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ARRL January VHF Contest
#1
So what interest is there in the January ARRL VHF Contest?

I am, John K1LYP has offered his equipment should we decide to operate as W1NRG from The Club, More info here: ARRL VHF January 2015

I have asked Steve KC1AXJ to contact HQ and ask if W1NRG Operators can call from Home under their own Callsign and contribute points to W1NRG so I may post a Poll later.

Mind you, we may need Contesters from home too as the December 10M Contest proved. That will depend on the answer from HQ.

Please advise if you are willing to contest from Home, Club or Both.

Rules state that W1NRG Operators (those Operators that are listed in the W1NRG Summary of the submitted Cabrillo Log) cannot go home and contact W1NRG Club.

Here:
7.3. Multioperator stations may not include QSOs with their own operators except on frequencies higher than 2.3 GHz. Even then, a complete, different station (transmitter, receiver and antenna) must exist for each QSO made under these conditions.
K1RCT - Rob
W1NRG Station Activities Manager
Home Email

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#2
We can have Rovers. Looks like there are five (5) 2 X 1 Degree Maidenhead Gridsquares along our border.

FN30 Extreme SW CT
FN31 Throughout CT & North
FN32 North Central CT
FN41 Southeast CT
FN42 Northeast CT

If there was interest, someone could travel to the intersection of two or more gridsquares for more Mulitpliers.
There is at least one intersection of four gridsquares along the Norwich-Worcester Turnpike in CT, RTE 169 near Woodstock.
One contact, 4 Multipliers in as many Bands as you can work him.

Would that work? Maybe an Elmer can elaborate.
K1RCT - Rob
W1NRG Station Activities Manager
Home Email

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#3
I'm interested.

Some info from the ARRL website:

Equipment Required

On 6 and 2M, it is common to use a minimum of 100 watts to large rotatable beam on tower, perhaps 50 ft high, from a location that has a clear view of the horizon. Your range is significantly reduced by an obstructed horizon. On these bands, upper sideband or USB is the mode most commonly used, though it isn't unusual for contest stations to switch to CW to make contacts that would otherwise not happen. Stations have a lot of incentive to make those little improvements--as once you get to a station range of 100 miles, relatively small increases are needed to get it out to 200 miles.

On the higher bands, power gets harder to come by, but high gain antennas get easier. Thus, a few watts on 10GHz might have as much range as 100 watts on 2M, provided those razor sharp beams are pointed accurately. Most operators stick to 2' or smaller dishes on 10GHz, though there are expert operators who use 4' dishes with the aid of beacons for azimuth calibration. By convention, beams for terrestrial use are horizontally polarized, as opposed to the vertical polarization standard for FM.

QSO points for the VHF Contest:

5.1.1. Count one point for each complete 50- or 144-MHz QSO.
5.1.2. Count two points for each 222- or 432-MHz QSO.
5.1.3. Count four points for each 902- or 1296-MHz QSO.
5.1.4. Count eight points for each 2.3 GHz (or higher) QSO.

I would also suggest that we enter in the "multi-operator limited" category which limits us to 4 bands (no other difference, spotting assistance still allowed). From viewing last year's contest stats, looks like most multi-ops enter as "multi-operator unlimited" (perhaps by habit or perhaps these were single ops with spotting assistance that didn't understand the difference). However, most of these didn't work more than 4 bands anyway and were competing unnecessarily among a larger pool of entrants. Because of this, I think we can be more competitive in the "multi-operator limited" class because we won't be using more than 4 bands anyway.

I did some analysis on the 2014 contest results for the 81 New England logs that were entered. Attached is a picture of the distribution of total QSOs for the top 4 bands (attached). Keep in mind that these results are only for New England stations which will most likely approximate our experience in the contest. Stations in less populated parts of the country probably wouldn't have as many QSOs.

I would suggest that we try to find a radio (and amp if needed) to meet these requirements if possible:
2M - 100W or more
440MHz - 100W or more
50MHz - 100W or more
222MHz - 100W or more (optional)
Rotatable beams for each band as high as possible
High quality low-loss coax

Note: There was some question as to whether John K1LYP's radio could be interfaced with the computer and logging software. I appreciate John's offer and let's find out if it would work for us.

Does anyone have any leads on any of this gear?

73,
Joe


Attached Files Image(s)
   
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#4
There's no question about John's Yaseu: it won't interface.
We can still log manually. They used to use paper logs, some still do and it's completely acceptable. Just a little more work on my part getting it into the correct format for submission..
K1RCT - Rob
W1NRG Station Activities Manager
Home Email

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#5
A Kenwood TS-2000 would get us on 3 of the 4 bands (6M, 2M, and 440). I know several members own one, but not sure if they'd let us borrow it for the weekendSmile

Joe
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#6
(12-18-2014, 11:55 PM)KC1BAQ Wrote: A Kenwood TS-2000 would get us on 3 of the 4 bands (6M, 2M, and 440). I know several members own one, but not sure if they'd let us borrow it for the weekendSmile

Joe

The toughest part of this is getting hy-gain, (not the company) antennas for the VHF abd UHF bands. You can do OK with a 4 element beam for 6 meters and 100 watts. The hard part is 2 meters and above. Your antenna needs to clear the buildings and get over the horizon. Biggest experts here on this in the club would be N1ZN who always does good and K1VDF who used to be be a big contester on 2 meters. FYI I'm 100 feet above sea level and my antenna for 2 and 440 is a dual band at about 65 feet. I do OK on 2 meters but average less than 50 contacts depending on band conditions. My 440 signal sucks to say the least and I'm lucky if I can make 5 contacts. I do better on 6 meters with the StepIR which is four elements but with only 60 watts average I'm usually at the bottom of the pile if there is an opening, but straight shot in New England I'm always surprised that I can work NH, VT and ME better than on 10 meters.

Here's a suggestion maybe look for a Mult-Multi contest station that is looking for operators and see if they are willing to take some "newbes" in the effort.

Al - N1API
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#7
Hey Al,

Thanks for the insight Al. What kind of antenna are you using for 2M and 440? Is this a directional antenna or a dual band vertical?

Joe
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#8
Beams are really needed if you want to make a reasonably serious effort. 6 meters is the most popular band followed by 2 meters then 432. So I would focus on getting beams for at least 6 & 2. A tv rotator would turn them unless they are monster beams which I doubt we would have. I have a tv rotator and a 2 meter beam. Just need to come up with a 3 element 6 meter and should be good to go. A 432 would be a nice bonus but not necessary to have a good time.

If the beams are resonant a Yaesu 857D would cover the bands and be have rig control.

Jim N1ZN
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#9
Thanks, Jim. I've never used a Yaesu 857D, but it looks like a lot of radio in a little package. Do any of our members have experience with these?

Here's a video review of the radio:
http://youtu.be/5sFBEjxi6zA

I might have to put this on my wishlistSmile

73,
Joe
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#10
To all:
I will not be operating the VHF contest but...
A multi element, Cushcraft I believe, 432 beam is available to the club from Radio Ansonia.
Use the masts, but with rotors, that were used for the 10 meter contest. At our present location the club has the elevation that will overcome most VHF antenna problems.

73
Dave
W1CTN
Radio Ansonia
203 735 9725

An FT897D, or IC 7000 will cover up to 432 MHz
All mode and computer controlled.

You can always use N1MM without computer control to get a Cabrillo file. You just have to remember to type in the band and mode you are on.

OMG Paper logs !...may we never have to go back to that. Smile

Just my .02 cents

Dave
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