ARRL January VHF Contest - 2022
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 26
Band QSOs Mults
6: 310 70
2: 238 47
222: 75 30
432: 105 35
903: 25 17
1.2: 46 19
2.3: 16 10
3.4: 4 4
5.7: 1 1
10G: 2 2
Total: 820 235 Total Score = 820,235
Club: Mt Airy VHF Radio Club
In the days before the contest my noise issues were really bad on 2 and to a
slightly lesser extent on 6. With very cold temps and high winds expected during
the contest (it was 1 deg Sunday AM) I anticipated very difficult operating
condx. That was correct as on Saturday my noise was s7 and higher in all
directions on 2. For a couple of hours Sunday morning it dropped to about s5 to
the NE while remaining high elsewhere. It went back up by mid-Sunday morning
making me a real alligator on 2 and was almost as bad on 6.
All of this made operating 6 and 2M ssb/cw really frustrating. At least on FT8
the computer either decoded or not, making it a little less frustrating, though
obviously I could be heard better than I could rx there too. We need 6 and 2
meter beverage ants, hi! I spent more time on FT 8 this time because it was less
frustrating and in the end 70% of my 6M Q's and almost 50% of my 2M Q's were on
Condx were so-so throughout but seemed well below average on 3, 5 and 10 G. 902
and 1296 and to some extent 2304 seemed to be typical microwave condx for
January. Many times stations difficult to work on 2M because of noise were easy
copy on 222 - 2304 because noise was not an issue.
On Saturday we had very limited Es for a few minutes to Florida. I could see on
FT8 the guys SW and W of me working lots of Es. I must have been right on the
edge as once in awhile stations I could see them working would pop in for me.
W5PR was in for awhile as was K5QE but I never worked them despite repeated
calls. MS condx Saturday night were pretty good on 6 which helped the grid
total. Sunday mid day there was some more Es to Florida. I actually worked about
a half dozen stations on SSB that were loud. My XYL needed some help so I
stepped out and when I came back 15 minutes later it was gone.
Like others I had numerous stations 600 - 1200 miles away call on 6M FT8. Some
were no doubt MS but others were probably brief Es. I have an awful lot of
unworked grids that called and we weren't able to complete.
The gear worked fine until mid afternoon Sunday. Then my keyer stopped working
and it took a half hour to find the problem. Then the 3456 amp wouldn't key and
since it's tower mounted there wasn't anything I could do about it. Next a fuse
blew on the 432 amp supply and it was a bear to remove since it seemed to be
welded into the fuse holder. It was a relief when everything worked fine once
the fuse was replaced. All of this in about 2 hours.
Once it started to snow Sunda evening my 222 antenna became unusable with a very
hi swr. All the other antennas worked fine except the M2 on 222. I thought it
might be a feedline issue but when the temperature went above freezing Monday
morning everything was fine.
Tnx for the Q's and Cu next time.
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