Date   

Re: June contest questions

Keith Morehouse
 

Bob, you could go right east across the valley to the Truchas overlook in DM76 and probably be the only guy active from that grid.  I'd love to work you on 6 from there.

Site details are here:


-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


On Mon, Jun 8, 2020, 4:19 PM Arne N7KA <N7KA@...> wrote:
Probably anywhere in DM66 to provide a needed multiplier to others.

Arne N7KA
On 06/08/2020 3:06 PM redarlington <rdarlington@...> wrote:


Hi guys,

I'd like to participate in the contest this weekend to do an equipment shakedown.  I hear there are some locations that I can drive to and setup and make a few Qs, but really have no idea about where the preferred locations are or what's even close to me (I'm in Los Alamos).    

The plan is to drag out the 6 meter hexbeam (folds up), small 2 meter beam (Arrow, handheld but probably will strap it down to a pole), 23cm (cheap yagi with 25W DEMI transverter), and 10GHz dish (DEMI transverter right into the feed, 10mW I think).   I'd appreciate any recommendations that are not crazy far from home on where to setup.   

Thanks,
-Bob N3XKB


Re: June contest questions

Arne N7KA
 

Probably anywhere in DM66 to provide a needed multiplier to others.

Arne N7KA

On 06/08/2020 3:06 PM redarlington <rdarlington@...> wrote:


Hi guys,

I'd like to participate in the contest this weekend to do an equipment shakedown.  I hear there are some locations that I can drive to and setup and make a few Qs, but really have no idea about where the preferred locations are or what's even close to me (I'm in Los Alamos).    

The plan is to drag out the 6 meter hexbeam (folds up), small 2 meter beam (Arrow, handheld but probably will strap it down to a pole), 23cm (cheap yagi with 25W DEMI transverter), and 10GHz dish (DEMI transverter right into the feed, 10mW I think).   I'd appreciate any recommendations that are not crazy far from home on where to setup.   

Thanks,
-Bob N3XKB


June contest questions

redarlington
 

Hi guys,

I'd like to participate in the contest this weekend to do an equipment shakedown.  I hear there are some locations that I can drive to and setup and make a few Qs, but really have no idea about where the preferred locations are or what's even close to me (I'm in Los Alamos).    

The plan is to drag out the 6 meter hexbeam (folds up), small 2 meter beam (Arrow, handheld but probably will strap it down to a pole), 23cm (cheap yagi with 25W DEMI transverter), and 10GHz dish (DEMI transverter right into the feed, 10mW I think).   I'd appreciate any recommendations that are not crazy far from home on where to setup.   

Thanks,
-Bob N3XKB


States Above 50MHz activity

James Duffey
 

The Central States VHF Society (CSVHF) sponsors a States Above 50 MHz Activity each year which runs from June 1 to May 31. The details can be found on the web page to which the link below will send you.

< http://www.csvhfs.org/index.php/awards-and-programs/states-above-50mhz >

The concept is simple, the total score is the sum of all the states worked on all bands above 50MHz. So, states can be counted more than once If they are worked on different bands. Everyone that has more than 30 band-states gets a certificate. Nice walnut plaques are given for CSVHF members who finish in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

This is good incentive to get on the air and work something other than grids. It is also good incentive to add new modes and operate on new bands. With diligent work 30 state/bands should be within the reach of most.

The award resets each year, so one cannot rest on past laurels. - Duffey KK6MC


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM


Re: June contest

Jonathan Fox - W0AMT
 

John,

I have an antenna for 1296. It's your for the asking.

73, Jon
W0AMT


On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 6:14 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
I'm tentatively planning on going in the opposite direction (southeast NM) this time around.  DM55/56 are not great places to visit at the moment.

That said, I need a little push (lacking an antenna) to get on 1296 myself, so I'm interested in this for a future trip.

John, AA5PR 


Re: June contest

Keith Morehouse
 

That would be great John.  DM82 is the one I really need to work on 6 !
Good Luck - I'll be following you.

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


On Wed, May 27, 2020 at 7:54 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Jay - I'm thinking of DM72/73/82/83 on Sunday.  Based on experience, if I start the day in DM82 we should have no problem.  DM81 is not in the plan this time around - I'm not done with New Mexico.
John, AA5PR


Re: June contest

John Klem
 

Jay - I'm thinking of DM72/73/82/83 on Sunday.  Based on experience, if I start the day in DM82 we should have no problem.  DM81 is not in the plan this time around - I'm not done with New Mexico.
John, AA5PR


Re: June contest

Keith Morehouse
 

John, DM81 or DM82 on 6 would be great for me !

