N2SLN -- all planning, driving, operating, and logging, under the callsign N2SLN/R


N2SLN personal vehicle -- no pics available


6 meter Par loop
2 meter 4-element end-mount yagi
2 meter KU4AB loop
222 Directive Systems DS222-8  8-el endmount yagi
mobile whips for 6m SSB & 2m FM/SSB


    Icom IC-706
    100 watts

    Icom IC-706
    7 watts
    Mirage B1016G amplifier at 150 watts

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


The annual ARRL September VHF Contest starts 2 pm eastern time each year, and runs through 11 pm the next day. This was my second solo rover trek this year--the first was the June contest (after missing the January contest due to a winter storm which quickly turned into a blizzard). I activated 4 grids using rover sites I've used before in FN22, FN23, FN13, and FN12. Total contesting time was 12 hours 9 minutes (36.8% of the contest).

I was again pleased to see the 6m loop exhibit a workable SWR at such low heights. The loop was less than 20 feet above ground, and without the tuner, the SWR was 1.5 to 1 or less. The 4-el 2m yagi performed flawlessly and was a huge improvement over the loop, but it was nice having the 2m loop operational while mobile. In fact, as a result of having the loop, I was able to make one contact during the half hour drive through FN13 (Syracuse, NY metro). I worked K1OW/R FN23 who was the only loud station around (W2SZ couldn't pull me out, and N2PA was nowhere to be found).

When fully set up, the antennas were supported by a stackable pole assembly of a closet hanger rod, an old 2m yagi boom, and a large diameter wooden dowel. The whole thing is hand rotatable thanks to a hose clamp on the wooden dowel taking all the weight. The mast gets mounted through the passenger's side rear window, so rain and wind are issues--a strong wind can rotate the antennas off the desired direction.

I noticed only a hint of 6m E-skip late Sunday starting at 2129Z with KC4PX EL98 and continuing for more than 2 hours. Unfortunately, I only heard 10 stations beyond my usual ground wave range and worked only half of them. My longest overall distance reached in this contest was with Florida station K4ADR EL96 at 1173 miles (1888 km) while I was in FN12. I noticed tropo on 144/222 earlier Sunday from FN23, which helped me work WA8RJF EN91 on all 3 bands over a 326-mile path, and W4IY FM08 on all 3 bands over a 347-mile path, yet there were no distances reached over 400 miles like there were in the previous September contest. But the weather was better this time out, allowing me to activate more grids.

I found 222 to be a huge assistance again with points. I calculated my score, then recalculated it without 222 just to see what impact the band had on my operations. As it turns out, 222 accounted for only 21% of my QSOs, but it provided more than half of my points (up from last year). Many stations were asking about 432, so perhaps I will add that band while dropping 6m, or else do something to get 6m working better...maybe get an improved antenna such as a Moxon.


Band     QSOs    QSO pts.    Mults.
50        53        53        22
144       66        66        24
222       32        64        17
TOTALS   151       183        63
                              +4 grids activated

       --- Claimed score = 12,261 ---

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