I planned to use the same location as the last time I participated in this event (2008). This was a hilltop in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains of New York. In the days leading up to the event, I was closely watching the National Weather Service's "higher summits forecast for the Catskills" which spoke of temperatures dropping to freezing with a 40% chance of rain. Needless to say, I did not want to get stranded by ice and have to spend the night on the summit, then wait for temperatures to warm the next day. Thankfully, just 24 hours before the sprint, the forecast was improved slightly. The low temperature was now forecast to be in the mid 30's, and the chance of rain dropped to 20% and would only show up after midnight.
I had the antenna system assembled at about 6 PM and raced to take some photos while there was still a hint of daylight. I spun the antennas north and reset the rotor controller to zero degrees. Then I checked the match and was glad to see a 1.2 SWR on the antenna stack. I tuned in WWV, set the contest clock, and was ready to go.
In typical sprint fashion, I worked half my contacts in the first hour and then the activity trailed off. Because of low antenna gain, a barefoot radio, no preamp, and no band enhancement, there were no long-haul contacts made. I worked FN41 and 42 to the east, FN12 to the west, and Maryland (FM19) to the south. Under heavy QSB, I was able to dig out Long Island station KF2ZQ FN30 and provided him with a first-time contact with FN22 while he provided me with a new multiplier for the sprint. Then in the last hour, WA3CSP showed up and provided another new grid--FN11. I did not work anyone in my own grid nor any locations to the north.
When I departed the hilltop Saturday night, I watched the car's thermometer start at 41 degrees on the summit, then rise to 44 degrees at the bottom of the access road, then rise to 47 degrees after I plunged into the valley, then rise further to 50 degrees as I dropped in elevation again on the way home. Winds on the mountain top were probably sustained at 15+ mph with gusts of 40+ mph. I was glad to have a sturdy antenna support system and high torque rotor. Scores are listed here.
BAND QSOs QSO UNIQUE PTS. GRIDS --------------------------- 50 21 21 12 --- Claimed score = 252 ---
UTC CALLSIGN GRID RST -------------------------------- PH 2302 WA1RKS FN32 5x9 PH 2303 KC2WLR FN32 5x8 PH 2304 AC2AA FN32 5x9 PH 2306 KU2A FN42 PH 2313 KE2DN FN12 5x7 PH 2318 KB2YCC FN12 PH 2320 KA2LIM FN12 PH 2330 K2SIX FN20 5x5 PH 2331 WZ1V FN31 5x9 PH 2337 W2SJ FM29 PH 2346 KA3HED FM29 PH 0005 N1VDK FN41 PH 0014 KM3F FN20 5x6 PH 0048 KF2ZQ FN30 PH 0055 K1RZ FM19 5x5 PH 0103 K3TUF FN10 PH 0124 N3EVW FN21 CW 0135 N3RG FM29 CW 0138 WB2RVX FM29 PH 0212 WA3CSP FN11 PH 0259 WB2BTO FN21
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