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Author Topic: ARRL VHF Contest Any Mode Today  (Read 2459 times)
N2RRA
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Posts: 718


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« on: January 21, 2017, 12:03:09 AM »

Hello all,

Hoping to hear as many of you as possible. No matter the mode, or antenna please get out there and lets make the VHF bands explode with activity. Get your paper log, or computer log ready and with the contest activity lets see how often the VHF bands may be open more than we think. In my experience early morning before sunrise and during sunset are the best times Tropo Inducting occur. In between you never know if some E-Scatter, or Meteor Scatter may pop up. Of course there's times we can predict to an extent when some of these propagation moments occur, but it's my belief that because we don't use the bands as often we're not aware when they occur and how to make the most of them.

Like many HF contest we see an increase in propagation, or maybe it's the activity that allows us to see when propagation opens up and in what directions it's open. My prediction is if you participate during the times I mentioned I do believe given the appropriate working condition's you experience band openings you didn't realize you've been missing. Only way to know is to participate by getting up early and to call "CQ" to perform some tests, or call "CQ CONTEST" create a competitive atmosphere for yourself to see how well your station is performing by how many grids you can record. This can tell you as well the efficiency and best directions your antenna patterns are exhibiting. From there you can contemplate if you would like to improve the station's efficiency to extend your stations communicating capabilities. It's the best way to run this test, and while you enjoy a contest.

Don't be afraid to jump in and participate no matter how intimidating the contest may sound. There are hams that will assist in what to do. Please, read the contest instructions provided in the web link to contest.

Please, also abide by the "Gentlemen Band Plan Agreement and Amateur Code of Conduct".

So fire up the rig and standby as the fireworks ignite at 1900 UTC / 2:00pm est. and listen for a call, or make a "CQ CONTEST" call yourself.

73 and good luck!
   

Here is some information along with a link with further information on the contest.

http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal/weeklycont.php#7244

ARRL January VHF Contest: 1900Z, Jan 21 to 0359Z, Jan 23
 
Mode:
Any
 
Bands:
50 MHz and up
 
Classes:
Single Op (Low/High)
Single Op Portable
Single Op 3 Band
Single Op FM
Rover
Limited Rover
Unlimited Rover
Multi-Op
Limited Multi-Op
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N4UE
Member

Posts: 708




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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2017, 08:08:54 AM »

I don't take the contesting as serious as I did 20 years ago, but it's still fun. I was looking forward to getting on 6M during this contest, just to provide my Grid Square.
Unfortunately, Mom Nature had other plans. Wx here is almost summer like (81 degrees) and nasty lightning just to the north. My heart goes out to the tornado victims...

Wanted to try out the new 6M amp, but there's always June......

73
ron
N4UE
EM80of
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FORMER_K2OOL
Member

Posts: 13




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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2017, 09:04:00 AM »

I don't take the contesting as serious as I did 20 years ago, but it's still fun. I was looking forward to getting on 6M during this contest, just to provide my Grid Square.
Unfortunately, Mom Nature had other plans. Wx here is almost summer like (81 degrees) and nasty lightning just to the north. My heart goes out to the tornado victims...

Wanted to try out the new 6M amp, but there's always June......

73
ron
N4UE
EM80of



Hope you get your antennas back up and on the air soon.Theres always another ham shack out there willing to share.
So get back out there and give er all shes got,Captain.
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N2RRA
Member

Posts: 718


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2017, 01:17:03 PM »

I don't take the contesting as serious as I did 20 years ago, but it's still fun. I was looking forward to getting on 6M during this contest, just to provide my Grid Square.
Unfortunately, Mom Nature had other plans. Wx here is almost summer like (81 degrees) and nasty lightning just to the north. My heart goes out to the tornado victims...

Wanted to try out the new 6M amp, but there's always June......

73
ron
N4UE
EM80of



Hope you get your antennas back up and on the air soon.Theres always another ham shack out there willing to share.
So get back out there and give er all shes got,Captain.

I second that motion!

We're look forward to hearing you next contest, or casual operating. This weeked all we used was 12el on 2m and my Force12c3ss HF yagi that's playing well on 6m as a 2 el.

Rig is a Yaesu FT817 on 2m and IC7600 on 6m. Believe it, or not running QRP on 2m and from FN31 I've worked FN21,FN01, FN30,FN42,FM19,FM29,FN10 and FN20. Running 5 watts and 12el. yielding me a longest haul of 225.5 miles is pretty good. Not many out there running QRP cause it really is a disadvantage if location and antenna isn't right. That doesn't stop me from trying.

73!
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WB8VLC
Member

Posts: 426




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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2017, 01:35:07 PM »

Unfortunately the past 5 years have been a waste on VHF in the pacific northwest.

Less than 120 contacts between 6 to 430 during the VHF CONTESTS for 5 years and zero in fact on 430.

The pacific northwest has the lowest VHF activity compared to other areas I have operated from.

The same antennas at my Arizona home would bring hundreds of VHF contacts per contest but the PNW is another world when it comes to lack of VHF activity.

Fortunately it's in the mid 50's and sunny today and I found a used Shorty 40, 2el 40 meter yagi and just built a 20/15 meter  dual band moxon to keep the shorty 40 company, the VHF antennas are coming down soon.

