I chose two locations close to each other to reduce off-air time since the contest is only 4 hours long. The sites I used were two new sites--both were moderate elevation hilltops with no significant foliage nearby. The first was in FN12, the second in FN22. I have done this combination many times, but never using these particular hilltops. Skies cleared on my way to the first grid activation, and I set up the antenna system in full sunlight. Temperatures were in the lower 40s and winds about 10 mph.
The first site seemed to favor the southerly and easterly directions as expected (satellite maps showed no trees obstructing the signals south through northeast going the short way). It was a piece of cake working 264 miles into Maine and just as easy picking up the grids to the south, including Maryland station K1RZ FM19 (232 miles). But while in the middle of all this, I tuned in a CW station sending "EN52" as his grid. I immediately turned the antennas to the west, picked a quiet frequency away from the strong local stations, and called CQ. Unfortunately, I didn't get the attention of the midwest tropo stations on SSB or CW despite repeated attempts and hearing them just fine. Going back to the local activity was actually more productive because the contacts and new grids were coming in faster. I ended up working 21 QSOs in 14 grids, including VE3CRU/R in FN04 which is a tough grid to snag. Best DX worked was probably N3NWJ EN90 at 265 miles. Best DX heard was the station in EN52 (probably W9RM in northern IL at 640 miles). Suddenly it was 8:45 PM and I had to start tear-down in order to leave enough time to operate from the next grid. I brought the 6m antenna (see photo) in order to do a quick check of the QRN level at this new site. Thankfully there was none. That means this will be the new primary FN12 site for the future.
Arriving in FN22 later than expected, I opted not to spend time fine tuning the levelness of the rover vehicle--the bubble level indicated that the vehicle was already close to level anyway. So up the antennas went and my first contact was made at 10:00 PM. This second site was a perfect complement to the first because I was working all the grids in the northerly directions which were not favored by the previous location. But I still managed to clean sweep with 7 of the stations I worked earlier. One of the most fun contacts was working a Canadian mobile station in FN03 from over 100 miles away. Working into rare FN14 was also nice. Then my best DX showed up from Ohio: I worked K8TQK EM89 for a distance of 445 miles and he was 5x5. I ended up working 17 QSOs in 12 grids from here and did not hear any tropo at only 1600 feet ASL. The moonlight was so bright at this second site that I disassembled the antenna system at the end of the sprint without need for additional lighting. Winds were now calm, temperatures had dropped into the upper 30s by the end of the sprint, and a Frost Advisory was posted for the area for the following morning.
FN12: BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS ---------------------------- 144 21 21 14 21 x 14 = 294 FN22: BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS ---------------------------- 144 17 17 12 17 x 12 = 204 Claimed score: 294 + 204 = 498
from FN12: 144 PH 9-23-2013 2305 FN12 K1WHS FN43 144 PH 9-23-2013 2306 FN12 N2JJ FN33 144 PH 9-23-2013 2308 FN12 K1TEO FN31 144 PH 9-23-2013 2310 FN12 W9KXI FN12 144 PH 9-23-2013 2313 FN12 K1RZ FM19 144 PH 9-23-2013 2316 FN12 K8GP FM19 144 PH 9-23-2013 2318 FN12 AK3E FM19 144 PH 9-23-2013 2319 FN12 K3EOD FM29 144 PH 9-23-2013 2319 FN12 K2CYE FN21 144 PH 9-23-2013 2325 FN12 N2DCH FN22 144 PH 9-23-2013 2345 FN12 KJ1K FN32 on eastern overlook of Mount Greylock, MA 144 CW 9-23-2013 2354 FN12 N3NWJ EN90 144 PH 9-24-2013 0001 FN12 VE3CRU/R FN04 144 PH 9-24-2013 0003 FN12 N2YB FN12 144 PH 9-24-2013 0004 FN12 KA2LIM FN12 144 PH 9-24-2013 0009 FN12 K3TUF FN10 144 PH 9-24-2013 0020 FN12 K2QO FN03 144 PH 9-24-2013 0023 FN12 VA3MW FN03 144 PH 9-24-2013 0026 FN12 W2KV FN20 144 PH 9-24-2013 0028 FN12 KC2SFU FN22 144 PH 9-24-2013 0040 FN12 KB3TNZ FN10 from FN22: 144 PH 9-24-2013 0200 FN22 KA2LIM FN12 144 PH 9-24-2013 0205 FN22 K1WHS FN43 144 PH 9-24-2013 0206 FN22 K1TEO FN31 144 PH 9-24-2013 0207 FN22 WZ1V FN31 144 PH 9-24-2013 0208 FN22 W9KXI FN12 144 PH 9-24-2013 0216 FN22 K1DS FN20 144 PH 9-24-2013 0218 FN22 WA2FGK FN21 144 PH 9-24-2013 0229 FN22 VA3ELE/M FN03 144 PH 9-24-2013 0231 FN22 K2QO FN03 144 PH 9-24-2013 0233 FN22 N2YB FN12 144 PH 9-24-2013 0238 FN22 VE3JVG FN03 144 PH 9-24-2013 0238 FN22 W2UAD FN13 144 PH 9-24-2013 0239 FN22 VA3VEC FN14 144 PH 9-24-2013 0240 FN22 K8TQK EM89 144 PH 9-24-2013 0247 FN22 K1RZ FM19 144 PH 9-24-2013 0248 FN22 WA2VNV FN30 144 PH 9-24-2013 0259 FN22 K3BFS FN20
|"N2SLN/R: A fringe rover in more ways than one."|