ARRL 10G+ K1RZ 10G Only
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Fri Oct 2 18:04:47 EDT 2020
ARRL 10 GHz and Up Contest - 2020
Class: 10G Only HP
Operating Time (hrs): 33
Band Number of Calls Tot Dist(km)
10G: 50 23770
Total: 50 23770 Total Score = 28,770
Club: Mt Airy VHF Radio Club
Team: AF1T K1RZ K3TUF K3WHC W1MKY
Round 1. Arrived at Block Island RI FN41EE Monday August 10th with our Dale
AF1T, Mickie W1MKY and Steve K3WHC team. We four started a week of good eating,
great laughter, and fine ham radio on 10 GHz, the rest of the week. On
Wednesday August 12th I received a cell call from Gene WA4PGI at his beacon site
in FM07BW. Gene was hoping we could make a quick test on 10 GHz from his fire
tower thinking I was at home in Maryland at FM19JH. With me on Block Island
though we laughed for a moment, and then sent dashes for a few minutes to find
that the tropo path was not there for us. But I quickly checked Andy K0SM’s
new web-based Rainscatter.com program on my smartphone and the app showed a
“red dot” solution on a rain cell off the Delaware coast. I passed Gene the
bearing and sure enough we tried and the path was productive, and we made the CW
contact. This contact remains my new best DX on 10 GHz at 795 km.
The contest started at 0600 Saturday morning with Dale, Mickie, Steve and I
ready to make some contacts. And that we did. Saturday was fun with a lot of
stations in our logs from all over the east coast. This contest is unique in
that operators are out portable all over the region at prominent points with
plans to make contacts with others, often planned operations to be “there”
when other operators are at their prominent spots. So a map of the region
looks like a chess board with all the players moving across the board to
maximize the distance opportunities that could exist with as many of the other
operators as possible. Best DX for me for this contest was 629 km’s
Saturday with John N9ZL in FM08US at the Hogback Overlook on Skyline Drive south
of Front Royal Virginia.
But Sunday was a different story. After starting again about 0600 and working
operators across the region for a few hours, at 0930 the rain and wind came over
the island. My set-up is open frame construction – so not ready for wetness,
let alone a wind driven rain storm. I put a 50 gallon plastic bag over the
gear, secured it bungy cord and headed inside for the rest of the day. Not the
WX we four had experienced out there in past years. I found some interesting
reading material. On the other hand, Dale’s gear was enclosed and, with his
personal rain gear in place, he continued onward making some more contacts.
Round 2. Phil K3TUF, Steve K3WHC and I teamed up and arrived on Friday
afternoon September 18 at Mountain Top PA in FN21BE to survey a new site.
Great site. We returned Saturday morning and set up our rigs and got on in the
6 o’clock hour. As expected we worked Ray N3RG in FM29KI before 7am, giving
us the needed bearing we needed to calibrate the compass rose. But what was
not expected was that before sunrise the temperature was 35 degrees with the
wind out of the NE at 20 mph, howling across the mountain top. Brrrrrr.
Fingers were stiff and swelling up due to the windchill. But the contacts were
coming, but not at the distances we expected. This reminded me of conditions
that would be expected with the very cold, January-like day, the distant
contacts with other operators were significantly weaker than we all expected.
And some other attempts with stations across the region did not produce the
contacts we all expected. Just Too Cold. We did work Dale AF1T and Mickie
W1MKY in both their Martha's Vineyard Grids.
Sunday started much the same but the temperature was up at 39 degrees and the
wind was much lower than Saturday. Almost balmy by comparison. HaHa. We
did work the Dave K2DH, Rus K2UA, Tony K8ZR and Mike N2MG group on Mt Equinox
and on Mt Greylock. And we also worked Peter VA3ELE and Hugh VA3TO in three
grids on the north side Lake Ontario. Comparing notes with other operators
others had similar cold inhibited propagation experiences. I feel confident it
will be warmer next year. We will return to this site.
We left late afternoon Sunday and I returned home to Maryland FM19JH by about
2000 local and made seven more contacts with the stalwart operators who stayed
to the bitter end. With best DX from home to Dale AF1T at FN41QL at 608 km’s.
Thanks to some aircraft flying near the path that evening. Thanks to
everyone who got on this year. See you next year. Dave K1RZ
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