The ARRL VHF Contest is often full of surprises. Not so many this year.

The highlight was working my first 1296 MHz SSB QSO with W5LUA, with my double quad on a mast held by hand and supported by my ham shack chair. You can really fine tune the beam heading that way.

The other highlight was N0LD/R making a pass through the area and lighting up a few grids on 2 meters and 70 cm. I always appreciate rovers.

It was also interesting to see the buzz on PingJockey with the new MSK144 WSJT mode for meteor scatter. I picked up a few random decodes but only one QSO with K5QE on 6 meters. No meteors involved on that path. But couldn’t hear them on SSB.

I used my new Icom IC-9100 and it worked great. I received lots of compliments on the audio. That was appreciated but gives you an idea of the rapid fire QSOs during the contest. Umm, not really.

I made 8 QSOs on 6 meters with 3 grids, 23 on 2 meters with 6 grids, 16 on 70 centimeters with 5 grids, and that one highlight on 23 centimeters.

I will note that many went out of their way to provide another band. WA5VJB, Kent, fired up a 70 cm FM rig to help me with that band. A number of people helped me with all three bands.

It was a good contest. Just wish we had more people on the air in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

My next project is to reset my antennas for improved satellite work. I reset them a few weeks ago for horizontal polarization for the contest. I’m going to get them back to vertical polarization with a 10 degree elevation. That worked great.

Hope to work you on the air — VHF contests or satellites.


What do you think?