[VHFcontesting] 222 MHz night July 27, 2021

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Wed Jul 28 10:37:15 EDT 2021

Hello 222 ops!

Things just keep getting better and better.  All the 222 MHz ops who 
flipped the ON-OFF switch to ON yesterday, deserve a pat on the back. 
Your participation made for a memorable evening. Yeah, I know the 
country is huge and many areas are lacking in VHF activity. It is also 
true that 222 MHz is one of the orphan bands as the big radio mfrs do 
not include 222 in any of their offerings.  Don't let that hold you 
back!  It was nice to see those midwest calls on the chat page.  Lots of 
sked opportunities were available.

I want to stress the point that, even if you have little or no local 
activity near you, there are always meteors floating around in space. If 
you have 100 watts and a single yagi that is longer than you are tall, 
you can make a meteor scatter contact. Your reliable range is a 1000 
mile radius. There is a dead spot between 300 and maybe 600 miles, but 
600-1000 miles is very doable with 100 watts and a single yagi. What 
better way to try some hasty skeds than to get on Tuesday evening and 
ask on one of the chat pages?  I saw that last night. We had all sorts 
of activity in the midwest and Pacific northwest too!  I saw ND0B, 
W0VTT, AA9MY, W4ZST, K8ZR, and many others making skeds on ON4KST 
(144/432 Region 2)  K5QE was QRV and Marshall was knocking them dead on 
digital modes. The poor guys on the East Coast were dealing with 
thunderstorms and rain, but there was a much appreciated "Red Blob" in 
the midwest.  "Red Blob" is a modern scientific term for a widespread 
temperature inversion conditions.  It made for some very nice QSOs in 
the midwest.   If you are unfamiliar with Red Blob technology, go to:   

I was cooking my dinner on an outdoor grill at 6 PM last night. It was 
raining with lightning flashes all over the place. I had to wear a 
raincoat and run inside quickly to avoid getting my cooked burgers all 
wet!   I drove up to the hilltop shack just B4 7 PM and fired up the 
generator. It was still pouring rain. T- storms were all over the place. 
My first contact was N1JEZ in northern Vermont. He mentioned that the 
K2DLL beacon was very weak. I tuned it in and actually had a hard time 
finding it! It was very weak. I have seen this before where a 
thunderstorm cell in the path will increase the typical tropo scatter 
path loss.  Contacts were a bit difficult. Pouring rain is never good on 
VHF.  Still the signals would peak up at times and many good contacts 
were made. W8ZN was on from FM09 and had a great signal at times peaking 
at S9. That is a 460 mile path.  (4 yagis and 900 watts will do that!)  
Terry made lots of good contacts with some midwest stations and some in 
the northeast as well.  From my spot here in Maine, I had 23 QSOs using 
CW, SSB, FT-8, and MSK144. I worked W4ZST in Georgia, on meteor scatter. 
It was an easy contact. Other FB QSOs included VE3DS at 440 miles, and 
WA3EOQ at 502 miles. There was plenty of activity and I never got to 
call a few of the regular stations due to lack of time. That is a good 
problem to have.

VE7AFZ was on in the PNW and noted some good activity there on SSB and 
FT8 in the CN and DN grids. . I hope we can keep things rolling like 
this on 222. As we get into August the tropo situation gets better and 
some long haul contacts are possible. Note that these tropo events are 
not scheduled for Tuesdays! They happen mostly when you are not paying 

I wanted to try a meteor sked with W0VTT in Minnesota, after having such 
an easy time with W4ZST,  but Mike had to QRT due to storms. We decided 
to try again on Wednesday morning. I was amazed at how things worked. 
W0VTT had a serious frequency drift problem. In the first minute, I 
heard a huge meteor burst that lasted about 10 seconds, but it was way 
off  frequency and it took awhile for Mike to tweak his vfo while 
measuring his drifting TX frequency using a freq counter!  In the 
meantime, I was hearing burst after burst that did not decode. I was 
ready to suggest a switch to SSB,  when he got stabilized and we 
completed in a few minutes. The number of meteor bursts was incredible 
on this end. Mike was running 400 watts with a trusty AM-6155 amp.

KO4MA was also hanging out on 222 MHz this morning, and we ran a meteor 
sked after I finished with W0VTT. Andrew is in Florida, near St. 
Petersburg at 1210 miles, and we completed in 15 minutes! Another 
impressive contact on 222! The meteors are really vramping up.

Thanks to all the regulars for taking the time to get on. You know who 
you are. Why not post a short summary of what you heard and worked and 
show everybody what they are missing if they skip a 222 night! I know 
there were plenty of nice contacts made. I heard them! N1SV detected 
KO4YC in FM17. WZ1V worked VE3DS in FN03.

73 for now

Dave K1WHS

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