[VHFcontesting] 222 & Up Contest from FN55

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Sun Aug 8 16:26:17 EDT 2021

Hi Paul

Well I think you did a smashing job from FN55.  I have noted the same 
situation here as I tune around and hear stations working K1TEO. They 
are audible and workable, but they disappear after working Jeff,  and I 
never hear them ever call me.  It is exactly the same situation as you 
describe. Why that happens is beyond me, but I think it has to do with 
how serious some stations are at working new stations. Then there is the 
so called "Pack Rat Effect" where those stations can work themselves, 
but, due to water ingress and other common failings with antenna 
systems, they do not hear the weak ones.  Keeping several bands at 100% 
is not easy.  I used to spend the entire Summer tweaking the antenna 
farm to be ready for the September Contest. The effort would always 
point up all sorts of small problems that tended to affect the receive 
side more than the TX end of things.

As for meteors, I listened in on your AA9MY contact. It was interesting 
that we heard different meteor bursts from the same station.

My best 222DX included AA9MY at 1567 km, KA9CFD at 1667 km, W2RMA/r at 
801 km, KO4YC at 821 km, and VE3ZV at 752 km.  WA1T was at 9 km from the 
grid square centers, but is really about 4 or 5 km from me as the crow 
flies! He was the closest station!  As you know, I was only on 222.

Lots of people break in on me to nab a new station, when I am working 
someone. It happens fairly often. Feel free to yell out and I will let 
you try before they get away!  I should hear you off the back of my beam.

One thing that is bugging me now is your comment about how my digital 
transmission is sort of short compared to others.  Now I am curious. My 
transmissions start a bit late for some unknown reason. I do have a DEMI 
sequencer that slows it down some more. I can see that, but the WSJT-x 
audio starts late and the exciter gets keyed late by the software. I set 
the TX delay in WSJt-x at 0.1 second. I don't know what else to do. The 
PC timing is synched to NIST. My clock is accurate. (?) I am obviously 
overlooking an important "feature".


Dave K1WHS

On 8/8/2021 3:12 PM, N1BUG wrote:
> One thing I have finally learned since my return to VHF/UHF contesting 
> five years ago: There is no point in beating myself up to be there for 
> a whole 24 or 33 hour contest. 20 to 30 years ago I could make 80 to 
> 90 QSOs on 2 meters in the June or September VHF contest. Now, even 
> using digital modes, the number is about one third of that, despite 
> having a much more capable station now than I did back then. It's even 
> less for the 222 & Up. I'm not sure if it is lower activity overall, 
> declining number of big stations, or fewer people looking this way. I 
> suspect it is mainly a combination of the last two. All I know is that 
> this is how it is, and there is no point in being there for 24 or 33 
> hours for one QSO per hour. That just makes it work instead of fun.
> As always, I heard a lot of stations working K1WHS and even K1DY one 
> grid south of me that I never had a chance to work. They seem to 
> magically appear and I can hear them. But I never hear them calling CQ 
> and no matter how much I CQ they don't show up. This is very 
> frustrating, but it's another of those things that just is what it is. 
> I know I could work most of them if I were to break in, but I'm not 
> going to do that in a contest.
> My strategy from now on is to try to keep aware of conditions and 
> activity, picking a few one or two hour windows to be in the operating 
> chair. I probably miss a few that way, but at least it keeps the fun 
> in contests that otherwise would lead to burnout at one QSO per hour.
> Highlights this time were working AA9MY at 1090 miles on 222 meteor 
> scatter, K1TEO at 345 miles on 432 SSB with my 25 watts, and N3NGE at 
> 497 miles on 222 CW.
> Thanks to all who were on and made the effort, and a special thanks to 
> the remaining big stations for making magic and exciting moments 
> possible.
> I am quite happy with the performance of my 222 setup for what it is. 
> I run about 900 watts from one of the Harris channel 11 amplifiers 
> (mine won't do more than that as many of them will) to a K1FO-22 
> currently at 117 feet, and a tower mounted preamp.
> On 432 I have a K1FO-40 at 113 feet and tower mounted preamp, but only 
> 25 watts since the old klunker of a Motorola repeater amp bit the dust 
> in the June VHF. I did work several stations in the 300 to 350 mile 
> range on SSB and CW so the antenna must be working OK!
> ASAP after the Perseids, I am taking down the 144/222/432 antennas for 
> minor modifications to boom to mast clamps and boom trusses, then 
> restacking the mast for (bottom to top) 50, 432, 222, 144. My hope is 
> to have this done before September VHF but much depends on weather and 
> how I am doing day to day.
> 73,
> Paul N1BUG
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