Dave’s 4th VHF Rover outing

I’m getting progressively better at this new adventure of ham radio- VHF/UHF Contest Rovering

My QSO count is still extremely low, but I’m gaining tons of experience with still a long way to go.  This is *hard* with makes it fun.

For the January VHF contest (Jan 20-21, 2024), I couldn’t travel far out enough to capture any North Texas QSOs since I had family obligations on Saturday evening and Sunday late afternoon  But still had a great time making a few South Texas contacts on 2m/440m and a potpourri of sporadic E openings to the west.

The highlight of my trip was a potential 1st QSO on 222 MHz with K5LLL using my new Elecraft XV-222 transverter + a newly hand built WA5VJB 6 element “cheap yagi”.  Sadly, the sure fire QSO ended in failure only to discover (too late) that I misconnected the T/R transverter relay activation cable to the wrong DIN connector in the back of my exciter, which is a TS-2000.

Like previous attempts, I’ve copied the great work of K5ND and KE4WMF, with a rotatable rooftop minitower consisting of a 6m Par Stressed Moxon, a 2m Directive Systems Yagi, a 432 Directive Systems Yagi, and the WA5VJB homebrew 222 MHz yagi build using 6 welding rods on a 1×2 10′ plywood boom.

In total, I was able to cover 6 grid squares with a total of 48 QSOs and 30 multipliers.  Outlayers were 21 QSOs on 144Mhz, 2 on 432MHz.  Most of the contacts were on 6m FT8.

I’m not an FT8 operator, but sure learned how powerful this weak signal mode has become for this type of contest especially when propagation was marginal.

Looking forward the more popular and active June VHF QSO party where I’ll try again and hopefully have a better route through the North Texas ham community.

No adventure ends without some mishap.  Mine happened at the end of my route.  Before entering my QTH Sunday evening, I knew I had to remove a few of the antennas so they wouldn’t snag onto the known low hanging trees in my neighborhood.  So I pulled by the local church as it started raining.  I spotted a driveway with a high covered overhang which would have been perfect protection.  CREAK, the overhang wasn’t tall enough and I ended bending 2 of my yagis.  Luckily not too badly.

Ironically, when I entered our neighborhood after successfully removing all the rooftop antennas at the church, I noticed that the community association had trimmed all the branches from the low hanging trees which would have given me complete clearance directly into my driveway had I known.  Sigh.

Still tons of fun  Again, I hope this post inspires some other h hams to give this a try.  It’s a blast.

73  -dave  W5OC


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