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ARRL January VHF Contest   2018   Jan 20   Comment Summary

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Click on a call below to see the score rumor detail. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the comment.

AA6XA   Single Op Port QRP   1,4252018-01-21 04:45:21
Operated from the top of Loma Alta, CM88qa.
KD2AVU/P   Single Op Port QRP   4592018-01-21 18:11:09
Enjoying the weather and made some contacts. First time portable during a
Operating from Jones Beach state park.
K5ND/R   Limited Rover LP   3,7802018-01-21 22:29:49
Activated 7 grids on 2m and 70 cm with IC-910H and yagis on painter pole. Thanks
to all the stations that followed my rover route and for the rovers that found
me as well. Fun contest.
W1AJT(VE3UTT)   SO 3Band HP   3152018-01-21 23:07:56
K3 / 2el Moxon @ 20'

First time trying this contest - quite boring given the conditions.

12 FT8 / 9 MSK144
AG2AA   Single Op LP   362018-01-22 00:08:51
just popped in to say hi.
K9NW   SO 3Band LP   12018-01-22 01:01:36
Worked the one local I heard in the few minutes I tuned the band.

73, Mike K9NW
VE9CB   Single Op LP   7542018-01-22 01:21:34
Here's how N1MM+ Logger broke down my score:

Band Mode QSOs Pts Grd Pt/Q
50 CW 8 8 6 1.0
50 FT8 2 2 2 1.0
50 MSK1 3 3 3 1.0
50 USB 3 3 3 1.0
144 CW 8 8 8 1.0
144 USB 5 5 4 1.0
Total Both 29 29 26 1.0
Score: 754

In 2016, my score was 1 (one) point
In 2017, my score was 513 points, and improvement of over 50,000%
This yeaer, I'm up to 754 points, an improvement of almost 50%.
I may be approaching my peak.

Given my mariginal results on 6 and 2 metres, I suspect it's not worth the
effort to put up antennas for 222, 432 and beyond.

I heard no tropo enhancement, no Es, no Aurora, marginal Meteor Scatter and
precious few signals, even when making skeds. QRM of any kind would have made
me feel much less lonely.

6m - FTdx-5000 + 5el yagi up 80ft
2m - FT-736R + brick amp + 9el yagi up 75ft


Dave VE9CB
N8BJQ   Single Op HP   1,1962018-01-22 01:52:57
36 FT8 Q'S - 8 MSK144 Q's - 2 SSB on 2M Tried CW on 6M several times - no luck.
N1MM worked great with WSJT & JT Alert. Wish more FT8 stations would use
contest mode - much quicker. Great grandson was here so I took liberal off
KE4S   Single Op HP   1982018-01-22 02:27:17
Rig- K3/P3, Expert 1.3K-FA
Ant- 4el SteppIR @ 17m for 40m thru 6m
W8AEF   Single Op LP   2102018-01-22 02:32:28
First contest in maybe 10 years. Different radio, different software, different
computer, low antenna. Fun.
N3MK   Single Op HP   1,1002018-01-22 02:41:29
My rotor got stuck towards fn20 land right after the contest started and I only
had a few hours to operate before leaving town. I still managed a few contacts.
AA7V   SO 3Band LP   752018-01-22 02:46:23
all FT8
N7IR   SO 3Band LP   3,5802018-01-22 02:49:28
Thanks in part to three rovers and 13 portable operations this was the most
active January VHF contest ever in central Arizona. Hats off to KK6MC/R,
WA8WZG/R, KC1BB/R and SOTA coordinator WA7JTM for their efforts to activate the
VHF and UHF bands during this contest. The Arizona Microwave Group also
promoted the contest along with the Arizona Outlaw Contest Club. The result
was lots of activity and fun for all.

Thanks for the contacts and your patience.

Gary, N7IR
K7ULS   Single Op HP   2102018-01-22 02:59:38
144-M2-2M7 in a top of A-frame pointed South
50-AR-6 and Driven element from 50-5s
Icom 910h
Farthest to W7GJ via MS with 100w
and the dipole.
K7XC   SO 3Band LP   7602018-01-22 03:16:25
Spent several days in the cold before the contest to Find, Fix,
and Refurbish the 144 and 432 yagis back to their former glory.
The 2M yagi is now 16 elements on a 30ft boom, the 432 yagi is
now 22 elements on a 6WL boom. Finished installing the 432
feedline in 38 degree temperatures with 40+ MPH gusts. One last
effort to truss the 2M yagi and then raise them to full height
of the tower trailer in the stunning Nevada Sunset. Testing the
SWR of all 3 antennas showed them to be perfect. Starting the
contest 30 Minutes late wasn't too bad considering 144 and 432
had no antennas ready Wednesday evening. The restored full length
yagis played like gangbusters making getting the attention of
folks on the other side of the Sierras a whole lot easier. I also
scrounged up a 30ft run of 1/2" Heliax for 432 which helped alot
as I had no working preamp available. Not a hint of Es, The
Rocks were very sparse all weekend making it very hard to Utilize
MSK144 MS on 6M. Still was nice to bump into everyone again in
between bouncing back and forth between NAQP SSB and this
contest. Here's to a quick return to Spring time! The station
consisted of an IC746 (6/2) and a IC706mkIIg (432) each running
barefoot (80W 6/2 and 45W 432). 73s de Tim - K7XC - DM09jh... sk
K5QB(@K5NA)   SO 3Band LP   5,0322018-01-22 03:23:53
The contest conditions did not meet initial expectations, 6m CW was thought to
be the workhorse of the contest, while 2m and 70cm were to be used to help with
multipliers. The station was setup to meet those expectations, however I was
able to make more QSOs on 70cm than on 6m. Digital modes were not used in the

The total number of CW QSOs was 3. As a CW op I missed running more QSOs and
mults on 6m - I'm not sure if the low number of CW QSOs is due to a local
preference for voice, regional ham density, propagation, or another factor.

The propagation to the east on 2m was surprising and welcomed. Thanks to the
rover stations who made the contest interesting and ops who helped me out, both
heavily added to the store

Many thanks for Richard, K5NA and Susan, K5DU for allowing me the use of their
VE2PN   Single Op HP   8402018-01-22 04:04:28
Band CW Phone Dig Total %
---- -- ----- --- ----- ---
6 0 1 15 16 47
2 0 3 14 17 50
70 0 1 0 1 3
-- ----- --- ----- ---
Total 0 4 30 34 100
N4DW   Single Op LP   62018-01-22 04:06:11
Total waste of time!
W5ZN   Single Op HP   71,9402018-01-22 04:06:48
No real six meter prop except for MS. Some FT8. Seemed to be a good bit of 6
& 2 meter MS with MSK144. Without Rovers this contest would be a zero!
N9NA   Single Op LP   142018-01-22 04:09:37
ICOM 706 and vertical at 60 ft.
K5AND   Single Op HP   40,5122018-01-22 04:27:31
Special thanks to the rovers who braved high winds, rain and lots of miles:
KG5UCA/R, KD5IKG/R, KA5D/R, W5IFS/R & KE5VIN/R, K0MHC/R, N0LD/R. Thanks also
to KF0M and W5ZN for the excitement they brought.
Conditions were just average but activity was up, probably spurred by the rovers
good advance notices. I did not get sufficiently organized to make use of the
digital modes this go round, but will have that worked out for June.
All in all a fun contest and thanks for all the contacts.
KA1ZE/3   Single Op HP   23,9022018-01-22 04:32:18
Time.. 11:15PM The contest is over and my ears hurt.. Way to many hours with
headphones squeezing my head. Was it worth it? you betcha!

