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To: <tentec@contesting.com>
From: n9dg@yahoo.com (Duane Grotophorst)
Date: Sat Apr 19 11:22:16 2003
--- AC5E@aol.com wrote:
> Personally, I'm more'n a little amused at the
> thought of my tuning for CQ's 
> on a second band while working a station on the
> first band. They guys who do 
> that are a whole lot better coordinated than I ever
> was. And working search 
> and pounce on two bands would be even more of a
> challenge. 

SO2R a challenge?? Not at all. How about SO4R, I do
that all the time during VHF/UHF contests, I run
separate "radios" for 50 - 432MHz, all at the same
time. Many hard core VHF contesters do the exact same
thing. The other common practice is to park and call
on a freq and then while listening to your own calling
frequency be tuning up and down the band +/- 75-100KHz
with a second RX (or sweep scope). Carl's Dual Pegasus
mode with full time sub RX spectrum sweep is perfect
for this.  

Granted VHF/UHF contesting is a different environment
than HF contesting, on HF the task is primarily an
exercise in separating the individual signals you want
to work from the many others close by. VHF contesting
is more about finding the needle (or occasional rail
spike) in the haystack over a wide range of generally
quiet frequencies on different bands. There it is
important to be able to watch large chunks of spectrum
all the time and quickly. Enter the spectrum sweep,
perfect for that task, especially if it is done on a
computer screen. That is an area the Orion shows great
promise, will have to wait and see what evolves for
computer control and its spectrum sweep handling.

Now to take it a bit further for 2M you ideally need 2
radios for SSB/CW alone, one of them attached to a
highly direction beam and the other to a horizontal
polarized omni, both of them should have spectrum
sweep displays. So in this case SO1.5R (for RX
front-end preservation reasons) for 2M alone. The
Orion's handling for 2 separate sets of amps and
accessories (substitute transverters etc. instead)
looks like a great starting point for achieving this. 

Then to really expand the VHF/UHF contest station add
FM to the lower 3 or 4 bands, also add bands 902MHz
and above which can generally share a common IF radio
that is switched. Again spectrum sweep is a powerful
tool for finding signals, very few ops up there can be
sure of their true operating frequency any closer than
a few KHz, possibly as much as 25 - 50.

So in total you can actually get to something around

2 - 50Mhz SSB/CW/WSJT
2 - 144Mhz SSB/CW/WSJT
1 - 146MHz FM
1 - 222MHz SSB/CW/WSJT
1 - 222MHz FM
1 - 432MHz SSB/CW/WSJT
1 - 446 MHz FM
1 - 902Mhz - 24Ghz or so SSB/CW.

That?s a lot of RX sound in the shack, so inherently
quiet receivers and spectrum sweep displays are a big,
big plus, I proved that to myself after transitioning
from a lineup up of generic JA multi-mode radios to
all transverters driven by Ten Tec radios. I'm not
nearly as fatigued as I used to be after a full
weekend of VHF contesting. 

So yes there is a madness to my methods ;).


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