KK6MC/r in the June VHF Contest
Thanks everyone for the QSOes in the contest.
Class: Rover LP
Band QSOs Mults
6: 74 21
2: 43 11
222: 7 2
432: 23 5
903: 2 1
1.2: 11 3
Total: 160 51 Total Score = 11,016
Club: New Mexico VHF Society
Mults include 8 for grids activated.
50MHz TS2000X 100W 2EL PAR Stressed Moxon
144MHz TS2000X 100W 8ft W7QQ Yagi
222MHz XV222 transverter 20W 8ft W7QQ Yagi
432MHz TS2000X 50W 8ft W7QQ Yagi
902MHz DEMI transverter 25W Surplus 4 ft Yagi
1296MHz TS2000X 10W 4ft loop Yagi
2010 Subaru Forester
Despite conditions being flat, I had a good rove. There was no Es on Saturday,
but the crowd in El Paso made up for it with QSOes on all the bands from 50MHz
to 1296MHz, except for 902, for which El Paso is in the forbidden zone. There
was good local NM 144MHz and 432MHz activity though, which helped.
The W5UHF Multi-Multi was a big help to me and others in this contest and I
worked them in most of the grids from most of the bands, except for 902MHz in
the forbidden zone. They were on 24/7 and one of the first stations I heard when
I made a stop. It is always nice to have a reliable indicator when one stops to setup in a new grid.
Sunday morning I started out in DM61 again, this time from the west side of the
Franklin Mountains. I had operated here several times in the past hoping to work
AZ, but had no success. I didn’t think this year would be any better. Boy was
I mistaken. I worked WA7XX on SSB on 144MHz, 432MHZ and CW on 1296 at a distance of 330m miles. Not bad for 10W on 1296! so that made the day for both of us. Later I snagged WA7JTM on the east rim of the Grand Canyon on 2M CW for a
distance of over 400 miles. As far as I could tell, there were no enhanced
conditions for these QSOes with relative humidity of 10% or less over the entire path. I tried with N1RWY in Phoenix, but he was blocked in my direction. I think I could have worked others in AZ with no local obstruction from here as well. In the future I will do better planning. Also 6M opened here to CA with modest Es and I stayed much later than I intended, mostly as I feared I would never be able to work 50MHz DX for the rest of the contest. I wasn’t too far off.
I also had QSOes with WA7XX from DM72 and DM73, but signals were down a bit.
Those were a bit longer than 300 miles.
I had small Es openings from a couple of other grids, but never as good as it
was in the morning. I was alone this trip, without a driver, so I missed the
times that 6M may have been open between grid stops. I did stop in DM73 at the
Valley of the Fires campground to hear some double hop from New England, but
could never connect with anyone. Being honest, I paid my $1.50 day use fee, but it was good money chasing bad.
I finished the contest in DM74 and DM75 with nice long haul QSOes to K5LA in
El Paso and, for the first time in the contest, I was out of the forbidden zone and could work W5UHF on 902MHz.
It was nice to hear K5WO on from DM66, a grid that has not been on in the contests for a long time.
There is nothing worse than hearing two stations on 6M, far away, who are local
to each other ragchewing about how great the opening was and how the band was
dead now, and not being able to break them.
James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM
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I believe there was enhancement because I called CQ regularly to the west on 144 with no response. Late Saturday I worked WA7JTM and WA8ZGT and stations in DM43, 45, 46, 33, 34 and 54; all easy copy. Thinking these were not enhancement contacts I did not try to work the other bands until I had worked out the band on 2M. When I QSY'd to 432 I worked two stations. After calling on 432 for a few minutes I returned to 144 and everyone was gone. Never worked WA7XX although I called on his bearing several times and for 15 minutes at a time...... Nothing.
I was thrilled to work WA5FBM in El Paso on 1296 phone but it looks likes that DX record didn't stand for more than a few hours before you took it over. Very Nice! I was using a bigger antenna and 80 watts....... I had all the advantages; good work.
You had some great contacts and I'm envious. I couldn't reach anyone in EP on 222 even though we set it up on 144. Just didn't work. Never worked DM55 which was disappointing. We did have some nice long Qs on WSJT on 144 and 222. We easily worked Marshall on 144 in 5 minutes. Every station we had a sked with (about 25) we worked without struggling so that was very satisfying.
Learned a lot; so much so I hope I can retain most of it. Lots of work and the station was pretty kluged. WSJT-x v 1.9.1 allowed that program and N1MM+ to be active on a single comm port at one time. Clicking on the "Log QSO" button placed the Q into N1MM+ reliably and with all needed Q info; all seamlessly. Getting it going on both radios required working til 3AM on Saturday and a little more at 8 AM Saturday after a little recharge but we got it done.
Nothing failed outright but there were some compromises: The Kw amp on 144 overheated and shut down after half a dozen FT8 cycles probably due to the 40 watts of return power from the stacked antennas. It started by itsself after a few minutes of cooling. So we had to lighten up on that one. 5-600 watts still did FB on JT modes and running a full KW on SSB and CW was not a problem. Gotta correct the antenna SWR. The 222 amp ran at 1.1 kw without a problem on JT, SSB and CW. Keith's amp ran about 900 watts on 6M without a whimper. The shack was a mess with stuff taped in position and some components not accessible from the chair(s). I had lost so much sleep I kinda got used to it.
The WX was hot and the ham shack got uncomfortable with all the gear and people. Didn't expect that. A big box fan pulling in air from the open window helped a lot.
Are we meeting for lunch this week?
73 Bill W7QQ
On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 4:02 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
W5UHF had its share of problems, but the team put their collective heads together and calmly solved them as they came up. The chemistry was good. We worked the contest hard and because it was June -- made a considerable effort on 6m. W9RM had us running as many as THREE yagi beams simultaneously, pointing in various directions listening for any and all possible Es openings. Alas, most of the southwest had little to work with save for a decent double-hop into the FN and FM grids on Sunday afternoon. FT8 let us pick up multipliers from weak, patchy, short-lived 6m openings throughout the weekend. Otherwise it would have been pretty boring. FT8 is having some adoption issues in the VHF community, but the tech is solid and I am really sold on it for making QSOs using ultra-weak (ie. inaudible) signals. The late night meteors were not very good, but with nothing else going on we ran some long skeds with whoever was up for it. A highlight was working KB7ME in CN85 at 1100+ miles on 2m MSK144, despite the amplifier constantly overheating. KG5FHU was at the controls for that one -- the last ping was so loud it startled her at the keyboard. I think that was about 3 AM.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Thanks to Bill and Reita for being gracious hosts at the contest QTH.
On 06/13/2018 05:14 PM, Bill wrote: