Well the June VHF Sweepstakes are over, and everyone I talked with enjoyed the event, and thought band conditions were pretty good. The E-skip was fairly active at times, and I heard some folks making some pretty long-haul contacts. My station boasts low power and indoor antennas, so I sometimes ride the coat-tails of the bigger guns. I really appreciate their encouragement and patience with me, and everyone is always glad to get even one more contact. I’ve never spent much energy on HF contests, as the big’uns don’t seem to care much for us little’uns. I have ALWAYS found the VHF/UHF crowd to be very sincere and civil in the exercise of the hobby spirit. If you have not joined in on a VHF contest, you should try it. Your personal effort and excitement is the significant result, the actual score is relative mostly to your environment. My score always seems to be higher than in the previous contest. I’m frequently unavailable for the June event, so this year was special. Serious regional communications are a necessity in many scenarios after natural disaster, or other catastrophic events – so I’ve always viewed these VHF exercises as a training venue, similar to Field Day. It never hurts to know what you can do, ‘when all else fails‘.
I now use a registered copy of N3FJP‘s VHF Log as it provides a simple easy-to-use interface and keeps a rolling status for grids, points, and dup-detection. After the show I can export to the Cabrillo format to submit the logs, as well as export to the ADIF format and import the contacts into N3FJP‘s ACLog program for inclusion into my overall station log. From there I can easily export ADIF records for import into eQSL or other on-line services. I used paper exclusively in years past, and that may be why I never got very interested in contests. I would work and keep a log, but rarely ever submit. I really like these two programs, and have gradually been going back thru my old paper logs and entering them into eQSL. Someday I’ll get caught up, but I have a long way to go.
Surely by now everyone wanted to see my score…
This is the grid summary by band display, with the totals at the top.
Best DX contact was with W5MRB, located on Petit Jean Mountain, north-west of Little Rock Arkansas – about 350 miles from here. I worked Mike on both 144 and 432 USB with only 30 watts and homebrew Eggbeater antennas in the attic – not too shabby…
I need to work on my 50 MHz antenna tho, a dipole is barely enough.
Try a VHF contest next time one comes around, you may like it !
It may be hard to quit . .. . .. —