I'm glad I left home early because when I got to the site it had turned into a mud pit right where I was going to set up (and I could see that a telecom company bucket truck had made it worse earlier in the day). There were no other places I could position the van on the hilltop because of power lines or more mud. I set off for my backup site further east in FN12, a cold war era AT&T microwave relay station hilltop. When I got there, the access road was still full of snow, but I got out and took a closer look. I determined that I could probably make it if I had enough momentum. I backed up the van all the way across the main road and hit the gas pedal. On the way up, all kinds of lights lit up on the dashboard telling me that various traction and stability systems were being activated, but I made it to the top of the hill and it was dry up there. The old cinder block building to my east would be the only major signal blockage, although there are trees in most other directions. At this point I was just thankful to have any hilltop at all for the sprint. Central NY was hit hard by an unusually brutal February 2015, and recovery was still in progress in early April.
This year the spring 2m Sprint was held on Monday, April 13, 2015, one day before Google reminded us of the 155th anniversary of the Pony Express (I prefer to use ham radio to deliver my grid square information). The sprint rules were provided here. I got the equipment set up just in time for the start, and it was a good start with 12 contacts in the first hour (better than last year), including 5 from my home grid FN22. I worked down into FM18 and noted that the signals were better than expected, so I wondered if there were going to be extended paths to the south. In the second hour I copied Virginia station KD4AA FM17 working someone, so now I knew that north/south propagation was better than expected. In the third hour I worked my best DX which was the 431-mile path to North Carolina station NG4C FM16. Another fun contact was a portable-to-portable contact with W8SPM FM08 who was at the top of Spruce Knob, WV (4863 feet ASL). My best DX to the west were VE3KCY EN93 and VE3OIL FN04, although I did hear Ohio station K8TQK EM89 in the last hour on 144.200 which would have been the granddaddy of them all at 444 miles, but Bob later reported struggling with rain-induced propagation issues. Best DX to the east was K1TR FN42. Best to the northeast were two northern Vermont stations in FN34 plus AF1T-New Hampshire and K1WHS-Maine both in FN43 (and I did hear one station in FN25 working somebody). Activity levels were high--this would end up being my best result ever for a spring 2m Sprint. Not bad for a low power portable station out in no man's land with no chat page.
BAND QSOs UNIQUE STATES GRIDS --------------------------------- 144 37 20 12 --- Claimed score = 740 --- States and provinces worked: NY PA MD NH VA ME NJ NC CT VT DE WV Ontario
MD UTC CALLSIGN GRID ---------------------- PH 2311 KE2DN FN12 PH 2314 N2DCH FN22 PH 2316 N2SPI FN22 PH 2319 KA2LIM FN12 PH 2326 N2RLA FN22 PH 2327 K0BAK/R FN20 PH 2328 KD2CDU FN22 PH 2329 KC2SFU FN22 PH 2341 AB2YI FN03 PH 2350 W3BFC FM18 PH 2354 K1TR FN42 PH 2358 W9KXI FN12 PH 0002 KC3DBG FN21 PH 0021 W4NA FM09 PH 0022 K3TUF FN10 PH 0031 N2NT FN20 PH 0040 K1WHS FN43 PH 0045 VE3ZV EN92 PH 0100 AF1T FN43 PH 0103 K2OS FN12 PH 0106 NG4C FM16 PH 0108 WZ1V FN31 PH 0120 W1AIM FN34 PH 0121 W1GHZ FN34 PH 0125 WA2BLE FN12 PH 0133 VE3KCY EN93 CW 0138 N3NGE FN20 CW 0147 W3IP FM19 CW 0150 W3CMP FN10 PH 0200 KF2MR FN13 PH 0217 VE3CRU/R FN03 PH 0220 VE3OIL FN04 PH 0225 K3DNE FM19 PH 0226 KA3HED FM29 PH 0231 W8SPM FM08 PH 0232 K1TEO FN31 PH 0244 VA3ST FN03
|"All who wander are not lost."|