Nice to log so many rovers. A special thanks to VA3ELE/R who took the road less
traveled and started the test in FN24. In my 12 years of operating in FN01 I
have only logged the grid 1 other time. TNX Peter!

Marc, VE2PN FN46 had a very solid signal from his rare GRID 500 miles away heard
many times.

Conditions were pretty flat with some local enhancement Sunday evening. The
enhanced stations got in my log Saturday, hihi. I played a little with MSK144.
It was fun but I wish there were more stations in my range to work. The effort
put 11 GRIDS in the log. Tropo GRIDS totaled 63. This year I attempted no EME

73, Stan .. now time for some sleep with chirping bouncing in my head
K5VIP   Single Op LP   1,4262018-01-22 04:44:57
Lot of time and effort invested for a disappointing result. But for FT8 and
MSK144, the results would have been far worse. The was poor propagation on 6,
2, and 432, and not many contest participants in my view.
KC2WUF   SO 3Band LP   562018-01-22 05:19:23
Yaesu FTDX3000, MFJ-993B, MFJ-931 and 125 ft long wire antenna 12 feet high for
HF, LDG Z-11Pro II and attic dipole for 6m
N6ZE/R   Rover LP   2,4002018-01-22 05:24:49
Different rove this time:
On Saturday, 42QSOs in DM03/DM04 on 4 bands from local small hill within city
limits of Thousand Oaks, CA (DM04ne): FT857 and whips for 6/2/70 + TM231 &
whip for 135cm

On Sunday, 31QSOs on 3 bands with FT857/whips while in motion Northbound on
Interstate 5 and made QSOS from 6 grids: DM05/CM96/CM97/CM98/CM88/CM89
N2RJ   Single Op HP   5042018-01-22 06:07:24
Just fooling around with FT8, giving the Power Genius XL a good workout.

Lots of locals, no real big openings. Worked one rover.
VA3ELE/R   Rover HP   103,0562018-01-22 06:22:21
Issues issues... Preparation... Lack of!
It was good fun and decent activity.
Thanks all that took a moment to to try.

Not having time to test anything before the contest except on the bench took
tol. The 2m band worked well on the way to FN24 with just a HALO in it regular
daily driving position. I ce arrived at FN24 and all was connected, I soon
realized I was missing my 992 feedline, stole it from 5760 as its the least
common band up here. I swapped the cable when 5760 was needed, I bit of a PITA
must say, but, it worked. Once I began making contacts, I soon realized that
fuse box I had chosen was not capable of handling the current and started
blowing fuses on the input. I guess 2x40A just not enough for running high
in a rover even with 2 extra 90aH batteries. Took a few more. Enya to think
things through and got it sorted out, butchered some cables together and
up the input fuses... Bingo... Back in action, but, lost too much time in FN24
and had to catch up skeds with VE3OIL/R. I was able to work a few station while
driving on bands upto 1296, amazing! Working VE3ZV on 144~1296 while driving on
a 250km+ path is pretty cool in my books. Still behind schedule, we ran the
bands with VE3OIL/R in the grid corners and started making g the way back to
Toronto for one last sked of the night. Enroute, I was still able to catch a
more on the bands upto 2304 while driving. I had fi ally arrived home just past
3am, FOOOD, that's all I could think of. By the time. Hit the bed just around
330am, Shortly after falling asleep, the family 4legged creatures decided they
needed to have a wrestling match over top of me on my bed. Having barely slept
hours, the clock rang. Time to hustle... 730 skeds come just to soon.

Sunday, made it only 15minutes late for my sked with VE3SMA, not bad, quickly
ran all our bands, all 12 of them, and headed to Hagersville corners to work
FN03, FN02, EN92 and EN93. All continued well and things were as planned. I was
planning to head further west in the afternoon for EN82 and EN81, but, the
fog settled in and I could barely see 100ft in front. As it started getting
dark, visibility got even worse, almost ditched the car not seeing where I was
going while pulling a u-turn. At this point t, I was getting g extremely
I decoded to drive to a closer location to home and hit FN03bl. This turned out
to be a good choice as I was able to snag a few more mults that I did not have
from previous locations. During the 1.5hr at this location, it started raining,
I thought nothing of it until I went outside and almost flew out of the car. It
was freezing rain! Getting out of the parking lot was quite a chore and up the
incline to the main road was even worse. Made it up and the rest of the way
was not quite as bad.

All microwave bands seemed to work well, but, only having a little vertical on
222 and 6m had set me back with working some stations that should have been
easy. There's always next time.

Even with all the troubles in the start, I think things went rather well for a
short notice build and for so many bands. Maybe I'll do it again in June.

Activated FN24, FN14, FN13, FN04, FN03, FN02, EN93 and EN92.

24G includes: 8 qso x 7 mults on 24ghz
: 8 qso x 8 mults on LIGHT

73 de Peter
KA6BIM   SO 3Band LP   1802018-01-22 06:31:06
Tough conditions out here in the sticks. No population center to draw from here
in CN73. I got to try MSK144 for the first time! Thanks for the patience with
a newbie on digital
N3ALN   SO 3Band LP   3,0422018-01-22 10:25:59
Digital does works!
6 Meter FT8: 41 QSOs
6 Meter MSK144: 8 QSOs
VE3SMA   Single Op LP   5,5082018-01-22 12:11:36
Plus one QSO and one grid using light (red LED).

Mostly a bit slow, but that was expected given that I was using an HF inverted
vee for 6m and indoor antennas for 222 MHz and above. Mostly just giving out
points to the locals, but it was useful as an experiment as to how the various
bands behave at the downtown Burlington QTH.

Some interesting QSOs included a couple of EN82 on 6m FT8, a pair of FM19's on
2m and an FN13 on 222 made by bouncing off highrise buildings while pointing

Steve VE3SMA
VO1KVT   Single Op LP   1,8042018-01-22 12:52:05
It was a pleasant surprise to walk in the shack and see the 6 meter band wide
open here in the late afternoon, totally unexpected but I jumped right in and
made as many contacts as possible before the band dropped out again. Hope this
is a good sign for the upcoming 6 meter season.

73, Ken, VO1KVT
W8RU   Multi-Op HP   9902018-01-22 14:08:29
All the equipment came to life and worked properly after the long sleep since
September. I didn't have much time to devote but had fun while I was active. I
tried to get MSK144 running without success. I'm doing something fundamentally
wrong but have yet to identify the error. Thanks to all for the QSOs and 73! Ron
K8MR   Single Op LP   12018-01-22 14:11:43
For the fifth consecutive year I'm in the count QSOs on one hand category in
this one. I turned on the radio and heard NY1E on 50.125 and thought, "wow,
a band opening!", but instead he was 25 miles south of me here in EL87.

I obviously don't have much of a sample, but from reading various 3830 reports I
wonder if VHF contests have become merely FT8 contests.

