N2SLN    FN22


    Moxon fixed west

    5-el long-boom yagi fixed south

    Moxon fixed east


    Icom IC-7600 at 100 watts


I had just finished disassembly of the old rover / portable vehicle earlier in the day as part of preparing for a new one. So without being able to go hilltopping, I was not expecting much from this sprint. That's what happens when your dedicated contest vehicle has more power and better antennas than your home station (and can get to the mountaintops). The home station is just a barefoot radio into three low-height antennas (no towers), all of them directional but no rotors under them, and no preamp. The shack is an 8'x8' room in the corner of the unheated garage. I was glad to see that all the equipment was still working after that horrendous February where the temperature dropped as low as -23 degrees Fahrenheit, as if zero degrees during the January VHF Contest wasn't enough punishment.

I started off calling CQ, but only attracted one station in the first 20 minutes, so I switched to search-n-pounce and that was the secret to success this time. But after a decent first two hours, I made only two contacts in the third hour. The fourth hour arrived and around 0215Z I began hearing (without assistance) K2DRH EN41 on 50.140 so I decided to spend the rest of the sprint trying to get through. I got him to hear me but not well enough for a QSO. Then in the last minute K0TPP EM48 showed up on the same frequency and I thought about making a quick contact with him, but it sounded like he was working someone else, so I decided not to interrupt. I relied more heavily on CW than in any previous 6m sprint that I can remember. The 5-el yagi at only one wavelength above ground ended up being the workhorse antenna, but each antenna provided contacts that the others could not produce. I worked WB2JAY who was set up on an old fire tower hilltop in FN10. He was one of the loudest signals all night from his 2000+ foot perch. Something sounded familiar about his callsign so I looked at old logs and found that I had worked him in the September 2014 VHF contest from FN23 when he was on Long Island. There was good tropo in that direction Sunday morning and I worked him on all 4 of the bottom bands. Anyway, despite a higher Solar Flux Index (155) for this sprint for at least the fourth consecutive time, there was no solid sporadic-E like there was in the previous two years as we get further from the peak of cycle 24. Best DX was probably Delaware station K3MEC FM09 (272 miles / 437 km), although I did hear W8SPM FM08 on Spruce Knob, WV (337 miles / 542 km) as well as the midwest stations mentioned earlier (both 700+ miles). It was a fun sprint even for someone with no spotting assistance (no computer in the shack, no consistent high speed Internet available in the area, and no cell service available in the area), but chances of sporadic-E would be improved by moving the event to Memorial Day weekend.


 50     15      9      135


PH   1904    KE2DN       FN12
PH   1923    KA3FQS      FN20
PH   1924    W8ZN        FM19
PH   1926    KA2LIM      FN12
CW   1948    K3TUF       FN10
PH   1949    K1IED       FN31
CW   1958    K1TEO       FN31
CW   2000    WB2JAY      FN10
CW   2006    K3MEC       FM29
PH   2011    N2NT        FN20
PH   2036    NZ3M        FN10
PH   2041    N3RN        FN11
CW   2048    K1TR        FN42
CW   2108    K1SND       FN32
CW   2111    W1QK        FN31