What a great contest for me! I am still a new to contesting and have no real
set up but did have a great time and what I personally consider a great score
all things considered.
This was my third VHF contest and just my fourth contest overall. However this
time I was able to participate with a new 6 meter beam. I picked up a 4
element 6 meter beam to use for Field Day wanted to give it a try. I put in on
a fiberglass pole about 12’ in the air. Being in the flat land of Indiana,
there was no natural height so that was it.
I made a quick QSO to Texas Saturday morning 4 or 5 hours before the contest so
I knew the antenna was working. I didn’t think to compare it to my 6M – 20M
vertical antenna on my roof. When the contest started, I made just three
contacts in my first 4 hours and two of them were local in my own county.
However I was not discouraged and kept plugging away. The only bad aspect was
the antenna need rotated by hand so I made a lot of trips outside repositioning
the beam. With a nice opening I managed to end Saturday with 19 contacts
before bedtime. (OK, real contesters don’t sleep but I did. *grin*)
Sunday morning started off with a bang and I have never heard so much activity
on the band. I am still slow logging and in fact I usually write down the call
and grid before I ever answer a CQ. I was only once the one calling CQ that
resulted in a pile up and that was on HF during the Indiana QSO Party. I know
I lost a couple of contacts due to my poor logging skills so with the band open
big time, I didn’t bother calling CQ in this opening. I just stuck to find
others calling CQ.
My highlight on Sunday was contacting KR1ST/R in FM02 on my first try . That
was pretty exciting!
Sadly the opening was cut short when I received a weather alert that stated a
40 MPH gust front was heading in my direction in 30 minutes. I quickly
dismantled the antenna to prevent damage. I also knew rain was coming a little
later and my grass needed mowed sometime on Sunday since I was not going to be
home the rest of the week so I didn't get back on during the opening.
I did plan on getting back on with my vertical later Sunday but severe weather
came through and I had to go spot followed with an 8 or 9 hour power outage.
(I was too lazy to get out the generator I use for Field Day.)
In the end I finished with a modest score with 30 contacts, 23 grids, and 690
points. The main point for me was to have fun which I did. The next VHF
contest in July will see me with the 6 meter beam on top of the 10’ climbing
tower on my roof of a 2 story home. In conjunction with that will be a 10
element 2 meter beam so I can run both bands and have a rotor. (Ah the
I do have a question; I have not pursued any grid squares for an award but
think I have enough experience now to start collecting. What is the
best/official method to keep track?
Thanks again to everyone for a fun contest and extra thanks to those that made
contact with me.
EN60vl - Kokomo, Indiana
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