[VHFcontesting] Nevada & the Jan VHF contest

k7xc_tx k7xc_tx at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 2 07:35:34 EST 2016

Nevada is back on the air since I homebrewed and installed a 6 ele 6M  yagi at 25' on the morning of the contest. 

Yesterday I dug my 12ele 2M yagi out from under a foot of snow and mounted it on the tower trailer above the 6M antenna. 

Currently using a 100W K3 on 6M CW, SSB, & WSJT modes. My 746 got zapped and now puts out 1.2W on all bands so it will be a while till I am QRV again with any real power on 144 MHz.

Now if I can get you all to remember to point east again, that's the real message.

Best of luck and stay warm!

73s de Tim - K7XC - DM09jh... sk

Adapt, Overcome, Succeed! 

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device

-------- Original message --------
From: Tom Carney <wa4qvq at gmail.com> 
Date:02/01/2016  18:58  (GMT-08:00) 
To: Bill Haddon <haddon.bill at gmail.com>, NCCC reflector <nccc at contesting.com> 
Subject: Re: [NCCC] Jan VHF contest 

Hi Bill

To try and answer your questions:  

As for power, like most modes, the more the better.   However, 100w is probably the most common power for for stations using MS.  You can work most western states (except NV/OR) with 100w.  Optimal range for MS is 400 to 1000 miles under normal conditions.  It's definitely not a QRP mode.  I use a KPA-500 and frequently can often be heard by stations  that I can't hear.  

Mode is one of the Joe Taylor modes.  Currently it's FSK-441 which is somewhat similar to PSK-31 but optimized for MS propagation.  This is a really slow mode, you transmit for 30 sec, then listen for 30 sec.  As a minimum it takes four to five minutes to complete a QSO.  My QSO with the NE station took over ten minutes.  There is an experimental mode that promises to be much faster but it's still in test phase.  

Time, are you an early bird?  Most MS activity is from about 30 prior to sunrise to two hours after.  Has something to do with the rotation of the earth but I've never understood it exactly.  For me, the early morning hours are quieter, less human noise.  Most any modern transceiver has a good enough front end, you don't normally need some kind of pre-amp.  I use a standard K3 which is a bit deaf on 6M.  If you are in a quiet location, a pre-amp would help.  For an antenna, I'd recommend a four or more element beam.  Although some people have a simple vertical or dipole.   

Hope this helps


Tom K6EU

On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 6:24 PM, Bill Haddon <haddon.bill at gmail.com> wrote:

I'd be interested, if you have time, to hear more about the meteor scatter Q's on 6m in ARRL VHF Contest:

    -- how much power
    -- mode?
    -- what hours on Sunday morning.

Thanks and 73   Bill n6zfo

On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 5:20 PM, Tom Carney <wa4qvq at gmail.com> wrote:
I had hoped to operate this contest as a rover but family obligations, etc prevented prepping the rover vehicle.  So, at the last minute, tried to set up for fixed operation.  When I tried to install the 2 and 432 beams, I discovered the push up mask was frozen and would not extend.  

Since this was the first contest since the rules change to allow operation on the 2M FM calling frequency (146.52) I just put up an old Ringo vertical instead of the horizontal beams.  

I was really surprised at the number of FM contacts I made in about two hour of just listening and responding on 146.52.  There were multiple rovers on who had driven to a hill top, even one hiker  using a HT.  Also several ham who were just driving somewhere and got on to hand out QSOs.  In total I made 12 QSOs on FM.  All but one were callsigns I didn't recognize, thus stations who normally would not have been on during the contest.  

Sunday morning I spend an hour or so working meteor scatter on 6M.  Worked most of the states west of the Rockies except OR and NV.  Best contact was DN81 in NE at over 1000 miles.  

Total 26 QSOs and 13 mults for 338.  


Tom K6EU

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