ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs):
Band QSOs Mults
6: 23 12
2: 46 17
222: 18 11
432: 16 9
903: 2 2
1.2: 4 3
10G: 1 1
Total: 110 55 Total Score = 9,295
Club: Northern Lights Amateur Radio Society
It may not look like much of a score to many, but up here in northern Minnesota
I am pleased. My contest scores have been on a SERIOUS decline here for the
last 2yrs and it was nice to see that trend disrupted. It is hard for me to
imagine, but this score is almost twice what I had for Sept VHF contest! This
score is my second highest in the last eight years, for the Jan contest.
The were no 6 meter Es contacts and the only 6m Es signal heard was K5QE mega
station a couple of times, but never more than maybe S2 and so briefly that
there was no chance of a QSO. Perhaps it was meteor scatter, but it didn't seem
so. Speaking of MS, I agreed to 3 skeds, but lost the first attempt with
software issues that were not resolved in time to salvage the sked. The second
sked (6m) yielded only one ping with his call. The last sked was with Jeff
K1TEO and we did work, but it required 25min to complete. "Normally"
Jeff and I complete within 5 or 6 min, but Jan "rocks" are fewer in
number it seems. Crazy!! Others report that they too saw few
Local conditions started out pretty darn good for the first couple of hours.
Our temperature was way above normal (30s) and tropo seemed to be up too. But
then a small front came through and conditions took a dive. Tropo then seemed
to be below "winter normal" for the balance of the contest period.
AC0RA/R, W9FZ/R, KA9VVQ/R, KC0P/R and N0HZO/R accounted for 26 of my 110
QSOs. All but two of the QSOs were at distances of greater than 200miles. None
of the rovers were worked above 432. Home station operators are on the decline
and few "new" stations are joining into the VHF contest fun. That
being said a couple of NEW calls were added to the log and I hope they will
The best period of activity was at the start of the contest and that was no
tidal wave. Things were very slow but steady until early evening. Then it was
dead .... By the time I shut down for the night, my contest total already
equaled the disastrous Jan 2014 score. Sunday was slow, spotty and conditions
were very poor all day. The score built very very slowly.
In the end, it was an enjoyable contest after several that have NOT been fun
at all. I do hope that the improvement in score/activity was not an fluke, but
an indication that perhaps activity might improve. Thank You ARRL for avoiding
NFL playoff weekend. I don't think that was a BIG deal here, but it sure didn't
help to be in competition with football.
73 Bill K0AWU EN37ed (160 miles north of Minneapolis, St Paul MN)
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