[VHFcontesting] 432 activity

Ed Kucharski k3dne at adelphia.net
Tue Dec 11 21:54:04 EST 2001

Activity hours used to be very popular here on the east coast.
I have noticed a trend in recent years of a decline in the number of 
stations, other
than multi-ops,  spending much time on 222MHz and up during the activity 
hours.  That is
probably due to the trend of moving stations from band to band and using 6 
and 2
meters as the "run" bands (in my case 2m which is why I'd like to improve 
my 2m
station capabilities so I can qsy more stations to 222MHz and up).
I still go to 222MHz at 8am and 8pm and 432MHz at 9am and 9pm but instead of
spending a whole hour on the band I'll spend 15-30 minutes calling CQ and 
for new stations and spinning the beams - then it is back to 2m.  I dont 
even bother
going to 903/1296MHz at 10am or 10pm because the chance of a random qso 
there is pretty
remote.  I've noticed similar styles with other single-ops in the area.

The key for me is to ask every station I work on 6 and 2 meters "any other 
bands?" to add to my
qso (and grid) total on bands other than 2m. I dont do this as well or as 
frequently as others do - I
should though. Sometimes I find myself not asking the question
because I just found this nice qrm free freq on 2m and I know that if I'm 
gone even for 5
minutes someone else will plop on that freq.  I have to remind myself 
several times during a
contest not to be so complacent about asking the question since moving a 
single station to
222, 432, 903, 1296 and 50MHz (in my case) is worth 11 2m q's - more in the 
jan vhf ss.

You may want to consider (in addition to your flyer idea) advertising your 
432 activity and
pushing the "activity hour" concept on the internet by announcing when and 
where you will be
on 432, what your most likely 2m run freqs will be (so you could qsy 
stations to 432) in
advance of the contest on this reflector, the other vhf weak sig 
reflectors, the rover resource
page and maybe even on the UHF activity logger at dxworld.
Good luck.

At 09:19 AM 12/11/01 -0800, Tree N6TR wrote:

>I have seen some references to "activity hours" for 432 in the VHF
>contests.  I was wondering how widespread this concept extends?
>During the June VHF contest, I was surprised to work 45 stations on
>432.  This increased my lifetime 432 QSO total to about 48 QSOs.  My
>station is an FT-736R - sans preamp, with a 100 watt brick.  I had a
>28 element M2 up around 55 feet.
>I am pondering what could be done with some efforts to improve activity.
>One step we are taking is to put a beacon up.  I felt really "in the dark"
>about the performance of my station until I actually started working guys
>in the contest.  Having some kind of beacon around will allow me to make
>sure my systems performance is up to snuff.  It appears I have found a good
>QTH for it - about 30 miles from my QTH.  Hopefully, it will be heard from
>Seattle down to Salem (a 200 mile corridor).
>Another step is to try and be active on the band during the week before
>the contests.
>Finally, I am thinking of sending out mailers to the 45 stations I did
>work and encouraging them to spread the word.  It would seem that
>announcing some kind of activity period - to focus the random activity
>towards would be useful.
>While most of my 432 QSOs were moved from other bands - it seems there might
>be some guys that show up here and nowhere else.
>Please share any experieces you have had.
>73 Tree N6TR / K7RAT
>tree at kkn.net
>VHFcontesting mailing list
>VHFcontesting at contesting.com

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