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

N2SLN -- rover site research & route planning, 144 & 222 op, partial equipment supplier


No pictures were taken during this contest. The rover vehicle and trailer were the same as the September 2002 setup.


The 6m loop was operational with low SWR while in motion between grids. Also, we connected a 2m whip to the 2m amp so we could call "CQ Contest" on 146.550 with 150 watts & preamp while in motion.

DAY 1:
6 meter KB6KQ horizontally polarized omnidirectional loop
2 meter Cushcraft 13B2 yagi
222 DownEast Microwave DS222-8 8-el endmount yagi
432 Gulf Alpha Antennas 16-element yagi
2 meter mobile whip for FM contacts

DAY 2:
6 meter KB6KQ horizontally polarized omnidirectional loop
2 meter stack: two 4-el end-mount yagis at 5/8 wavelength stacking distance
222 DownEast Microwave DS222-8 8-el endmount yagi
432 Gulf Alpha Antennas 16-element yagi
2 meter mobile whip for FM contacts


6 meters:
    Icom IC-706mkIIG
    100 watts

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

    Radio Shack HTX-100 10m mobile
    50 milliwatts
    Downeast Microwave 222 transverter
    35 watts
    Mirage C2512 125 watt amplifier

    Icom IC-706mkIIG
    20 watts
    RF Concepts 4-310 100 watt amplifier


The annual ARRL June VHF Contest starts 2 pm eastern time each year, and runs through 11 pm the next day. This year we entered the contest in the rover category again. A 30% chance of rain loomed over us Saturday and the air was so humid on the hilltop that we were literally in a cloud. Luckily, clear weather was predicted for the second day. We decided to start the contest fully set up in FN22 since we were able to secure a good spot. The next day we planned to set up in two more grids, and activate a third while in motion ...visit FN23, drive through FN13 and make at least one contact, then visit FN12. We had an additional grid visit planned, but since we were running behind schedule, we decided to stay in FN12.

This contest provided us with a new personal best score. Saturday evening in FN22 was a blast from above 3000 feet ASL--and not surprisingly it was our best grid for QSO points:


From FN22 we made 180 QSOs in 6 hours and 23 minutes, which translates to an average rate of 1 QSO every 2 minutes and 8 seconds for almost 6 1/2 hours straight. So the number of QSOs and the QSO rate were both up from last June. In the first hour the average rate was 42 QSOs per hour, or 1 QSO every 86 seconds which is also better than last June.

Of particular interest in this contest was the performance of the 222 band, our newest addition. As it turned out, 222 provided 35% of the total points in the contest even though it only accounted for one out of every seven QSOs! And 6m was the leader in providing unique grids to us...we had 46 unique grids, almost halfway to the VUCC award in one weekend. In all we worked 18 states and Ontario Canada. We made 317 QSOs and activated 4 grids. The longest distance 6m contact was KK5VL in Louisiana (EL49or) while we were in FN22, which was a distance of 1257 miles (2023 km). The longest distance reached on 2m was 388 miles (625 km) with K8CC in Michigan (EN82ef) while we were in FN12. According to tropospheric ducting forecasts, two meter signals were slightly enhanced by tropo at that time which also helped us work N8KOL (EN80ss) in Ohio at 359 miles (577 km) with S9+10 signals on our end. Then with less than five minutes to go in the contest, we heard N2JMH/R on his final contest rover expedition. We worked him on all 4 bands in less than two minutes, adding 2,254 points to our total score. We will surely look for N2JMH single op in the future.

In addition to the 2m tropo Sunday night, there was also Es on 6m between 1800-2037Z Saturday afternoon. It disappeared for 2 1/2 hours, then at 2307Z we worked one more Es contact which turned out to be our longest distance reached in this contest. Then on Sunday we thought that there wasn't any Es when we activated FN23, our first grid of the day. But then, just minutes before entering the next grid, we worked a single Es contact at 2016Z, K9NS in Illinois (EN52), a distance of about 650 miles, then no more Es heard for two hours. When we got set up in FN12 at 2230Z there was still no Es, but twenty minutes later it started in again, enabling us to work 14 long distance stations in 8 grids in addition to the local contacts.


Band   QSOs    QSO pts.    Mults.
50     135       135        46 
144     89        89        23 
222     42        84        15
432     49        98        19 
TOTALS 315       406       103
                            +4 grids activated

       --- Claimed score = 43,442 ---

Thanks again to the local hams who loaned us a generator and a couple extra coaxial jumpers and adaptors for the 2003 ARRL June VHF Contest. Another thanks goes out to local weak signal VHFers WN2WNC and KE2DN who gave us QSO points on 2m SSB while we were in FN22, and to N2VWW who found us on 2m in both FN22 and FN23. Long live VHF!

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