-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


On Wed, May 27, 2020, 6:14 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
I'm tentatively planning on going in the opposite direction (southeast NM) this time around.  DM55/56 are not great places to visit at the moment.

That said, I need a little push (lacking an antenna) to get on 1296 myself, so I'm interested in this for a future trip.

John, AA5PR 


Re: June contest

John Klem
 

I'm tentatively planning on going in the opposite direction (southeast NM) this time around.  DM55/56 are not great places to visit at the moment.

That said, I need a little push (lacking an antenna) to get on 1296 myself, so I'm interested in this for a future trip.

John, AA5PR 


June contest

Keith Morehouse
 

Attention NM rovers !

Has anybody made any plans to rove up toward DM58 in June ?  K7ULS is going to be in a new high elevation location in DN41 and is bugging me to have 1296 available.  I told him I would consider putting my relatively small 1296 antenna on a 20' push up mast, but if Duffy (or anyone) is considering a path this way (either right here or through Moab/Green River area) it would be much more motivation to fire up 1296 (..and 900).

I'm not planning on a big effort in June since I'm not really thrilled with the prospect of a mostly FT8 6M contest.  The upside of this is I'll have much more time to concentrate on 2M and above.  Something that normally takes a back seat to 6 in June.

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

James Duffey
 

More than 4x. When I got mine, it cost $10. I was going to enter the Petrified Forest National Park during a 7th Call Area and the ranger said that instead of paying the park entry fee of $15, I could buy the pass for $10. I did and have not regretted it. It is a good deal, but not the one it used to be. Ginger has one too, she got it a bit before I did.


James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On May 16, 2020, at 07:56, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:


If one is over 62, a one-time fee of $80 (think that's what it is now) will get you a lifetime free pass for you and everyone in your vehicle to any National Park, Forest or Monument where entry fees are charged, as well as a discount on camping & services in said area.

They raised the fee 4X a few years ago, but it's still a good deal if you frequent such places.  Personally, as far as 'nature' goes, my opinion is if you have to pay to see it, it probably isn't worth it...(but, I do have a pass).

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 8:44 PM Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io <mailserver=jonz.net@groups.io> wrote:


So, yes, I'll check with them before heading out.
One "benefit" of COVID-19 is that National Park entries are free
for now -- but, there are very little or no services for the public.

Thanks for the URL, Duffey!  I'll keep checking it up to ARRL JUN VHF.

73
Jonesy


Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

Keith Morehouse
 

If one is over 62, a one-time fee of $80 (think that's what it is now) will get you a lifetime free pass for you and everyone in your vehicle to any National Park, Forest or Monument where entry fees are charged, as well as a discount on camping & services in said area.

They raised the fee 4X a few years ago, but it's still a good deal if you frequent such places.  Personally, as far as 'nature' goes, my opinion is if you have to pay to see it, it probably isn't worth it...(but, I do have a pass).

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 8:44 PM Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io <mailserver=jonz.net@groups.io> wrote:


So, yes, I'll check with them before heading out.
One "benefit" of COVID-19 is that National Park entries are free
for now -- but, there are very little or no services for the public.

Thanks for the URL, Duffey!  I'll keep checking it up to ARRL JUN VHF.

73
Jonesy


Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

Bill
 

Jonesy,

Sure, we'll have you!  Good luck in June.

73 Bill W7QQ


On Fri, May 15, 2020 at 1:03 PM Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io <mailserver=jonz.net@groups.io> wrote:
... and to some degree, the July CQ WW VHF, too.

The ARRL JUNE VHF is just 4 weeks away.  I've seen nothing (yet) from
the ARRL v-a-v "special conditions" governing the contest with regards
to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tho', I see other, past contests had
eliminated the Multi-Op category.  But, I could see the Rover category
being dropped if various states have restrictions on travel -- thus
putting many Rovers at a disadvantage.

Of course, I have NO plans involving direct human contact while
rovering.  At most I may confront a DIY gas pump.  HI!HI!

