Link to ARRL Sept. VHF Contest Results — Must Read

    There’s a great article about the Sept. VHF that’s just come out this week.   Long article with lots of detail, and all sorts of good news for Midwestern VHF’ers.    Well worth a read when you have 10-15 minutes.   You really need to see what W9FZ/R did for Great Plains activity levels with his MidwestMania! promotion.  

Preliminary QST write up:

Printable line score PDF:

    These links are “different” because ARRL is going thru big website changes that will take a while.

One Response to “Link to ARRL Sept. VHF Contest Results — Must Read”

  1. KB9WZJ - Darin Says:

    Been awhile since I contested. Moved to a new QTH across town and too busy earning a living to get up a decent tower, but I had some decent equipment and some knowledge.
    In late October, (after I was laid off) I literally threw up a 20 foot Rohn 20G and braketed it to the house. I used a 10 foot piece of 1 1/2 EMT rigid conduit for a mast and my trusty Tailtwister rotor. I put the 2M12 on top and ran 9913 from the 7/8s, next came the 432-9WL with a run on 9913 to 7/8s. Now my runs of Heliax are 65 feet long and the shack is about 35 feet away from the tower, so i had some slack. The 6M7JHV will have to wait, as i know it’s really a monster at 30’8 long and tough for one guy to handle.
    So now the 2M12 is at 27 feet and the 432-9WL is about 22 feet. I made the 432 jumper a little short, so 22 feet it is (until later).
    I made some decent contacts in October but it was not until in November and December that I realized my new QTH and tower wasn’t so bad. I worked WB9LYH in EN54 almost every Wednesday and thought that to be a decent haul for my small 12 elements on two. I think I tried some on 432 with out much luck. W9YZU Steve and I ran 432 AM, FM and SSB…(I like other modes too!) so I know the antenna was working to some degree. And like all my M2 antennas, the SWR is nearly flat just like the specs say.
    I knew the contest was coming, and I was really wanting to see how well I could do with low power and low antennas. I knew that clubs and the big guns would be on the air, and loud. In past contests I had worked K3YTL, K8GP, W4ZRZ, K4QI, K2DRH, and W8MIL. I was hoping to hear at least somebody during the contest from a far away place.
    Fast forward to early December and JD – N0IRS and I were in the video conference, and after that was over I emailed JD for a run on two. He is something like 440 miles from me and has a very decent set up. I thought “what the hell” – can’t work them if you don’t try. Sure enough, JD heard me on 144.210 ssb. We exchanged 5x5s and I was shocked. I have seen better field day set ups for two meters than what I am presently using! Now for those that think it was an opening, I assure you the APRS map was white all the way from Indy to the west coast. JD and I worked almost weekly anytime we have tried since……until the contest.
    Now I still had the 6M7JHV to go up and there was not enough room for it under the 432 beam since i cut the feedline too short. One of Steve-W9YZU and my late nights, should I say mornings, I cut a longer feed line for the 432 antenna so later on i could slip it up. Got it slid up on a decent day in December and built the 6M7JHV, but I could not steady it and bolt it to the mast by myself. So I laid it on the roof pointing at Steve. I actually turned it some around Christmas as we had decent weather.
    A week before the contest, I HAD to get the 6 meter beam up on the tower. My almost 16 year old daughter helped me hoist it up with some rope and held it in the 20º weather while my fingers got numb and got it bolted on. That was actually Sunday about 3 pm and I had to get her home to her mom’s by 6. So no feed line. I could not have done it with out her help.
    Next day was as cold if not colder and the night before. I think I was talking to Steve (w9yzu) and I put together the run of 7/8s for 6. So almost a week before the contest I was finally on all the bands I had. 6, 2, and 432. (FT-847 100W on 6, 180W on 2 and 100W on 432).
    Contest time!!!! Finally! Yeah!!!! Wait….what happened to the propagation? Holy crap…this is bad. At the beginning of the contest on 6 I did hear WZ1V but didn’t get him. Everything quickly faded out. So I switched to 2 and worked a few locals and then K8TQK in EM89 – we ran all three bands. Most problem was on 2 (Bob’s rotor does work) He was harder to work on 2 than 432. Since I had worked Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri before the contest, I was looking real hard to the east. I worked VA3ZV in EN82 on 2 and we ALMOST completed on 432. I have never worked Canada on 432. Soon after I heard VE3DXP but I could not get his attention before he turned the rotor.
    More Ohio. What the hey, I’ll look back NW. There was AI9L in EN51. he told me his wife had never worked Indiana on 2 before, so he quickly put her on. I said: “AF9H you’re 5 and 9 in EM69″… reply…. “AF9H you’re 5 by 9 in Indiana”. Nothing. Weirdest thing all contest for me. I hope she’s okay!
    Called some, and went back to the east looking for PA, NY and beyond. (To infinity and beyond! I thought).
    Apparently infinity is in Ohio. ‘Cause I worked all of them! Then at 2300 I heard N4QWZ on 2. Turned the antenna after looking him up in QRZ and pointed right at him. There he was: “kb9wzj – you’re EM66 here”. We quickly went to 432 and completed and knowing I could probably snag him on 6. Sure enough! Got him on 6 as well. Back and forth my rotator went. Calling and calling. I really need a voice keyer. You can become hoarse calling so much. I was going to buy some lemonade before the contest, but forgot. I think it helps the vocal cords. So I drank green Monster.
    Down to .200 (144) I go. There was a familiar voice! K4TO Dave in Kentucky. He runs a nice clean station with Teletec amps. Got him and asked where he wanted to go band wise…no reply. He quickly worked more and off I went with the rotor as heard WB9LYH off the back of my antenna. Mark has a good set up as well and was 5x7ish or better. I got him off the first call but forgot to ask to switch to another band. Duh. Could have got him on 432 I am sure.
    More Ohio. Good gawd, are there any left? Rode was left out until about 0315. Now time for some chatter with W9YZU. Then back to 144.200 and there was Todd, N4QWZ in loud. I asked him if he had heard W4ZRZ anywhere. he said he had and brought him to .200. Then at 0527 there was Jimmy W4ZRZ in EM63 about 3×3, but there.
    After that I took a nap. IF the bands had have been more active, I would have gone all night. QSO rate? Yeah right.
    Woke up at about 0800 utc. Bands all quiet except for K2DRH working a few rovers I could not hear. So I went out to see what the family was doing. You absolutely cannot neglect your family during a contest….well unless you have a killer rate going. If it is slow, take a few and say Hello.
    I kept checking the bands, but really didn’t work anyone until 1347 when I snagged VE3DXP 5×3 on 144.200. In a REAL contest, you spread out. There are many signals on the band, but not this one. Could have run the whole thing on the call frequencies! I had said on my QRZ page to look for me on 50.160, 144.160 and 432.160. Uh huh. That would have worked if there was more activity. I settled for 144.197 and 432.097 and usually 50.135.
    Fast forward from 1532 to 0251.
    K2DRH and I finally worked at 1419. Was actually funny. He didn’t hear my call all the way. ” Kilo Bravo Nine again….” …then “Kilo Bravo Nine Whiskey Zanzi – OH! KB9WZJ you’re EN41! any other bands?!” Bob and I worked on all three and chatted briefly on conditions. I left him on 6 and heard “K1RZ” on a burst and that was all.
    Fast forward from 1532 to 0251. Bands were basically dead again and I played with the 4 year old and ate some during that break. I worked a few locals and finally completed with my neighbor Steve – W9YZU on 6 and 2. The last hour was like pulling teeth to get contacts. I worked really hard and spun the rotor constantly. I have a map with every 15 degrees marked out on it and i stopped at all the major cities up to 500 miles away. Nothing. Finally at 0321 I found K8MD on .208 then at 0324 W8RU on .204, both in EN82. I managed W8RU on 432.100 and sat for ten minutes for the next one. Spinning the rotor furiously and calling and calling and calling….finally at 0334 I got K9VS in EN52 on .205….he was about 4x3ish. Then for the next 26 minutes…….nothing. I called and called and spun and spun….worrying about the feed lines from the hardline to the antennas as my rotor went from 360º to 0º back and forth VFO up and down…..nothing.
    Then, it was over. I was on .200 and heard Bob K2DRH say he had “490 Qs and 190 grids”. Ack. I was NO WHERE NEAR THAT!
    Took me a few hours to read all my handwriting and sort it out. But here’s the damage by band:

