432 FALL SPRINT 2009
SINGLE OPERATOR CATEGORY (hilltopping portable)



    Icom IC-7000 mobile
    35 watts


The 432 MHz fall sprint 2009 was sponsored by SVHFS, the Southeastern VHF Society. This single band contest ran from 7pm until 11pm local time, Wednesday, October 7th, 2009.

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 instead. The location was the nearest rover site in my home gridsquare FN22. The antenna was at about 1940 feet above sea level and thankfully there wasn't much foliage in the immediate area. Due to the miserable weather (Wind Advisory until 8:00 PM), I mounted the antenna to the car just like I did in the previous week's 222 sprint. That prevents me from having to go outside and set up the tilt-over mast/rotor system in the driving rains and the 40+ mph wind gusts on the exposed hilltop. I arrived one minute early and synch'ed the clock to WWV, then it was off to the races.

Starting with the car pointed south (and the antenna pointed east), I heard W1RZF and W1ZC both in FN42, but they disappeared. I turned the antenna further south and worked N2GHR FN30 (Long Island) as well as Connecticut station WZ1V FN31 who was loud with his 500 watts into a 24-el yagi. Turned northeast and picked up Maine station K1WHS FN43 at 247 miles (397 km). Best DX ended up being Maryland station K3CB FM18 at 264 miles (425 km). Not bad for 35 watts into an antenna four feet off the ground. I also enjoyed pulling out WA2NXK/R FN20 which was a new grid. Turning the antenna through the northern directions did not get me any contacts. At 47 minutes to go in the sprint, another vehicle parked next to mine, preventing me from continued re-positioning of the vehicle, so I was unable to point at WA2FGK and pick up new grid FN21, and same goes for K3TUF FN10 who I heard around that same time.

I noticed rapid signal flutter on several signals, as noted by K1WHS. It was present as soon as the beam began turning away from the proper heading. Here is a list of additional stations I heard but was unable to work: K1TR, VE2ZAZ, WV2ZOW, W2SJ FM29. I would have liked to hear activity out of FN01, 02, 03, FN11, my own grid (FN22), FN23, 24, and FN32, 33. Once again, I worked more stations on 222 than 432, a situation I've seen happen more and more often in the past two years. One wonders where all the IC-706IIG / 7000 / FT-857 / 897 people went.


              PTS.   GRIDS
432     7     14       6

--- Claimed score = 84 ---


2324    N2GHR      FN30
2325    WZ1V       FN31
2337    K1WHS      FN43
2346    K3CB       FM18   CW
0056    N2LID      FN12
0108    WA2NXK/R   FN20
0112    K1PXE      FN31   CW

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the N2SLN rover team."