[CQ-Contest] 2011 January VHF Sweepstakes - Fire it Up!

Joel Harrison w5zn at w5zn.org
Wed Jan 19 09:11:43 PST 2011

In just a few short days we will have the 64th running of the January ARRL
VHF Sweepstakes. This contest began in January, 1948 and resulted in almost
400 log submissions! Pretty impressive for the time but as F.E. Handy, W1BDI
stated in the announcement of the "First V.H.F. Sweepstakes" on page 68 of
January, 1948 QST "Activity on v.h.f. is at an all-time high.." Historically
this has been on of the most popular VHF contests throughout the years.


Over the years, this contest has provided some surprisingly intense
propagation excitement. Today, with modes enhanced by recent technology for
meteor scatter and EME, stations with just single yagis and low to medium
power can have not only a lot of fun with some very interesting contacts but
be quite successful and competitive in the contest as well. To learn more
about those modes visit http://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/ as
well as http://www.ykc.com/wa5ufh and you can follow the action at
http://www.pingjockey.net/cgi-bin/pingtalk for meteors and
http://www.chris.org/cgi-bin/jt65emeA for EME.


If that isn't enough to tweak your interest in recent days 6 meters has been
opened from the mid and western U.S. to ZL and VK. Over the past few years
50 MHz has been very active during contest times now that 6 meters is pretty
much standard on all HF radios. Regardless of your home station size whether
in the house or in the car as a rover get on and be a part of the VHF
contest excitement. It is not uncommon during peak propagation times over a
contest weekend to work 100 grids on 6 meters to qualify for a VUCC award
and now that VUCC is supported in LoTW confirmation could not be easier!
This contest is also a great place to start work toward earning the Fred
Fish Memorial Award (FFMA) http://www.arrl.org/ffma of which only 3 radio
amateurs have qualified for, one being Fred Fish, W5FF (SK) himself.


The official contest announcement is on page 84 of December 2010 QST and at
http://www.arrl.org/news/aim-high-in-the-arrl-january-vhf-sweepstakes. The
rules can be found at http://www.arrl.org/january-vhf-sweepstakes


So even if you're just an HF contester hit the 50 MHz button (or
144/222/432!) on your radio and enjoy the excitement of a VHF contest this
weekend. If you want to learn more about VHF contesting plan to attend the
2011 Contest University in Dayton this year. A very informative VHF session
has been scheduled each year at CTU and presented by various well known,
successful VHF contesters.


I'll see you this weekend from EM45!


73 - Joel, W5ZN

Zilla Contest Group

Team W5ZN


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