As for my plans, this year I wanted to drop down into N.M. (if you'll
have me - HI!HI!) and start on Capulin Volcano on Saturday in DM86.
After that I would work my way north on various blue (and brown) roads
into Colorado for DM87 and DM88.

The Capulin Volcano conditions look "sort of OK":
        https://www.nps.gov/cavo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
but the wording is perplexing.  In one place it states "The Volcano Road
is closed to RVs, buses, attached trailers or any other vehicles over 26
feet long while the road has the one-lane section."  And, in another
place it says, "The Capulin Volcano Visitor Center, Volcano Road, and
Park Store will be closed until further notice."  So, I'm unsure if one
can drive a vehicle to the upper parking lot.

To, I'm unsure what New Mexico restrictions and regulations might be in
effect for travelers -- either now, or in the next 28 days.  Would some
kindly NM op pass along a nm.gov website URL that contains state-wide
COVID-19 restrictions?  Thank you!

It is VERY MUCH out of the ordinary for me to be planning something like
this so far in advance.  These are, indeed, unusual times.

Wash your hands after handling this email.
73
Jonesy
--
  Marvin L Jones     | W3DHJ      | W3DHJ  | https://W3DHJ.net/
   Pueblo, Colorado  |  @         | Jonesy |     __ linux FreeBSD
    38.238N 104.547W |   jonz.net | DM78rf | 73  SK




Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

On Fri, 15 May 2020, Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io wrote:

... and to some degree, the July CQ WW VHF, too.
OBTW, I forgot to point out some Good Press that New Mexico received
recently:
nytimes.com/2020/05/01/opinion/new-mexico-coronavirus-curve.html
73
Jonesy


Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

On Fri, 15 May 2020, James Duffey wrote:

Jonesy - Here is the web page with the current, as of May 15 NM
COVID-19 related information:

< https://www.newmexico.gov/2020/05/15/governor-signs-modified-extended-public-health-order-easing-some-restrictions-and-requiring-face-coverings/ >

These regulations are in effect until May 31, so, they will change
before the contest.

Pertinent to your visit:

Non-essential travel is still banned.
Seems to be a couple'o statements at odds:

"Crucially, much of the previous order will remain intact, particularly
the directive to stay at home except for outings essential to work,
health, safety and welfare."

-and-

"Additional state parks and certain outdoor recreation guides can
operate with CSPs (COVID-Safe Practices)."

Everyone must wear a mask in public.
Rovers avoid the public. HI!HI! But, I have my mask, and Purell!

Check with Capulin about potential restrictions there, but I think at
present all National Parks and Monuments are closed.
Maybe not; from the Capulin Volcano website:
"Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, and state and local public health authorities, we are
increasing access and services in a phased approach across all units of
the National Park System. Before visiting a park, please check the park
website to determine its operating status."

So, yes, I'll check with them before heading out.
One "benefit" of COVID-19 is that National Park entries are free
for now -- but, there are very little or no services for the public.

Thanks for the URL, Duffey! I'll keep checking it up to ARRL JUN VHF.

73
Jonesy


Re: About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

James Duffey
 

Jonesy - Here is the web page with the current, as of May 15 NM COVID-19 related information:


These regulations are in effect until May 31, so, they will change before the contest. 

Pertinent to your visit:

Non-essential travel is still banned. 

Everyone must wear a mask in public.

Check with Capulin about potential restrictions there, but I think at present all National Parks and Monuments are closed. - Duffey

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On May 15, 2020, at 13:03, Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io <mailserver@...> wrote:

... and to some degree, the July CQ WW VHF, too.

The ARRL JUNE VHF is just 4 weeks away.  I've seen nothing (yet) from
the ARRL v-a-v "special conditions" governing the contest with regards
to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Tho', I see other, past contests had
eliminated the Multi-Op category.  But, I could see the Rover category
being dropped if various states have restrictions on travel -- thus
putting many Rovers at a disadvantage.

Of course, I have NO plans involving direct human contact while
rovering.  At most I may confront a DIY gas pump.  HI!HI!

As for my plans, this year I wanted to drop down into N.M. (if you'll
have me - HI!HI!) and start on Capulin Volcano on Saturday in DM86.
After that I would work my way north on various blue (and brown) roads
into Colorado for DM87 and DM88.