73 - Jim K8MR
K3ZJ   SO 3Band LP   122018-01-22 14:41:17
Just a quick pass through the 6M before drive home.
AA3B   Single Op LP   3692018-01-22 14:53:43
34 FT8 QSOs.
N2SLO   Single Op HP   17,0522018-01-22 14:56:39
Good contest- Tried out FT8 on 6M after weeks of getting it configured. Made
many contacts. Thanks to all that participated. Conditions were not that good,
was not able to make EN92 or FN33 on 2M.
N3HBX   Single Op HP   61,5482018-01-22 15:03:13
No openings that I detected. This caused a goodly number of operators to sopend
time with FT8. Unfortunately, my set-up was not working and that may hasve hurt
the score.
WZ1V   Single Op HP   58,4792018-01-22 15:05:50
Couldn't spend as much chair time as I hoped,
conditions too noisy and poor to endure long.
Still made a few 400+ mile contacts on 2m
and 222, and a few good ones on 1296 as well.
6 opened briefly but only had 2 Es contacts.
The Rovers provided extra Q's and excitement.
Got my feet wet a bit more on MSK144 and FT8,
probably should have done more with it but
much prefer SSB and CW any day to this.
73 Ron WZ1V
K1TR   Single Op HP   47,8552018-01-22 15:19:58
Just a good old fashioned flat-band VHF contest. No digital. Thanks to the
Rovers who go out in cold and keep it interesting!
K9MU   Single Op HP   6,9362018-01-22 15:29:14
Low-key effort... AC0RA was roving in five grids (EN01,EN02,DN90,DN91,DN92) I
needed on 6m so I ran HP to be sure he heard me. Five new ones worked!


Justin, K9MU EN44
N2NT   Limited Multi-Op HP   141,8482018-01-22 16:03:02
New Harris Platinum 6m amplifier worked like a charm. Converted SB-220 is now
the backup amp.

Thanks for the QSOs and thanks to the rovers.


John N2NC, for the N2NT VHF crew
W3IP   Single Op HP   66,6702018-01-22 16:09:56
This was not the contest I thought it would be. With multiple new modes in
widespread use (FT8 and MSK144), I found that I needed to be more strategic in
my use of time on a particular band/direction/time of day and mode (similar to
an HF contest) - not sure I got it all right! There was a surprising amount of
FT8 activity on 6 meters, as well as MSK144 activity on both 6 and 2 meters.
Some statistics for the digital modes:

6 meter FT8 - 75 contacts/few unique grids
6 meter MSK144 - 15 contacts/mostly unique grids
2 meter MSK144 contacts - 3 contacts/all unique grids

This came at a cost of QSOs primarily on 6 and 2 meter SSB and a lack of sleep
on Saturday night/Sunday morning for the 2 meter MSK144 contacts.

My biggest complaint is the large number of people that did not understand the
contest protocol on FT8 which resulted in a much longer average time per QSO as
the operator sorts out whether or not a station did not understand the second
transmission (i.e. the contest protocol) or they did not hear the second
transmission at all due to changing propagation or QRM. Both conditions resulted
in a repeat of the other station's initial transmission so a real time decision
was needed whether or not to uncheck the contest box for the next transmission
approximately 20 seconds later.

This was the first time I tried to integrate all of the software packages I was
running (N1MM, WSJT-X, LP Bridge, JTAlert, SDRConsole) over the remote link.
Keeping all the Com ports alive on two computers separated by miles so the
software doesn't crash during off times is an unmet challenge.

Propagation as a whole seemed about average for a January contest. I had only
one easily identifiable e-skip contact on 6 meters (to VO1). Many thanks to the
rovers that got out to activate those many grid squares, your efforts are

73, Mike, W3IP
K2OS   Single Op HP   1,7222018-01-22 16:14:30
Thanks to all for their patience with skeds. The rotator motor failed a few days
before the contest. I climbed the tower on Saturday morning when the temp went
above freezing to rig up some ropes to turn the antenna from the ground. The
tower is 200 feet behind the house so I had to trudge through the snow and line
up the antenna with the ropes and a compass as I made skeds on ON4KST. Sure got
some physical exercise!

Had a S9 noise level from headings of 80-120 degrees which made it very
difficult to work east to New England grids. Best DX was K9MRI in EN70 at 418
miles. Conditions average throughout the contest.

TS-2000X + RVHFG 222 Xvtr
8877 PA 1.5 KW
4 x 16 el yagis @ 30 feet
VE3DS   Single Op LP   33,2222018-01-22 16:14:36
More than doubled my last year score this year, thanks to having the full
weekend free and all those rovers (VA3ELE ,VE3OIL, KF2MR,K2ET, WX3K) Had K2ET
call me on 902 FM off the side of the antennas! Lots of local activity to!

Great to work so many contacts on 2304 after I found and fixed the preamp power
...Lots of scatter on MSK144 on 6 m this time, some FT8 DX was KO4YC
in FM17 @ 667 km on 144 and 222. Band conditions were all over the place on
Sunday, as the cold ice fog moved through...but I think the warm weather in the
east sure any rate, enjoyed my 48th January VHF SS.
Oh, and PLEASE don't forget to turn those antennas to CANADA eh!
73 Dana VE3DS
W6NF   SO 3Band LP   12018-01-22 16:19:05
Spent about an hour calling CQ on both FT8 and MSK441 after replying to VE4EAR's
CQ. Absolutely no hint of any signals on either mode. My only antenna is the HF
long-wire but I have had success working stations on FT8 outside contests so
conditions here must have been pretty poor. I'll be back in June, possibly from
EN29 with my Canadian call, VE3RUA.
K3AJ   Single Op HP   2,6702018-01-22 16:40:09

Radio - K3/P3/XV144
6M - Acom 1500
2M - 100W brick
6M - 5-el M2 at 50 ft.
2M - 12-el M2 at 50 ft.
N1MM+/Win10pc/Winkeyeber USB/WSJT-X with external soundcard
K1KG   Single Op LP   46,6452018-01-22 16:43:52
It is always great to get on the air and talk with fellow VHF/UHF enthusiasts.
It also brings back wonderful memories of friends who are no longer here.
Thanks to everybody who made the effort to get on. Conditions were better than
many years, but nothing especially noteworthy here. No ice in this January
contest and temperatures above freezing, and the Patriots won again! It might
be nice if we didn't need to decide between football and contesting here in New
England, but we all make those decisions (football wins). No digital modes, FM,
or assistance used here again. 73, Warner
4U1WB(AJ3M)   Single Op LP   802018-01-22 17:39:39
Thank you for the QSOs.

Equipment: FTDX5000MP OA50 antenna

Masa, AJ3M
K1TO   Single Op HP   2,7202018-01-22 17:48:31
Conventional wisdom is that FT8 has taken over the world, but here is my QSO
breakdown: FT8-23 MSK144-37 CW-4 SSB-4

It was one year ago during this event that I tried digital, specifically MSK144,
for the first time ever on any mode or band. Thanks to K1JT for opening up a
whole new world for so many of us.

The highlights were working W8VYM on his dipole in EM82 up in GA (after nearly
10,000 QSOs on 6M in the last 5 years, I had never even heard EM82) and the
Saturday evening MSK144 activity that allowed K1TOL and K1SIX among a dozen
out-of-staters to be worked. Fascinating to me how the range for scatter QSOs
seems to exactly match the range for one-hop Es.

Unlike those to the north, there are essentially zero rovers to work down here
(sorry I missed Sandra and Steve altogether) when there is no Es.

