Re: VHF contest experiences?


James Duffey
 

Summary:
Band  QSOs SSB   CW   Mults
-------------------–––––––––
   6:      44       34      10        21
   2:         9         8         1          3
 222:           
 432:    12        11         1          5          
------------------––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Total:  65         53        12     29  Total Score = 2,233

Trying to attempt different things in the VHF/UHF contest, so I did a SOP operation
instead of my usual rove, which has been on hiatus during the pandemic.
Eventually I want to mount a full out SOP effort, but thought I would try a dry
run, not too far from home, with my rover setup. I set up on the Sandia Crest,
which is a tough RFI & intermod environment. I had surplus cavity filters
for 2m and 70 cm which helped a lot. 50MHz had a few problems with weak intermod, but it was possible to work around them without a big impact to the score. 2M with the filter was good, but I didn’t think I was getting out as well as I thought I should.  Not use what the problem is. 432 was also good on Sunday, but on Saturday I had serious intermod problems. Not sure what the difference was, but I parked a bit further away from the tower farm on Sunday. 222MHZ was useless with a 10dB over 9 noise level. People could hear me, but I couldn't hear them. Very frustrating, but now I know I need to get a filter for 222MHz for serious work from where I would like to operate.

I had intended to run the WSJT digital modes to see how they worked with QRP,
but I had problems with both computers, one hardware and one software, so that
was out. I think I missed out on a lot of grids by not having that capability;
so that also goes on the list of things to improve. I could receive OK, and on that basis, I think if I had been active on FT8 I could have doubled my score or better. 

I had some short and weak Es openings, but there was not a lot of activity on
SSB and CW to match the openings. It is a sign of the digital times I guess. I got out better than I thought I would with QRP, and only on occasion did I have to resort to CW to work an SSB station when I was weak there. But, there seemed to  be fewer SSB OPs that were willing to do cross mode QSOs than in he past. On my attempt to work a fairly strong multi-multi station on CW when they were on SSB, I got a "please try us later when there will be a different operator who knows CW." OK, I get it, I am becoming an anachronism. 

I was pleased with the score and feel more confident with a future more serious
SOP effort. According to the ARRL.org web page, it is a new NM record, but I think that their record stats only go back as far as there are digital logs, to 2002, and that there was a bigger score put up in the 90s.

I will probably be back for a full scale rove in the July CQ WW VHF contest. - Duffey

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jun 18, 2021, at 06:24, Bruce Draper <bruceaa5b@...> wrote:


Several of you went out roving or expeditioning for the contest last weekend (WØAMT, N7GP, AA5PR, KK6MC, ...), and probably others operated from home. How'd it go?

    -Bruce AA5B/3

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