June ARRL VHF Contest with Pictures

The local club always plans on a big VHF contest weekend heading up to the top of a mountain that was previously a Nike missile base but the threat of thunderstorms has caused us to again cancel the club event. So when I got word it was cancelled, I decided to put up a 2m 4 element beam I picked up about 1 year ago on top of a non-metal military type mast. So my setup for the contest at home is this 2m 4 element yagi where I can run 100w that I can turn manually, my G5RV to try and tune some 6 meter contacts that can also run 100w and my dual band vertical on 70cm that I can run at 35w.

Saturday afternoon when the contest started, things were a bit slow going as all the strong 6m stations with beams were working each other and a low power wire antenna 6m station like myself was only breaking through with the more local stations. 6m though was extremely active and I’m not usually on 6m but folks were ecstatic about how good propagation was. There were longer openings to FL and shorter openings to the midwest though I did get a nice contact with a NM station in the short time I could here him. I also heard a VP9 station in Bermuda but he had a big pileup so I continued to tune around.

2m was interesting as it was the first time that at my house, I had any directional capability, all be with a manual rotor – me running up to the 2nd floor balcony and turning the pole. But it worked well and I had some fun on 2m. I think with 6m being so good, less folks moved to 2m unless they were a multi-op station. If 6m wasn’t so active I think I would have logged even more on 2m.  I was calling CQ on 2m from time to time and was real surprised when a station from Texas that I worked on 6m called me on 2m. He was booming in. I heard the next day that other folks on 2m also worked him and he was booming in to them as well. For me that’s about a 1280 mile 2m SSB contact.

I only made 2 70cm contacts and those were with very local stations. On my low power and vertical, it’s not enough to work much more then the local area. At the end of the first day I finished up with 60 contacts with 33 on 6m, 25 on 2m and 2 on 70cm.

On Sunday things were a bit slower as I worked many of the stations but I kept popping around between 6m and 2m throughout the day. It seemed to me like there were less openings on 6m then the day before and the openings were shorter, but there was some activity. I logged a Nebraska station mid day and even a Bermuda station that had too big a pileup the day before. I did hear a California station which was booming in, but all the high power stations were getting in and he started to fade so I turned the dial.

Late in the evening I called it a night and wrapped things up. It was fun, though I would have enjoyed being with the club, on the mountain, with beams and a KW or so of power. If I’m counting correctly, I worked a total of 18  states + Bermuda. On 6m I worked 16 states + Bermuda and on 2m I worked 7 different states. Below are pictures of the 6m and 2m maps based on 6 character grid squares. That Texas 2m contact really was an exception!

2010 June VHF 2m Contacts - Click to see full size
2010 June VHF 6m Contacts - Click to see full size

Here’s the N1MM Score Summary:

   Band    QSOs    Pts Grid
     50      50     50   27
    144      51     51   13
    420       2      4    2
  Total     103    105   42

  Score : 4,410

73 and thanks for all the contacts,