[VHFcontesting] Rover experience at Blue Knob Ski Resort FN00RG?

nosigma at aol.com nosigma at aol.com
Sat Jan 6 23:23:07 EST 2018


I studied FM19AW last year for the September contest but did not go there due to all the foliage and concerns about RF interference from the towers, setting a record number of FM multipliers from Reddish knob was factor too, hard to argue with success.  

I didnt even consider it for this January, but now that you mention it and since I am under threat to lose Reddish due to Sugar Grove (SG) I will very seriously consider it.  I plotted up elevation profiles from it every 30 degrees around the compass and to population centers I can reach. There is blockage North to Rochester and west to Pittsburgh but the other 270 degrees is quite clear.  Just 2 miles of very nice gravel road from the plowed asphalt and no cliffs to slide off of!!!  If SG closes me out of Reddish and Blue Knob is no go (they seemed friendly on the phone)  then  Tower road it may be.  Really appreciate the heads up on Staff at the Resort.  Kid gloves at the ready.

Tropo?  Never heard of it, must be one of those SSB things, LOL.  On field day I went coast to coast plus Canada to Florida on 6m SSB from 450ft using the same set up that went just 150mi on FM a few weeks earlier while on Flagpole at 4,200 feet before the June contest (setting up W4IY).  Its easy to see why you live and die by the Hepburn forecast.

BTW:  Still sitting on the Antenna Certificate from the Pack Rats Raffle.  Need to put that to good use.  Thanks for your support of the conference!!


-----Original Message-----
From: Terry Signature <terry at directivesystems.com>
To: nosigma <nosigma at aol.com>
Cc: vhfcontesting <vhfcontesting at contesting.com>
Sent: Thu, Dec 28, 2017 10:46 pm
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] Rover experience at Blue Knob Ski Resort FN00RG?

Hi John,

We've never been there in January during ski season but Andy and I have 
roved there in both September and June. We typically watch the wx and 
the Hepburn predictions. If it looks like tropo to the west we go there, 
it's a VERY good location. I think January could be a "double edged 
sword" - since it's a good ski location, I'm sure the roads are well 
maintained but I would think the parking lot is going to get pretty busy 
with skiers. You'll probably spend a lot of time explaining your 
operation! If you brought your XYL for skiing, they couldn't hassle you 
too much!

The first time we went there I jumped through hoops and got "permission" 
from a not to nice ranger. No matter how I tried to explain to her what 
Amateur radio was about, she just wasn't interested but finally 
relented. Since then, we've been there probably 4 times without 
permission and have seen local police go by without any problems. We've 
spent the night there several times also.

The FM19AW site is another good location off the beatin path. They don't 
plow the road and when Andy and I were there in our "new" van, I didn't 
have good chains and didn't want to chance it. With your rig it would be 
easy and fun!

Aside from the fierce wx, I'm not sure you can do much better than 
Reddish Knob although Blue Knob does have a better shot to New England.

73 and good luck!!

Terry , W8ZN

On 2017-12-28 8:15 am, John Young via VHFcontesting wrote:
> I suspect the Sugar Grove facility is going to deny my request to
> operate inside the National Radio Quiet Zone even though the Green
> Bank Observatory will approve it..  I am looking at alternate
> locations.  Best one I have found is the Blue Knob Ski Resort in PA,
> FN00RG.  I dont rove, but drive to a good location to operate as a
> fixed site from one grid.  The resort parking lot lets me reach north
> to Rochester, east to NY City and south to DC.  Lots of blockage to
> the west but great to population centers north, east and south.  Good
> FM location with lots of hams within 250 miles.
> A number of rovers have worked from here over the years.  I would love
> to know something about your experiences there.  How is the RF noise
> level?  Any FM contacts?  Staff or parking problems?  I would rent a
> room at the lodge and bring the XYL who can ski while I contest (win
> win there).
> John
> _______________________________________________
> VHFcontesting mailing list
> VHFcontesting at contesting.com
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