[3830] ARRL Aug UHF K2DRH Single Op LP

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Mon Aug 9 18:07:46 EDT 2004

                    ARRL August UHF QSO Party

Call: K2DRH
Operator(s): K2DRH
Station: K2DRH

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 19

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  222:   68    33
  432:   78    37
  903:   46    22
  1.2:   55    28
  2.3:   19    17
Total:  266   137  Total Score = 174,264



This was the year of the Rover here in the Midwest!  K0PG, K9ILT, W0AMT, KF0Q,
K9AKS, N0HJZ, K9JK and WB8BZK rovers all made it into my log, most from several
grids!  I had the pleasure of working K0PG and K9ILT from every grid they
visited on 4 bands!  It might have been five bands if their new 2304 transverter
hadn’t gotten lost in shipping, then showed up DOA on Thursday before the
contest.   My hat’s off to the Northern Lights Radio Society for really getting
out their rovers and publishing where they would be throughout the contest. 
Maybe that’s not necessary in the Northeast, but with the wider distances
involved out here in the Midwest it sure made a big difference!  Most of the
rovers out here sport serious gain arrays too!

The bands seemed really good and 902/3 and 1296 were really in good shape. 
200-300 mile contacts seemed much easier than usual, especially to the north and
east .  Many of the rovers had really good signals on these bands even 3 or 4
grids away, and working Curt N9AKS in EM39 and EM49 on 1296 was almost easy! 
I’m really glad I went through all the work to add 2304 in June since there was
lots of 2304 activity here for this contest.  KF0Q/R had a really killer signal
on 2304 and claimed I was rattling his receiver at every stop!   Those 76el
Directive Systems loopers really work.  Thanks Dave!  There were very few
stations that I couldn’t work.  That band alone added 50K to my score!  It sure
helped that Matt, as well as many other rovers, had GPS units that read out in 6
digit grid squares, perfect for getting those really sharp blowtorch antennas
right on them.

There didn’t seem to be a lot of activity from the east or south this time.  I
heard relatively few Chicago stations, and didn’t even work the next grid EN51
on 4 of my 5 bands.  Most of the multiband stalwarts were there, but not as many
of the other stations I often work on 222 and 432 in the other contests. 
Somehow I suspect most folks may not have the confidence in their stations for
calling and listening on 432, where most of the contacts in this contest
originate.  During the other contests most folks hang out on 2M or 6M and QSY’s
from there.  It’s really a hoot to call CQ on 432 or 222 and get answers.  It
still amazes me just how well it does work!  I even worked a few stations that
caught me on 902/3 or 1296 while working someone else.  One thing for sure, the
rotors really get a workout since you’ve got to keep the antennas moving almost
all the time!

I love SOLP class and find it amazing what you can do with 100W and big stacked
arrays on 222 and 432, and only 10W on the higher bands.  But  I still wish they
would raise that a bit.  It’s the same level that the QRP portable stations run!
 Of course with antenna gains in excess of 20 db, even 10W right at the antenna
puts out a pretty potent signal when conditions are good.   When the final bell
went off, I found that thanks to the rovers and the multiband stalwarts, I was
able to double my old SOLP category record high score from 84K to almost 175K! 
A good day indeed and maybe a fitting way to perform in the last UHF contest, if
the ARLL decides to kill it next year.  From where I sit, there sure seemed to
be healthy interest here in the Midwest and the scores just keep going up!

73 de Bob

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