N2SLN SINGLE OP LOW POWER  (hilltop portable FN22)


  Directive Systems and Engineering 10-element Rover Special yagi


    Icom IC-7000 mobile on 10m
    5 watts

    Downeast Microwave 222 transverter
    30 watts

    Mirage C2512G amplifier
    90 watts


On the way to my FN22 hilltop a few raindrops hit the windshield, then stopped. Heavier rain fell as I arrived at 6 PM, but I did stuff inside the van while waiting for it to stop. A few minutes later I looked up and the windshield was dry already, so I used that opportunity to go outside and set up the antenna. Just as I got back inside the van, another shower showed up--I couldn't believe luck was on my side this time. Winds and temperatures weren't even an issue on the exposed hilltop if you can believe that, and for the second 222 sprint in a row I saw a faint piece of a rainbow. Then I powered up the equipment and heard lightning static. Without a cellphone I had no Doppler radar to look at, so I called Tom KC2SFU on 2m for a radar update, but no answer. I tuned in the National Weather Service frequency and at least there were no warnings. Knowing that most storm cells move northeast, I knew that the dark skies to my north would probably not affect me. I was just going to have to watch for visible lightning (which is tough in daylight hours) and be ready to tear down immediately and go home--no vertically polarized yagi allowed this time.

The sprint activity was off to a good start, but I wondered how long it would last. I made four contacts in the first ten minutes, then Tom arrived on site and provided Doppler radar via smartphone. We took a few moments to look at the radar loop, and the cells were moving basically northeast as expected. There were none headed this way--more good luck. It was great to take a leisurely approach to the sprint by chatting with Tom, then doing some operating, then chatting some more.

With the antenna pointed west, I was just able to hear VA3ELE/R who was in FN02. At that moment he mentioned that he was on his way toward FN03 so I continued to call CQ on the same bearing, and six minutes later he went into my log from his new grid. A tip of the hat to him for keeping me on frequency so that I could pick up one more QSO. He also ended up being the only station I heard in FN03. Plus, during that time I also worked VE3ZV EN92 (5x7 here) who was my best DX to the west (230 miles / 371 km). Skies had cleared and there was no rain or lightning static in the middle of the sprint--more good luck.

Late in the 3rd hour we looked at the radar loop one more time before Tom had to leave. We saw a cell to the northwest near Syracuse, NY which would continue moving northeast and miss us. In keeping with the leisurely theme, I took a break from the sprinting and chatted with Ken KA2LIM for quite a while in the final hour, then went outside to check on the lightning flashes which had now moved to my north. There was a long stretch of clear skies between me and the storm cell, so I went back inside the van and operated the final half hour. I picked up one new grid and then heard KD2AVU in NYC who I haven't heard in a long time. He was calling VE2DS which is a long haul, so I didn't want to interrupt, but FN30 would have been another new grid for me. Best DX to the northeast was Maine station K1WHS FN43 (247.5 mi / 398.3 km). Best to the south were the stations in FN20, although I did hear a few syllables out of the folks in FM19 and FM29. Signals were not propagating well to my south; they were strong for two seconds, then gone for a half hour. No contacts to the north, but overall, activity levels seemed higher than usual. In fact, this turned out to be my best spring 222 sprint ever, not a drop of rain fell on me the whole time, and the lightning stayed away.


222     20      12

 --- Claimed score = 240 ---


PH   2302  KA2LIM   FN12
PH   2304  W9KXI    FN12
PH   2307  K1WHS    FN43
PH   2310  K3TUF    FN10
PH   2322  W1GHZ    FN34
CW   2334  K1DS/R   FN20
PH   2337  N2DCH    FN22
PH   2353  K1PXE    FN31
PH   0005  VA3ELE/R FN02
PH   0007  VE3ZV    EN92
PH   0011  VA3ELE/R FN03
PH   0017  KA3FQS   FN20
PH   0038  WB2SIH   FN31
PH   0047  WZ1V     FN31
PH   0051  K8ZES    FN02
PH   0109  W1ZC     FN42
PH   0110  K1TR     FN42
PH   0139  K1TEO    FN31
CW   0208  AF1T     FN43
CW   0243  N3RN     FN11