FALL 222 SPRINT 2014



    IC-7000 mobile on 28 MHz
    9 percent power

    Downeast Microwave 222 transverter
    20 watts

    Mirage C2512 amplifier
    90 watts


On Monday evening I saw a bright green meteor trail in the night sky. Tuesday on my way to the hilltop for the fall 222 Sprint I saw a rainbow. I was hoping the good luck would continue into the sprint. It did not.

After a simple setup of one horizontally polarized 10-el Yagi at 20 feet above ground at my eastern FN22 hilltop, I turned the antenna in all directions and immediately noticed an increase in static to S9+10 dB in two directions. One beam heading lined up with digital TV channel 13, WNYT out of Albany, NY (210-216 MHz). The other lined up with digital TV channel 13, WYOU near Scranton, PA which gave us grief on 222 at our FN21 site in the September VHF Contest. I went back over my records and discovered that I hadn't used this hilltop for a 222 sprint since some time before the 2009 changeover from analog to digital television. I had been using a lower elevation hilltop closer to home which isn't affected by the interference. So the bottom line is that I am running nearly deaf SSW-WNW and NE-ESE before the sprint even started.

The first hour was a struggle getting through to the stations I could hear. I was unable to get the attention of K1DS/R, N2GHR FN30, K3TUF FN10, and K1DQV but could hear them fine. Then there was W8ZN with his usual pileup; I didn't even bother trying to get through at that point. Unfortunately, even after waiting until the pileup was gone, I still couldn't get through even on CW. Compounding the problem was the fact that the N/S oriented propagation was significantly more difficult than the E/W, the exact opposite problem that I have observed in many a January VHF Contest.

The second hour went much better and I only missed two stations--N2SLO due to the propagation dropping out between us, and N1JEZ FN44 who was in the middle of trying to work W8ZN. Half of my contacts in the sprint happened in the second hour. The third hour brought its usual dwindling activity level, but I picked up new grid FN42 with big signals from K1TR.

The final hour didn't go so well. Desperate to avoid a zero-QSO final hour, I switched to FM simplex with ten minutes to go. On the first call I got answered by WA1RKS FN32. Hurray, Ellis saved the day! I spent the remaining moments spinning the antenna in all other directions calling CQ on FM, but didn't hear anything else. I must say, it was a real treat to have the DTV noise covered up by the squelch for a few minutes. Before the week was out I had a bandpass filter on the way in order to solve the broadcast interference problem. My apologies to anyone who tried calling and didn't make it through the almost full-scale S-meter reading of hash in certain directions. I will be back to this site in the spring 222 Sprint to make up for the lost opportunities.


222      17       9

--- Claimed score = 153 ---


2314   PH   K1TEO      FN31
2319   PH   K1WHS      FN43
2346   PH   WA3NUF     FN20
2359   PH   KB1JEY     FN20
0004   CW   W1AN       FN41
0006   PH   W1AIM      FN34
0020   PH   KA2LIM     FN12
0027   PH   K1BX       FN43
0036   PH   K1PXE      FN31
0043   PH   AF1T       FN43
0053   PH   N1JHJ      FN43
0054   PH   KK1CW      FN32
0101   CW   K1TR       FN42
0105   PH   WA2VNV     FN30
0135   PH   WZ1V       FN31
0146   CW   W2BVH      FN20
0250   PH   WA1RKS     FN32

"Having more fun with greater frequency"