2009 June VHF Contest

Posted By: K3LFO

June is just not our contest! If it wasn’t so much fun just to get out and make contacts I’d think seriously about skipping it next year. Once again this turned out to be a 6 meter contest due to E skip! That puts most rovers at a disadvantage due to a small 6m antenna, limited power, and reduced activity on the upper bands. To make maters worse, the tropo to the NE was limited to short haul only (150-200 Miles) for most of the contest. For those of us who participate for the thrill of the VHF and above contacts, Saturday was a big bust score wise! Working 6m on E skip just isn’t as much fun as making a 370 mile contact on 2304 or 3456 with 1 watt!

We decided to run the Rover on our old route one more time starting in FM27 and working our way up to FM28 then FM29 and FM18 on Saturday. Normally FM27 costs us an extra 2 hours of travel plus fuel to pick up just a few contacts. This time we made sure some of the Multi-Multi’s and big gun single ops knew we were starting. The sky opened up about 10 miles from our destination in Crisfield. To make matters worse the 1296 Amplifier was shutting down due to high SWR! We had to shut it off and run 8 watts on 1296 for the rest of the contest. The contact count for this grid was up slightly but not really enough to make it worth while. The thunder storms seemed to follow us around all afternoon and evening.

With the poor results from Saturday we decided just to run out to Sideling Hill in FM09 on Sunday and call it a day. We’ll save the gas money for August or September.

There were a couple of high points of the trip. We managed once again to complete with K1RZ on all 8 bands from every grid! That included 1296 with a bad antenna and 3456 with 1 watt at 140 miles. We also completed with WA2FGK up to 2304 at 212 miles from FM09.

We’ll be out looking for good uW Tropo in August and September.


Jim K3LFO & Dave W3DIO