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Author Topic: ARRL June VHF QSO Party  (Read 7847 times)
K8WTF
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Posts: 12




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« on: June 04, 2013, 06:27:12 AM »

Didn't see mention of this here, so thought I'd throw it out there.  The ARRL June VHF contest is this upcoming weekend: June 8 - 10. Begins 1800 UTC Saturday, runs through 0259 UTC Monday.  Even if you only have a 2m FM rig, there is now an FM only category.  If you have an HF - 6m rig, throw up a 6 meter dipole and see what you can do - there have been a lot of 6m openings lately and I've made a number of contacts with just my G5RV Jr.

All of the details are here:

http://www.arrl.org/june-vhf

I've done a few HF contests before, but this will be my first VHF contest.  I have no VHF setup at home to speak of, so I"ll be taking my IC-706mkiig, a Buddipole with the 6 meter 2-element add-on, and my Arrow satellite antenna for 2m/70cm to the beach in EN92.  It's all stuff I have laying around (except the Buddipole 6 meter beam add-on) so it won't be a serious effort, but, it should be fun!

Hope to see a few of you on the bands.  And remember, Technician license holders have full privileges on VHF and up!
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K8GU
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Posts: 716


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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2013, 06:22:08 AM »

6m should open up for some part of the contest for you.  I'm hoping to make a portable appearance on 6m/2m from an unnamed (but not rare) grid.  Will have 100 watts on both bands, dipole on 6m and 6-el Yagi on 2m.
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N7SMI
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Posts: 315




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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 07:04:22 AM »

I'll be on a LONG road trip from Utah to Missouri and plan to operate rover putting DN41, DN51, DN61, DN71, DN81, DN91, DN90, EN00, EN10, EN20, and EM29 on the air.
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VE4TTH
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 06:36:40 PM »

Well, so far I have been calling CQ on 6M for over 2 hours, and nothing. Good thing I purchased that voice recorder option for my radio hi hi! I did hear a few stations fade in then out, but it looks like this is going to be a lot of work to get some contacts. It will be interesting to see the results once I'm done, but as of now, I have exactly zero (0) contacts....is their a prize for that?

73
VE4TTH
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KG6ZSM
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 11:25:51 PM »

I hope others share their experiences.  I am new to contesting.  I could hear quite a bit of FM activity on 50.130 mhz and up to 50.200, but the QRM was too bad to fully copy anything.  I hope especially to hear about the experiences of those, like myself new to contesting who are just working as FM operators with very modest rigs. 

Laurie Flood
KG6ZSM

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N3QE
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Posts: 2094




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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2013, 05:55:15 AM »

I hope others share their experiences.  I am new to contesting.  I could hear quite a bit of FM activity on 50.130 mhz and up to 50.200, but the QRM was too bad to fully copy anything.  I hope especially to hear about the experiences of those, like myself new to contesting who are just working as FM operators with very modest rigs. 

I don't know what 6 meter usage is like on West coast, but here on East coast, 50.130 to 50.200 will be SSB. (Not that I'm the world expert on voice modes. I'm doing this test all CW!)

Tim.
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N7SMI
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Posts: 315




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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2013, 07:20:46 AM »

I could hear quite a bit of FM activity on 50.130 mhz...

That's you're problem. What you are hearing is SSB, not FM - that's why it sounded so bad.
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KG6ZSM
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2013, 04:16:29 PM »

N7SMI,

I beg to differ, I could hear regular voices, not "ducky" SSB voices, but the QRM was very intense.

When people say things like, "...that's your problem...," on this forum, it really dissuades anyone who wants to ask questions and learn. 

Hopefully, amateur radio will begin to do a better job of mentoring new hams gently and well.  There is an incredible learning curve. 

Laurie Flood
KG6ZSM
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N7SMI
Member

Posts: 315




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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2013, 08:13:06 PM »

I beg to differ, I could hear regular voices, not "ducky" SSB voices, but the QRM was very intense.

If someone was using FM on 50.130, they were using a non-standard mode for the frequency, and one that nobody else is likely to be using there.

