The June VHF contest 2012 will forever be known as our first contest with a 6m opening to Europe. Ken's 6m antenna upgrades throughout the past year paid big dividends just in time for the ramp-up
to the peak of Cycle 24, especially his secret 4-over-4 element yagi stack design that hauled in 40 contacts from western through eastern Europe--one of the highest totals in the US. Our best DX
was Croatia, 9A4A in grid locator JN74 at a distance of 4353.6 miles (which equates to about 93% of the distance to Hawaii).
Here's a sample from the logbook of F4AZF showing several 6m signals from the US making it into France Sunday evening:
If that wasn't enough to get the heart pounding, then the 1,215 mile contact on 2m should do it. With fewer than 90 minutes
to go in the contest, we worked rare sporadic-E on 2m, putting DN94 and South Dakota in the 2m log. It does help having
73,000 watts ERP on the 2m long-boom yagis, but smaller stations from around the northeast were making it into the WDØT
A new personal best of 612 QSOs and 229 grids on 6m helped launch the score to over 400k for the first time since the maiden
voyage of the Gridsquare Limo in 2007, and should produce a new WNY section record like we did in 2010. A new personal best
36 grids on 222 was also achieved. We were equipped with some microwave gear, too:
The whole experience was made even more enjoyable by the new Hornby Room. If people in Florida can have Florida Rooms, then
people in Hornby, NY can have Hornby Rooms. Our kitchen away from home is now fully waterproof and windproof, with a raised
floor, lights, ample table space, plenty of storage room and seating, a 3-unit crock pot, a refrigerator, and microwave oven.