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Author Topic: Field Day on VHF only  (Read 4853 times)
KK6YB
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« on: June 16, 2013, 11:28:39 AM »

I don't know how this will work out but I'm planning to operate for Field Day on VHF/UHF only. 

Of course, it will be LOS (line of sight) only but I picked the best spot I could find to operate.  I'm going to be camping on top of Mt. San Gorgonio at 11,500' elevation.  I should have good LOS to San Bernadino, Riverside, LA, Orange, and maybe San Diego county which are densely populated.

I'm wondering though, will I be wasting my time?  Is everyone going to be on HF or will most FD stations have VHF? 

Should I scan VHF or just stay on the .52 calling frequency?  I can operation 2m, 220 and 440 on my VX-6, but I'm not sure anyone will be on 220 or 440.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Gary
KK6YB
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N7SMI
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 11:58:45 AM »

The ARRL has a great guide for VHF Field Day Operating - http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Field-Day/2013/2013%20Above%2030%20MHz.pdf

I suspect there will be some FM activity on 2 meters and maybe 440, but I don't think these are very popular for field day because they are almost entirely line-of-sight - there are just loads of contacts to be made anywhere else on the bands. If you could do 6 meter SSB, then I think you'd have a much more enjoyable and busy time.
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K6JH
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 05:29:03 PM »

Too bad you just missed the June VHF contest on June 8-9th. I recall actually winning the LA section around 35 years ago, from the top of Mt. Pacifico (you can drive up to the campground up there). Most mountaintopping VHF operators go for the June, September, or January VHF contests.

There is some VHF activity on Field Day also, but it won't be quite as busy - most field day activity is on HF. And in general most VHF contest activity is on SSB with horizontal antennas. FM activity exists, but won't be as popular.

Download the Field Day rules at http://www.arrl.org/field-day, and the general VHF rules: http://www.arrl.org/general-rules-for-arrl-contests-above-50-mhz

Don't use .52, but otherwise stay on recognized simplex channels for your area (assuming you can't do SSB). From the general VHF rules:

"1.8. Use of the national simplex frequency, 146.52 MHz, or immediately adjacent guard frequencies, is prohibited.

1.8.1. Contest entrants may not transmit on 146.52 for the purpose of making or soliciting QSOs.

1.8.2. The intent of this rule is to protect the national simplex frequency from contest monopolization.

1.8.3. There are no restrictions on the use of 52.525, 223.50 or 446.000 MHz.
Participants are, however, encouraged to not monopolize the calling frequencies throughout the contest period.

1.9. Only recognized FM simplex frequencies may be used, such as 144.90 to 145.00; 146.49, .55 and .58, and 147.42, .45, .48, .51, .54 and .57 MHz on the 2-meter band.

1.9.1. Local-option simplex channels and frequencies adjacent to the above that do not violate the intent of the above rules, or the spirit and intent of the band plans as recommended in the ARRL Repeater Directory, may be used for contest purposes."

Enjoy!

- Jim, K6JH

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KK6YB
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« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2013, 04:53:43 PM »

Well, I only have VHF FM equipment.  I'll just have to give it a try and see how it goes.  

Actually, I'm going to be on Mt. Baldy instead of Gorgonio, but the coverage is similar.  There's not much water up on Gorgonio right now.

Gary, KK6YB
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 05:01:24 PM by KK6YB » Logged

W6DPS
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 05:02:10 PM »

So how did it go?

I know we (W6SCE) worked you on 2M and 222.

It seems like an interesting way to do Field Day, using very simple gear in a beautiful location.

I hope it was all you hope it was what you expected, and would like to hear an "after-action" report.

Dave, W6DPS
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KK6YB
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 08:42:47 PM »

My wife and I had a great time setting up for Field Day on the summit of Mt. Baldy.  I had over 100 contacts on 2m, 220, and 440 FM ranging from Chula Vista to Victorville to Ventura.  

Here is a link to photos from the trip:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/106148174436428533762/posts/8t6QcE7ReLN

Thanks for the contacts!  It was a lot of fun up there.
Gary KK6YB
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 08:45:43 PM by KK6YB » Logged

N7SMI
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2013, 08:03:03 AM »

Wow! 100 contacts on FM is phenomenal!

I worked 6 meter mobile in Idaho and didn't even hear another station in probably 6 hours of off and on operating. I kept checking for openings, but the only activity was in the east where I see some stations worked well over 100 six meters QSOs. It was a bit of a bust for me.
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K6JH
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2013, 02:50:23 PM »

Glad it worked out for you. Sounds like a great time! Cheesy
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KK6YB
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2013, 09:11:33 PM »

Hi Jim,  thanks for your advice and especially for pointing out the general contest rules.  I wasn't aware of those until you mentioned it.

BTW, my most surprising contact was KR6RG near Imperial Beach, about 118 miles away on 220 Mhz!  Especially given that the VX-6 puts out only 1.5 watts on 220 and that my antenna was 2m/440 only.  Of course, having line of sight for 100+ miles in every direction makes up for a lot.

73,
Gary
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W6DPS
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2013, 11:50:52 AM »

Glad it was a good time.

That is probably he simplest Field Day station you can have.

I have toyed with the idea of an FT-817 and a couple of suitable antennas to work HF through UHF. Although I do have an assortment of HTs and roll up J-Pole antennas that might make ofr an easy set-up.

Thanks for the report and photos!

73 de W6DPS
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 08:10:19 AM »

When I was a kid, back in the 1960s, the now defunct Enfield Amateur Radio Club had field days on Soapstone Mt, just below the old fire tower.  The main rig was a Gooney Bird two-meter rig. Those were fun field days.  Nowadays there is little to no regular simplex AM or SSB activity in this area, unless it involves a contest or a net.

Pete
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