Listening to white noise on 3 bands

For this year’s September VHF Contest I deployed my new Icom IC-910H on 2 meters and 70 centimeters in addition to my Elecraft K3 for 6 meters. I entered in the Single-Operator 3-Band category, limited to 100 watts on 6 and 2 with 50 watts on 70cm.

Most of the contest I was waiting for a 6 meter Es opening that would reach DFW. There appeared to be a big one on the east coast that made it to Chicago. Late in the contest there was an excellent opening from Florida via TEP into South America. But nothing that reached the DFW area.

Fortunately, I was able to spend much of my time on 2 meters and 70 cm with the new rig and my cheap yagis. Plus, using speakers, I could listen to both the K3 and the IC-910H with lots of white noise and the occasional station that would pop up.

I also experienced the magic of directional antennas. One nearby fellow (all I worked were relatively nearby) would call on 2 meters from time to time. I would respond and nothing heard from me on his end (20 miles away). Fortunately, a nearby ham with a bit broader beam width could hear us both and advised the fellow to turn his antenna. I was able to work him on 2 and 6 but not 70 cm.

I also had a keen thrill to work W3XO/5 in Kerrville, TX. This is William Tynan who wrote the QST column World Above 50 MHz from 1975 to 1992. He was able to dig out my very weak signal on 2 meters and followed me to 6 meters to work an even weaker signal. Fantastic to see him on the air and note, too, that he’s using a Flex 5000.

I did monitor Ping Jockey from time to time. But I don’t feel my 100 watts and 3-element yagi is quite up for working meteor scatter without a great deal of patience and a big station on the other end. However, I did work K5QE in East Texas on 6 meter FSK441. Marshall was running lots of power and aluminum. Not sure it involved any meteorites at all over that short distance.

Here’s my score summary:

6 meters = 18 Qs and 7 grids
2 meters = 16 Qs and 7 grids
70 cm = 10 Qs and 4 grids

Thanks to everyone who spent the time to work my tiny signal. I had some fun and sure glad that I had 2 meters and 70 cm to keep me relatively busy.

What do you think?