[VHFcontesting] Proposed VHF Rule Changes

Robert Cumming w2bzy at cfl.rr.com
Tue Feb 24 14:18:44 EST 2004

I have been reading all the messages on this thread for the past week or so 
and have come to the point of having to kick in my $0.02.

Having been a VHF'er since the mid 50's in the famous NE activity corner of 
the US for many years who moved just over a decade ago to the once VHF/UHF 
barren flatlands of the Florida peninsula, I feel that Dave, W1WHS's 
comments on  this matter are right on target.  The main point is that most 
people will take whatever means needed to justify their investment in 
equipment vs. the amount of activity on a particular band.  Here in central 
Florida the conditions exist for Tropo both across the Gulf into Texas and 
up the coast to the Mid Atlantic States.

When I first got to Florida in 1992 there were only a handful of stations 
on 1296 and no activity on 903 or 2304 and up.  Thanks to the encouragement 
of Chuck,  K0VXM, I got going on 903 and soon there after on 2304.   If 
there is activity use will occur.  From almost no activity to what is now a 
growing group of 903+ operators here in Central Florida is truly amazing, 
but without the 3 times a year ARRL Contest to encourage activity, who 
knows.  I can relate to Dave's (W1WHS) 10 GHz tales.  Here on the Florida 
peninsula, there was no 10 GHz activity until recently when K0VXM, WA8TTM 
and others started populating the Microwaves with signals.  At the recent 
HamCation here in Orlando, I bit the bullet and finally got that 10 GHz 
Transverter from Downeast Microwave and should be ready to run in the June 

We don't need less activity on ANY of the VHF bands and I fully support 
anything that increases activity.  This is really important in the less 
densely populated areas  like Northern Maine and Florida (to mention a few) 
where the VHF population is "off the beaten path".

What W1WHS states is absolutely correct.  Rovers can create activity.  Here 
in Florida rovers can generate a pileup on 2M and we welcome them, anything 
beats listening to noise.  Yes the June contest usually has enough e-skip 
to keep you busy on 6M, but early morning usually gives us activity  on 
903+ and keeps the contest going.  If only we could get the rovers to pack 
their "Rover mobiles" with microwave equipment also then we might have a 
epiphany of microwave activity here.

The prospect of such activity  has spawned the FLWSS (Florida Weak Signal 
Society) group with a weekly net on 432.100 to give those interested in 
VHF+ activity a place to gather and trade ideas.  The group had its first 
formal Hamfest get together at the Orlando HamCation with over 30 attendees 
(including Steve and Sandra of DEMI fame).    Most attendees are active on 
the big 3 (50, 144, 432  MHZ) but there are quite a few others active on 
222 (don't take any steps to decrease activity here) and 1296.  Steve, 
N2CEI,  saw people interested in getting on 2304 and up at DEMI's HamCation 
booth and he left for home with a lighter load of transverters and other 
equipment than he came with.  I hope. as president of the host club (The 
Orlando Amateur Radio Club) that his wallet was heavier!

As to the prospects for Tropo across the Gulf of Mexico into TX,  one 
station of the North American 3456 Tropo record is here in EL98 
(WA8TTM).  Ron is one of the shining stars of Ham Radio activity here in 
Central Florida.  He is active on all bands from 1.8MHz to 24 GHz.  As to 
myself, I can only claim 160M to 13CM but 3CM will be on the air soon from 
this station thanks to the surge in microwave activity here.  Please don't 
do anything to jeopardize that like discouraging Rovers (even captive ones, 
whatever that means) or eliminating any VHF+ frequency from any VHF+ contest.

End of Rant

VRY 73

Bob Cumming
QRV 160M through 13 CM (3 CM soon)
 From EL98hr  (you all point those antennas south now)

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