AA2YG -- rover vehicle maintenance & driver, 50 & 432 op, partial equipment supplier

N2SLN -- computer logging, 144 op, partial equipment supplier


side view | back view

driver's side view of the operating positions

the rotor control box accessible from both operating positions


6 meter 3-element yagi
2 meter 7-element yagi
432 16-element yagi

mast tilted over for mounting the antennas

telescopic mast anchored and ready to raise antennas skyward

view of the 3 fully raised yagis from below


6 meters:
    Icom IC-706mkIIG
    100 watts

2 meters:
    Icom IC-706 original
    10 watts
    Mirage B1016G 160 watt amplifier

    Icom IC-706mkIIG
    20 watts
    RF Concepts 100 watt amplifier

2 radios, 2 amps, and an emergency battery in a wx-proof box

terminal block to distribute all necessary DC power from vehicle battery


The annual ARRL January VHF Contest starts 2 pm eastern time each year, and runs through 11 pm the next day. We decided to enter the contest in the rover category, and the poor weather that was predicted for our area helped us decide to operate from two nearby gridsquares--FN22 (our own) and FN12. We made a last-minute decision to try a new FN22 rover site & make that our first stop. It was nice working the contest from a site that's nearby since there was a winter storm bearing down on us. We noticed a high SWR on our 3-el 6m yagi and lots of noise generated by snow on all bands, but we were able to pick out 11 stations on all bands in an hour and 43 minutes, and then we went home for the day to let the storm wind itself out. Around the time we got home, NWS issued a winter storm warning for our home county. Then Sunday we were back at it; ready to hit a new grid, and with a much improved wx forecast. As it turned out, our FN12 rover stop was a great one but we never would have made it to the peak of the hill without the help of the tire chains! Unfortunately, there were no band enhancements of any kind on any of the bands, but from extreme eastern FN12 we were able to reach as far west as EN92 (VE3TFU) on 2m and as far south as Virginia on all 3 bands (K8GP in FM18gp). We were glad to have the 432 band working properly because even though it only accounted for 15.2 percent of our QSOs, it accounted for 36.6 percent of our contest points! In addition, without entering the contest as a rover, our final score, at best, would have been only 60 percent of what it was! In our two main blocks of operating time, we made 43 QSOs in 4 hours and 27 minutes of contesting, which works out to a rate of about one QSO every 6 minutes for 4 1/2 hours straight.


Band   QSOs    QSO pts.    Mults.
50      13        13        10 
144     26        26        13 
432      7        14         4 
TOTALS  46        53        27
                            +2 grids visited

       --- Claimed score = 1,537 ---

A thanks goes out to N2RXK and others who loaned us equipment for the 2002 ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes as we steadily purchase our own equipment (we're getting there!). Another thanks goes out to local weak signal VHFers WA2LSK and WA2THS who gave us contacts on 6m & 2m SSB. All photos of the contest effort courtesy of AA2YG. Long live VHF!

Professionals are predictable, it is the amateurs who are dangerous.