Date   

Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

John Klem
 

Thank you all for the info and good advice.  Seems worth a try next time I'm out but not too far from civilization.

John AA5PR


Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Jay
 

What Bill said- and be prepared to talk for a few minutes.. and then the guys buddy who you are working gets back on the mic and you chat with him.
Ex..
Hey I am out here in XX where are you? Oh ok that’s dm5x right ? Cool! What do you have for gear there... etc.

A lot of these guys will not answer to someone calling CQ contest.

Jay N1AV

On Jun 18, 2020, at 9:03 PM, Bill <bill4070@gmail.com> wrote:

Good question John,

I would say “AA5PR CQ simplex” and then say your location, not your gridsquare.

You’ll have a chance to explain the exchange once someone calls. Some folks are put off by contesters and will not answer. Sometimes helps if you slow down to ragchew pace.

GL Bill W7QQ
On Jun 18, 2020, at 6:13 PM, John Klem <klemjf@gmail.com> wrote:

Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them? I suspect that calling "CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Bill
 

Good question John,

I would say “AA5PR CQ simplex” and then say your location, not your gridsquare.

You’ll have a chance to explain the exchange once someone calls. Some folks are put off by contesters and will not answer. Sometimes helps if you slow down to ragchew pace.

GL Bill W7QQ

On Jun 18, 2020, at 6:13 PM, John Klem <klemjf@gmail.com> wrote:

Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them? I suspect that calling "CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR




Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Mike WB2FKO
 

I have had decent results in Albuquerque with FM simplex. Try the following: i) There is usually someone hanging out on 146.580. You can often move them to UHF simplex. ii) Make an announcement in real-time on the Megalink repeater system, ie. location (grid) and simplex frequency where you can QSY. I have had zero success doing this on the various club repeaters. iii) Sometimes the contest will coincide with the once-a-month Sunday evening simplex net on 146.400. You can run stations after the net, but explain what the exchange is beforehand.

Only ii) has any hope of working outside of DM65.

WB2FKO

On 6/18/20 9:03 PM, N7OW wrote:
Obviously if someone is there no, but if the frequency is open I'll call on 2m and 70cm calling frequency a few times... But I won't "camp" there, if I start getting a pile up ill have everyone follow me off frequency.

 73
Ryan - N7OW 

On Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 5:13 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling
"CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

N7OW
 

Obviously if someone is there no, but if the frequency is open I'll call on 2m and 70cm calling frequency a few times... But I won't "camp" there, if I start getting a pile up ill have everyone follow me off frequency.

 73
Ryan - N7OW 


On Thu, Jun 18, 2020, 5:13 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling
"CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Robin Midgett
 

Oh, and here are the rules: http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf

Thanks,
Robin Midgett K4IDC


On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 7:57 PM K4IDC@... <robink4idc@...> wrote:
Yes, if an operator is willing to go to the effort. 
Publicizing your effort in advance via email is a good idea. Also involve other hams who are typically FM anchored so they can see the CW/SSB side of contesting; if they catch the contest bug they'll tell other FMers. A voice keyer on the FM stations is probably worthwhile as well.
One thing you'll run into is the FM station causing a bit of desense on the weak signal rig...unless you use one radio for both FM & CW/SSB.

Thanks,
Robin Midgett K4IDC


On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 7:13 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling
"CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Robin Midgett
 

Yes, if an operator is willing to go to the effort. 
Publicizing your effort in advance via email is a good idea. Also involve other hams who are typically FM anchored so they can see the CW/SSB side of contesting; if they catch the contest bug they'll tell other FMers. A voice keyer on the FM stations is probably worthwhile as well.
One thing you'll run into is the FM station causing a bit of desense on the weak signal rig...unless you use one radio for both FM & CW/SSB.

Thanks,
Robin Midgett K4IDC


On Thu, Jun 18, 2020 at 7:13 PM John Klem <klemjf@...> wrote:
Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling
"CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





Re: FM simplex during VHF contests

Doug Gilliam
 

I usually just say something like "K7EME DM42, looking for stations in the contest.

