webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Jul 24 08:31:17 EDT 2018

                    CQ Worldwide VHF Contest

Call: K1TEO
Operator(s): K1TEO
Station: K1TEO

Class: SOSB/6 HP
Operating Time (hrs): 11

 Band  QSOs  Mults
    6:  385   169
Total:  385   169  Total Score = 65,065

Club: North East Weak Signal Group


After losing my main tower and all the antennas on my other tower during a
microburst in Mid-May, I finally got back on 6 Meters a few days before the
contest. That meant that though I have  always been on 6 and 2 in this contest, 
this time I was just on 6. I put up 3 X 5 el on the band on a third tower that
has basically been out of use for the last decade. The array seemed to work well
though it is surrounded by trees that have grown up around it in the 28 years
since I first put up this tower. The dense foliage is an issue and probably
particularly Saturday night and Sunday morning as the leaves were wet from heavy

Unfortunately I couldn't be on full time as I had 2 family events over the
weekend. I was able to put in about 5 hours Saturday and 6 on Sunday. I got home
Saturday around 2100z and found the band open. The next 2 hours were the
highlight of the weekend with hours of 73 and 91 and good Es during that
timeframe. I saw that EU was being worked mostly on FT8 but stayed west to work
SSB and CW at a a much faster pace. A good deal of double hop was worked
including 19 DM grids as well as DN, DO, CM and CN grids. As it turned out those
2 hours and the earlier hours I missed were probably the best condx of the
weekend from my QTH as I never worked more than 33 QSO's in any hour after that.

Much has been said about FT8 and I gave that mode a try. It was good to have it
since I was single band and condx weren't great most of the time I was on. 
There was always somebody to work on 313. It probably worked best the last  hour
or so I was on as SSB and CW were non-productive and there were just locals on
313. They were a lot easier to work without the deluge of stations when the band
is open. 

I had the same issues everyone else had with Contest mode etc. After about 10
QSO's on FT8 I just kept CM off but had it checked so if someone was in CM I
could just click "Generate Std Messages" quickly to change over. I
will say that there were a lot more stations in the June contest using CM than
in this one suggesting many of the stations on 313 were not in the contest. 

I did use FT8 Sunday morning when the band was open to EU. It was fun to see
10-15 decodes every sequence with EU calls but I didn't do all that well. I
worked G, EI, GM, F, DL, ON, PA, EA, EA6, CT,IS, and LY but also heard stations
(often multiple) in YO,LX, LZ, OE, HB9,  SP, UT, SV, GD, I, 9H,  and 2 stations
in 9K2. That would have been a new one so I DX'd a bit and called 9K2GS for
about 10 minutes. Although he was just calling CQ most of that time I never was
able to raise him as he fluctuated between -2 and -10 DB. One frustration was
that I started to work about a dozen EU stations and got through TX 3 and
somtimes TX4 but just wasn't able to finish. I guess either QRM or QSB was the
issue. The other frustration was that many EU stations were +1 to +12 DB and in
my mind that should make for easy SSB/CW QSO's. But calling and listening on
those modes only netted 1 SSB and 3 CW EU QSO's during this timeframe. In total
though I heard over 150 EU stations I only worked 26 Sunday morning (I also
wroked 2 EA8's Saturday who called in off the back on SSB during the first 2
hours I was on). 

One thing I definitely missed in this contest was the ability to move back and
forth between 6 and 2 to make QSO's. The band was slow Saturday night and much
of Sunday and it would have been more interesting to move over to 2 and make
some Q's to keep busy. 

Anway, it's nice to be back on 6 and next stop is to rebuild the antennas on the
tower that lost them during the storm. Later this fall if all goes well I will
replace the tower that came down and eventually be back on all 10 VHF and up

Tnx to CQ for sponsoring the event and to all for the QSO's. 


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