The Capulin Volcano conditions look "sort of OK":
   https://www.nps.gov/cavo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
but the wording is perplexing.  In one place it states "The Volcano Road
is closed to RVs, buses, attached trailers or any other vehicles over 26
feet long while the road has the one-lane section."  And, in another
place it says, "The Capulin Volcano Visitor Center, Volcano Road, and
Park Store will be closed until further notice."  So, I'm unsure if one
can drive a vehicle to the upper parking lot.

To, I'm unsure what New Mexico restrictions and regulations might be in
effect for travelers -- either now, or in the next 28 days.  Would some
kindly NM op pass along a nm.gov website URL that contains state-wide
COVID-19 restrictions?  Thank you!

It is VERY MUCH out of the ordinary for me to be planning something like
this so far in advance.  These are, indeed, unusual times.

Wash your hands after handling this email.
73
Jonesy
--
 Marvin L Jones     | W3DHJ      | W3DHJ  | https://W3DHJ.net/
  Pueblo, Colorado  |  @         | Jonesy |     __ linux FreeBSD
   38.238N 104.547W |   jonz.net | DM78rf | 73  SK




About being Rover in ARRL JUNE VHF -- in NM

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

... and to some degree, the July CQ WW VHF, too.

The ARRL JUNE VHF is just 4 weeks away. I've seen nothing (yet) from
the ARRL v-a-v "special conditions" governing the contest with regards
to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tho', I see other, past contests had
eliminated the Multi-Op category. But, I could see the Rover category
being dropped if various states have restrictions on travel -- thus
putting many Rovers at a disadvantage.

Of course, I have NO plans involving direct human contact while
rovering. At most I may confront a DIY gas pump. HI!HI!

As for my plans, this year I wanted to drop down into N.M. (if you'll
have me - HI!HI!) and start on Capulin Volcano on Saturday in DM86.
After that I would work my way north on various blue (and brown) roads
into Colorado for DM87 and DM88.

The Capulin Volcano conditions look "sort of OK":
https://www.nps.gov/cavo/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
but the wording is perplexing. In one place it states "The Volcano Road
is closed to RVs, buses, attached trailers or any other vehicles over 26
feet long while the road has the one-lane section." And, in another
place it says, "The Capulin Volcano Visitor Center, Volcano Road, and
Park Store will be closed until further notice." So, I'm unsure if one
can drive a vehicle to the upper parking lot.

To, I'm unsure what New Mexico restrictions and regulations might be in
effect for travelers -- either now, or in the next 28 days. Would some
kindly NM op pass along a nm.gov website URL that contains state-wide
COVID-19 restrictions? Thank you!

It is VERY MUCH out of the ordinary for me to be planning something like
this so far in advance. These are, indeed, unusual times.

Wash your hands after handling this email.
73
Jonesy
--
Marvin L Jones | W3DHJ | W3DHJ | https://W3DHJ.net/
Pueblo, Colorado | @ | Jonesy | __ linux FreeBSD
38.238N 104.547W | jonz.net | DM78rf | 73 SK


Re: 6M Spring Sprint - W9RM

Bruce Draper
 

I worked about a dozen on FT8, all pretty strong, then a couple on phone, then called 20 unanswered CQs on CW (while the FT8 frequency was still hopping). Sigh. 

Bruce AA5B


 


On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:
After watching DXMaps the last couple of days and through the day yesterday, it appeared we just might have a chance at some early season sporadic E.  I was on the fence about the Sprint and didn't think it would be much fun if it only produced the same amount of activity that was seen locally during the previous 2, 222 & 432 activities.

It turned out there was a reasonable amount of activity, although it was limited to the upper Mississippi River valley area (Minneapolis area, eastern Dakota's and central Wisconsin to U.P. of Michigan).  Some Chicago and vicinity stations were worked, but most of the more southern contacts were on ionoscatter. Some EN35 stations were well over S9 for several hours. 

