[VHFcontesting] 2M Sprint

Dave Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Tue Apr 10 06:14:30 PDT 2012

I sure had fun operating in the 144 MHz Sprint. There was a little SWR that 
crept into both of my 144 antennas so I am afraid I have to go hunt for some 
water in a connector someplace. That really cuts down on your receive 
capabilities, but I did not let that bother me.  I thought the activity 
level was great, as there were plenty of stations to work here in Northern 
New England. I missed  Stan WA1ECF / W1LE for some reason. Maybe we never 
had our beams lined up. I sure would have liked to work FN51!
    I was especially pleased to work some good stations to my northeast. 
This is a rare phenomenon but I hope it will become more routine in the 
future. KT1R was active in FN64, way over in eastern Maine. I had remembered 
reading an e mail saying that he hoped to be on, but it was still a thrill 
to work FN64. Thanks a million Lou! I talked him up all night so others 
would aim their antennas northeast after they worked me. It can get pretty 
lonely up at the end of the line. He is an active VHFer so we will hear more 
I am sure.
    Well, actually KT1R was not the end of the line.  I was also thrilled to 
snag VE1SKY early in the evening from FN74 in Nova Scotia. I think Roger was 
a tad farther east, so I had two contacts out that way.  I passed along to 
stations down south that Roger was active as well. Towards the end of the 
evening KT1R called in and said he was hearing some VE2s but could not raise 
them. I had yet to hear any VE station besides “SKY”, but I swung the beam 
up North once again in hopes of hearing anything in Canada. I finally found 
VE2DSB, but I had to aim my antenna more westerly and work him on a scatter 
path. He must have been aiming west or southwest. No wonder he was not 
hearing KT1R calling off the back.
    As the evening progressed, the contacts were piling up. While the band 
was not great, the activity sure was. There seemed to be long slow QSB and 
distant stations would peak up enough for a contact and then the signals 
would fade. There were times when I knew someone was calling, but I just 
could not pull out a call. I think I copied an N4 at one point late in the 
evening. My beam peaked at about 220 degrees. I also lost W2UAD as the band 
went down before we could complete. On other occasions I tried working a 
loud W3 in FM18, but he never answered me, and kept calling K2ZRJ. It 
sounded like he was running a sked.(?) I finally gave up. Fortunately, I 
worked W3GAC in FM18 later on. Other notable contacts were W8ZN’s XYL in 
FM19. K8ZES and AB2YI/r in FN02, N2SLN/R in FN12 and 22. Thanks for your 
effort. Roving in the dark on a windy cold night has its problems. I worked 
a W2 in FN14 but can’t remember his call. FN14 is always neat to get.  I 
left the log up in the shack when I quit near 11 PM, so some calls escape 
me.   Thanks also to N1JEZ/R for FN44 and 34. He proved the point that if 
you get lemons, you make lemonade. Sorry about the Spring snow storm, Mike. 
I am glad you made some QSOs from your car.  It is always fun to work the 
regulars and old friends like K3TUF, WA4GPM (who was mobile near Hazleton, 
PA), and N3RN who holds down FN11, and W1AIM and W1GHZ who make up 2/3rds of 
FN34.  The other 1/3 of FN34 will remain anonymous because he was not QRV, 
but his initials are Larry Filby and his call is K1LPS and he lives in 
Danville, VT. His picture is here: 
    Activity was great up to a bit past 9 PM. I was up around 90 some QSOs. 
By 11 PM I had 103 QSOs and 23 grids.  As usual, some easy ones were 
missing. I spent a lot of time on CW aimed west looking for  VE2 in EN93 or 
other western grids. I missed KN4SM, but was looking down there. Maybe he 
was that N4 that was way down in the noise.
    All in all, it was a fun night. The best part was saying hi to a bunch 
of great hams again after a long winter.( All winters are long in Maine)

Dave K1WHS 

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