N2SLN    FN22


    pair of Directive Systems and Engineering 6-el Rover Special yagis


    Icom IC-7000 at 2 percent power (about 1 watt)

    TE Systems 1452G amplifier at maybe 100 watts plus receive preamp


The new VHF contesting van is nearing completion. Even though I could not launch a full effort for this sprint, it was a good test of some of the changes: Early on sprint day there was still no transceiver installed on the passenger side (the 144 / 432 MHz station) and no power cables had been run to anything. I tried tightening battery terminals on the posts of the auxiliary battery, but either the terminals were too large, or the posts were too narrow, because I couldn't get the terminals to grip the posts. So I was going to have to use just the starter battery / alternator for power with no second battery in parallel, and that means not driving the 300w amplifier to full working range without first testing it all in the driveway at home. By 5 PM I had the transceiver remote-mounted and power run to it and the amplifier, but not enough time to put a meter on anything, so I would have to take a risk and run the new equipment untested on the first try. I tried using a headset / footswitch system, but the headset was sent with the wrong adaptor, so I used the headset for received audio, and the stock microphone for transmitting. The passenger-side transceiver is mounted so far from the remote head that the CW key doesn't reach the cockpit anymore, so I had to forego the CW contacts. I didn't have enough time left to run power to the external preamp, so I would have to use the amp's built-in preamp. At 6 PM I was still looking for a combination of feedlines to get a bandpass filter inline, but that wasn't going to happen either. With no external preamp or bandpass filter inline, it was now a longer distance for the transceiver's feedline to reach the amplifier. I was just lucky enough to find two jumper feedlines and a barrel connector to make it happen. I had no PTT line with the modular plug needed for these new style amplifiers, so I was forced to take another risk and use RF-sensing. I got to my FN22 hilltop and was set up by 7:10 with two 6-el yagis at 2000 feet above sea level. At this point I was glad just to be on the air at all, but the amazing thing is that everything worked! Many signals were strong and the activity level was good. Despite not knowing exactly how much power I was running, I did at least manage to work North Carolina station NG4C FM16 at 427 miles / 687 km as my best DX (2nd year in a row).


144     20     13

--- Claimed score = 260 ---


2325 W9KXI    FN12
2327 KE2DN    FN12
2334 WB2JAY   FN10
0009 KA3FQS   FN20
0018 WA1MTI   FN41
0023 WA2FGK   FN21
0025 WA3NUF   FN20
0032 N2DCH    FN22
0116 K1TEO    FN31
0042 KA2LIM   FN12
0054 NG4C     FM16
0057 WA2CP    FN20
0113 N2FKF    FN30
0122 WZ1V     FN31
0143 KA1ZE/3  FN01
0152 VE3ZV    EN92
0157 N2YB     FN12
0204 W3IP     FM19
0206 WA2ONK   FN20
0224 W2SJ     FM29