6m was open to FL and the Caribbean areas. Things started off with some nice DX to PJ4NX in the Netherlands Antilles, NP4A in Puerto Rico, and P43A in Aruba. That’s a nice way to start things off!

Saturday evening 6m shifted around to Texas with a few Florida grids holding in there. Also worked XE2WWW in Mexico who was just booming in every time I stopped in the radio room to check the band that evening. Later that evening Florida faded away and it was mainly Texas and Oklahoma coming in on 6m.

Sunday morning was a bit slow. Worked KF4VTT/VP9 over in Bermuda on 6m which is nice, he had a pretty big pileup on him.

By around 11AM Sunday morning 6m opened to the west and I would work stations in CO, WY, KS, NM, MT, and Texas.

By noon Sunday 6m was only open to Florida and Louisiana. A couple Texas grids were popping in at times, but nothing like the Saturday opening.

It was nice to hear about 7 Kentucky stations on too! I would run across the following Kentucky stations:

KF4DSS  Frankfort
W8KHP*  Hebron
N4GN    Louisville
KE4KY*  Fisherville
AK3Q*   Bellevue
W4FVQ   Covington
KD4MDC* Jeffersontown

* = ? New KY folks I don’t recall working before. Cool!

Would also work Ray, N0NM out in Kansas, grid DM99 on 6m. I think DM99 is a bit rare and may be a new one for me on 6m. Ray is the Police Chief of Goodland, Kansas. Always neat to run across other public safety hams.

It was refreshing to hear some other hams on the bands in Kentucky. Still didn’t hear much of anything out of Tennessee though. I did work AA4ZZ in North Carolina on 6m/2m/432 and conditions seemed average. Also worked K4LY in South Carolina on 2 meters which is a pretty good haul for average conditions.

All in all a pretty darn good contest considering how little time I had for it and numerous distractions. Don’t know if I missed much Sunday afternoon or not. Goes to show that even if you can only spare a few hours for a weekend contest, you can still have fun and make a good number of contacts.


2009 ARRL June VHF Contest this weekend

Posted in Contesting, Ham Radio with tags , , , on June 12, 2009 by WA4ZKO

The first major (outside of the January contest) VHF/UHF+ contest is this weekend. The ARRL June VHF QSQ Party starts at 2pm (eastern) Saturday and runs till 5pm (eastern) Sunday.

More info and rules here:

From looking at the tropo forecast maps, it looks like there’s a pretty good chance of some tropo/inversion enhancement across the SE USA and extending into our area. So Saturday night/Sunday morning could get interesting.

I’ll be on from EM78pp with the usual:
6m – 100w to 5 el at 50′
2m –  45w to 10 el at 58′
432 – 45w to 18 el at 55′

I’ve got a pile of stuff on the plate for this weekend and probably will not get home till around 4-5PM’ish Saturday. As such I plan to work just portions of the contest during Saturday evening and maybe Sunday morning…will have to see how things play out. If activity is as low as it was during the sprints, I’ll probably divert my attention to other projects and just occasionally check the bands.

Hopefully there will be some more local/semi-local activity this time around. KY and TN seemed very dead during the spring sprint. TN is usually full of activity, but not lately. Used to be a handful of us on in Kentucky. This spring I think I was the only KY station on for the sprints.

Fire up those rigs and at least work a few locals if you get time. In this area you’re unlikely to win a contest, but it can be a lot of fun working various stations, grids, and states. Maybe 6m will open up for the weekend…got some rovers hitting some odd/rare grids out west…could be fun working those guys!