[VHFcontesting] Setting up new station

Michael Murphy michael at k5mbm.com
Mon Nov 14 19:18:08 EST 2016

I want to follow up with this thread for any looking at it in the future.

 From the advice given, two things stand out.  First thing is that if at 
all possible, meet up with someone who is already doing VHF contesting 
and observe or participate in a contest.  The second thing is to look at 
the equipment you already have in comparison with the different 
categories offered by the contest.

My journey so far has been determine where I can be the most competitive 
in the shortest amount of time.  So looking at the categories, I 
immediately eliminated the multi-operator ones. This drops both limited 
and unlimited multi-operator, and unlimited rover categories.  I do not 
currently have any amps, so I eliminated the single operator high power 
category and the rover category.  Next I eliminated the single operator 
portable category because the Gulf Coast area where I live is relatively 
flat and close to sea level, so unless I could gain access to the top of 
one of Houston's skyscrapers, 10w just wouldn't be enough.  Then I 
eliminated single operator, low power and limited rover because to 
operate at the max power allowed, would again require amps that I don't 
currently have and would take a while to acquire.

This leaves single operator, 3 band (SO3B) and single operator, FM only 
(SOFM).  This is where I began to "deep dive" into the contest results 
going back three years.  I examined the top five results in each 
category, looking at multipliers per band and qsos.  I found that for 
SO3B an upper limit of multipliers for 6m is between 100 and 200 in June 
and the other bands having between 15 and 40.  The other contests have a 
fairly even spread of multipliers between 10 and 35 across all three 
bands with a slight edge going to 2m.  For the SOFM category, I found 
that the order of importance of the bands is 2m with 15-100 multipliers, 
then 70cm with 10-50, then 6m with under 10, and lastly 1.25m with under 5.

With the multiplier numbers, I then looked at the map to see the 
distances covered to get the multipliers and if it would even be 
reasonable to get that many from my location.  The conclusion that I 
came to is that the SO3B category would offer me the most chance to do 
well.  If I upgrade to a Kenwood TS-2000 or ICOM IC-9100, then I would 
have maximum power without amps or for slightly less than the TS-2000, I 
can add two amps to what I already have.  That will have to be looked at 

Also I need to look at antennas, which is where the most "bang for the 
buck" is to be found.

Michael Murphy


On 11/3/2016 12:00 PM, Michael Murphy wrote:
> Thank you all who responded.  You've all given me something to think 
> about.
> Following on some of the advice given, I am going to shoot for FM only 
> in the January contest.  I will not have moved to the new location yet 
> so it won't be optimum, but it will be a start.  All I really need to 
> do is get a 6 meter FM antenna up.  I already have a Comet CX-333 for 
> 2, 1.25 and 70cm.  I am thinking of getting a Dominator 6M antenna 
> from Norwalk Electronics.  It will handle 1500 watts and is highly rated.
> Right now my antennas are mounted on 20' poles attached to the eave of 
> the house.  I have 10 segments of Rohn 25g to put up at the new 
> location, but I am thinking of a temporary 30' setup with the 6M 
> antenna attached to the top.  Along with setting up the logging 
> software, I should be able to get it all done by the January contest.
> As somebody said, this will give me experience in the process from 
> beginning to end and afterwards I can evaluate what needs to be improved.
> Again Thanks,
> Michael Murphy
> EM20
> On 10/29/2016 11:13 PM, Michael Murphy wrote:
>> This is an opinion question, so tell me your opinion and why you feel 
>> the way you do.  I have been wanting to get into vhf contests, but 
>> haven't got it all together yet.  I currently have a Yaesu 450D and 
>> 100D.  Also have 3 Tyt 9000 (2m, 1.25m and 70cm FM).  I will be 
>> moving in a few months and have been thinking about the new shack and 
>> thinking of upgrading the equipment.  So if you were to start from 
>> scratch to build a decent single operator station primarily for Vhf 
>> contest (I've be doing HF just fine with what I've got now), what 
>> equipment would you use?  I like that the Elecraft K3 has support for 
>> multiple transverters.  I also like the Icom IC-9100 for its 2m and 
>> 70cm capability, but no transverter support.  When it comes to 
>> tranverters, I like the way the Elecraft transverters work with the 
>> K3, but Demi has more band choices.  As far as antennas go, I've only 
>> got a triband vertical for the FMs.  So any thoughts and comments are 
>> welcome.
>> Sent from my iPad
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