SINGLE OPERATOR (hilltopping portable)
N2SLN    FN22qj


    Directive Systems DS50-5 yagi, 5 elements on a 17-ft boom


    Icom IC-7000 at 100 watts


The 6 meter spring sprint was sponsored by the Central States VHF Society and personal contributions of K9JK. The rules and more info were provided at the spring sprints website. Every year this single-band contest runs from 2300Z on a Saturday until 0300Z Sunday, and this time it was held on May 12-13, 2012.

About a quarter of the way into my hour and a half trip to the hilltop of choice, I suddenly realized that I forgot to bring the ladder. So instead of turning around to get it, I spent the rest of the trip thinking of alternate ways of getting this long-boom yagi mounted to the mast without the help of a ladder. Several fancy ideas came to mind, including standing on the roof of the van and lowering the entire assembly into the rotor, but ultimately none of them were as good as simply using the reflector element as a pivot point and tilting the antenna (with some mast attached) into position to meet up with the rest of the mast. Once the antenna was in the air, I did a quick SWR check and I could not get that meter to move. That was the best match I've ever seen on an antenna, and I admit to wondering for a moment if the meter was even working (although it was the built-in digital meter so I felt like it had to be working). To double check, I looked at the power meter during transmit and it showed full output, confirming the existence of a flat match.

I got a late start and missed out on the first half hour, but I still managed to rake in 14 contacts before the first hour was out. AB2YI/R showed up in the second hour with an impressive rover signal from FN02, providing a new grid--and the only signal I heard from that grid. The second hour ended up producing the most activity at 15 QSOs. In the third hour the activity predictably dropped off, but N3NGE came screaming in at 5x9 from 168 miles away and got my attention. The final hour brought the lowest number of contacts, but the best DX, which was KB1GXX FN42th (218 miles). I worked four stations in a row from FN42 around that time, and that contributed to making FN42 the most worked grid (7 contacts total). No sporadic-E developed during this sprint, but local activity levels were better than expected; the extra antenna gain helped me reach more of that activity than antenna systems I've used in the past (stacked Moxons and stacked 3-el yagis). As a result, my total distance worked was 1/4 of the circumference of the earth through the poles. The wx was very workable with low winds and moderate temperatures. The solar flux was 130, up from 92 the previous year. The official results are here.


                      DIST (km)  PER QSO (km)
 50     49     17     9,875.7    201.5


UTC     CALLSIGN        GRID            DISTANCE (km)
2331    N2PP            FN13te          168.0
2333    N8RA            FN31lu          144.1
2334    W1QK            FN31gk          143.9
2335    W2LV            FN21ob          148.7
2336    W3CRS           FN10tf          281.7
2344    KA2ILJ          FN22             32.9
2345    KB2KIR          FN22fl           76.0
2351    W1ZC            FN42dr          242.3
2352    K1BXC           FN31tu          195.5
2353    N2UZQ           FN32as           68.8
2355    NE1H            FN42hu          271.4
2356    N1TQ            FN42db          243.6
2356    KC2WLR          FN32bt           77.0
2357    W2RG            FN41np          321.5
0000    K2AXX           FN12cs          263.3
0000    N1JEZ           FN44ar          337.0
0001    WA1RKS          FN32in          111.2
0019    K3TUF           FN10we          275.6
0020    WB2RVX          FM29mt          288.3
0021    K1DS            FN20ie          251.5
0026    N3RG            FM29ki          340.4
0028    WA2BAH          FN32bs           74.3
0037    KA3HED          FM29co          325.2
0047    W1AIM           FN34uj          291.7
0049    K2CYE           FN21sg          125.7
0051    KC2SFU          FN22             32.9
0053    AB2YI/R         FN02wv          292.3
0054    K2OEQ           FN13ie          235.2
0057    K1ZE            FN31uv          200.7
0106    K1TEO           FN31jh          168.3
0108    KA2LIM          FN12mg          192.8
0111    K3ISH           FN21fo          116.2
0112    WA2MJP          FN33gb          120.9
0113    N3NGE           FN20bd          270.9
0114    NA2T            FN21gi          134.8
0124    WA2DZD          FN21ko           97.2
0125    WB2UYN          FN20vg          238.6
0125    KC2TEP          FN22ba          111.3
0128    KB3TNZ          FN10sx          219.2
0129    KA2MCU          FN32bs           74.3
0144    WA4GPM          FN11og          219.1
0200    WB2OEE          FN21tn           94.9
0204    WA1T            FN43lk          314.6
0205    N1GLT           FN42iw          279.8
0208    KB1GXX          FN42th          350.2
0208    KA1R            FN42ne          310.1
0210    KW2T            FN42eo          247.7
0227    WA2LTM          FN20rh          231.5
0242    K2SMN           FN20oj          222.6

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