[SCCC] SCCC Enters ARRL VHF Contest This Weekend

Marty Woll n6vi at socal.rr.com
Tue Sep 7 13:52:34 PDT 2010

Hi, all.

The last of the summer-season VHF contests takes place this coming weekend.  The ARRL September VHF QSO Party runs from Saturday Sept. 11 at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time (1800 UTC) until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 (0300 Monday Sept. 13 UTC).   SCCC is once again going for the gold, and we need your scores to boost our club aggregate.

I'm working the Sprint or otherwise can't be on much of the time; what are the best times to make contacts?

If you have to limit your time, concentrate on the first eight hours of the contest.  You may also pick up some casual activity on Sunday morning.  Our SCCC Intrepid Rover Pack will be starting in Orange County (Signal Peak) and moving through the L. A. basin and San Fernando Valley Saturday afternoon, so catch them while they're on the road.  For those of you in the San Diego area, the PAPA repeater system picnic runs from 9:00a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday at Double Peak Park in San Marcos, and many of the attendees will be trolling the simplex frequencies, providing a potentail pool of additional contacts on several bands.   At a minimum, I suggest getting on for the first five minutes of every hour; if everyone does at least this much, the chance of finding one another and completing contacts is increased.  Many of you have advantageous locations that provide good VHF coverage, so you might be a Big Gun even with modest power.  All of you should look for N6NB, who will be QRP portable in the Tehacapi mountains (DM05).

What frequencies should I try?

On six meters, practically all the activity will be on SSB between 50.125 and 50.200, mostly toward the lower end of that range if e-skip is light or non-existent.  Some stations will drop just below 50.100 for some cw if they suspect some weak distant openings.

On two meter FM, listen / call on 146.550 and 146.580 simplex.  The use of 146.520 (national calling frequency), repeaters and repeater frequencies are prohibited in this and most contests for both making and soliciting contacts.

On two meter SSB, most activity will be between 144.190 and 144.250, tending to cluster near 144.200.

On 222 MHz, nearly all the activity will be FM on 223.500 (it's ok to use this national calling frequency).  The few stations with 222 SSB wil be near 222.100.

On 70 cm FM, nearly all activity is on 446.000 simplex.

On 70cm SSB, the activity will concentrate between 432.100 and 432.120. 

On 23cm FM, check the nation calling frequency of 1294.500, but listen for possible FM activity around 1296.100.  (Don't call here unless you hear someone else calling or have made a schedule here.  It's the weak-signal part of the band, but stations using transverters generally can't get down to 1294.5 unless they have a separate FM-only mobile rig, so someone you worked on a lower band may offer meet you above 1296 for a quick FM contact if that's all you have.)

For 23cm SSB, activity will be at and above 1296.100

What about antenna polarization?

Most VHF / UHF SSB operators use horizontally polarized antennas, while most FM-only stations use verticals.  Rovers typically use mostly horizontal antennas regardless of mode.  (You can fit only so many antennas on the roof of a car!)  Use what you have, but if you can put up both orientations (such as a small beam and a mag-mount whip), you can switch to whatever works best for each contact.

What's the exchange?

It's 4-character grid square (e.g., DM04, DM13, etc.).  You can find your own grid square by entering your callsign on QRZ.COM and clicking on "Detail". There's no need for the last two letters in this event; just use the first four characters (DMxx).  You may work another station once on each band, regardless of mode, unless at least one of you moves to a different grid square (i.e, roves).

We hope to hear you on the air this weekend.


Marty N6VI

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