This weekends contest with the lack of activity was the decision point as it has been for previous years.

Looking back at the past 5 years I realized how much time I wasted listening to static on the VHF bands all the time missing some really good mid, low band dx.
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N2RRA
Member

Posts: 718


WWW

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2017, 03:30:42 PM »

Unfortunately the past 5 years have been a waste on VHF in the pacific northwest.

Less than 120 contacts between 6 to 430 during the VHF CONTESTS for 5 years and zero in fact on 430.

The pacific northwest has the lowest VHF activity compared to other areas I have operated from.

The same antennas at my Arizona home would bring hundreds of VHF contacts per contest but the PNW is another world when it comes to lack of VHF activity.

Fortunately it's in the mid 50's and sunny today and I found a used Shorty 40, 2el 40 meter yagi and just built a 20/15 meter  dual band moxon to keep the shorty 40 company, the VHF antennas are coming down soon.

This weekends contest with the lack of activity was the decision point as it has been for previous years.

Looking back at the past 5 years I realized how much time I wasted listening to static on the VHF bands all the time missing some really good mid, low band dx.

Yes, the activity on the VHF/UHF bands have dwindled in past years, but there's a silver lining ahead. These bands are not HF which if you understand the premise and except the nature of these bands you appreciate and find how to best use them. Not to mention there's much to learn in the process other than having a rag chew. These bands interest those who like to tinker with microwave equipment for the higher bands and make use of the more terrestrial communication  effects which can become a science. It's not for the short tempered impatient type.

With the array setup you have now you can easily work EME (Earth-Moon-Earth)and MS (Meteor Scatter). Providing also if you used the proper feed line to cut loss's I assume. If you can't work any of these digital modes then your antenna system is the problem. May need some power as well, but that's like anything else. What I am hearing here on the east coast is there is more activity popping up especially with rover operations. I'm hearing new voices rag chewing most nights and mornings between FN30, FN20, FN31, FN21, FM29, FN41 and FN42. Maybe there's more and I'm sure there is, but my receiver and antenna's can't pick them up which is my problem. Not the activity on the band.

If perhaps your not so lucky then that's your unfortunate luck. Your opinion speaks for your situation and not other's around the country. I would encourage others to attempt building an appropriate station even if it's home brewing antennas which can easily be done to start. Just need good feed line and some power and antennas are no problem.
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VE6ND
Member

Posts: 39




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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2017, 04:21:58 PM »

Piss and moan.

So you decide that having 100+ contacts is a waste of time. How do you think this reflects on the new VHF'ers wanting to get into vhf /uhf and this kind of crap comes up? I've been in v/u for a lot of years and for you to piss on your lack of contacts shows a low moral revision. Come on, make it easy for all of us and participate, and oh my, I only had 120 contacts...big deal.

About 10 years ago I took some info from the ARRL antenna book and created an excel format for designing log periodic antennas, Tao, Sigma, low frequency and high frequency and the program designs the antenna with a 99% accuracy, the 1% being the balun.

We have a lot of new ham's coming into our ranks and I myself encourage all of you to put your self absorbed ideas away and accept what we have coming our way.

Glenn, VE6ND
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K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 3325




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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2017, 09:59:16 AM »

I remember when there was much, much activity for the VHF contests.  Many clubs competed with each other, and got their members involved. The local FM and HF orientated clubs had a friendly competition for years.

I've noticed that the days when their were many multi-operator stations on the air, and with an op actively monitoring the contest frequencies on two meters and above are about gone.  Most of the chatter I heard on six meters were stations asking if the other op could give a contact on a higher band. I worked the contest, but mostly kept to six meters.  Managed to work about 50 stations using my modest VHF setup--KMA log periodics and a FT-736R.  I've yet to have a contact on 222.1 MHz.  But, sent my log in, regardless.  If everyone got on for a few hours, things would be better. Considering that most HF radios offer six meters, I would have expected to hear a bit more activity.

Pete
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KT4NR
Member

Posts: 548




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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2017, 01:54:38 PM »

Unfortunately the past 5 years have been a waste on VHF in the pacific northwest.

Less than 120 contacts between 6 to 430 during the VHF CONTESTS for 5 years and zero in fact on 430.

The pacific northwest has the lowest VHF activity compared to other areas I have operated from.

The same antennas at my Arizona home would bring hundreds of VHF contacts per contest but the PNW is another world when it comes to lack of VHF activity.

Fortunately it's in the mid 50's and sunny today and I found a used Shorty 40, 2el 40 meter yagi and just built a 20/15 meter  dual band moxon to keep the shorty 40 company, the VHF antennas are coming down soon.

This weekends contest with the lack of activity was the decision point as it has been for previous years.

Looking back at the past 5 years I realized how much time I wasted listening to static on the VHF bands all the time missing some really good mid, low band dx.


Before you do that have you tried meteor scatter? One of the more remote VHF ops is WE1SKY. He did almost all his operating on MFSK144 (I think) the meteor scatter digital mode from Joe Taylor. He did quite well considering. I think promoting digital modes might be a good thing because its a way for some of the guys who'd done this a lot to experiment and discover something new once more.

Just a thought.
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