[VHFcontesting] Total newbie questions about 2m and 70cm antennas and receive filters

John W xnewyorka at hotmail.com
Mon May 20 18:33:36 EDT 2013

Hi guys,


I am an experienced HF contester, but I have never tried VHF contesting before.

I just ordered an FT-897D and I'm hoping to give it a try in the June VHF contest.  


Antenna questions:

Realistically, I can probably only put up a dipole for 6m in the time I have. 

I have a 13 element 2m beam I can put up a few feet below my 5-band 20/17/15/12/10m quad. 

How far away from the quad does it need to be to work OK?   *This is a temporary arrangement.* Long term, the quad will be gone and the VHF ants will be by themselves on the 40' tower, or maybe even up on a taller future tower.

I want to get a 70cm beam - I am thinking about an InnovAntennas 12 or 13 element LFA-SQ Yagi.  (Any recommendations for or against that one? And is one enough?)

How far from the 2m antenna does the 70cm antenna need to be if it's on the same mast?  

Could I put either antenna (or both?) right in the center of the HF quad so that it is firing through the quad's driven element? 

Do I also need some sort of omnidirectional antenna for either 2m and/or 70cm?  Seems to me that with such sharp directionality and high F/B ratio, my rotor is going to be VERY busy. Where can I get tips on what are the best directions to point when looking for contacts in the contest?  In fact, is there some online reference for new VHF contesters that I can read to get some general pointers?


Radio questions:

Do I need to add a CW filter and an SSB filter to the radio?  If so, what bandwidths are appropriate?  On HF, I might use 500 Hz or 300 Hz, and 2.3 or 2.0 KHz.  I don't know if the same applies on VHF.  I figured I would go with Inrad filters just because I like them a lot in my FT-1000MP's.  Anybody out there using Inrad filters in an FT-897 and want to make a recommendation?


Bonus question:

I think the rig does 100w on 6m, 50w on 2m, and 20w on 70cm if I recall correctly.  Is that going to be enough power to have fun, or am I going to get frustrated? 

I am in a really good QTH btw, and an amplifier is really NOT in the budget at this time.


Thanks and 73,






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