N2SLN -- all planning, driving, operating, and logging


N2SLN personal vehicle -- no pics available


6 meter KB6KQ loop
2 meter 4-element end-mount yagi
KU4AB loop
mobile whip


6 meters:
    Icom IC-706
    100 watts

2 meters:
    Icom IC-706
    7 watts
    Mirage B1016G amplifier at 150 watts


The annual ARRL January VHF Contest starts 2 pm eastern time each year, and runs through 11 pm the next day. AA2YG was unavailable for the entire contest, which meant that I (N2SLN) would be missing a rover partner, as well as the usual rover vehicle, a rotor, the telescopic mast, and trailer. So I decided to try outfitting my vehicle with as much equipment as possible. I was almost able to get the 222 equipment working in time, but it would have required me to use up more contesting time, so now it will have to wait until the next 222 sprint.

During the contest I drove to 2 rover sites I've been looking at "on paper" but neither one worked out. One of them was a 2700 foot hilltop with a road to the top, but when I got there I found a gate blocking access to the top. As a result, a lot of contesting time was wasted and consequently I had to cancel a couple gridsquare activations, including one of my favorites--FN23. I ended up operating from two nearby grids--FN22 (our home grid) and FN12. As it turns out, I eventually used 3 different spots in FN22 during the contest.

I was pleased to see the 6m loop exhibit a workable SWR at such low heights. The loop was never higher than about 14 feet above ground, and without the tuner, the SWR was 1.8 to 1. The 4-el yagi performed flawlessly and was a huge improvement over the loop, but it was nice having the 2m loop operational while mobile. The antennas were supported by stackable tent poles, and my setup time was 4 minutes. That was a good thing in the zero degree weather Saturday night, although the mast was still mounted through the passenger's side rear window, which means I had to keep it open while operating at a rover site. But at least I could easily reach back and grab it to spin the 2m beam.

I was lucky to catch the 6m E skip band opening--it was perhaps the biggest news of the contest. Having the 6m loop was great because I was able to work stations in 3 directions very quickly--the EN & EM fields and VE1 land. I never expected E skip in January, but I was sure glad to be prepared for it. I even gave out a new grid for someone's VUCC efforts.


Band   QSOs    QSO pts.    Mults.
50      40        40        22 
144     28        28        11 
TOTALS  68        68        33
                            +2 grids visited

       --- Claimed score = 2,380 ---

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