AA2YG -- rover vehicle maintenance & driver, 6m op, partial equipment supplier

N2SLN -- rover site research & route planning, 2m op, partial equipment supplier


the 6m radio in the passenger's seat

the 2m radio mounted behind driver's seat

cargo area of the rover vehicle

before leaving for the contest

arrival in FN13, our first stop


The 2m loop and the 6m yagi are operational while in motion between grids (the 6m yagi is fixed pointing either left or right). The 2m stack gets attached above the 6m yagi each time we stop and set up at a site.

6 meter homebrew 3-element yagi
2 meter stack: two 4-el Cushcraft 124WB endmount yagis, 1/2 wavelength spacing
2 meter KU4AB loop
2 meter mobile whip for FM contacts

antenna system view from above

antenna system side view


6 meters:
    Icom IC-706 original
    100 watts

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


This contest caught us in the middle of some major changes that are underway regarding our contest operations. Nevertheless, we were able to get 6m and 2m operational in time, and our efforts ended up providing much better results than those of a year ago, so we were happy to find out that September contests are not really cursed like we once thought. The most significant change is the new rover vehicle and the new method of carrying the telescoping tower. Our next big change will be to add either 222 or 432 for the January 2003 contest, then get on the remaining band for the June 2003 contest.

The annual ARRL September 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 despite the fact that rain was predicted for the whole weekend in central NY and northeast PA. We decided to start in FN13 and operate for two hours which was a new routine for us. As we were preparing to leave for the next grid, we got a quick rain-free moment which we used to take a couple pictures of the setup. As it turned out, we were only able to get a few more pictures for the rest of the contest, since it was raining much harder most of the time. After leaving FN13, we went to our FN23 site which was 1100 feet higher, so we operated for 3 hours. As a result, that grid activation provided us with our second best grid results of the contest. The next day we planned to set up in three more grids. The plan was FN22 Sunday morning, FN12 Sunday afternoon, and then a new grid activation for us, FN21.

In this contest we had 71 QSOs on 6m, and 72 on 2m:


Six meters was the leader in providing unique grids to us--we worked 17 unique grids on 6m and 16 on 2m. In all we worked 10 states and 2 Canadian provinces. We made 143 QSOs and visited 5 grids, the most ever so far. There was no noticeable band enhancement on either band.


Band   QSOs    QSO pts.    Mults.
50      71        71        17 
144     72        72        16 
TOTALS 143       143        33
                            +5 grids visited

       --- Claimed score = 5,434 ---

Thanks again to the local hams who loaned us equipment for the 2002 ARRL Sept. VHF Contest. All photos of the contest effort courtesy of AA2YG. Long live VHF!

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