Re: Sept VHF

Keith Morehouse
 

I really need to try harder to work the guys in AZ.  I know it's a haul, but I don't think it's that much farther from here then it is from W7QQ, although Bill's path (at least close in) is considerably better.  I was surprised during our June multi-op from W7QQ that AZ was so....workable.

I recall several years ago, working WA7JTM from his portable location near the Grand Canyon on 2M Sunday morning of the June contest.  He was VERY loud and very surprised to hear some W9 from DM58.  But, PHX and the bulk of AZ's VHF op's are a lot farther away.

Speaking of WA7JTM, readers may be interested in looking at his QRZ.COM biography.  Unfortunately, this is not an isolated opinion within the long-time VHF community.  We're losing guys and a lot of the guys we're losing are traditional BIG signals who are 'band beacons' and 'go-to' guys for all the small stations.  I had commented privately to several, earlier today, about the decline of VHF/UHF op's along the front-range and some of the reasons behind the decline.  I had wondered if it was due to the loss of big-time station W0EEA, who was always a beacon on any band, 6M to 47 GHz, who could work anyone within 200 miles, no matter how small the station.  I really believe this is true, and the loss of more and more of these guys, for whatever reason, is really going to hurt.

-W9RM

Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO

On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 4:50 PM, James Duffey <JamesDuffey@...> wrote:
Keith - Thanks for the kind words. 

Although I made 7 stops, I only visited 6 different grids, so we only missed in one,. I visited DM64 at its extreme ends diagonally, DM64xx near Moriarty, and DM64bw in the Malpais National Monument. That turned out to be a good strategy as I worked several AZ stations easily from the west end of the grid that there was no way to work from the east end. I may do more of that in the future. There was  lot of activity in AZ and the trip through the three western NM grids paid off. 

I was really surprised to hear you come back to my SSB CQ on 2M in DM74.  That was a nice QSO and one that I will remember for a long time. 

I echo your comments on troposcatter QSB. The amplitude of the QSB is pretty well defined at about 15dB peak to trough. The time period varies a lot, with time constants from fractions of seconds to minutes and even hours. So the rule of thumb is that if you hear someone and it is not a ping, chances are their signal will increase and you can work them if you put in the time, are patient and follow some kind of routine like taking turns transmitting on the first and second 30 seconds of a minute. As you know, we have worked a lot of QSOs this way, some in excess of 300 miles if I recall correctly. I have a modest set up in the rover; 100W to a 8ft Yagi up about 11 feet. 

W0AMT/r was also out in NM and gave out a lot of QSOs. Although QRP he had a good signal when I worked him and gave out a lot of grids. He also hiked to the top of Mt Sedgwick and had a commanding signal from there. Things have changed since I first started roving in NM and was the only NM rover for several years. 

My first rove stop ever was DM55 near Prewitt in 2007. I think WB2FKO was the first QSO I made as a rover. So, it is always nice to work Mike from DM55. It reminds me of my origins. For many years my rover was the only VHF contest station in DM55. W7QQ/has since activated it, and now N5SJ is active with a well equipped 2M station. N5SJ and I were joined by W0AMT/r this contest for three active stations in DM55.  Who would have thought?

There were lots of AZ stations on, and I know that they were worked by many in NM up to Santa Fe or maybe beyond? For many years I have been trying to work AZ from western NM to no avail, but I think it was always an activity issue on the AZ end as I worked lots of AZ stations from the western NM grids this year, as did N5SJ. I also heard the AZ stations working W7QQ, N5SJ, and others. 

I rate the September contest this year high. Part of that was my laid back rove plans and allowing enough time on Sunday to try long haul QSOs to AZ.

It is always nice to hear people’s contest experiences. It helps all of us be better. 

Not sure if either of these groups allow attachments, but as have attached a picture of the rover in DM55 with Mount Taylor in the background. 

James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM

image1.jpeg

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