[VHFcontesting] ARRL UHF W9SZ Single Op LP

Zack Widup w9sz.zack at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 06:17:20 PDT 2012

                    ARRL UHF Contest

Call: W9SZ
Operator(s): W9SZ
Station: W9SZ

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Illinois
Operating Time (hrs): 5.5

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  222:   9      8
  432:  11     10
  903:   4      4
  1.2:   5      5
  2.3:   1      1
  3.4:   2      2
  5.7:   0      0
  10G:   1      1
Total:  33     31  Total Score = 5,022

Club: Society of Midwest Contesters


I only operated in this contest during the last 6 hours. Although
there is no QRP class for the UHF contest, I ran 10 watts or less on
all bands out of necessity (no big amps for any band except 432 and it
wasn't working).

Murphy hit me hard in this contest. I was 15 miles from the hilltop I
planned to use when I developed some kind of engine trouble. It ran
very rough. I debated at that point whether to just go the 30 miles
back home or to keep going. Since I was closer to the site than home,
I went on to the hill.

We had a much-needed thunderstorm a couple hours before I got there. I
had to drive up an incline in a muddy field to get where I was to set
up. My car kept slipping in the mud before I could get over the
incline. After half a dozen tries at backing up and speeding up to
gain momentum, I made it. (Going back down was MUCH easier!)

Setting up the antennas and equipment was no problem. Once I got
everything going and started working people, I found band conditions
were poor. I had a row of trees to the west of me followed by a couple
acres of corn to go through on the microwave bands. I managed to make
QSO's on 2304 and 3456 through the corn somehow.

1296 and above seemed to be the worst bands. I made one more QSO on
3456 and one on 10 GHz (my only one on that band) free of the corn and
trees, but signals were not very strong. I tried for at least half a
dozen QSO's on 1296 that didn't work out. Best DX was W0UC, N4QWZ and
K8TQK on 222 and 432. I also worked N4QWZ on 902 but not 1296. Those
were all around 300 miles. There was no one in my area on 5760 in this

I managed to work N9LB through 1296 during the last minutes of the
contest. Then I packed up and limped home. I found out later I have a
bad spark plug wire.

It was fun despite the poor conditions. The fun is what keeps me going.

73, Zack W9SZ

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