Doug



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone



-------- Original message --------
From: John Klem <klemjf@...>
Date: 6/18/20 5:13 PM (GMT-07:00)
To: main@nmvhf.groups.io
Subject: [nmvhf] FM simplex during VHF contests

Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling
"CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR





FM simplex during VHF contests

John Klem
 

Are there points to be had on FM simplex during the contests?

If so, what's the etiquette for getting them?  I suspect that calling "CQ contest" on 146.52 might not fly....

John AA5PR


Re: AA5B, June VHF Contest

Bill
 

Nice pix and good write up. Sounds like you had fun.

Bill W7QQ 


On Jun 18, 2020, at 9:31 AM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:

Nice writeup Bruce.

Here are some pictures I took of our operation:
<image0.jpeg>
<image1.jpeg>
<image2.jpeg>


The 2M+ antennas should have been higher and a bit longer.

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jun 18, 2020, at 09:17, Bruce Draper <bruceaa5b@...> wrote:


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

  73,
    Bruce AA5B





Re: AA5B, June VHF Contest

James Duffey
 

Nice writeup Bruce.

Here are some pictures I took of our operation:


The 2M+ antennas should have been higher and a bit longer.

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jun 18, 2020, at 09:17, Bruce Draper <bruceaa5b@...> wrote:


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

  73,
    Bruce AA5B





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

  73,
    Bruce AA5B





June contest AA5PR/R

John Klem
 

Over the last year or so I put effort into improving the antenna configuration on my rover to reduce setup and teardown times, so this time around felt I could visit 7 grids during the contest. That worked out pretty well, although my schedule was once again overly optimistic.  Given decent cell coverage, the availability of Slack for tracking, and the uncertainty of 6 m openings, it seems that simply publishing the daily grid sequence without times would work just as well.

I really enjoyed making a few more contacts on 2 this time around, including DM85/DM58 (W9RM) and DM82/DM65 (K5TA).  A little work to improve my 2 m receive capability seems to have helped, and that coupled with low-noise locations makes 2 a lot of fun. 432 continues to be a challenge and where I roved did not help, but I was happy to make a couple of contacts on that band.

I came home with a list of half a dozen things that needed fixing by a little reconfiguration, re-engineering, application of my wallet, or a smack to the side of my head.  Near the top of the list was trouble maintaining power to the radio due to power cable losses and a low-voltage interlock on the battery booster.  A consequence of that was a recurring threat of losing transmit power halfway through a QSO (particularly on 2 m) with a total reboot required, so in some cases I had to either operate with reduce power or cut attempts short.  In the head smack category was not adequately testing my new laptop setup for automated logging, which is once again the kind of thing you really don't want to be troubleshooting in the back seat of your car in DM84.

SSB contacts seemed unusually difficult even when 6 was open and there were lots of loud signals.  It's possible I didn't have a single SSB contact without at least one repeat required. The "... Romeo / rover" part seems hard for many, so perhaps I need a new callsign.  FT8 on 6 was a slogging struggle - I pretty much gave up trying to work anyone with a minus sign in front of the S/N. With band full open, FT4 was a different story - lots of quick and relatively easy contacts, especially into FN/FM.  Almost half my contacts were made in my last 2.5 hours of operation, in DM73.

And I really want to do it all again.

Bottom line, subject to a little further inspection:

143 QSO points x 100 multipliers = 14,300

The picture, assuming it makes it through, is from the edge of the caprock in DM74xv, looking west towards Santa Rosa, antennas not yet raised.

John, AA5PR/r


Re: Interesting propagation phenomenon

James Duffey
 

There has been some work in New Zealand:


And in Europe:


It seems that MSK144would be suitable for this, perhaps in the quick (5sec turnaround) mode. - Duffey



James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

On Jun 16, 2020, at 19:38, Keith Morehouse <w9rm@...> wrote:


Anybody have any experience with lightning enhancement on 2M or above ?

I knew such a thing existed but I've never experienced it until Saturday.  I had the 2nd radio sitting on 144.200 while I was looking for mults on 6M.  There was a pretty good line of strong t-storms to the east, over the continental divide.  For about 20-30 minutes, every time there was a strong static crash, it was accompanied by an obvious SSB signal that lasted maybe .2 to .5 seconds.  Just like a SSB meteor ping.

