AA5B, June VHF Contest

Bruce Draper

Duffey (KK6MC) and I operated Field Day style from a site about 8 miles south of Tijeras, in the NE corner of DM64. It took 3 or 4 trips out there to get stuff set up, and 2 more to take everything back home. For me, it was a chance to get out of the house (been cooped up for too long with 6 other people) and out of town (away from the S9+30dB local signals that can make it hard to copy weak FT8 guys). For Duffey, it was an opportunity to operate the contest even after he decided that he shouldn't rove in the current environment. The site was pretty decent, with fairly low noise and good terrain in most directions.

The 6-meter station was in a small tent, barely enough room for a small table and no room to stand up ;-)   TS590sg, Lenovo laptop, KPA500 running 500 W on CW and SSB, only 300 W on digital (the amp tripped off for higher powers, I think because of low input voltage due to a long extension cord to the generator). Primary antenna was a 4-element CushCraft at about 40 feet. The other one, at 30 feet, was a 4-element YU7EF direct-feed design that I first converted from small tubing to bare wire (by formula) to insulated wire (by measuring the velocity factor at 50 MHz) and then to insulated wire taped to half-inch PVC (again by measuring the velocity factor ... it was an interesting week); when I pointed them in the same direction and switched back and forth there was no difference.

The 144/220/432 station was set up under a tarp (no heavy rain or strong winds, luckily). TS2000 plus a transverter for 220, Dell laptop. Antennas were at 20 feet on a telescoping mast: 6 elements on 144, 9 elements on 220, 14 elements on 432.

A Honda 2000eu generator ran the whole shebang.

Conditions were great at times on 6 meters, awful at other times. People hang out on FT8 waaaay too much when the band is open and signals are good. The best (and most fun) hours were the first 1 or 2 on CW and SSB, and the last 4 hours on CW/SSB/FT4. FT4 was a ton of fun, unlike its older brother.

We had decided to follow the spirit of "covid protocol" as much as practical, and that meant we didn't do very much station swapping. There was an hour or two when Duffey operated 6-meter digital and I listened to static on 2 meters, otherwise I stuck to 6 and Duffey covered the other bands.  

I haven't merged the logs yet, but I think the numbers will be close to these:
91 QSOs on 6-meter CW
93 on 6 SSB
244 on 6 digital (including a half dozen meteor scatter Qs)
38 QSOs on 144/220/432
181 grids total (166 on 6 meters, 15 on the other bands)
Score around 83 k

    Bruce AA5B

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