September VHF Contest

Posted By: K3LFO

Dave, W3DIO was not available this time for a full rove so I took advantage of the situation and turned it into a 2 grid training outing for my XYL Sue, N3MZM.  She has mentioned the desire to go out roving and give it a try in the past so it worked out just great.

On Saturday morning we took the rover out to FM09 at Sideling Hill just outside of Hancock, MD. I coached Sue through a bunch of contacts on the main position (6m – 70cm).  At first she wasn’t sure what to say but after a few contacts she was getting the hang of it.  Many of the normal stations weren’t on and the band conditions were flat so the contact rate was slow.

We ran across WA3PTV who can run the bands with us.  Sue coordinated on 2m while I worked Joe on the upper bands from 903 to 3456.  This gave Sue some good experience and insight of how we operate during a contest. Thanks Joe for your patients.

The band conditions just were not very good. The remnants of a tropical storm had just passed into New England breaking up any hopes for good tropo. I heard K1WHS one time but lost him in the noise before I had a chance to work him. W2SZ was in there also but I just couldn’t get their attention.

On Sunday, Sue was out with a previous committment.  So, I got on from the driveway for a few hoursby myself.  The conditions improved a little bit but still not really great.  It would have been better to head back up in the mountains.  Activity was up but mostly short ranged but for a couple of contacts into FN21 and FN31 (NJ and CT).

Operationally, I discovered that running two separate transmitters on opposite sides of the table was very difficult.  It started me thinking about a new mounting scheme for the 2 TS-2000’s to allow one to be turned around for single operator 2 radio operation.  I’m looking into those new audio switching controls for SO2R operation as a definite improvement.   It would be even better to be able to switch for 2O2R or even 2O3R. You learn something new every time you go out even if it is a short trip!

We didn’t break any records but it is always fun to get out in the rover during a contest and heat up the ether. We ended up with a claimed score of 92 Q’s and 47 multipliers for a total of 7,693 points.


Jim and Sue  K3LFO and N3MZM