I took the ALL.TXT file out of WSJT-X and crunched it in Excel. Between the two
digital modes and after eliminating a small bit of junk data, 211 different
calls in 93 grids were decoded. Reality is that some of those were one-time
only decodes and a QSO was not possible. On the transmit side, I called 96
different stations, so working 60 of them is a much better conversion rate than
I perceived it would be. The weakest signals decoded were -24 in FT8 and -8 in

IC-7300, Commander, 6M7JHV @ 55'

Hoping to improve the antenna array and feedline situation in the coming months.
Hoping for a terrific June Es month!

vy 73, Dan
K4FCG(K1KNQ)   Single Op LP   212018-01-22 20:17:12
Rig: Yaesu FTDX-5000MPL
Ant. 5el cushcraft at 75 feet.
Logging: N1MM+

W9RM   Single Op HP   1,8042018-01-22 20:23:37
Typical January contest. The few local stations all went QRT when winter came
back Sunday morning :)

Thanks to AC0RA for five all-time new FFMA grids - you did a great job roving !
NQ7R   Single Op LP   2,4752018-01-22 20:49:19
Best local activity in my 13 years here.
W4TAA   Single Op HP   4,6012018-01-22 21:25:02

2m ICOM 910H 4 X 9ELE LFA'S @ 40 FT

6M 7 CW 7 SSB 49 DIGI
2M 2 CW 13 SSB

WZ8T   Single Op LP   8,6402018-01-22 21:28:47
Really nice having all the FM stations available. Still trying to figure out
propagation up the valley to Seattle from Vancouver.
K3YDX   SO 3Band LP   242018-01-22 21:44:19
Not near as much fun as the June events are. Tried out some FT8 using just a
dipole on 6 meters with limited success and while I heard some of the big boys
up north, K1RZ and W3SO, on 2 meter SSB they could never hear me despite
apparently having their antennas pointed down this way in general.
I recall asking K4MHZ years ago after working him while I was in FM19 in a
January event and him here in FM25 what he thought of vhf contests from down
here. His reply was something like, "don't even try without at least 300
watts and multi-element antennas"! I think I should have paid more
N1RWY   Single Op HP   8,8922018-01-22 22:10:55
First real effort from Arizona. Amazing location to work VHF. A small array
30' is clear for the whole greater Phoenix area. Bouncing signals off
mountains for 1296 is something this native Mainer wasn't use to doing. EME and
MS helped the multis on 2m for sure. Several 1000 mile scatter qsos on 2m.
Lack of 6M opening kept me hunting on the higher bands and working the rocks.
Working K5QE on both meteor scatter & EME was the thrill of the contests
(realizing only one Q counted for score) but to do it in a 12 hour period was
exciting for my new station out here. Lack of 222 hurt me slightly, and 6M was
deaf. Always something to work on. Good times in the desert! Thanks to all
the rovers for keeping me motivated.
KØSIX   Single Op HP   10,0302018-01-22 22:47:43
Lots of fun working a few 6 meter grids on MSK144. Thanks to AC0RA/r Wyatt(AC0
RA) and Gregg(KC0SKM) for activating several of the Nebraska grids on six
meters. A total of (4) all time new grids for me on six toward FFMA. 20 grids
to go!
W2LC   Single Op QRP   2522018-01-22 23:25:59
I think I got the scoring right. Running QRP is challanging. I did manage to
work VO1KVT on 6m in GN29. I have to get some low loss coax and higher power!
73 Scott W2LC
W6ZAR   SO 3Band LP   1082018-01-22 23:26:54
Hopefully next year will be better. All but one QSO was digital.
KR1ST   SO 3Band LP   4,7042018-01-22 23:27:21
Rigs: IC-7300 (6m), IC-275H (2m)
Pwr: 100W on 6 and 2m
Ants: - single Par Electronics Omniangle (halo-type) for 6m @30ft
- stacked pair Par Electronics Omniangles for 2m @30ft
Elev: 1900+ ft

I added SDR to the IC-275H and that worked very well. I also added digital mode
capability to the 2m rig, but didn't use it. Over half the QSO's on 6m were made
in FT8. Adding FT8 capability gives a small pistol like me more opportunities to
work stations. I'm sure many of the FT8 QSOs could have been completed in SSB,
but it's hard to get someone's attention when you're yelling at the back of
their beam. With FT8 there is a better chance to get noticed.

I'm pretty happy with how I did with this very small station. Thanks for all the

--Alex KR1ST
W1DYJ   SO 3Band LP   2,3752018-01-22 23:29:31
Rig: TS2000
BIC: 7 hours
Antennas: 6M -- HB 7 el at 10M (ARRL Antenna Book)
2M -- 12el K1FO at 12M (K1WHS kit)
70cm -- M^2 440-18 up at 11M
Log: N3FJP's VHF Contest Log Ver. 5.9

My best January VHF since 2003! Saturday was slow as I was
running the NAQP in parallel so I did poorly in both. Sunday
morning was OK. Sunday afternoon I was busy with a concert
in Boston, so I really didn't get started until after supper,
but then things went well.
KF2MR/R   Rover LP   78,6242018-01-22 23:36:05
Great contest and my best score ever. Our lunch group on Sunday grew even larger
this year with 11 stations participating. We even had a club member activate the
club callsign in the contest for the first time in well over 10 years. Things
are certainly looking up here in WNY and FM activity certainly contributed to
staying busy. I visited four grids (FN02, FN03, FN12, FN13) and made microwave
contacts to EN92, FN02, FN03, FN04, FN12, FN13, FN14, FN31, and FM19 up to
2.3GHz. Best distance is about 280 miles to K1TEO, which seems to be close to my
limit. My only 3.4G contact was with VE3ZV in EN92 which was a 100 mile path and
was an easy contact at that. So it is clear that the 3.4G gear is working, just
need a few more people with the band. No contacts at all on 10G. Luckily a club
member contributed a 5G transverter he had unused in many years and we were able
to put together a small 5G station for another local rover to use along with an
unused FT-817 and a dish feed. We were at least able to activate the grids we
visited. I wonder how much gear is out there going unused?
KA2BPP   SO 3Band LP   2,2962018-01-22 23:40:40
Almost doubled my score from last January. Should have installed the band pass
filter for 2mtrs before the contest instead of Sunday afternoon. What a
difference, I could actually hear to the south again and across the whole band.

Need to do the same for 432. Was a fun time. bands were flat here but it is
winter. Looking forward to the sprints and June. 73
KX4R   Single Op LP   14,3562018-01-22 23:52:12
Conditions not great but did manage some 500 mile plus qso's on 2 mtrs.
Thanks to all for turning their antennas down toward Georgia !
73, Greg KX4R
KX7L   SO 3Band LP   4702018-01-23 01:04:48
No spectacular openings, and I did have other obligations on Sunday, which
limited my time, but I still came close to last years score. High point was
Saturday night, CQing with FT8 on 6m, and hearing a weak signal come back, but
no copy. Later I saw via PSKReporter that KA6BIM in CN73 had heard me!
Surprisingly, the use of "NA VHF Contest mode" on WSJT-X still seems
to be an issue. I found myself switching it off to accomodate folks who just
wouldn't turn it on - this adds another minute to the QSO.
K3TUF   Single Op HP   117,7622018-01-23 01:09:36
Remote operation from EL88. I set my goal at 300 qso's and soon realized on
Saturday evening, that it was set too low.
This was a great test of the remote system which depended on two DSL
connections. The link was over subscribed and provided around .002% packet loss
over the whole many hour period. Latency was around 100ms most of the time. This
made for a very reliable operation.
RF wise I was unable to get 10g repaired with all attention being given to the
remote operation. Once again the RF worked without a hitch.
This has me excited to expand the remote operation for more capabilities next
I concentrated on working as many of our Packrat club as possible and having
Operating from the couch didn't prove to be the most comfortable, again, I'll
have to improve that next year.
No special conditions arrived in FN10.
Thanks to all the rovers who braved the cold and gave out many many contacts.
73, Phil K3TUF
W1XM   Multi-Op HP   10,7012018-01-23 01:54:30
Station operation went pretty well, although our operator turnout was a bit
lower than we'd have liked. We did have our 222MHz radio go down for a while
during the middle of the contest but we were able to get it working again
relatively quickly once we realized there was a problem.

