I am Tom Mayo, N1MU. Here is my rover story.

Many people are introduced to Ham radio on FM repeaters. I think it used to be that people were more often started out on HF as Novices. I was first licensed as a Tech Plus and started out right away roving due to the encouragement of my mentor Sigurd Kimpel (KJ1K). I got connected with the W2SZ/1 contest group and Dick Frey (WA2AAU), the group's leader and driving force. He paired me up with Phil Langlois (NC1J) to go to Mt. Washington in New Hampshire for my first contest. Meeting these great people was reason enough for participating as a rover.

During the contest, I enjoyed the thrill of driving around like mad and setting up the gear. The stations we used had to be assembled and disassembled at every stop. Pieces from one band had to be reused for other bands. An LO here, an IF receiver there. It was like tinkertoys with radios! The antennas had a very homebrew flavor. The antenna for 2 GHz was a Maxwell House coffee can and the one for 3 GHz was a raquetball can. The horn for 5 GHz was a funnel. For the grids we visited before heading up Mt. Washington, everything went great.

Mt. Washington, if you haven't heard of it is 6,288 feet tall with a road running all the way to the top. Mt. Washington is known as having the World's worst weather. I agree completely with that claim. The weather at the base was relatively calm. When we got to the top it was freezing cold and sleeting with strong winds. This makes it hard to operate outside the vehicle, which is what we had to do given the small car and cumbersome equipment. Well, it wasn't pretty, but we did it! Very rewarding.

I went on to rove by myself and with others, and my first CW contact wasn't on HF like most people, it was on 903 MHz!


Tom Mayo - N1MU - tmayo @ mdsroc.com - http://www.mdsroc.com/
Senior Development Engineer - Microwave Data Systems
175 Science Parkway - Rochester, NY 14620
716-242-8425 (Voice) - 716-241-5590 (Fax)