[3830] ARRL Sep VHF N0JK Single Op Port QRP

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Fri Sep 17 19:57:49 PDT 2010

                    ARRL September VHF QSO Party

Call: N0JK
Operator(s): N0JK
Station: N0JK

Class: Single Op Port QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 5

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    6:  11     10
    2:  35     21
  432:  26     18
Total:  72     49  Total Score = 4,802



Strong regional tropo across the Heartland early Sunday morning in the contest.
Very strong signals out to 400 - 500 miles. 
This was a "top --> down" type of opening with very strong ducting on UHF and
microwaves, and progressively weaker signals on lower frequencies. A real
treat for the rovers and low power portables who were able to work hundreds of
miles on 432, 902 1296 and 2304 MHz with low power and small antennas. The
little pistols got out like the big gun stations. I put a N6NB 8 el Quagi
together Saturday afternoon to get on 432 MHz. Total cost about $5. I made 26
QSOs in 18 grids with it, best DX to K2DRH in EN41. Figure it tripled my score.
Not a bad return on a $5 investment!

I completed with K2DRH en41 and W0FY em48 with S-9 signals on 432 MHz with 10 W
and the 8 el quagi. WQ0P and others reported working K2DRH with loud signals on
the microwaves. Rover W9FZ was in the "sweet spot" in EM39 working many
microwave QSOs.
The tropo did not reach 50 MHz when K2DRH and I went there -- we did work but
via meteor-scatter. Not bad for 10W and a 2 element yagi. I managed to work
K0WYN Jefferson City, MO on 6M tropo (I had worked K0WYN on 6M tropo back in
the September 1973 VHF QSO Party!) -- but his signal was much weaker on 6 vs. 2
or 432 MHz. This implies a relatively thin but dense tropo ducting layer . The
furthest I worked on 2M tropo was EN50 in Illinois -  it was KO2R/r !

Tropo seemed to burn off by 1700 utc on Sunday. Hepburn's tropo prediction map
suggested the tropo might extend on to KY, IN, OH, etc but none heard from
those states.

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