[VHFcontesting] Tuesday and the 222 Activity Night

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Tue Aug 31 08:06:10 EDT 2021

Hello VHFers

Tuesday August 31 is 222 night. I will be on about 2300 UT looking for 
contacts on 222.100 plus or minus the QRM. I hope to see many of you on 
this evening. The Hepburn map is showing a section of potential 
enhancement that extends from western New Brunswick out to Ohio. Here is 
a chance to see if his prediction is accurate. I will be spending a lot 
of time looking that way.

These Tuesday nights have been growing on me.  At the start of it back 
in April, I wondered what I was going to do when the fly fishing got 
serious. I figured it would be difficult for me to keep the activity on 
222 up during all those Mayfly hatches! Well, pretty soon, I was 
forgetting about the hatches and thinking of how much fun it was to make 
real VHF contacts on a real VHF ham band!

I am also seeing some new ( and not so new ) ops showing up on some 
Tuesdays.  That is very gratifying to know that the love of our VHF 
frequencies is wide and deep and growing a bit.  My goal is to increase 
activity nationwide. For that task, we need helpers to spread the word 
and demonstrate what a great frequency 222 MHz is.  Here is a list of 
California 222 ops who were QRV last night:

K6TSK Ralph DM03 Anaheim
KB6JES Alan DM03 Lakewood
KC6SEH John DM24 Lake Havasu, AZ.
WA6EJO Steve DM04 Ventura
WA6OIB Ken DM06 Clovis
K6MI John DM06 Fresno
W6IST Allan DM04 Northridge
N6VI Marty DM04 Chatsworth

Ralph K6TSK runs a SSB net on 222.  Way to go Ralph! And hello Marty, 
It's been awhile since we talked!

I have been hard at work adding more capability to my station. In Maine, 
the antenna season is short. I can put up with the heat more than the 
cold. Metal gets awfully cold about early November. I hate it when your 
skin sticks to it!!  So I added an elevation rotor to the big 4 X 22 el 
array. I also swapped out the old Prosistel rotor that was held together 
with C- clamps. I know many of you don't believe me, but it is true. The 
C clamps held the motor on to the gear box. I took pictures to prove it. 
I did most of the antenna work myself.  I had some help from WA1T and 
K1RX. K1RX brought over his Sawzall and we cut about 4 ft off my high 
strength steel mast so the elevation mechanism would clear it when 
elevated.  WA1T helped lift the MT-3000 rotor up the tower. We had a 
hand winch.

With no ground crew, I fashioned a horizontal derrick to offset the 
lifting gear away from the tower.  That way, the big rotators would not 
bang into the tower or get stuck in the rungs.  I also added a new tower 
mounted preamp system. It was operational last Tuesday and seemed to 
work fine, but a few days later, I tried my first JT65 sked and after 
ten minutes of one minute calling periods, the transmit contacts went up 
in smoke. My VSWR went into the stratosphere.  Back to the drawing 
boards. I found a Dynatech UZ coax relay with SC connectors and fitted 
that into my preamp box.  It will get its' baptism of fire this evening 
on 222 Night. I hope it works better than relay #1.  The new Prosistel 
PST-61 is in place and is working well. I can now adjust the heading and 
know that I am actiually pointing there. No more guess work and Kentucky 
Windage.  I think the preamp at the antenna has improved my hearing.

So, if you suffered through all this drivel that I have been writing and 
got this far, just remember to get on this evening if you have any 222 
MHz gear at all.  222.100 will be the place!


Dave K1WHS

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