I assume they were probably guys out in the plains east of Denver - maybe 200 miles away.

With the new digital meteor scatter modes available, I'll bet this could actually be useful.

-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


Interesting propagation phenomenon

Keith Morehouse
 

Anybody have any experience with lightning enhancement on 2M or above ?

I knew such a thing existed but I've never experienced it until Saturday.  I had the 2nd radio sitting on 144.200 while I was looking for mults on 6M.  There was a pretty good line of strong t-storms to the east, over the continental divide.  For about 20-30 minutes, every time there was a strong static crash, it was accompanied by an obvious SSB signal that lasted maybe .2 to .5 seconds.  Just like a SSB meteor ping.

I assume they were probably guys out in the plains east of Denver - maybe 200 miles away.

With the new digital meteor scatter modes available, I'll bet this could actually be useful.

-W9RM

Keith Morehouse
via MotoG


Re: June contest: WB2FKO

Mike WB2FKO
 

I thought about guying the mast, but in the spirit of a hastily-assembled, day-before-the-contest setup I decided to gamble. We got a lot of heavy rain but not much wind and it managed to stay up.

On 6/16/20 5:22 PM, Bruce Draper wrote:
Nice setup, Mike, and it was good to work you in the contest. You don't need to guy the mast with that big antenna?

Bruce AA5B
On Jun 16, 2020, at 10:03 AM, Mike WB2FKO <mph@sportscliche.com> wrote:

Greetings from EL89.

The permanent home station is still many months from completion, so my plan for the June contest was to participate in the K5QE multi-op in EM31. Current travel conditions made this a risky proposition, so I opted to stay home and setup a 6M5X 6m beam on a 15 ft mast in front of the house (see photo). It is supported by a drive-up mount that I saved from my rovering days. The primary objective was to assess how the new QTH would work for VHF amateur radio, ie. noise, activity, propagation, etc.

Noise seems to be non-existent compared to our old Albuquerque QTH. No birdies were detected in any direction on 6m and I was able to confidently operate without the noise blanker. Pancake-flat Florida has no mountains, allowing for low take-off angles. I added 10 new 6m DXCC in about 3 days with this modest, rover-like setup and yes -- all with FT8. The downside, of course, is the weather. I was QRT from the contest at various points for lightning and water getting into a cable connection. It rains a lot here.

The contest kept me very busy. There was a pipeline of propagation up into the FM and FN grids for almost the entire weekend. It's no secret that there is a lot of VHF activity in the New England area, but a contest reveals just how much. It felt like I was playing whack-a-mole as new stations kept popping up.

It was also nice to have lots of activity in adjacent grids. When Es propagation faded, folks from around Florida and south Georgia were busy working each other on FT8. The N4SVC contest station is just north of me in EM80. They did not bother me much, except during Sunday morning meteor scatter. I have a hunch it was a new operator because the sequences were set for 30 seconds instead of the established 15 seconds on 50.260. This QRM killed half the receive window, but I was able to sneak-in 5 MSK144 QSOs when their antenna was pointed sufficiently away from me and/or the op was on bathroom break. On-the-job-training is probably not a good idea during a contest with a powerful station.

I used FT8, FT4, SSB, and even some cw to make 323 QSOs with 129 multipliers. I eventually learned the limitations of my small station with FT8, not attempting signals weaker than -8 dB. I simply wasn't being heard. The majority of contacts were made using FT4 when 6m was wide-open, probably close to 150 QSOs. Excellent propagation, chaos, and the slow slog on 50.313 eventually pushed digital ops to 50.318 and there was plenty of activity there. It was efficient and orderly with almost everybody displaying excellent contest etiquette. I used the color highlighting in the FT4 activity window to great advantage as I quickly spotted and worked new multipliers, also answering the random callers. My last two mults came quite literally in the final 60 seconds of the contest when the band was open to the midwest.

