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Author Topic: VHF QSO party and FM  (Read 808 times)
KG4UDX
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« on: September 09, 2002, 06:44:44 PM »

The ARRL September VHF QSO party is coming up.  At the moment I only have an FM mobile rig.  Would it be worthwhile for me to participate (I know I obviously can't win).  Also, would it be a better idea to operate from my house where I have a j-pole, or from my car in some location with it's tri-band antenna (I have a FT-8900)?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2002, 01:19:03 PM »

If you really want to have fun and are restricted to using only FM, and you have the time, I'd recommend you take the mobile station mountaintopping.  A j-pole at home is no match for a whip atop Mt. Mitchell, or Spruce Knob, or Clingman's Dome, or one of the other dozen high peaks in your area which are car accessible.

The only problem is, from those lofty locations the QRM can become so severe that it's almost impossible to hear any single station, and your receiver's "S" meter never comes down off the "peg."  That's a good problem to have, but can be exasperating.  As such, if you do take it mountaintopping, I'd recommend at least a small (4 or 5 element) rotary beam antenna that can be mounted to a 10' tall mast and hand rotated to help select individual stations you wish to contact.

From atop Spruce Knob, WV in a September contest back in the early 1970's I worked 19 states on 2 meter FM in about six hours.  That would have represented probably 100 grid squares, although at the time grid squares were not the contest exchange, ARRL Sections were.

WB2WIK/6
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