[VHFcontesting] [VHF] VUCC #1,712 On Indoor Antennas

Tad Danley tdanley at suddenlink.net
Sat May 29 03:19:00 PDT 2010

WOW!  Congratulations and well done, Les!  You have given me new 

Tad, K3TD

On 5/29/2010 1:20 AM, Les Rayburn wrote:
> The US Postal Service delivered a welcome surprise in today's mail. A
> beautiful certificate from the ARRL for 6 Meter VUCC # 1,712. I don't think
> I've been that excited to open something since Christmas morning 1966, when
> Santa brought  me Major Matt Mason, his Space Station, and Moon Crawler!
> I made my first VHF+ contact in December of 2008 on 2 Meter SSB, using a four
> element Yagi that was mounted in that attic in my deed restricted home. After
> another afternoon of struggling to work a net on 80 Meters using the disguised
> antennas in my backyard, I thought maybe I could finally try weak signal VHF
> stuff. The antenna was already mounted on a small rotor, and I used it for
> ARES work on distant repeaters. A quick flip turned it "Horizontal" and that
> was that.
> That brief contact started a passion for a whole new area of amateur radio,
> after being licensed for decades. I'd always been into "weak signals" but
> spent most of my time on 160 Meter CW, and doing cutting edge homebrew stuff
> on the 1750 Meter "Lowfer" band.
> My only VHF experience had been serious TV DXing, but it was nothing like
> this!
> Despite the handicap of indoor antennas, I was lucky to find a group of VHF
> Men who took me under their wings, and encouraged my interest. Jimmy Long,
> W4ZRZ has done more than anyone could ask of an Elmer or a friend. Patient,
> generous, and encouraging. He's also not beyond giving you a quick kick in the
> pants if your efforts are slacking. Thank you Jimmy!
> Jack, WA5UUD answered an unending series of stupid questions, and made an
> effort to alert me to every band opening on 6&2 since. I wouldn't be able to
> work out beyond 50 miles without the help Jack has provided.
> Marshall Williams, K5QE has really encouraged my efforts on all fronts, and
> helped me optimize my rover station this year. Still a thrill for me to even
> hear the Mighty K5QE on these indoor sticks! Thank you Marshall.
> David Hines, N3ZBK handled my QSL chores when work started to overwhelm me,
> allowing me to complete the first band in my quest. He's also become my new
> EME guru, trying to get me started on a new adventure.
> Bill, AF4OD, the SE Rover King-has donated microwave gear for my efforts, took
> me to his secret "sweet spots", and encouraged me to get out of the house and
> try my hand at roving. Neil, N4ION donated gear to get me started on 222---and
> now it's my favorite band! Thanks Neil for introducing me to the "Forgotten
> Band". Sean at the ARRL who encouraged me to become addicted to VHF Contesting
> (Like any good narcotics dealer, the first one is always free!)
> JD, N0IRS and the "Grid Bandits" who took me under their wing. How cool is it
> to be Grid Bandit #222! Bill Olson, K1DY who has tried patiently to explain
> antennas to the village idiot. Thanks, Bill for all you've done too. Ben, K4QF
> who taught me the three rules of VHF, "Be On. Be Horizontal. Be Loud." Or has
> he likes to add, "In your case, two out three ain't bad".
> Judge Van Deacon&  The gang at the Ocoee Amateur Radio Club from my hometown
> of Cleveland, TN who stopped their contest efforts to help repair my rover in
> the rain last year. You guys rock! Marcus, KF4YHP, who helped engineer the
> rover antenna system, and kept my spirits up when I got down on the handicap
> of indoor antennas.
> Gene, W3ZZ has challenged me and chided me too on occasion...thanks for your
> patience and inspiration Gene. The gang on "Ping Jockey" for giving me the
> thrill of working the "Rox" which became my secret weapon. And all the VHF Men
> on these lists who have endured my endless stories, mindless questions, and
> often ill informed opinions. I've learned so much from you all!
> Lastly, I have to thank two really special people. Rex, W5RCI, who told me
> only days before he fell ill that my 222 signal was so loud, he might consider
> passing the mantle of "Mr. 222" on to me. What a thrill it was to work him on
> CW on 432 and 1.2 Ghz. It's not often one gets a chance to play baseball with
> a Hank Aaron, or Babe Ruth, but I can truly say that I worked the legend. Rex
> is still missed every morning here on .200.
> And my XYL, Abby Rayburn, who has endured being a ham's wife for 28 years.
> She's also been my faithful rover partner, designed and built a custom PVC
> rack for my rover, and generally encouraged me to follow this silly dream. I
> love you, Miss Abby...
> I'm proudest of all that I confirmed 121 grids for the award, and 112 of those
> were made using only the indoor antenna. My initial goal is complete...but the
> journey has just become. I still want VUCC on 2, 222, 432, 902, 1.2 GHz, and
> maybe even higher.
> Listen, I know I'm rambling on---but I can't help it. I'm excited, and
> thrilled---and just damn proud to be one of you, the Lords of Light, a VHF
> Man. I've said it before, but it bears repeating:
> I wasted almost 40 years on HF. All the fun truly is in the "World Above 50
> Mhz". My sincere thanks to all who have helped along the way, and strained
> their ears to copy this weak, indoor signal. I'm forever in your debt.
> 73,
> Les Rayburn, N1LF
> EM63nf
> VUCC 6M # 1,712
> Grid Bandit #222
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Tad Danley, K3TD

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