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[VHFcontesting] FW: ARRL June VHF N8RA Single Op-All Modes LP

To: <yccc@groups.io>, <vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
Subject: [VHFcontesting] FW: ARRL June VHF N8RA Single Op-All Modes LP
From: <chetsubaccount@snet.net>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2022 09:13:04 -0400
List-post: <mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
Class: Single Op-All Modes LP
Operating Time (hrs): OGK
OpMode: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    2:    58     22
  222:  13      9
  432:    8      6
Total:  79     37  Total Score = 3,700

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club


For many reasons I was not planning a full effort for this contest. But what is 
always an incentive for me to get on was to try out improvements done since the 
last contest. 

One big change was the addition of an Elecraft 432 MHz transverter. This 
promised to be a big improvement over the clunky use of a separate radio and 
computer for that band, and it was! That transverter is known to be sensitive 
to transmit RF input and output impedances and it initially was unstable when 
combined with my 222 transverter wiring. Addition of a simple 3 dB resistive 
splitter kept these transverters in their own camp and both worked flawlessly 
this weekend.  

Another improvement addressed the 222 MHz “yagi problem”. A typical 222 MHz 
yagi is very directional and unless it is pointed at the desired station it 
often hears nothing. Some folks solve that by using a cellphone or chat room to 
set up a contact with a buddy to put a fish in the water near them so they can 
catch it, but that is not appealing to me. Comparing the performance of a pair 
of stacked squalos with a 10 element yagi showed that yes, the yagi would be 7 
dB better in its forward direction, but the squalos would be better in the 
other 300+ degrees of azimuth, usually by 15- 20 dB better. So, I bought a 
rugged pair of these from FreqTester Products, stacked them 3’ apart and stuck 
them out about 5’ from the side of the tower on a military surplus fiberglass 
pole. Finished hooking it all up just a few days before the weekend. They 
indeed allowed hearing other band activity, alerting me to get on and work a 
new station, turn the yagi toward them if they were a bit weak, and got some 
answers to CQing with them. When leaving the shack I kept the receiver on the 
FT-8 watering hole and upon return could see who else had been on while I was 
gone.  Pleased with “I did that!”.

6M was expected to go nuts with E- skip, making it into a frantic DX contest, 
so I avoided 6 this time so that I could concentrate on the above station 

While watching the grass grow on 222 and 432, time was spent on 2M SSB/CW (when 
there was some), and FT-8. Good to see that most FT-8 users were in contest 
mode, and the TX5 message $DX… was useful too.

Chet, N8RA

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