[VHFcontesting] K0PG/K9ILT contest report

ADUHAWK at aol.com ADUHAWK at aol.com
Thu Jun 19 01:41:03 EDT 2003

Kind of a mixed bag weekend.  Donn once asked us to give a talk on "Roving 
for Fun." We do have fun, and we did this time too, but we were a little 
disappointed that we didn't get to do all that we had planned.
We planned our usual 14 grid excursion.  As it turned out, we only got to 
nine grids, and didn't get to go to Southern Illinois to EM57/47/48/58.  We moved 
our office last week and my brother came to town.  We love seeing my brother, 
he's really a great guy, but it took away our "prep the vehicle" night.  By 
the way, this was our second outing in our SUV.  It's as close to a truck as 
we'll probably ever get, so Pat and I play "Buck and Dixie go to town" whenever 
we go for a long ride.
Anyway, we had to bag the big trip and lower our sights a bit. 

We started on top of a newly opened landfill in EN51.  They are still 
bleeding off methane, so a DuPage County Forest Preserve Ranger is always present in 
a pickup with a water tank and hose in case a fire starts.  The site is only 
open weekends April through October from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  It's about 900' 
ASL which is pretty good around here on the alluvial plain.  The glacier 
flattened this area pretty good the last time through and this spot is probably the 
highest in these parts.  We were eager to operate from here because we were 
wide open in all areas.  We pictured working lots of WI, OH, IN, MI with a 
little VE3 thrown in.  As it turned out, we did get an EN73 on 2, but everybody 
was on 6 for the right reasons.  After a while we ran up the 6m Par Moxon.  With 
the band open Pat sat in the car and worked 'em while I did the armstrong 
rotor duties. Conditions were such that I didn't notice much difference wherever 
I pointed the antenna.  For more local signals, say out to 150 miles, a quick 
turn really brought them in as I put the main lobe on the station we were 
interested in.

The extra 5 dB or so compared to the KB6KQ loop 6 feet below the Moxon didn't 
hurt.  We worked everybody we called, and we held a CQ frequency for a while 
as well.  We like the antenna, and may run the CQWW VHF with it on the tripod 
at about 12.5' above ground instead of the loop.

We were happy with the loop when in motion.  At 12.5' up it's the highest 
we've ever used while mobile and we could really tell the difference over my 38 
year old Squalo at the same height or our usual mobile whip dipole up about 
10.'  Little differences mean a lot!  The loop held up well given the fact that 
it had several run ins with lower tree branches.  We usually kill several 
thousand bugs with our antenna (Pat calls them our Orkin array) but trimming excess 
foliage was a new experience.

Anyway, not long after leaving the high spot on our way to EN60/50 we looked 
at each other and asked the dreaded question "do you smell something burning?" 
 The six meter amp had been smoked so we were down to 100 watts from 325.  
The 100 watts were completely satisfactory however, and an on we went.  Not long 
after we lost CW. I don't know why yet, but fortunately it didn't make much 
of a difference this time.

Two meters was a problem for us.  In fact one station told us that we must 
have problem on RX.  We wondered that ourselves, but the antenna and feedline 
checked out OK.  It must have been conditions.

222 and 432 were great.  We completed with almost everybody on 1296.  903 did 
not accompany us this time, but we wish it had.

Late Saturday, at our overnight stop in EN40 Pat worked some 6 meter Es, but 
the pileups were brutal.  Pat likes to tailend calls, and it proved to be 
effective using the more modest antennas we had.  

Sunday we worked lots of 2 meter and up stuff and kept checking 6 for action. 
 At contest end we were in the Home Depot parking lot next door to the home 
QTH, and we finished in a flurry.  Pat made about 15 more Qs than I, so she 
gets the family trophy this time.  The sorry condition from 2 meters on up are 
reflected in lower mult totals, but we both made about 400 Qs.  I guestimate our 
totals at about 30,000 points, but we'll find out for sure when we type the 
logs into Roverlog.  

As usual we were followed around by a group of dedicated operators.  Among 
them were the big three of Illinois: WB9Z, K2DRH and N2BJ.  Then the WI 
standouts W9GA and N9DG.  All of these stations seem to hear everything and they are 
fun to ride along with.  Our biggest disappointment was missing our MN friends 
with the exception of QRP portable K9AKS who seemed to be around all the time.

Next month we have the 2 band CQ WW contest, which we really enjoy.  No plans 
yet, but we'll try to go somewhere a little more exotic.

Thanks to everybody who took the time to look for us and get into the log.  
See you next month with a brand new show! 73, Tim and Pat 

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