EL89 is not a particularly rare grid, although it appeared to be in some demand as I got small pileups calling me on ssb. Several thanked me for the new multiplier. Besides me, there were at least two other EL89 stations active on 6m during the contest. The grids in central and south Florida have far more activity.

New Mexico stations worked: AA5B and WS5N. Heard but not worked (to the best of my recollection): KC7QY, K5TA, W3IH, and AA5PR/R in DM73.

73 Mike WB2FKO



<WB2FKO_EL89.jpg>


Re: June contest: WB2FKO

Bruce Draper
 

Nice setup, Mike, and it was good to work you in the contest. You don't need to guy the mast with that big antenna?

Bruce AA5B

On Jun 16, 2020, at 10:03 AM, Mike WB2FKO <mph@sportscliche.com> wrote:

Greetings from EL89.

The permanent home station is still many months from completion, so my plan for the June contest was to participate in the K5QE multi-op in EM31. Current travel conditions made this a risky proposition, so I opted to stay home and setup a 6M5X 6m beam on a 15 ft mast in front of the house (see photo). It is supported by a drive-up mount that I saved from my rovering days. The primary objective was to assess how the new QTH would work for VHF amateur radio, ie. noise, activity, propagation, etc.

Noise seems to be non-existent compared to our old Albuquerque QTH. No birdies were detected in any direction on 6m and I was able to confidently operate without the noise blanker. Pancake-flat Florida has no mountains, allowing for low take-off angles. I added 10 new 6m DXCC in about 3 days with this modest, rover-like setup and yes -- all with FT8. The downside, of course, is the weather. I was QRT from the contest at various points for lightning and water getting into a cable connection. It rains a lot here.

The contest kept me very busy. There was a pipeline of propagation up into the FM and FN grids for almost the entire weekend. It's no secret that there is a lot of VHF activity in the New England area, but a contest reveals just how much. It felt like I was playing whack-a-mole as new stations kept popping up.

It was also nice to have lots of activity in adjacent grids. When Es propagation faded, folks from around Florida and south Georgia were busy working each other on FT8. The N4SVC contest station is just north of me in EM80. They did not bother me much, except during Sunday morning meteor scatter. I have a hunch it was a new operator because the sequences were set for 30 seconds instead of the established 15 seconds on 50.260. This QRM killed half the receive window, but I was able to sneak-in 5 MSK144 QSOs when their antenna was pointed sufficiently away from me and/or the op was on bathroom break. On-the-job-training is probably not a good idea during a contest with a powerful station.

I used FT8, FT4, SSB, and even some cw to make 323 QSOs with 129 multipliers. I eventually learned the limitations of my small station with FT8, not attempting signals weaker than -8 dB. I simply wasn't being heard. The majority of contacts were made using FT4 when 6m was wide-open, probably close to 150 QSOs. Excellent propagation, chaos, and the slow slog on 50.313 eventually pushed digital ops to 50.318 and there was plenty of activity there. It was efficient and orderly with almost everybody displaying excellent contest etiquette. I used the color highlighting in the FT4 activity window to great advantage as I quickly spotted and worked new multipliers, also answering the random callers. My last two mults came quite literally in the final 60 seconds of the contest when the band was open to the midwest.

EL89 is not a particularly rare grid, although it appeared to be in some demand as I got small pileups calling me on ssb. Several thanked me for the new multiplier. Besides me, there were at least two other EL89 stations active on 6m during the contest. The grids in central and south Florida have far more activity.

New Mexico stations worked: AA5B and WS5N. Heard but not worked (to the best of my recollection): KC7QY, K5TA, W3IH, and AA5PR/R in DM73.

73 Mike WB2FKO



<WB2FKO_EL89.jpg>


Re: June contest: WB2FKO

Bill
 

Well done Mike!

Bill W7QQ

On Jun 16, 2020, at 10:03 AM, Mike WB2FKO <mph@sportscliche.com> wrote:

Greetings from EL89.

