As you are probably aware, I’ve been activating a few grids for satellite operations. This time I decided to activate EM11 at Meridian State Park.

The trip was reasonably productive with 19 QSOs across two passes for SO-50 and two passes for FO-29. Although the western pass of FO-29 was very lonely. SO-50 was productive, handing out EM11 to several stations including HP2VX and TI4DJ.

Rover Wannabe

Another reason for my trip has been to continue to develop a plan of entering the September and January ARRL VHF contests as a rover. After all, operating these contests from home is pretty boring with not that much activity. Operating as a rover would at least offer the fun of moving around and handing out some grids and QSOs.

My primary thought is that I could activate a few grids around the Dallas-Fort Worth area within easy range and throw in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston in the bargain. Right now I’m thinking that EM03, EM02, and EM11 would work well. Next I’ll be looking to the east at EM22 and EM23. That would lead me to a round trip around the DFW area.

Antenna Setup

I’ve also been crafting a way of setting up antennas for that operation. Chiefly, I plan to run from a stationary set up at each grid. This will allow me to do the talking and logging without trying to drive at the same time.

In the nearby photos, you can get a glimpse of the antenna set up I tested earlier this week. It’s a painter pole mast with some wood and bungee cords attached to the car to hold it all up. In this case, I only mounted the two-meter beam for testing. In testing, the link back to my QTH in EM12 worked.

During the contest I’d add a 70cm beam and use my Icom IC-910H as the rig for a 2 and 70cm entry. This should work for September and January as 6 meters will probably not be all that active. It could not work during June or the CQ contest in July as 6 meters would be a big part of everyone’s activities.

More fun in my ham radio adventures.


What do you think?