|Well the hopes for some good 6m propagation didn’t pan out Saturday evening and the bands were pretty dead in EM78. Sunday afternoon had some light 6m e-skip but a day late for the sprint. That is just the way the 6m propagation game goes this early in the e-skip season. Always wished they would have the 6m Spring Sprint later in the month.7pm rolled around and I checked the beacon sub-band and found nothing there to get excited over. Tuned the band a bit finding nada. Well I did hear KG8FE up in Ohio calling CQ and I tried trice to answer him without a response back. So I went to work on other projects outside while stopping in to check the band from time to time.With the sun about set, I decided to come back in around 8:30 PM’ish to see if things had picked up any. I also wanted to work a portion of the Armed Forces Day Crossband Military-Amateur Communications Test that was going on. Not much to be found on 6m, but found a local (KI4WEF, Lonnie) calling CQ on 50.125. We moved up to 50.145 and had a good QSO as he checked his rig and new 6m antenna out.After chatting with him for a bit I took a break to go see if I could hear the Navy/Marine Corp MARS station (callsign NBL) up at the sub base in Connecticut (Groton/New London) on HF. I found their 7 MHz signal swamped pretty badly with QRM, but the 14 MHz signal was pretty good. I fired up Fldigi and copied them sending the AFD Secretary of Defense (SecDef) message on 14.393 USB in MT63-1k mode. Couple screencaps of this can be found below:
NBL preparing to send:
Shortly after 9 PM I finally got halfway serious about working the contest and proceeded to give the rotor a good workout trying to snag some contacts. With a dead band and very few locals to be found it was tough to stir anything up.
Just before 10pm K9LQZ over in Indiana would answer one of my CQs and we had a nice QSO. He gave me some exciting news regarding a planned EM87 operation during the June VHF+ Contest. I’ll detail that in a separate message.
So here’s what I wound up with, 4 QSOs, 3 grids, 3 states.
KI4WEF EM78RM KY 12 miles
K9LQZ EM68UK IN 89 miles
K8TQK EM89JE OH 87 miles
N4MRM EM78BD KY 73 miles