I went in with the intention of avoiding using FT8 unless there was no other choice.  I'm still trying to decide if there exists enough SSB activity to continue serious effort on my part in the summer VHF contests.  I was able to generate some action on SSB starting about 30 min into the Sprint by CQing on the traditional calling frequency.  The runs were very limited, even though stations were available and, not surprisingly, nobody told me to get the heck off the calling frequency.  After maybe 15 minutes on .125, I got a little self-conscious about being there and moved to .127 for the remainder of the opening.  I worked maybe 60 Qs in 2.5 hours, which isn't really too good from a June or July perspective, but being a limited interest contest and having a very small Es footprint, I guess it wasn't too bad.  SSB contacts became scarce with maybe 45 minutes left to go and I switched to FT8 to answer stations which were new multipliers.  I never CQed on FT8 which would probably have added another 5-10 Qs.  At the end, even though the entire band was empty of signals except on the FT8 "channel", digital signals were still S9+.  So much for utilizing the "weak signal" capability of the mode.  Also, all during my SSB 'runs', where some phone signals were 40 over 9, the FT8 channel stayed (over)crowded.  It's obvious many 6M ops simply stay on FT8 regardless of QRM and signal strength, even though high run rate on SSB was guaranteed.

At the end, it was enough to keep me in the chair for the full 4 hours and to answer some of my questions about the future of contesting on 6.  I think the jury decision on future participation has yet to be read, but the members are coming back into the courtroom.

W9RM 6M Spring Sprint
DM58

87x43 = 3,741
4 hours
Club: New Mexico VHF Society

Equipment: Yaesu FT920+KW; 7el@45' & 5el fixed at 300 deg@ 30'

As of now, 1st place high power outside 1-land

-W9RM
DM58 CO

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


Re: 6M Spring Sprint - W9RM

Keith Morehouse
 

Looking at the angles, the opening from central NM would probably be into far northern MN and western VE3 (Like, take off 'eh, hoser ).  Little to work up that way.

One other thing I noticed about the FT8 channel - I was, of course, in contest mode.  Others were not.  Now, what's supposed to happen if both ends are using WSJT-X, is the Q is happily completed, whether you're sending grids in contest mode or 'funny little number' - they took care of this issue several releases ago.  However, I had several instances of a guy NOT in contest mode "refusing" to sequence the Q forward when I responded to his 'funny number' report with  RRR <grid>.  SInce all cases originally answered with a 'funny number' greater than 5, I have to assume he was hearing me fine and he was running some other fork of WSJT-X that didn't have the fix, for whatever reason.

After getting a repeat two or three times, I just aborted the Q and moved on.   Just another thing to slow down an already slow contest mode...

-RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO


On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 2:35 PM Bill <bill4070@...> wrote:
  Nice job Keith. I picked up some new grids in the Dakotas and in Wisconsin. I worked only phone and cw (2). I monitored FT8 and there was lots of traffic. I decided to not be part of that problem.

I think the opening for me was a little skewed from your experience as I heard you working into the Great Lakes though I could not hear anything in return. My east pointing CQs were mostly answered by Phoenix and SoCal area stations off the back of the antenna during the last hour.

It wasn’t perfect but it was fun to hear the excitement over the opening.

 Bill W7QQ 


On May 10, 2020, at 2:00 PM, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:


After watching DXMaps the last couple of days and through the day yesterday, it appeared we just might have a chance at some early season sporadic E.  I was on the fence about the Sprint and didn't think it would be much fun if it only produced the same amount of activity that was seen locally during the previous 2, 222 & 432 activities.

It turned out there was a reasonable amount of activity, although it was limited to the upper Mississippi River valley area (Minneapolis area, eastern Dakota's and central Wisconsin to U.P. of Michigan).  Some Chicago and vicinity stations were worked, but most of the more southern contacts were on ionoscatter. Some EN35 stations were well over S9 for several hours. 

I went in with the intention of avoiding using FT8 unless there was no other choice.  I'm still trying to decide if there exists enough SSB activity to continue serious effort on my part in the summer VHF contests.  I was able to generate some action on SSB starting about 30 min into the Sprint by CQing on the traditional calling frequency.  The runs were very limited, even though stations were available and, not surprisingly, nobody told me to get the heck off the calling frequency.  After maybe 15 minutes on .125, I got a little self-conscious about being there and moved to .127 for the remainder of the opening.  I worked maybe 60 Qs in 2.5 hours, which isn't really too good from a June or July perspective, but being a limited interest contest and having a very small Es footprint, I guess it wasn't too bad.  SSB contacts became scarce with maybe 45 minutes left to go and I switched to FT8 to answer stations which were new multipliers.  I never CQed on FT8 which would probably have added another 5-10 Qs.  At the end, even though the entire band was empty of signals except on the FT8 "channel", digital signals were still S9+.  So much for utilizing the "weak signal" capability of the mode.  Also, all during my SSB 'runs', where some phone signals were 40 over 9, the FT8 channel stayed (over)crowded.  It's obvious many 6M ops simply stay on FT8 regardless of QRM and signal strength, even though high run rate on SSB was guaranteed.