The contest seemed to have pretty good turnout on all of the bands except for
222. 144 performance was extremely good and we were able to make a couple
contacts as far away as FM19. Tried to work stations further out on 50 as well,
but as usual, we're pretty deaf on that band. 432 also had some interesting
behavior during contacts with stations in FN30 (strong fading observed during a
contact with KA2BPP around 0040 UTC).

Thanks to all for the QSOs and 73!
Daniel, KC1EPN
N3NGE   Multi-Op HP   483,7692018-01-23 02:21:45
Unable to list 47GHz and Laser contacts
W1UJ   Single Op LP   2862018-01-23 02:53:53
KE1LI had rovers in the area on FM and motivated us all to get on and make a few

FT8 was fun, never caught any sort of opening. Worked PA on 6m FT8 was best

Band Mode QSOs Pts Grd Pt/Q
50 FT8 9 9 6 1.0
144 FM 3 3 2 1.0
144 USB 4 4 1 1.0
420 FM 2 4 2 2.0
420 USB 3 6 0 2.0
Total Both 21 26 11 1.2
Score: 286
1 Mult = 1.9 Q's
K2ET/R   Rover LP   34,8002018-01-23 03:16:16
First January Contest, fantastic start. Thought it was only going to go downhill
when my 6m went out within a few mins of contest start, but couldn't have been
more wrong.. Hope to improve in the June contest from here..
W3RFC   Multi-Op HP   13,9392018-01-23 05:04:10


W3RFC and K0OO
WCØAAA(AEØEE)   Single Op LP   642018-01-23 05:34:13
Had a fun time adding to the FM activity in Bloomington, MN on Saturday
afternoon. It was fun to make contacts and test the simplex capability of the
ARES station.
WW7D   Limited Rover LP   39,2642018-01-23 05:55:37
Mults includes 10 for grids activated.
AEØEE   SO FM LP   182018-01-23 05:58:33
Just a few FM QSOs from home on Sunday. Not a lot of action, but it was fun to
hear a some stations on and use my 222 beam.
WB2SIH/R   Limited Rover LP   22,2002018-01-23 14:27:37
activated fn22 fn23 fn32 fn33
W2HRY/R   Rover LP   23,0042018-01-23 18:15:58
Although not as warm here in the North East, as it was the last two January VHF
contests,(where we set record temps above 60) it was still above freezing, and
into the 40's for most of the contest. So I cant blame the weather.
Not overly pleased with my performance as my counts were down from last year on
QSO's on 2M which hurt my scores.
I logged significantly less hours behind the mike due to fatigue from working
too hard Friday and Saturday to setup the Rover, at the last minute. Not a good
plan, which had me collapsing the mast, pulling the plug and heading to the QTH
very early on Saturday Night.
Also considering I increased my Rover Station Power (closer to 150W- yes only
150W for the lower 4 bands and 5W each for 902 and 1.2G), it was not rewarded
with more unique gridsquares. Our Sunday RVHFG RoverBlitz was well attended and
yielded significant improvements over last years RoverBlitz.
In all I improved over last year, but not as much as I wanted to... luckily
there is always next year!
K5QE   Limited Multi-Op HP   84,9202018-01-23 20:31:19
Another terrible January contest. Propagation was pretty awful. On 6M, we did
a lot of MSK144 to very good effect. FT8 was essentially useless here, we
probably only made 3 or 4 contacts on FT8. We made dozens and dozens of MSK
contacts. On 2M, we did well when we were running MSK. We did very well on 2M
EME again this year. We had a total of exactly 100 grids on 2M, but we did have
to work hard to get to that total.
N9LB   Single Op HP   14,6732018-01-23 20:43:02
As always, the January VHF test was a great operating event.

140 QSOs this year, which is seven more contacts than last year, but somehow I
missed many of the regulars.

WX was drizzle & fog 32-40 degrees all weekend.

Propagation conditions were above normal.

Operating modes were SSB and CW ( no digital ).

Worked into Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and home state

Best DX:
N8ZM on 144/222/432 in Ohio at ~337 miles ( I don’t have his 6-digit grid to
calculate exact distance )
KC9PQT on 144 in Indiana 285 miles
WB8AHT on 144 in Michigan 261 miles
K9MRI on 50/144/222/432/902 MHz in Indiana 252 miles

Perhaps the highlight was working Janice-KA9VVQ/R and Bruce-W9FZ/R on 144, 222,
and 432 in EN24 at 249 miles and in EN25 at 281 miles. Both are new grids for
me on all three bands.

Six band sweeps with K2DRH, K2YAZ, and W9GA. Five bands with K9MRI.


Lloyd - N9LB
K7VIT   SO 3Band LP   7902018-01-24 00:52:42
I heard little E-skip from the NW on 6m this contest. Fewer stations on CW this
time too. I did make some FT-8 QSO's though. It is a different contest when my
446 FM contacts outnumber the narrow-band mode contacts. I was glad to give the
FM folks a QSO.

Thanks to all who answered my calls.
73, Jerry
WB2AIV   SO 3Band LP   42018-01-24 03:43:54
Only able to get on for 5 minutes.
WA7JTM   Single Op Port QRP   2,9242018-01-24 06:23:11
Thirteen different SOTA peaks were activated Sunday morning by SOTA operators
in support of the January VHF Contest and SOTA. I estimate that the SOTA
Activators made around 600 contacts on the VHF/UHF frequencies. The bands were
alive with signals from all of the SOTA peaks, the locals, and the Rovers, and
it was pretty hectic for the five hours I operated.

I operated QRP Portable from Scarlet Mountain, Summits On The Air(SOTA)Ref #

I hiked up to the summit before dawn on Sunday morning and set up small beams
on all four bands on a short mast. The main radio was an FT817 barefoot (5
Watts)and a pair of HT's for locals.

No band opening on Six meters this year, and my best DX was working Tucson and
Prescott. I never heard any stations out of state.

Activity for this contest was the best ever for a January VHF Contest that I
have experienced. Other operators said they also thought it might be the BEST
EVER for Arizona due to the SOTA activity and the multiple Rover stations that

It appears that all Activators had way to much fun on Sunday. The future plan is
to top the Thirteen Summits we put on this year in the January 2019 contest.
Twenty summits sounds like a reasonable number to me!

Thanks to all the ROVERS, SOTA ops, and home stations for making this a really
great January VHF contest...who woulda thunk it!!!!

K1RZ   Single Op HP   315,1722018-01-24 13:04:53
Good contest. WX warmed up a lot from what we had seen the last few weeks. Lots
of Rovers were out and the rest of us fixed station so appreciate that. Rovers
in my log include N9ZL/R, KD3PD/R, K8GP/R, NN3Q/R, N2SLN/R, W3ICC/R, KF2MR/R,
W2RMA/R, AB4CR/R, K2ET/R, KM3G/R, K6PFA/R, VA3ELE/R and VE3OIL/R. Thanks to you
Rovers as you drive the excitement level to remain high right to the end of the
contest, while we all try to track you. Over all propagation conditions seemed
average, generally speaking. Worked VO1KVT on 6m E-Skip. And heard later I
missed a big Florida E-Skip opening. Also still working on a good balance
between calling CQ's, using Chat Pages, plus SSB, CW, MSK144 and FT8 - all the
tools in the tool box. I am relatively new to MSK and FT8. What an amazing tool
this is. Thanks Joe Taylor and the WSJT Team. I will concentrate next time on
using some WSJT modes above 2 meters. And a point that I can't stress enough.
We know the Rovers generally don't have the internet connection to chat pages -
particularly on some mountain tops, so we fixed stations have to be calling CQ
and tuning to find them. Otherwise the band may seem "quiet" to them,
and then their interest may decrease. Not a good thing. In the end my score
increased 50% from last year. It was great to hear the regular operators plus
a number of new operators on the bands too. Thanks again to all for being on.
And to ARRL for sponsoring this great contest event. 73, Dave K1RZ FM19jh
K7JFD   Single Op Port QRP   1,2122018-01-24 15:26:37
Operated from SOTA peak W7A/MN-119
K1TEO   Single Op HP   399,1292018-01-24 16:04:14
Good, fun contest with one major bump along the way and a lot of repairs in the
10 days before the contest. The weather was great for a January weekend which
meant line noise was lower than usual (though my noise general noise issues on
2M remain) and perhaps more rovers than usual were out and about which is great.

