[VHFcontesting] WA1TE September VHF

Sean Waite waisean at gmail.com
Mon Sep 10 10:32:42 EDT 2018

Call: WA1TE
Operator(s): WA1TE, Aiden
Station: WA1TE

Class: Unlimited Multioperator

Band QSOs Mults
6: 11 4
2: 7 3
1.25: 3 2
70: 3 2
33: 1 1
23: 3 2
13: 1 1
Total: 29 15
Total Score: 750

The MIGHTY WA1TE SUPER CONTESTING STATION consisted of 2m and 70cm squalos
zip tied to my kid's playset, and a 6m moxon zip tied next to them. The 222
station was FM only and was a magmount stuck on a wire shelf resting on my
deck railing. On Saturday I was swapping coax around between the microwave
beams, I needed to fiddle some as 903 was giving me high SWR. They were zip
tied on a chunk of EMT on my deck. I brought them down Sunday morning to
get coax on all of them, which included a ~30' section of LMR400 for the
900 beam. I'm not sure if I had the connectors misaligned, or if the long
coax soaked the reflected power, but the SWR problem went away after that.

I had my 4 year old "helping" me during the contest. He assisted by cutting
up all of my zip ties while I was raising antennas, turning off the power
supply on my radio while I was trying to call CQ, and pushing random
buttons on the radios while I was trying to make contacts. I did have him
call CQ a few times, but he managed to wander off anytime I had a chance to
get him to make a contact. Next time.

Operating time was pretty limited, between watching the kids, grocery store
runs, and mosquito attacks.

I had a bit of a surprise on 223 FM, I tossed the antenna up Saturday
night. I threw out my call to make sure everything was working right and
instantly got W1XM and K1TR. I need to pay more attention to FM on this
band I think. Other reports suggested that there was some other useful
traffic on here, I just couldn't capitalize on it.

Microwave beams worked well. This was the first contest with the ~6'
loopers, and I basically only had them up to test them out this weekend.
Easily completed with AC1J and AF1T on 1296. K1TR was difficult - thanks
for sticking with me on that one. I'm not sure why, he was the closest of
the 3 contacts I made. 903 was trivial with Dale, 2304 was a little harder.
The beams were aimed directly into trees though, so I expect it'll work
much better once I've got them mounted on the rover and am in better
operating locations.

I do need to consider selling the FT290rII and FT790rII I'm using for IF to
fund an FT817. The x90rII series are decent radios, but with only 2.5W out
it's a bit anemic to drive the transverters. I suspect it's the mic gain
(which i don't think I can adjust). FM and CW gives me kind of angry lights
for input power, while I basically have to yell into the mic to get it to
work on SSB. The 817 would also simplify band changes and replace 2 radios
with 1 smaller radio.

I did acquire some rotators - didn't use them this weekend but it'll
definitely be useful as I build out the rover.

My operating position:

The antenna farm:

I'll have to figure out something different for January, sitting on my deck
isn't really an option. Maybe a small rove.

Sean WA1TE

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