[VHFcontesting] 222 Activity Night October 26

David Olean k1whs at metrocast.net
Wed Oct 27 10:36:41 EDT 2021

Wow, what a difference a storm makes! We had a Nor easter blow up the 
coast on Tuesday. The storm was quite well developed in that it had a 
very pronounced circular motion, with the winds moving CCW around the 
core. I got up to the shack at about 6:30 PM in the dark and with 
moderate rain. There were some pretty good wind gusts going on and the 
guy wires were singing quite loudly. This was not a good night for 
tropo! (In fact, the wx was miserable!) The center had moved past the 
Connecticut shoreline by 7 PM. I checked the receiver and was amazed to 
find K2DLL/b barely above the noise with my big directional array aimed 
directly at it. It was in the noise on my LVA. It is amazing how things 
degrade from our best tropo in late august and September, to the pits in 

I started out the evening working N1JEZ in FN44ar. Signals were good but 
not the greatest. I then heard W9KXI calling me on CW. He was good copy 
but had huge amounts of multi path on him. If I narrowed up the CW 
selectivity, I could copy several signals all spaced out from his 
"alleged" frequency.  Al commented that he was hearing WZ1V much better 
than he was hearing me.  Next up was WZ1V, and Ron and I had our typical 
discussion that revolves around Polish beer and Lithuanian brandy. We 
were worried that the container ship problems might curtail deliveries 
of Polish beer. (Heaven help us) He had tremendous QSB evident on his 
signal. He would be over S9, and then S5, 15 seconds later.  Gosh, the 
band is starting to act like it is the January Contest!!

I think W1XR called next from FM19. Jim had plenty of multi path, but 
the signal was respectable for such a long distance.  At one point, a 
gust of wind grabbed the shack door and almost tore it from its' hinges. 
Thank god I had a chain on it to limit the travel or it would have been 
ripped off the building. I still do not have any internet on the hill, 
so no chat pages.  I stayed on 222.110 and made lots of calls on CW and 
a lesser amount on SSB, but the answers were slow in coming. It really 
was a dark and stormy night. It would have been nicer if I were sitting 
next to a wood stove sipping a warm cup of tea and with a beagle in my 
lap. WA2VNV called on SSB and we chatted for a bit. He said Pete, K1pXE 
was lurking about and should appear shortly. I had heard K1PXE (The 
voice of Milford) earlier when he was trying to get N1JEZ's attention. 
Pete was swinging his newly repaired rotator and his pattern swished 
through my receiver and I saw his signal peak up to S9 on CW, then drop 
down again as his rotor kept turning.  So K1PXE showed up on SSB after 
WA2VNV but he was so darn weak, I was sure that he did not have his 
antenna peaked on me. At one point, he dropped into the noise.  He was 
still yakking and we doubled for awhile. Really the conditions were that 

I got a report from WZ1V that WA3EOQ was hearing me from FM09jo. He had 
called but I did not hear his 90 watts, so I parked on 222.110 and CQed 
in the direction of FM09 hoping to hear him. Alas, I could hear nothing. 
I was not surprised, as that circulating storm was on top of me and the 
atmosphere was being ripped up. All those troposcatter "blobs" that we 
hear so much about must have been hiding from the storm.  I kept it up 
until 8:30 PM  or 00:30 UT.  I tuned around and heard zero activity, so 
got thinking about the wood stove, a cup of hot tea, and a beagle, and 
decided to go home.  When I got home, the wood stove was not running, 
and the beagle has been long gone, so I made a cup of tea and called it 
a night.

I can probably do three or four more 222 Activity Nights before the snow 
flies and hill access becomes a problem. I am hoping the snow holds 
off.  Incidentally, the woods road to the hill is showing its' age. 
Small boulders are showing up as the dirt gets compacted down from the 
truck tires. Some gully washers also remove the topsoil and leave the 
rocks. It is very bumpy now and the truck is bottoming out in several 
places. My neighbor, who lives on a one acre lot, just bought a back hoe 
and is looking for a project to use it on. I suggested he could work on 
my road and he jumped at the idea. I'll order a few truckloads of stone, 
and he will spread them along the road in the bad places. A good chore 
for next Spring!


Dave K1WHS

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