N2SLN    FN22qj


    pair of horizontally polarized Cushcraft 3-element yagis


    Icom IC-7000 at 100 watts


The 6 meter fall sprint was sponsored by the Southeast VHF Society. The rules and more info were provided here. Every year this single-band contest runs from 2300Z on a Saturday until 0300Z Sunday, and this year it was held on 30-31 October, later than previous years.

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.


              PTS.   GRIDS
 50     21     21      12

--- Claimed score = 252 ---


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

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