    6 meters: 26 QSOs and 9 grids
    2 meters: 52 QSOs and 21 grids
    432 mhz: 18 QSOs and 12 grids

    Totals 114 QSO pts and 42 grids = 4788

    This contest took a lot of hard work to manage what I did. I only worked SSB and didn’t even have a vertical up for FM. I could have worked W9YZU on my HT on 220, but didn’t.
    After being off the band for three plus years, i don’t think it was a total failure. I learned to be versatile and use more modes. I also learned I need a few rovers, too!

    Plans for the coming year. Well get a job for one…oh wait, wrong forum. More antennas. You simply cannot ad and amplifier and get what you can with more antennas. They receiver AND transmit, where amplifiers really only ad ERP. I have four 2M12s that need to go up. I miss my four stack. I’d also like another 432-9W.
    I need a better/taller tower. XYL tells me freestanding and no guy wires. I’d like at least 50 feet. 70 foot at the maximum.
    I’d like more bands. 222, then 1296, and lastly 902. The higher bands give huge amounts of points for contesting. I don’t think at this time, I will go higher than 1296 though.
    More bands means transverters. I have played around with a 2 meter transverter on my FT-101 and cannot believe how quiet it is compared to the computer generated hash and trash in my FT-847. I have transverters for 6, 2 and 432 in the works as we speak. At first I will use my FT-101, and probably move on to a FT902DM when finances allow. 222 should come this year and of course that means a 222-7WL and a run of 7/8s, which I already have the hardline and connectors for (Thanks Steve).
    I am a simple man. I really only like what works. If it doesn’t work, it simply isn’t here. Thanks to all I worked, and to all reading. Hope I didn’t bore you too much. 73 – Darin kb9wzj