At the end, it was enough to keep me in the chair for the full 4 hours and to answer some of my questions about the future of contesting on 6.  I think the jury decision on future participation has yet to be read, but the members are coming back into the courtroom.

W9RM 6M Spring Sprint
DM58

87x43 = 3,741
4 hours
Club: New Mexico VHF Society

Equipment: Yaesu FT920+KW; 7el@45' & 5el fixed at 300 deg@ 30'

As of now, 1st place high power outside 1-land

-W9RM
DM58 CO

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


Re: 6M Spring Sprint - W9RM

Bob Norton
 

Congrats Keith, good job.

Sounds like 6 meters SSB at 50.125 opening now.

I have had some direction indicator issues with my VHF/UHF antenna's rotator. Went from that to absolutely no rotation recently. Obvious now why, upper wraps of tape at the tower leg had weathered away allowing the control cable to buffet in the wind, eventually breaking the cable completely through half way up the tower. So now I am stuck with antennas pointing due west. Will need new cable and a tower climber to repair.

Put up a quick and dirty yesterday to be able to monitor 6 meters. Stuck an old 6 meter mag mount quarter wave vertical on the metal roof of the ADXA club trailer and 50 ft RG-213 to it. While not much better than a dummy load, I did work AI9Z in EN46 with it and 100 watts last evening.

For an improved interim antenna, I should be able to use a 5 ele on a push-up to about 25 feet with armstrong (rope) rotator. That will take some time to get done though.

73, Bob N5EPA
DM64vx

On Sun, May 10, 2020 at 2:00 PM Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:
After watching DXMaps the last couple of days and through the day yesterday, it appeared we just might have a chance at some early season sporadic E.  I was on the fence about the Sprint and didn't think it would be much fun if it only produced the same amount of activity that was seen locally during the previous 2, 222 & 432 activities.

It turned out there was a reasonable amount of activity, although it was limited to the upper Mississippi River valley area (Minneapolis area, eastern Dakota's and central Wisconsin to U.P. of Michigan).  Some Chicago and vicinity stations were worked, but most of the more southern contacts were on ionoscatter. Some EN35 stations were well over S9 for several hours. 

I went in with the intention of avoiding using FT8 unless there was no other choice.  I'm still trying to decide if there exists enough SSB activity to continue serious effort on my part in the summer VHF contests.  I was able to generate some action on SSB starting about 30 min into the Sprint by CQing on the traditional calling frequency.  The runs were very limited, even though stations were available and, not surprisingly, nobody told me to get the heck off the calling frequency.  After maybe 15 minutes on .125, I got a little self-conscious about being there and moved to .127 for the remainder of the opening.  I worked maybe 60 Qs in 2.5 hours, which isn't really too good from a June or July perspective, but being a limited interest contest and having a very small Es footprint, I guess it wasn't too bad.  SSB contacts became scarce with maybe 45 minutes left to go and I switched to FT8 to answer stations which were new multipliers.  I never CQed on FT8 which would probably have added another 5-10 Qs.  At the end, even though the entire band was empty of signals except on the FT8 "channel", digital signals were still S9+.  So much for utilizing the "weak signal" capability of the mode.  Also, all during my SSB 'runs', where some phone signals were 40 over 9, the FT8 channel stayed (over)crowded.  It's obvious many 6M ops simply stay on FT8 regardless of QRM and signal strength, even though high run rate on SSB was guaranteed.

At the end, it was enough to keep me in the chair for the full 4 hours and to answer some of my questions about the future of contesting on 6.  I think the jury decision on future participation has yet to be read, but the members are coming back into the courtroom.

W9RM 6M Spring Sprint
DM58

87x43 = 3,741
4 hours
Club: New Mexico VHF Society

Equipment: Yaesu FT920+KW; 7el@45' & 5el fixed at 300 deg@ 30'

As of now, 1st place high power outside 1-land

-W9RM
DM58 CO

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG

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