I placed the magnet mount mobile whip antenna on the roof of the van and connected it to the amplifier. The plan was to spend a couple minutes trying to make FM simplex contacts at the start of the sprint, then switch to the SSB beams for the rest of the night. When I tuned in 146.550 there was already a non-sprint QSO there and the stations were too weak for me to hear, so that was the end of that idea. I went back out to the amplifier and connected the beams.
With reduced power it was tough getting people to hear me. There were only 4 contacts made in the first hour--nothing like the record 22 contacts like the previous year. The second hour was much the same way--not a lot of people hearing me. I switched to CW and picked up a Rhode Island station in FN41 which was a nice treat. Then in the third hour I began hearing improved signals from the southeast, but still didn't get anyone's attention despite hearing a loud FN30 station. Moments later I worked a Maryland station for my best DX of 257 miles into FM18 (a new grid for both of us) and realized that the enhancement was moving west, probably being pushed by the gentle east wind. In the final hour there were two stations in a row from FN20 who were 5x9 over paths of 158+ miles. In the last ten minutes I finally got my wish and worked a loud station in FN30 which was a new grid. Too bad the conditions were getting good so late in the game. In rare form I worked greater numbers of stations with each passing hour:
HOUR QSOs 1 4 2 5 3 7 4 9It was great to hear some new callsigns on the air in this sprint.
BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS ---------------------------- 144 25 25 16 === claimed score: 400 ===
START-OF-LOG: 2.0 CALLSIGN: N2SLN CATEGORY: SINGLE-OP 144M LOW CLAIMED-SCORE: 400 CONTEST: VHF-SPRINT-144MHZ-FALL CREATED-BY: hand NAME: ADDRESS: ADDRESS: EMAIL: OPERATORS: SOAPBOX: QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-21 2320 N2SLN FN22 N2NT FN20 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-21 2326 N2SLN FN22 VE3ZV EN92 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-21 2340 N2SLN FN22 KA1R FN42 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-21 2347 N2SLN FN22 KJ1K FN32 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0020 N2SLN FN22 AC2BL FN23 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0022 N2SLN FN22 WZ1V FN31 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0025 N2SLN FN22 WA1WK FN31 QSO: 144 CW 2014-09-22 0052 N2SLN FN22 N2DCH FN22 QSO: 144 CW 2014-09-22 0054 N2SLN FN22 WB2VVV FN41 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0114 N2SLN FN22 K3TUF FN10 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0116 N2SLN FN22 W9KXI FN12 QSO: 144 CW 2014-09-22 0130 N2SLN FN22 AB2YI/R FN02 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0138 N2SLN FN22 W3IP FM19 QSO: 144 CW 2014-09-22 0143 N2SLN FN22 K1DS FN20 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0145 N2SLN FN22 K3CCR FM18 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0149 N2SLN FN22 WA2BLE FN12 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0200 N2SLN FN22 K1TEO FN31 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0211 N2SLN FN22 WA2ONK FN20 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0227 N2SLN FN22 WA2CP FN20 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0238 N2SLN FN22 VA3ELE/R FN02 QSO: 144 CW 2014-09-22 0245 N2SLN FN22 K1WHS FN43 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-23 0254 N2SLN FN22 WS2E FN21 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-23 0255 N2SLN FN22 N2FKF FN30 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-23 0256 N2SLN FN22 K2SMN FN20 QSO: 144 PH 2014-09-22 0257 N2SLN FN22 KA2LIM FN12 END-OF-LOG: