Due to the low activity level expected for such a rare band, I decided not to enter the contest as a rover, and use all available time to make contacts. The location was the nearest rover site in my home gridsquare FN22. The antenna was at 1950+ feet above sea level and enjoyed a downward slope in all directions, plus there was no foliage in the immediate area. I arrived at the site in rain showers and was hearing occasional lightning static on 6m. I had to wait more than half an hour for the rain to stop, so some operating time was lost. The rain tapered off before 8 PM and surprisingly stayed away the rest of the contest despite the forecast of 70% chance of rain. I was still hearing lightning static on 222 all the way up to about 10 PM, even under a starry sky, and when I pointed the beam away from south, the lightning static would diminish. Temperatures stayed at a reasonable 56ºF with light winds.
The last fall 222 sprint in which I participated was 2005. I got more QSOs and grids this time, but was on the air longer, too, operating for 78% of this sprint versus 69% last time. My best DX to the west was VE3ZV EN92vw at 231 miles (372 km). Best to the southwest was my longest DX in this contest: W3KWH EN90 near Pittsburgh at 272 miles (437 km). Best to the south was K8GP in FM19. Turning the antenna through the northern directions a few times nabbed me only one contact: VE2JWH FN35 at 246 miles (396 km). Best to the east was K1TR FN42 at 224 miles (361 km) and to the northeast was K1WHS FN43 at 247 miles (397 km). I noticed lots of good operating technique--patience, switching from CW to PH to work my non-CW-equipped station, repeating callsigns and grids several times, in general...doing whatever it takes to complete the QSO.
Here is a list of stations I heard but was unable to work: N3NGE FN20, N1SV, WS3C, and WA2VNV FN30. I would have liked to hear activity out of FN01, 03, FN21, 23, 24, 25, and maybe FN33 and 34, but on the bright side, I did work my own grid--something I don't always see even on more popular bands. I came in 5th place for this event.
BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS --------------------------- 222 18 36 15 --- Claimed score = 540 ---
EDT CALLSIGN GRID OTHER ------------------------------------------------------- 1953 WZ1V FN31 1956 W1RZF FN42 0004 WA3NUF FN20 0005 N2DCH FN22 10w into 4-el 0007 KA2LIM FN12 cross-mode 0011 K1WHS FN43 0024 KK1CW FN32 0053 N8KXG EN91 0104 K3TUF FN10 0108 N1DPM FN32 0119 VE2JWH FN35 cross-mode 0121 K1TR FN42 0138 W3KWH EN90 0139 K8GP FM19 1500w into 22-el 0149 VE3ZV EN92vw 0153 K2AN FN02 0244 K2ERG FN13 0256 AF1T FN43
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