[VHFcontesting] 432 Sprint

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Thu Oct 8 05:10:24 PDT 2009

Hi VHFers,
I  had fun in the 432 Sprint. The wx conditions were not very good for enhanced conditions. In fact they were awful. dark clouds scudding across the sky, high winds, and cool temperatures marked the front passage earlier in the day. Conditions were never very good. I never detected any minor enhancement on anyone. K1RZ in FM19 for example, was always S3 or S4 at best, whenever I heard him. 
    I spent a lot of time calling out to the west, but never heard much.  I missed a few grids out there that have been easy to work in the past. No FN03, FN02, FN13, FN11 etc. Thanks to KA2LIM and N2SLN for FN12 and FN22!! I heard no one to my north and northeast. Adjacent grids FN53, FN54, and FN44 had no activity. The whole area to my NE provided no contacts. There were missing grids as well down the coast thru RF alley (NY and Philly).  At the start of the contest, I heard K3CB working K4QI, but Russ was not audible up here. I never heard K4QI all evening, but I was looking for him. I also spent some time with my antenna peaked on the  NC coast looking for K1MAP, but no joy this time.
    I heard complaints that signals sounded distorted, and I would agree that there was very rapid flutter on many signals. The rate was very high and it imparted an audio artifact to certain signals even when beams were aligned. I heard it on K1PXE and others. If the antennas were not aligned, copy was difficult on many stations due to multipath phase distortion. I heard VE2ZAZ calling CQ and he peaked at 260 degrees. His normal heading is about 315 degrees. His CW sounded like AU buzz due to the multipath reflections. He must have had his beam aimed southwest.
    Thanks to all who were on to make a fun evening. N1SV gets the persistence award. He was relentless in digging up contacts from a "small" (50 watt) station. I quit a bit before 10PM. I was sorry to miss K1TEO who was getting on late. My last Q was with WA2FGK, who also got on late for my only FN21 QSO. I ended up with 39 QSOs in 15 grids. 

Dave K1WHS

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