[VHFcontesting] ARRL VHF+ contest proposals: input invited

Buck Calabro Buck.Calabro at commsoft.net
Tue Feb 24 17:54:44 EST 2004

My friend, you sound like a man after my own heart.  When I got my ticket in Jan '01, I bought a 2m HT.  Poking around with it, I stumbled across 146.55 simplex and heard all these people calling CQ Contest.  I finally answered one of them and asked what the contest was.  The ham on the other end (N2SQO - I remember to this day!) explained it to me and advised me that I would be very popular if I called CQ myself.  I did and it was like fresh meat to the lions!  I must have worked 10 people in 2 minutes.  That was enough to get me started.

I was very fortunate to hear about a 'builders group' on the local repeater and came to meet one of the guys who's in one of the local Big Gun contest stations, who inspired me to go out roving, and to start building my own microwave gear.  It's a lot of work, but it is INCREDIBLE!  Talking for a hundred miles on milliwatts with a tennis ball can for an antenna!  I love it.  And don't be intimidated by the big stations - if they're contesting, they want to talk to you.  Last year the folks in Maine spent a long time digging me out of the noise, even though I know very well that they already had my grid in their book.  It was probably routine for them, but it was a thrill for me to put them in MY log!

Very glad you posted your impression of the proposed rules changes.  I feel a little bit alone being a beginner among all these Very Serious contesters.  Stick with it and remember that every QSO you make adds to your experience.  I get on 50.127 and call CQ many nights on my way home.  Every so often I'll work someone far away, and that's exciting!

I debated whether to copy the VHF reflector, but I think that explaining how exciting this microwave contesting is to me might be of some public value.

  --buck KC2HIZ

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