Archive for ARRL June VHF Contest

WA4ZKO – June VHF Contest Wrapup

Posted in Contesting, Ham Radio, VHF-UHF with tags , on June 17, 2014 by WA4ZKO

Well this contest weekend was a good mix of radio fun and family. I really didn’t operate as much as intended, but still managed to get in about 2 to 3 hours total time in.

Total of 52 QSOs. The band breakdown:

6m    30     22      13
2m    22     12       7
432    7      6       6

With everything else going on, my operating was kind of sporadic at best. Basically come in, check the bands, work a few folks, then leave the radio radio room to spend time with family and work on some outside projects.

NOTE:  The following is just my observations from my sporadic operating time and I’m sure I missed a few openings.

Saturday afternoon was pretty much work the local/semi-locals and that was it. 6 meters just didn’t open up any till the evening so it was a mostly 2m/432 day. I gather there was some eskip in the northeast and west coast areas, but it just wasn’t getting into this area. Around 8pm 6m would open a bit to Texas. Around 11pm I would hear a 6 and 7-land station trying to come up out of the noise floor, but the band faded out about that time.

I did have some fun on 2m/432 Saturday night so it was far from a bust. I worked well into VA, PA and WI. I worked the W3SO folks over in FN00 (PA), the W4IY folks in FM08 (VA), NW IL, and several southern WI folks. Best 2m DX was probably N9DG in EN53 at 423 miles. Best 432 DX was W4IY in FM08 at 298 miles.

Sunday morning just before lunch I clearly came in on the end of a decent 6m opening to the west. 6m was open to TX, OK, KS, and CO with big signals, but I had to QRT for lunch and family. I returned around 1:30pm to find just the 0-land folks still in there and a Florida grid or two coming in. I checked the DX window and found a very lonely ZF35EJ (Cayman Islands) in there about S5 and worked him on first call. I would then work the only rover I heard all weekend, AL1VE /R out in DM99.

I never heard Dan K9ZF /R on this weekend. I would later see where he was sick Saturday.

Don’t know much about how the rest of Sunday went as I was occupied with family and outside projects for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

Score wise? Some have noticed that I have not submitted a log for any of this years contests. I’m not planning on entering this one either. I’ll let others collect KY band certificates, my file cabinet is getting full of them, grin. Even if I was retired and had all kinds of time to devote to aggressive contesting, I doubt one could win the whole thing from this area with the low local/semi-local activity levels we have now.

Are you getting out of VHF/UHF Contesting Jeff?

Nope. There are several things at play here. I just really don’t care to compete or enter these things anymore. It’s mostly that I simply don’t have the time to devote to contesting like I used to and the rule/paperwork headaches just aren’t worth fooling with anymore.

I can now operate as I wish without worry of running afoul of some rule on this or that. As several others have commented, the “rule/contest worrywarts” tried to fix things that worked fine for decades and managed to do far more harm than good. Now they set around wondering why so many of the reliably active “old hats” are either getting out of contesting or (like myself) just don’t bother with turning in logs.

Maybe it’s the “grumpy old man” kicking in, but hobby stuff should be fun. I can get all the paperwork, short reporting deadlines, and rule compliance headaches I need by simply going to the day job.



Posted in Contesting, VHF-UHF with tags on August 6, 2012 by WA4ZKO

Sorry for this late one, but work has had me just a tad busy ;-)

Well work had my radio time very limited for the weekend of the 2012 CQ WW VHF Contest, but somehow I still managed to pull off a pretty decent log.

Saturday afternoon I only got in about 15 minutes of operating. But with 6 meters open right then I quickly added 7 stations on 6m to the log:

NR5M   EM10  Texas
W9RM   DM58  Colorado – Keith out at his CO QTH.
KF0UR  DM78  Colorado
K6MYC  DM07  California on first call ;-)
K0NR   DM78  Colorado – Bill up at his cabin.
K5ZG   DM88  Colorado
W7QQ/R DM79  Colorado

If the K6MYC call sounds familiar, it struck me the same. Turns out that was Mike Staal of M2 Antenna and KLM Electronics fame:

To make that QSO even nicer…DM07 is a new grid for me. Guess I better get that QSL request out in the mail soon. Also a good lesson on why just sticking your head in the shack for just a few minutes may be well worth it.

It would later that evening before I got back in the shack. I would find 6 meters open to AZ, ND, UT, and NV for a bit before the opening died out. Pretty sure I missed a pile of 6m contacts earlier, but oh well. From that point on I would start focusing on 2m more and add KY, OH, IN, PA, and FN03 Canada to the 2m logs before calling it a night.

Sunday I would get on the air for about 20 minutes just before 2pm before work would distract me for the rest of the day. 6 meters was open good to Florida then and I even heard local KI4WEF working someone right after I did.

My final tally would be 28 QSOs. On 6 meters 20 QSOs, 19 grids, 9 states. On 2 meters 8 QSOs, 8 grids, and 5 states plus Ontario Canada. Will enter as Single Operator – Low Power and claim a score of 756. Not too shabby for around 3 hours total operating time and I managed to have some fun and get some work done too. Would prefer to of had more time in the shack, but hey some operating time is better than none ;-)