The major bump is that after using Writelog as my logging program for over a
decade, Saturday night around 8 pm I received a message on the logging page that
WL had crashed. Recalling the contest file just came to a blank screen. I worked
to see if I could recover the log and decided after a half hour to keep
operating. Then the same thing happened again at 10 pm. At that point I was
seriously discouraged and thought about shutting down. After thinking about it I
realized I would miss the fun and even if I couldn't get the QSO's back it was
worthwhile to continue to participate. I'm glad I did since it was fun to work
so many radio friends as usual. However I don't have a log prior to 10 Pm
Saturday night to submit and I'm not sure how to submit an abbreviated log
without penalizing the nearly 400 contacts I had before the problem occurred.

Rovers were great and as usual helped the score a lot. Tnx for getting on! 222
and 432 contacts are down considerably - I'm not sure why because as best I can
tell things were working normally on those bands and the grid totals are fine. 5
and 10 GHZ on the other hand were not working normally. I heard several grids on
5Ghz that couldn't hear me and not much was heard on 10 Ghz.

There were some nice grids worked on 2M that are not often worked in January
including FN46, 65 and FM14. Unfortunately my noise is so bad that about half of
the time much of the compass is unusable on 2M. I actually worked VA3ELE/r
Sunday evening in EN93 with good sigs on 432 and 1296 but could not hear him
through the noise at all on 2M. Kind of funny to work the grid on 1.2 g but not
2M! I did work 3 stations in FM06 which may be a first in 30 years contesting
at this QTH. KJ4MCZ was one of those and he wanted to try 1296 Sunday afternoon
and much to my amazement he was Q5 on SSB!

I worked 3 grids on MSK144 on 2 meters and I believe 9 on 6 meters. I could hear
many more on 50.260 but it was tough with so many on at the same time. And
requests for tries off of .260 on Ping Jockey did not get much response. It is
really impressive to hear so much DX on the mode and I need to figure out how to
use it better.

As with the Sept contest, 6M activity on SSB and cw was way down. There has been
a debate underway as I write this about the plusses and minuses of FT8. It is
clearly another amazing mode. 50.313 was a beehive of activity every time I
tuned by. Lot's of guys I normally work on SSB and quite a few I've never
worked. When things got slow a couple of times on Sunday afternoon I did get on
and probably worked about 8 stations each time in about 10 minutes. Most were
just going from QSO to QSO off a cq in between so I doubt I could work too much
more in that timeframe. It was fun but I was generally working locals and trying
to run 10 bands I was better off going back to SSB in the hope of finding
stations with other bands to work. It will be fascinating to see how operating
patterns evolve between FT8 and SSB/CW operations.

My score is a conservative attempt since I lost the actual first several hundred
QSO's. The grids are a minimum as thes are the ones I am certain I worked. I am
fairly confident of the QSO totals though especially on the microwaves the
actual might be just a bit higher.

Tnx for all the Q's!

Jeff K1TEO
VE3FHM   Single Op LP   1,5602018-01-24 18:08:17
Please note that the summary does not follow the ARRL rules. I got 2280
according to their rules because of the weighting of different bands.
VE9AA   SO 3Band LP   362018-01-24 21:54:24
A non event here these days with a distinct lack on VHF activity in my

Just got on to give VE9CB a Cpl points and worked a couple others for good

6 el on 6m, 17 el on 2m
Rigs: 1 x IC-7410, 1 x IC-746, YCCC SO2R+ box, N3ZN ZN-9 paddle, Yamaha CM500
headset, N1MM+ logger
CU (all of sudden) in the next one!

dit dit

-Mike VE9AA in FN66
ACØRA/R   Rover LP   3,1452018-01-25 00:06:08
About a week before the contest I had no plans so I got with KC0SKM to see if he
wanted to do something simple. We decided a few days before the contest we would
venture over in to some rare grids in NE and activate them on 6m. We also
brought Gregg 10ghz system.

Saturday morning Gregg met up at my qth and we quickly put together the 6m rover
and we were on the road headed west. Freshly refueled with McDonalds we started
the contest just after entering NE in EN11. We pulled over for our first stop
after making a few msk144 qsos in motion on 6m in EN11. As Gregg made a 10ghz
qso with W0LGQ I made a few more qsos on 6m and we hit the road again.

As we entered EN01 for our second grid we found another hill and attempted a
10ghz qso with w0lgq but failed this time and the noise was to high to even try
6m so we left with no qsos. We still managed to work 8 MSK144 qsos in motion
from EN01. Our last 2 grids for the evening were DN92 and EN02 both of which we
setup in for about an hour. Then we drove down close to the grid corner of
DN90/91 EN00/01 and found a hotel.

Sunday morning we woke up early and made a quick drive to DN90/91 to make some
more msk144 qsos. Right when we were leaving DN90 for EN00 light rain had
started and we knew our time to escape the encroaching ice storm/blizzard was
running out. We made the quick move to EN00 and I setup the 6m beam we decided
to make 3 qsos and hit the road. Well after 4 qsos in 9 minutes I went out to
collapse the mast and had to break ice. We then quickly headed back for the I80
and headed back home. We made several more qsos while mobile on the way home and
even a few 2m fm qsos as we passes through Des Moines. Also made the only 2 ft8
qsos on 6m from EN31 both on tropo though I did decoded 2 stations from fn20 for
2 sequences via ES.

On the last leg of the trip the rf activity was slowing down and we had noticed
an irregular chirping noise we just could figure out. With the noise at a trip
high I kind of just went into monitoring mode but still made a qso to k2drh on
6m ssb without trouble. As we enter our final grid of EN41 for the rove I looked
for some more qsos with no luck. Right as we were parking the rover in the
driveway we attempted a qso with k2drh. I instantly knew something was up when
we were hearing him and then I looked down and the swr was through the roof.
After jumping out of the truck it was easy to see the 6m antenna decided we
didnt need anymore qsos as part of the feed had broke. Gregg and I looked at
each and at the same time realized now that the odd noise was directly related
to the feed point breaking.

We end the contest with the following ammounts of qsos.

1-10g ssb qso
2-2m fm qsos
2-6m ft8 qsos
2-6m ssb qsos
6-6m msk144 qsos via tropo
65-6m msk144 qsos via MS

Learned alot about the use of MSK144 as a rover and I sure hope some others did
as well. Look forward to the next contest.

