8:15am Saturday —
Have a treat for you this weekend.
W9FZ and KA9VVQ roved 7 grids in the ARRL Jan VHF Contest. This week, W9FZ took the time to type up a nice report, complete with plenty of pictures. Go here http://w9fz.com/hamtrips/2013janvhfw9fz.html for his multi-page writeup. Both W9FZ and KA9VVQ have given permission for me to share their rover report here.
Hope this will motivate some of you to try roving. Nobody does more to help improve contests than rovers. If you have a poor QTH for radio, if you are antenna-restricted, if you enjoy finding high spots where you can be the DX that others are looking for, you should be a rover. We used to have as many as 6-10 rovers who were within 100-150 miles of SE WI. Nowadays, we might get 3-4.
If you have any interest in roving, start planning now, while it’s winter and there’s time. Opportunities to rove will start in April, with the Spring VHF/UHF Sprints, and will continue with the ARRL June VHF Contest, the CQ WW VHF Contest in late July, the ARRL UHF Contest in early August and the ARRL Sept. VHF Contest (Weekend after Labor Day). Visit the ARRL and CQ websites to become familiar with the dates, times and rules.
I would expect the 144 MHz Spring Sprint to be on Monday, April 8th, from 7-11pm local time. I will promote it harder when I know the date has been announced for sure.
W9FZ has been very valuable to me in the 9 years I’ve been on the air. Bruce is one of the nicest guys I know in ham radio, and he has been roving for way longer than I’ve been around. He also knows how to put a big signal on the air, and how to manage those times when a lot of stations are calling in different directions. If you have questions about roving, I know Bruce would be willing to help.
If you’re in the mood to read more this weekend, remember I have two articles discussing roving. They are http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1740 and http://kc9bqa.com/?p=1737 I’m sure using Google to look up certain phrases would give you plenty of fresh material, too.
The way I understand it, W9FZ actually started the Badger Contesters, which is Wisconsin’s VHF/UHF Club. In fact, BC territory extends into parts of N IL, W MI, the U.P. of MI, and far Eastern IA and SE MN. You can view the BC club circle here: http://www.badgercontesters.org/club_area.html (a 175-mile circle centered on Oshkosh, WI)
Dozens and dozens of us are BC’ers. The Badger Contesters are a dues-free, low-stress club. There is also an email reflector that comes alive at times, primarily around VHF/UHF contests. If you enjoy weak-signal V/UHF and do some contesting, we invite you to join. The main BC webpage is at www.badgercontesters.org. From there, click on membership and follow the directions at the top of the page.
I did make a separate post about the BC’ers back on Jan 19th. Click here: http://kc9bqa.com/?p=6661 if you want more info.