What I learned for my 1st exposure to the VHF weekend contest.
- VHF/UHF/Microwavers are serious hams.
– They communicate and take these operations very seriously
– They operate strange expensive radios and antennas from their cars
– They pre-arrange operating times and coordinate with others
– They operate big signals and hunt out the little guys
- The W5RRR satellite antennas are not fun equipment for this type of contest
– I made numerous calls to loud stations but they couldn’t hear me
– The sat antennas are not high gain, since they are cross polarized
– We need horizontal gain beams + more power
- One must be familiar with grid squares and their relative location to you
– If you hear a station at a grid, you need to know where to point antenna
– Aimlessly rotating a directional antenna is a waste of time
- Must belong to insiders’ posts of who will be on and where they are planning to rove
– AB5SS, John, sent me lots of insider info. It’s a must have going into the contest.
- Timing is everything
– There are sweet spots for operations
– Taking advantage of rover ops, and tropospheric skip conditions is key
- Digital digital digital
– I couldn’t get my signalink to work on the TS2000
– I heard signals on 6m digital, but couldn’t work em.
– I’m sure there were 2m digital sigs, but need to learn how.
- I now want bigger, better antennas on our new 2nd tower.
- I’m sure 6m was more open that our QSOs. I heard a W3 but didnt’ get to work him
- Our 2m/440m radios need to have CW key hooked up. One 440 MHz station used CW to cut thru the noise. I could have tried that mode if we had key hooked up.
– I’m still not sure how to tailend an ending QSO in order to catch another station who doesn’t own the frequency.
– There’s a technique and ettiquette that one needs to learn.