[CQ-Contest] VHF Contest - an oxymoron?

Tree N6TR tree at kkn.net
Wed Jun 6 14:22:54 EDT 2001

For those of you who might not know it, one of the biggest VHF contests
is coming up this weekend.  The ARRL June VHF Contest starts at 1800Z
on Saturday and goes until 0300 on Monday.  All bands > 50 MHz (except
the UK 4 metre band) are included.

I have decided to challenge one of the local VHF types (who even owns
a pretty nice HF station) to tete-a-tete competition.  This is a rather
crazy thing to do, since he lives on a hilltop and has more VHF/UHF
yagis than I have elements on my HF beams.

This insanity was furthur enabled by W7NI, who loaned me a mostly
complete station for 144, 222 and 432 MHz.  When this is added to
my six meter setup (which is capable of hearing echoes off the moon),
it adds up to a nice VHF contest station.

During the last two weeks, the K7RAT station has been reconfigured
from a half decent HF contest station to a similar level VHF station.
Putting up all of these new antennas and making them work brings back
the thrill experienced when I put up my first antennas.  Assembling
a 28 element beam is pretty exciting, even if the elements are only
12 inches long.  Discovering new propagation modes that I didn't
even know were possible adds even more to the fun.  Imagine, there
are people 1000 miles away who think they can work me on 144 MHz!

Probably one of the biggest surprises to me is that the average
person you work on VHF actually looks forward to the contest.  I
have heard many people talking about it during the normal QSOs.
People are actually going the extra mile (or 300 miles) to put a
rare grid on the air for the contesters to work.  When is the last
time you heard of someone on 75 phone talking like that before
a contest?

There are a lot of new hams (yes - even some who don't know the
code yet) on the VHF bands.  We should take advantage of these
contests to help show them how much fun they can be.

At any rate - I hope that you will consider turning on your VHF/UHF
radio this weekend and give out a few QSOs to the deserving.

73 Tree N6TR
n6tr at contesting.com

PS: When is the FQP?

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