[VHFcontesting] 50 MHz Sprint from FN43

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Sun Oct 25 07:30:38 PDT 2009

Activity seemed very poor. Maybe my antenna was shorted out, except that it was picking up the rain static exceedingly well at 58 to 59. When that was going on I could not hear anything. Between the heavy rain and the static, it was not a pleasant night. I hung around until a few minutes after nine PM. The rain was falling so hard that there was running water everywhere. The rain static was coming and going, so I finally bagged it. Maybe if I did not have to brave the outdoors to get to the ham shack and fire up the generator, I might have stayed at the rig a bit longer.
    Not sure of the score, My handwriting is a mess, but it looks like 15 grids and 28 QSOs. Some good contacts were W4TJ and K8TQK while the rain static was off. I heard W9RM very well and gave a couple of calls but no luck. When the rain static was in, I could not hear anything. It drowned out almost everyone. Quite a frustrating night. The antenna needs work. I discovered that my uptilt position has infinite VSWR and one of the antennas is stuck with a broken rotor.  
    This was the first 50 MHz Sprint I have managed to operate. Happy to work a few of the locals W1ZC, W1OUN, and KO1U were keeping northern New England hopping despite the adverse conditions. I also got to try out my new K3 on six for the first time. After a few hiccups, it was working pretty well.I found that 8 watts was good enough for full power out of the big amp. It has a second receiver, which is nice for monitoring video subcarriers or 50.125 while operating elsewhere. The built in voice and CW keyers were nice for saving the lungs. I keep forgetting the voice keyer is there!  I spent much of the time during the sprint fiddling with settings on the radio. It filled in the time when the rain static was awful and contacts were few.
    Thanks to the SE VHF Society for sponsoring an activity builder on VHF!!

Dave K1WHS

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