73 Wyatt
VE3ZV   Single Op HP   75,2682018-01-25 02:02:28
Big thanks to Peter VA3ELE/r really helped the score this January.Some nice
contacts with KF2MR/r and VE3OIL/r also helped.
WB2RVX   Single Op HP   49,5932018-01-25 02:48:05
Work Sat and daughter's gender reveal party limited time this year. Thanks to
the rovers. CU next test. (BTW, it's a girl!)
AF1T   Single Op LP   79,0402018-01-25 04:13:17
* 300 GHz and Up= 1 Qso and 1 Multiplier

It was good to contact several Rovers in nearby Grids. Conditions were
generally poor, especially on the Microwave Bands. Fortunately, the ice melted
in time for the contest, only to return the day after. Maybe it will be gone by
the June Contest!
K1TOL   Single Op HP   18,2042018-01-26 02:49:40
Seems nobody was on SSB/CW--90% of qsos were on FT8 or MSK144. Hour after hour
of a BLANK waterfall screen from 50.080 to 50.200 but full waterfall on both
50.260 & 50.313!--gotta go where the "action" is!!
Limited qsos towards W/NW with s7-9 QRN all Contest weekend. Vast majority of
qsos were SW. Biggest surprise was EL87 on FT8 (W4TAA & K1TO). Nice 2-hour
Es to VO1 but heard more VO1/bcns than real people (only 2 stations worked)!
Frustrating to decode ARK/LA/TEX/NDAK/SDAK/OKLA/MISS but unable to get any
responses via digital modes--oh well, that's a Contest for ya!
Almost missed this Contest as the mid-December ice-storm had frozen my rotating
tower until a few days before the Contest period.
Strangest aspect was the number of digital people still NOT in the "NA VHF
Contest" mode-made completing qsos rather difficult. Maybe the
"Contest Mode" should be the "default" setting rather than
an "option" on WSJT-X?
WD9HBF/R   Limited Rover LP   2432018-01-26 23:06:06
Challenging band conditions to say the least.
KM4KMU   SO FM LP   9152018-01-27 15:31:34
Since I could not get clearance in time from the National Radio Astronomy
Observatory to operate in the National Radio Quiet Zone (they eventually came
through with an OK on Thursday before the contest) I decided to operate from
FN00RG, the Blue Knob ski resort outside Altoona Pa.

I had high hopes for this site. Being a 150 miles further north with a great
line of sight I should be able to reach grids in NY, NJ, Ohio, along with much
of PA, Va, Md and have a much larger population of hams to work. I had 22 grids
inside my demonstrated range from this altitude and several major population
centers (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Philly, DC, Richmond etc). With some
luck I might even be able to reach a VE or two.

I got there Friday night and did a quick survey of the croweded parking lot up
top with my mobile radio and omni's. Noise was S7 at my desired spot on the
crest from the flood lights on the slopes and the ski lift motors. The flood
lights in the parking lot and noisy ignitions from all the cars were a problem
too. I settled for a spot 20 feet below the crest to the south on the edge of
the lot midway between two flood lights. I had a long metal roofed building to
my north well above my antennas blocking signals from the NW, N and NE.

Two hours into the contest the XYL rolled up (we rented a room at the Inn a mile
down the road) and after looking over the location she announced "I think
your going to get skunked". She was right.

Highlights of the contest:

1) WB3CEH cued up a big group hams on a nearby frequency and acted as a
controller passing them over to me to prevent a pile up. Most had me 20 over
S9. I only heard two of them. Most were in valleys and noise prevented me from
picking up the signals.

2) W4JST set up his mobile rig with an antenna trailer outside Richmond VA and
we did a 194 FM QSO.

3) K3QNT, a director for a local FM rock station after making an exchange drove
up to my site and interviewed me for a spot on the Monday news that aired on the
hour from 0800 to 1200 local. He sent me a nice audio file too.

4) When I set up Saturday morning it was very cold with winds gusting around
50mph. The mast went up easily and was super stable. The manual rotator was
smooth as butter and turned easily. The aerodynamic balance of the 12 foot
beams around the mast was almost perfect.

I did some SSB contacts with contesting stations that had limited FM and to kill
the boredom.

SSB QSO Pts Multi
6M 3 3 2
2M 7 7 5
70cm 3 6 10
13 16 10 (160)

Around 2300 local the lift shut down, the lot emptied, the lights went off and
the noise fell silent. So did FM. I packed it up the next morning and had a
great day with the XYL antiquing and visiting relatives.

It was fun, not what I expected, but that happens. All in all it was a great
weekend and it was nice to be outside of the DC metro area for a few days with
the XYL. Lots of points and multi's scored there.

Thanks to all who tried and to those who made the scheds and coordinated with
me. I hope you had a lot better luck than I did.


KO9A   SO 3Band LP   5,3102018-01-27 18:40:40
Part-time effort this go around...missed most of Saturday due to some family
events but was able to get significant time in the chair on Sunday. Spent more
time than usual on 6m digi modes trying to maximize the grid total & score,
at the expense of likely missing QSO volume on 2 & 432.

Highlight of the contest was pursuing AC0RA/R - they did a great job activating
some rare grids this weekend on MSK144. Was thrilled to log 2 ATNOs on 6m(DN90,


Jim KO9A
WB8WUA   Single Op LP   92018-01-27 20:33:19
Conditions rather poor. Still had fun. Unfortunately had nothing on the 432
My three contacts :

2 Mtrs : KA1ZE/3 - FN01
2 Mtrs : K2LIM - FN12
6 Mtrs : W3SO - FN00
NØLD/R   Unlimited Rover LP   7,0742018-01-27 20:55:59
Our goal was to work every grid square in Oklahoma. We started in September
planning the route and giving VHF contesting presentations to all the clubs we
could find along the way - and at two OK hamfests. Oddly enough warm
temperatures in Oklahoma in January blessed our journey! We did go through
several thunderstorms in SE and Eastern Oklahoma, but weathered the trip well!
We discovered that our trusted Tahoe (with 257,500 miles) had a number of
mechanical problems just 5 days before the contest which after evalution by the
dealership it was revealed that the Tahoe would never rove again. On Thursday
evening, we purchased a used 2011 Suburban with the same internal and external
form/fit. On Friday morning, we stripped the Tahoe of all the antennas and
radio and equipment. On Friday afternoon we re-outfitted the Suburban - and we
continued with our journey of VHF enlightenment through the Sooner State in the
contest! Despite travelling through a part of the country that is sparcely
populated, we discovered that our score actually improved over our rove last
January from Waco to Houston to Dallas to Tulsa to OKC! We attribute this to an
additional operator, more experience, and the addition of 1.25m and 23cm
antennas to the vehicle!
WB2JAY   Single Op LP   27,5802018-01-28 13:57:29
Thanks to all the rovers!
AA4LR   Single Op LP   12018-01-28 17:00:46
I probably tuned around for well over and hour. Heard nothing except one local.
Thanks W4NH for the contact.
KG5UCA/R   Rover HP   7,9582018-01-28 18:44:26
Operated from 17 grids.
W3EKT   Single Op LP   27,1932018-01-30 00:20:35
The kind of contest you just love to get up and walk away from as it can be
pretty slow. hi The rotor on the microwave stack quit so rotated the AM-577 by
hand, bummer. The 902 system died after One QSO. Will do better next time with
5760 and 10 gig running. Ed, W3EKT.
K2DRH   Single Op LP   98,4692018-01-30 09:05:55
This was really slow and painful .. even more so then usual. Participation was
way down this year. Conditions were also pretty awful. QSB on all bands was the
worst I've seen since moving to this QTH. WQ0P was nonexistent on 1296 for over
15 minutes before he suddenly popped up out of the hiss. With a few exceptions
the rovers all stayed home despite the warm weather (in all fairness it was
bitterly cold for at least 15 days leading up to the contest making it difficult
to prepare). Three out of the 4 rovers I worked were so far away they were
difficult to work on many bands (or just don't carry them anymore). I only came
across one station that had a functional 2.4GHZ and he was too far away to work
for the conditions!

