Archive for ARRL September VHF Contest

WA4ZKO – Sept VHF Wrap-Up

Posted in Contesting, VHF-UHF with tags , on September 21, 2013 by WA4ZKO

Well as somewhat expected for this time of the year, 6 meters never opened up so it was a mostly 2m & up show. I wasn’t very active during Saturday afternoon other than briefly checking the bands from time to time. Was more active on Saturday evening.

Just before dinner I stumbled across N8JQR/R (K8TQK at the mic) working their way into EM88. After that they headed to the corner of EM78, EM79, and EM89 and I worked them with ease in all four grids on 2m and 432. They didn’t have 6m gear with them, but still some nice grids/bands to add to the logs.

Around 9pm I would come in and work a couple hours of the contest. Things seemed really slow here locally. I would add WZ8D, W4NH, N8ZM, AA4ZZ, K8EP, and K5QE to the logs before calling it a night. Would end the night by working K5QE on meteor scatter (FSK441) with some pretty good burns observed.

I would wind up with the following:

TOTAL QSOs:      20
TOTAL 6m QSOs:   6
TOTAL 6m Grids:  6
TOTAL 2m QSOs:   8
TOTAL 2m Grids:  8
TOTAL 432 QSOs:  6
TOTAL 432 Grids: 6

Interesting when your 432 QSO & grid count matches your 6 meter totals.

All in all a pretty good run for the limited amount of time I had, band conditions, and lack of local/semi-local activity. Thankful for the N8JQR rover being out there. I gather propagation on the higher bands was pretty good Sunday morning (figures, grin).

Heard K4TO on from Winchester, never worked him though. Talked to KI4WEF on the 440 repeater as we tinkered with meteor scatter, but we never really made a valid contest QSO ;-) Oh well, anymore I just enjoy getting on the air for a few hours and handing out EM78. IMHO, far more fun when you don’t go taking contesting too seriously. Just get on the air, make some Qs, and have fun doing it.

REMINDER:  Monday evening is the Fall 144 MHz Sprint. Not sure if I will be around for this one or not. Tropo forecast looks interesting.

September 23, 2013:
144 MHz Fall Sprint




WA4ZKO Sept VHF Contest Wrap-up

Posted in Contesting, VHF-UHF with tags , on September 12, 2012 by WA4ZKO

Well as planned I didn’t have much time for contesting this weekend till late Sunday afternoon and evening. Several times during the afternoon I would take a break from being outside in some great weather to check the bands and find mostly silence.

Around 7:30pm I checked the band and found a very weak 6 meter opening to Florida. Signal levels were low and it sounded like stations a couple grids to the north were having better luck so I suspect EM78 was on the south edge of the opening.

Around 8:27pm I would come in and work N4BP in EL96 on weak 6m eskip. Then the Magic Band would toss me a very pleasant surprise. I’m slowly tuning up the band from where I had been camping out (50.130) and suddenly I stumble across PY2XB in GG66 (Brazil) CQ’ing at 50.137. I peak him on the beam as he works a 8-lander. I’m questioning if this is early F2, but tell myself the solar #s just don’t add up to F2. I would work PY2XB at 8:31pm and notice a familiar sounding light distortion on his audio. Signals were fairly strong, I gave him a pretty honest 56-57 report and got a 55 in return. I figured this path was the result of an e-skip hop south into the north end of a TEP path. Later analysis of other contacts would match up to that theory.

Nothing else out of S. America was noted here, but I could hear one end of 8’s and 3’s working that path. I suspect EM78 was right on the SW edge of the path. Interesting note? I did not hear anything out of Caribbean area…there had to be a fairly hot e-skip path. In hindsight, I should of checked for any Caribbean beacons. I also think this opening caught a lot of folks by total surprise as the pileups seemed light and slow to build up.

I would go on to work EL98 (KD2JA), EM85 (W4NH on SoCo Bald Mtn), and EN80 (N8ZM) and call it a night. No local activity noted, but I was only active for maybe 30 minutes max. Total of 5 QSO’s, 5 grids, 1 DXCC, and 3 states (FL, OH, NC) for a claimed score of 25 points. Hey…it’s better than nothing at all and working Brazil on 6m was a nice little surprise ;-)

Unless you are into EME or the Microwaves, the next VHF contest will be the 2m Fall Sprint next Monday evening September 17th (7pm-11pm local):

At this time, I plan to be active for the 2m and 432 Fall Sprints. While they are rarely hotbeds of activity around here they can get interesting if tropo kicks in.