The permanent home station is still many months from completion, so my plan for the June contest was to participate in the K5QE multi-op in EM31. Current travel conditions made this a risky proposition, so I opted to stay home and setup a 6M5X 6m beam on a 15 ft mast in front of the house (see photo). It is supported by a drive-up mount that I saved from my rovering days. The primary objective was to assess how the new QTH would work for VHF amateur radio, ie. noise, activity, propagation, etc.

Noise seems to be non-existent compared to our old Albuquerque QTH. No birdies were detected in any direction on 6m and I was able to confidently operate without the noise blanker. Pancake-flat Florida has no mountains, allowing for low take-off angles. I added 10 new 6m DXCC in about 3 days with this modest, rover-like setup and yes -- all with FT8. The downside, of course, is the weather. I was QRT from the contest at various points for lightning and water getting into a cable connection. It rains a lot here.

The contest kept me very busy. There was a pipeline of propagation up into the FM and FN grids for almost the entire weekend. It's no secret that there is a lot of VHF activity in the New England area, but a contest reveals just how much. It felt like I was playing whack-a-mole as new stations kept popping up.

It was also nice to have lots of activity in adjacent grids. When Es propagation faded, folks from around Florida and south Georgia were busy working each other on FT8. The N4SVC contest station is just north of me in EM80. They did not bother me much, except during Sunday morning meteor scatter. I have a hunch it was a new operator because the sequences were set for 30 seconds instead of the established 15 seconds on 50.260. This QRM killed half the receive window, but I was able to sneak-in 5 MSK144 QSOs when their antenna was pointed sufficiently away from me and/or the op was on bathroom break. On-the-job-training is probably not a good idea during a contest with a powerful station.

I used FT8, FT4, SSB, and even some cw to make 323 QSOs with 129 multipliers. I eventually learned the limitations of my small station with FT8, not attempting signals weaker than -8 dB. I simply wasn't being heard. The majority of contacts were made using FT4 when 6m was wide-open, probably close to 150 QSOs. Excellent propagation, chaos, and the slow slog on 50.313 eventually pushed digital ops to 50.318 and there was plenty of activity there. It was efficient and orderly with almost everybody displaying excellent contest etiquette. I used the color highlighting in the FT4 activity window to great advantage as I quickly spotted and worked new multipliers, also answering the random callers. My last two mults came quite literally in the final 60 seconds of the contest when the band was open to the midwest.

EL89 is not a particularly rare grid, although it appeared to be in some demand as I got small pileups calling me on ssb. Several thanked me for the new multiplier. Besides me, there were at least two other EL89 stations active on 6m during the contest. The grids in central and south Florida have far more activity.

New Mexico stations worked: AA5B and WS5N. Heard but not worked (to the best of my recollection): KC7QY, K5TA, W3IH, and AA5PR/R in DM73.

73 Mike WB2FKO



<WB2FKO_EL89.jpg>


Re: June contest: WB2FKO

Keith Morehouse
 

..green is overrated - you need to cut it or it'll take over your stuff..and steal your TV..

-W9RM

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


On Tue, Jun 16, 2020 at 10:57 AM Jonesy W3DHJ via groups.io <mailserver=jonz.net@groups.io> wrote:
On Tue, 16 Jun 2020, Mike WB2FKO wrote:

> Greetings from EL89.
>
> ...so I opted to stay home and setup a 6M5X 6m beam
> on a 15 ft mast in front of the house
> (see photo).

HOLY MACKEREL!!
Look at that GREEN grass!!!
Do you spray it with an organic dye to look like that?   HI!HI!

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: June contest: WB2FKO

Jonesy W3DHJ
 

On Tue, 16 Jun 2020, Mike WB2FKO wrote:

Greetings from EL89.

...so I opted to stay home and setup a 6M5X 6m beam
on a 15 ft mast in front of the house
(see photo).
HOLY MACKEREL!!
Look at that GREEN grass!!!
Do you spray it with an organic dye to look like that? HI!HI!

73
Jonesy
--
Marvin L Jones | W3DHJ | W3DHJ | https://W3DHJ.net/
Pueblo, Colorado | @ | Jonesy | __ linux FreeBSD
38.238N 104.547W | jonz.net | DM78rf | 73 SK

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