222 Sprint Report — 25 Q’s in 16 Grids

   It’s a shame that 222 can’t be the most-popular VHF band, instead of 144.  But it never will be, because of the lack of commercially-available SSB gear.  (I outlined the options in the post below this one.)   If you’re a weak-signal V/UHF’er, do yourself a favor and find a way to get on 222 SSB/CW.  Transverters are the best way to go.  I use a Yaesu FT-736R, and am very happy, but I also have stacked long yagis up 110′, so that’s really what makes the difference.  If I were more technically-inclined, I’d go the transverter route, and enjoy even better sensitivity. 
   At my QTH last night, 222 had such low noise levels, I felt like I could hear fleas whispering.   I feel like I worked everyone who was on, within a 300-mile radius.  I know I called in every direction, multiple times, in the 3 hours I was on.  (Sprint activity usually dries up after 10pm, regardless of the 11pm closing time — it’s been this way as long as I’ve been on.)  

   I don’t think band conditions were anything special at all last night.  But there was a decent variety of stations on, plus you had K9JK and WB8BZK roving Chicago, which helps keep things busy. 

   Here’s my log:   ND9Z and N9QZD EN54;  WB8BZK/R in EN52, EN62 and EN51;  KA0PQW EN33;  KD0KIH (at W0VB) EN34;  W9GA EN53;  WV9E EN43;  N9LB and W9RM EN52;  KB0PE EM48;  K9JK/R in EN52, EN51 and EN61;  KF8QL EN72;  K8TQK EM89;  K8GDT and K8DIO EN91;  Ko9A EN52;  N8AIA, N8WNA and K8JA EN82;  W8ULC EM79; and W9SZ/P in EN50. 
   The highlight was hearing something out of the St. Louis area.  Besides W9GKA who sometimes gets on for the ARRL ‘tests, we rarely hear anything from the St. Louis area.  So when I heard KB0PE come warbling in light to my SSW, it was exciting.  I made sure to blabber a little bit extra with Dave, and drop his grid and the words “St. Louis area” a few times.  Why?   Because I knew others in WI would hear me and would jump at the chance to turn their antennas and also work Dave.  My biggest smile of the night was when I said something to the effect of, “Well Dave, I’ll say 73 and step aside.  I suspect others up here may want to work you.”  BAM, 3 guys calling him all at once.  Just like 6m or HF, LOL.   

   Thanks to the Detroit and OH guys for getting on last night.  Thanks to W9SZ for going out /P when he really didn’t have any spare time.  Good to work KA0PQW in EN33 — very light copy but when the band is so quiet, it’s easy with headphones.  KD0KIH was able to get his feet wet from W0VB’s big station in EN34.  He sounded good, and was CQ’ing a lot — sounded very confident.  I was amazed how often I would hear his signal lightly, no matter which direction I pointed in. 

    I called toward IA and the KC Metro often.  Same with the whole EN44/34/35 region.  Nothing.  Not even a whisper of someone who was looking another direction. 

   Oh yes, I did have 3 intervals where I got on 223.500 FM and called CQ for several minutes.  I only got one bite, and it was a very surprised WB8BZK, who is used to hearing me on SSB.   I figured I’d pick up a few strays from the Milwaukee or Chicago areas on 223.500 FM, but nope.  I’m sure some were on, and we just didn’t cross paths. 

    432 Sprint is next Wed, Oct 5th.  I also have net control duty on 144.240 that night.  Not sure what I will do, at this time.  Guess I’ll ask the check-ins tonight on 144.240 (I have the .240 net tonight, not WB9LYH) what they think.   Watch, we’ll have storms or something crazy next week and the whole thing will end up being a moot point. 
    If you have 432, make plans now to get on.  Help spread the word in your area.  Because 432 is so pointy, swing your beams and call CQ *OFTEN*.
   IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR ALL THE SPRINT INFO, you can go here:  www.svhfs.org or here:  http://kc9bqa.com/?p=5222

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