SINGLE OPERATOR CATEGORY (hilltopping portable)


Directive Systems 10-element rover special


    Radio Shack HTX-100 10m mobile
    50 milliwatts

    Downeast Microwave 222 transverter
    35 watts

    Mirage C2512 amplifier
    120 watts and receive preamp


The 222 MHz spring sprint 2012 was sponsored by K9JK. This single band contest ran from 7pm until 11pm local time, Tuesday, April 17th. Distance scoring was used (where your score equals the total number of kilometers of all contacts).

Due to the increased chance of equipment issues using equipment that has failed me before, I decided to enter the contest from a fixed location, rather than waste time traveling between grids. I set up on the nearest rover site in my home grid square FN22. Here the antenna is 300+ feet above average terrain and thankfully there isn't much foliage in the immediate area to attenuate these high-VHF signals. Winds were sustained at about 15 mph on this exposed hilltop with gusts to about 20 mph, and temperatures were in the low 30s by the end of the sprint.

The last time I operated in this event was 2010, and despite the slightly larger antenna this time, I was unable to improve on the numbers from that year. Later in 2010, I was getting reports that my transmit audio was breaking up. My first experiment was to replace the mic. This spring sprint was the first chance to check out the new mic, and as it turns out, the audio issue was still there. I received no complaints on CW, even when using an amp, so there must be an issue in the IF radio's audio chain. The HTX-100 has been known to suffer when internal components begin to age. I relied heavily on CW the rest of the night in order to work around the SSB audio problem a bit.

Despite working only 11 stations, my paper-and-pen log shows that there were 17 other callsigns written down (stations I'd heard but couldn't work), about half of them with grids included. The longest DX among the received-only stations was K8RYU EM99jk (359.3 miles / 578.2 km). But the best actual DX was, as it so often is, K1WHS FN43mj (247.5 mi / 398.3 km) and was one of the strongest stations. Best to the west was VA3ST FN03ha (189.1 mi / 304.3 km). Best to the south was WC2K FM29mx (182.5 mi / 293.7 km). Official results are here.


UTC     CALL    GRID     DIST (km)      OTHER
2309    W9KXI   FN12ne   104.7
2317    K3TUF   FN10we   266.1
2328    N2DCH   FN22ac    54.9
2333    KA2LIM  FN12mg   107.9
2347    K8ZES   FN02ug   215.1
2355    K1WHS   FN43mj   398.3          CW
0004    K1TEO   FN31jh   249.5
0012    WC2K    FM29mx   293.7          new grid for him
0121    WA3NUF  FN20ke   268.2          CW
0154    AF1T    FN43cd   326.6          CW
0219    VA3ST   FN03ha   304.3          CW
TOTAL DIST              2589.3
AVG DIST PER QSO         235.4

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