[VHFcontesting] Increasing activity
Stephen Hicks, N5AC
n5ac at n5ac.com
Sun Feb 20 09:29:36 EST 2005
I've seen a lot of good suggestions on increasing activity. I had not done
any contesting (save Field Day) before this year and I had no equipment on
SSB above 50MHz until last year. I have always wanted a 2m SSB rig and had
eyed the TM-751 series radios when I was younger and in college (20 years
ago). I could never afford to spend $700 for a SSB rig I didn't know I
would work anyone on.
I had always been interested in building radios and working folks on new
modes and bands. I was one of the first in Texas with a packet BBS that
forwarded messaging traffic.
I had also felt like the folks in microwaves were unapproachable because
they seemed to know SO much more than me about RF, propogation, building RF
systems, etc. Just to give you a clue, last summer I thought that a
transverter multiplied the IF signal and something had to be done to reduce
the bandwidth (for example a 144 MHz IF going to 220 would double the
When I bought a FT-957D for my truck last summer, though, I suddenly had a
rig on 2m/440 SSB. I went to microwave update in Dallas in October and I
saw I could build radios and get on lots of bands relatively inexpensively.
I now have transverters on 220, 902, 1.2 and 10GHz and I'm building them for
2304 and 3456 along with Pas for both of these bands.
I've had so much fun on the microwave bands, working with the GREAT folks
I've met (they are not unapproachable, I was just concerned to appear
stuipd) and reading and learning.
Knowing what it took to get me interested, I have offered the local ham club
to make a presentation on microwaves/contesting with the idea being that I
can show how relatively simple it is to get involved and have fun in this
aspect of the hobby.
Stephen Hicks, N5AC EM13qc
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