Who needs sunspots when you’ve got 6 meters Es? During the ARRL June VHF contest there were fabulous openings from Texas to the east coast and midwest. At one point it was as if an HF contest broke out on 6 meters.
I certainly envy the hams on the East Coast who were working into Europe. I see today that even Dallas-Fort Worth hams with great antennas are working into Europe.
During the contest I logged a few JT65 contacts, when I needed a rest and wanted to let the band collect a few new stations. I did try meteor scatter Sunday morning. But, I’ve come to believe that the advice I read early on about this mode is true – 500 watts and big/high antennas are needed to have satisfactory results. I’ve made some MS contacts before, and I really like FSK441 and JTMSK, but I don’t feel it will work for my limited station on a regular basis. Plus, it has to be pretty frustrating for the op on the other end, particularly during a contest.
During the contest I worked a total of 179 contacts with 103 grids, most were on 6 meters as it was too busy even for contacts with local hams to move to other bands. I see from the log analysis today that I worked 4 all-time new grids on 6 meters to bring my total to 279 worked with 259 confirmed.
Many of those new grids were from rovers. I really enjoyed working a husband and wife team that were using two separate call signs. They would literally hand the microphone over to the other one so you could log two contacts. Amazing stuff.
I also spend a little time late in the contest running a frequency on SSB. That was when the band suddenly opened up loud and clear to Florida. I got the hang of it and will have to make this a big part of my next contests. Tried a bit of CW running, but only had a couple that responded to my CQs.
Late in the contest I did have some anxious times with a thunderstorm that came through. I had disconnected the antennas but didn’t shut off electrical power. With a loss in power, the computer shut down and somehow corrupted the N1MM+ Logger ini file. After pulling out my limited hair, I searched the web and found the recovery options on the website. Then I was able to get everything up and running again. Thanks to the N1MM team for a great program, with daily backup of ini files, and very helpful documentation.
Thanks also to everyone on the air that make this a wonderful contest.