[3830] ARRL Sep VHF KD5IKG/R Limited Rover LP

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Mon Sep 13 14:38:04 PDT 2010

                    ARRL September VHF QSO Party

Call: KD5IKG/R
Operator(s): KD5IKG
Station: KD5IKG/R

Class: Limited Rover LP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    6:  16      3
    2:  20      6
  222:   6      4
  432:  12      4
Total:  54     24  Total Score = 1,728

Club: Nacogdoches ARC


Well, conditions were poor for this limited rover. What was new was that there
was not a hurricane that kept us off the air in STX, local radio conditions
were poor.  Lost the 2-meter beam before we ever got on the road.  The whole
trailer hitch antenna array fell off the stand. No parts to fix the 2 meter
beam, so pulled it off and added another beam for 222, just in case I was able
to borrow a transverter.  Damaged the 6 meter loop which I  did not detect till
I was 100 miles from home.  Qucik trip to Lowes and then drove around for a
while to find an outlet at a friendly store that felt like sharing their power
(Yes, I asked). Lost one hour of contesting. 
Limited Rover in South Texas is should I say is LIMITED!  

We do not have the California rover packs. There is a lot of area with FEW
VHF/UHF stations on the air, was even using FM trying to drag in a few more
points.  There are more rovers in the CA packs than in my contest logbook! 
Granted it was an unusual September contest for propagation in my area or
should I say lack thereof.

If it were not for a couple a big stations, some grids would have been on the
air but with no one to listen to them. Two lucky hams grabbed EL28 from a quick
trip to the beach with the daughter on Sunday morning.

You would think that with Houston in EL 29, I could rack up the points, nope,
other than K5QE, NR5M and K5GZR there were only a few others that I was able to
grab.  Did hear a few other rovers working the big stations, just out of my
reach. (That would have been the Dallas and NTX rovers).  If I went to 146.52
and announce that I was on 146.55, I could have brought in a lot more contacts
because there is a BIG 146.52 FM simplex group in the Houston area.

It would be nice if ARRL would ever change the rules and would send out a few
certificates out for more than "First Place" in the rover divisions.  Paper is
cheap, but priceless when it is hanging on the wall in the shack!  It is
increasingly hard to justify the gas money to the XYL with nothing to show on
the wall.  I’m sure there are other rovers in the same situation…. Fuel is
not going to get cheaper.

With three in college, budget limited, the building of a traditional and
unlimited rovers are out of my reach.  Maybe a "Stock" class could be added. 
Unless there is a sudden surge of rovers for a pack in STX I will never be able
to compete with the "rovers" in the more ham densely ham populated areas of
California and New England (or Dallas for that matter). In all reality, there
is not much driving force for new rovers in my area because the awards are
unreachable due to the low contesting ham population density.  That‘s an
idea, a STX award, NTX award and OK award….. Yes, I  know, you get the idea. 
Anyone listening in CT?  We want to grow the VHF/UHF contesting!  Paper is
CHEAP.  I have awards as a fixed station in MS with scores lower than my rover
scores in STX, go figure…

I will say that the "Family rule" was a GREAT addition for contesting, when my
daughters were still at home and not in college, we were worth a lot more
points when out in the field and brought in a lot more attention when we had
three hams in the car, two being YL's.

Till this year I have been a 2 band limited rover, this year I added 432 and
now with this contest, added 222 with the loan of some equipment halfway
through the trip.  

Well, there you are, all my ranting is done!

Look for US in January, the youngest daughter now wants to get her ticket! 
Hummm, that trip to the beach in the middle of the contest may have paid off in
more ways than one.....

73's de KD5IKG/R

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