[3830] ARRL Sep VHF N1PRW Single Op LP

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Tue Sep 14 12:27:45 PDT 2010

                    ARRL September VHF QSO Party

Call: N1PRW
Operator(s): N1PRW
Station: N1PRW

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 7.5

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    6:  13      3
    2:  40      8
  432:  20      5
Total:  93     16  Total Score = 1,488



This was a three-part adventure operating from two locations in my grid square.
I worked from Pack Monadnock (2290' ASL) in southwest New Hampshire on two
days, then worked the last two hours of the contest from Lynn, Massachusetts at
sea level on Lynn Shore Drive. I put more effort into this than I have into
previous contests and the results showed with 73 QSOs. Despite the good Qs,
only worked 8 squares because of flat band conditions.

Station Equipment
- Yaesu FT-817ND
- Elk 2M/440L5 portable log periodic antenna
- Yaesu factory-supplied 6m rubber whip
- 12V gel-cell batteries (2)
Max power: 5 Watts

Day One was to be a late afternoon effort on Pack Monadnock, however on arrival
at Miller State Park I discovered that the auto road gate closes at 5PM, not
sunset as expected. I opted to backpack the equipment up to the summit via the
1.4 mile trail. The good news was that this would give me the freedom to
operate well after dark.

I worked from 2240 to 0100 UTC. The summit was quiet, breezy and cool with
clear skies, no moon, and a vividly bright Milky Way. By 9PM I was getting cold
and the Qs had slacked off so I packed up and hiked down from the summit by
starlight via the auto road.

I was well equipped for 144 and 432 with a portable log periodic. I brought a
substantial 12V battery which lasted the whole session. I did not get around to
building a 50 MHz dipole so I was very weak on 50 using the whip.

This was my first contest experience with Pack Monadnock as an alternative to
Mount Wachusett. Pack Monadnock has higher altitude, however the summit road
closes earlier and the background RF noise is higher. Pack Monadnock has one
small broadcast FM at 92.1 MHz and powerful VHF paging transmitters.

On Sunday I returned to Pack Monadnock by car and was on the air before 2PM,
working until the summit closed. Many QSOs this session but mostly locals.
Rover KB1EKZ/R was there for a time. They planned to go to Cape Cod and work
from FN51 later.

After the summit closed I attempted to work from the Miller State Park base
parking lot (approx. 1500' ASL) for 30 minutes before heading home, but I got
NO QSOs from that location.

In the evening I made a quick trip to Lynn, Massachusetts to get back on the
air and attempt QSOs from the coastline, especially with the rover station. I
was on by 0130 UTC and worked the rover station on the Cape among other Qs. The
log periodic was on a tripod outside the car on the passenger side, out of
reach. When I needed to reposition the antenna I had to wait for passing
traffic to clear, get out of the car and walk around to twist it into the new
position. I was tired and tongue-tied and made a mess of some QSOs, but they
did happen and I got the FN51s I wanted.

144 frustrated me by finally opening somewhat during the last 20 minutes of the
contest. It was a mad dash for the finish line that left me with an incomplete Q
just as the clock ticked over to 0300.

My best contest, but no DX. However, I'm finally happy with my 144 and 432

Expedition photos here:

Map of squares worked:

Thanks to all worked, including those who tried successfully or not to work 50
with me. 73

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