Between NAQP settling in on top of the Jan VHF Test a few years back and the
expansion of the football season with playoffs, participation keeps dwindling.
But by my analysis the sudden popularity of MSK and FT8 does us no real favors
either. Now instead of finding stations that call CQ on 2M or 6M SSB there are
hardly any there at all (forget CW!). When I call CQ I get much fewer replies,
if any. Its disheartening to see no signals at all on 6M or 2M SSB/CW but then
look and see all the locals with small to moderate stations are piled up on 6M
jamming up MSK and FT8 calling CQ mostly to no avail or (I assume) waiting to
pounce. They take a long time to complete if they do, and few are using the
ability to call CQ then shift the QSO to another frequency to lessen the
congestion. Most of them have don't have the capability to look at the CW/SSB,
FT8 and MSK144 segments all at once like I do with the Flex.

So rather than call CQ to no replies I'm forced to work them on digital when I
see a grid I need or a station I need to run other bands (if I can even remember
they have other bands LOL). It's SO much easier just to ask everyone I work on
SSB and then coordinate a QSY freq (most don't seem to copy or send CW well
enough and that is equally frustrating). Now instead of 30 seconds to work them
and coordinate a QSY to the 2,3 or maybe 4 other bands they have, I have to call
one station on 6M digital wait the minute or three for them to finish up then
waste another minute or three asking them to QSY to 2M in TX5 and maybe another
minute waiting for them to figure out how to reply back. And its not easy to
direct a QSY request to a particular station and still include Call,
"QSY" and a frequency inside the 13 character limit (how I would QSY
WA#ZZZ/R I have no clue LOL). Many fail open and don't reply at all. Nor can I
quickly work a few at the same time while stacking up 2 or 3 stations in the
same direction to QSY with me for a quick band run with all of them.

And get a Rover on 50260 and watch the chaos! Due to the message length
constraints signing a compound call like you are obliged to do by the rules
where it cannot have the directed call of the other station or the /R in some TX
messages due to length constraints. This makes everyone's auto sequencing that
picks up the rover's message (whether they are working him or not) advance. That
was a total zoo and got some really pissed off until the rover relocated his QSO
freq off the call! This needs to be fixed, but due to the software constraints
I doubt there is any easy way short of doing what that rover did and getting off
the call. Also the LIDs who insist on NOT running contest mode on FT8 and then
fail open when you reply to them and it looks "funky". No clue why
they won't run contest mode during a contest! Fer cripes sakes if you call or
reply to a CQ in a contest you don't expect to ragchew, so why do you insist on
the equivalent in digital!

When fsk-441 was province of the hard core Ms players and contesters we made a
lot of pre contest skeds around the overnight dead time when most less committed
stations were not on. It was a way of adding extra mults especially on 2M.
Random CQing during a contest was done by those with dedicated 6M stations who
could actually hear something and they almost always asked for replies off the
call frequency to keep things clear. Now thanks to all the glowing articles in
the ham magazines, CQing on digital is done by anyone with a dipole and HF rig
that includes 6M as a deaf afterthought. They are difficult to work, requiring
multiple sequences for them to hear you. Sequence is arbitrary, and hardly
anyone directs their CQ to QSY off the call for the QSO. This causes a lot of
local congestion, and my large antenna array sees the endless repeats that go
by. Normally I just stand by and let them finish, but I just can't afford to be
that polite during a contest. Digital is really amazing, but the fact remains
that you still have to have a decent station to be consistently successful!

While its still true that you can add mults (especially after the
"casual" ops have gone to bed), its a lot harder now to get anyone to
sked ahead much less attract their attention on PJ or ON4KST when a full screen
of messages flies by every minute. I also watch in frustration as the more
capable stations get tied up in endless sked requests from much less capable
stations that take forever to work, knowing that I can work them 1-2-3 when I
can finally get their attention. Strategically it makes more sense to sked with
capable stations in grids you need than to take random requests from all comers.
I had one guy try to set me up with a 1300 mile 2M sked when he had a station
that had maybe a 10% chance of actually spanning that distance with me. At least
after it gets into the overnight time the real players can work each other but
it sure cuts into sleep time for single ops

Worse most smaller stations, portables and rovers don't have the same reach on
6M they do on 2M were most of the band coordination occurs; few have 6M and 432
or the microwaves without having 2M. Its not as easy to put a high gain 6M yagi
up high enough where it reach can out 200 miles on tropo or more like a
relatively small 2M yagi will. Plus 6M in general does not propagate as well on
tropo scatter or ducting like 2M will. So if everyone is CQing or laying in wait
on 6M digital they are severely limiting everyone's efforts to reach out on the
other VHF bands. Extending the reach of a small station with Ms is fine but its
not where everyone should congregate waiting for something to happen and the
current message limits are not conducive to multiple band runs.

73 de Bob
K5TRA   Single Op LP   9,1202018-01-30 23:37:45
Thanks especially to the rovers who really made a difference in this January
KK6MC/R   Rover LP   15,5482018-01-31 03:58:10
The score includes the Grid mults for rover activation and QSO points per band.

I was very pleased with the activity in AZ and NM for this January contest. It
was the best I have seen in AZ without Es. Moving the date a week earlier helps
a lot, it avoids the CQ 160M contest, which helped a lot.

The SOTA guys were out in force on Sunday, so I missed many of them, but they
generated interest even on Saturday.

I made more 902 and 1296 QSOes in this contest than in most.

Murphy paid a visit early with my Winkeyer going belly up, but I just used the
dit side of the paddle as a straight key. Worked fine. My 222 Amp went band
somewhere, I was much louder without it than with it.

I had two nice, but weak CW QSOes with W7QQ back in Santa Fe from the Maricopa
Convergence for a distance of 375 miles!
WA8WZG/R   Rover LP   15,4382018-01-31 21:50:46
THANKS to the Phoenix Area SOTA group for their fantastic showing and
participation!! Also, a BIG thank you as well to the Arizona Microwave Group and
the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club for getting the word out and getting on the
There was a "LOT OF NOISE" Made in the valley for a VHF CONTEST!!!!
With the all the excitement and fun everyone had, I can't wait to see what JUNE
VHF contest will bring!!..
Hang on to your HATS, OUTLAWS.... Its gonna be a wild ride!!
Thanks to EVERYONE who followed me around the grids and worked me..
N3RG   Single Op LP   113,7782018-02-02 15:05:41
I got off to a painful start. Didn't look at summary sheet until end of
Surprised at my score! Thanks to the rovers!
73 de,

Band Mode QSOs Pts Grd Pt/Q
50 CW 5 5 3 1.0
50 RTTY 35 35 18 1.0
50 USB 62 62 11 1.0
144 CW 7 7 4 1.0
144 RTTY 1 1 1 1.0
144 USB 86 86 20 1.0
222 CW 8 16 6 2.0
222 FM 2 4 0 2.0
222 USB 47 94 11 2.0
420 CW 6 12 4 2.0
420 USB 62 123 14 2.0
902 CW 8 32 5 4.0
902 USB 13 52 4 4.0
1240 CW 17 68 7 4.0
1240 USB 15 58 3 3.9
2300 CW 6 48 3 8.0
2300 USB 2 16 0 8.0
3300 CW 9 72 4 8.0
3300 USB 2 16 1 8.0
5650 CW 4 32 3 8.0
5650 USB 1 8 0 8.0
10000 CW 5 40 3 8.0
10000 USB 1 8 0 8.0
241000 CW 1 8 1 8.0
Total Both 405 903 126 2.2
Score: 113,778
WA4GPM   SO 3Band LP   8,9642018-02-03 14:32:08
Despite rather flat conditions, MSK144 and FT8 drove the 6 meter grid total to a
respectable level. Also, many thanks to K4SME and N2CEI who activated 6 grids
and helped the score!