Quote
When people say things like, "...that's your problem...," on this forum, it really dissuades anyone who wants to ask questions and learn.

Hopefully, amateur radio will begin to do a better job of mentoring new hams gently and well.

You're misinterpreting me. I'm not saying "that's your problem" as in "it serves you right", but "this is your problem" as in "if you are listening in FM mode to SSB transmissions on 50.130, you're going to have problems understanding it". I'm not sure how to say it any more gently or well.
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2533




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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2013, 09:32:12 PM »

Laurie, <<<no one>>> uses FM around 50.130, and certainly not in the biggest VHF test of the year where FM would wreck a wide swath of the band's most valuable real estate.

---------

I dabbled on 6 CW (around 50.095, btw) using only my HF 43' vertical going thru a 30 year old Dentron tuner that I'm sure isn't rated for the band. Worked T43S in Cuba and one California station. And little else. I was running 100 watts from St Louis.

Point is: you can make some interesting Qs on 6 with just about any antenna..

Jeff
K0OD
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K0YQ
Member

Posts: 439




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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 10:04:11 AM »

Certainly not the best conditions for much of the weekend, but still managed to work a bunch of new grids from the attic.  The insta-QSB was interesting, and I lost several QSOs right in the middle of the exchange.  Poof, gone.  Hopefully better conditions for the CQ VHF in July.  VHF propagation is sure interesting.  Lots of quiet but you gotta be ready to make hay quick when the band opens.

Hope everyone had some fun.
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K0YQ
Member

Posts: 439




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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 10:33:35 AM »

N7SMI,

I beg to differ, I could hear regular voices, not "ducky" SSB voices, but the QRM was very intense.

When people say things like, "...that's your problem...," on this forum, it really dissuades anyone who wants to ask questions and learn. 

Hopefully, amateur radio will begin to do a better job of mentoring new hams gently and well.  There is an incredible learning curve. 

Laurie Flood
KG6ZSM

Hang in there Laurie and hope you got to make some QSOs this past weekend.  We've all started on that learning curve and you never get to the end.  Well, maybe W8JI might have made it...  Smiley

I was listening on 2M for FM contest activity and didn't hear much.  Not sure what rig you're using, but a SSB/CW capable VHF rig will give you LOADS more contacts during the contests.  There's a good write up in the June QST mag about VHF contests and where to listen.
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N6DZR
Member

Posts: 100




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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 04:55:01 PM »

I had other activities going on, so only spent Saturday afternoon/evening and a little Sunday on the contest. I was there for a good opening from Nor Cal toward the east/southeast. I worked into Mexico, arizona, new mexico, texas, and I think the farthest was Oklahoma (EM25). Picked up some new grids and new states.

In my area this is a low-key contest as there are not too many players... and it's friendly. A lot of people sit on .125 and take turns working the new call that shows up and a lot of guys are not too possesive of their run frequency and will pause while they let you work someone they just worked.

Now I sit back and wait for the LOTW confirmations to come in  Grin

-Jeff
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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2533




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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2013, 09:16:59 AM »

Quote
"A lot of people sit on .125 and take turns working the new call that shows up"

Ugh! I don't think that should be encouraged.

Where I am almost no one emphasizes the calling frequency in that contest. I did hear one Mexican station who seemed to treat .125 as his own. Experienced big guns that stake out a frequency tend to be in the 50.128-50.140 range from my experience.

For those of us with panadaptors, calling frequencies are becoming less important.
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N6DZR
Member

Posts: 100




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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2013, 12:39:26 PM »

Quote
"A lot of people sit on .125 and take turns working the new call that shows up"

Ugh! I don't think that should be encouraged.

Generally I agree. For this contest in this location, however, I don't think it causes much problem. People are cordial enough that it doesn't get crazy and someone trying to make a call would not have a problem. For sure after they made their call the contesters would try to work them. More than once this weekend I had a station I worked say "so and so was calling you, see if you can work them" even when it was the other guy's run frequency.

And yes, panadapters / band scopes are wonderful.
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