Once more into the fray of an ARRL VHF Contest as a Rover.

As in the September VHF contest, it will be a simple effort with an IC-910H running 2 meters and 70 centimeters barefoot into a 4-element 2 m yagi and 10-element 70 cm yagi on a painter pole at 18 feet.

I’ve done a little testing for logging programs. I recently acquired a Windows laptop to take on the ham radio software that will not run on my usual Apple laptop. With that in hand, I set about testing RoverLog and W3KM Rover but found them both too complex for set up and certainly wanting in simplicity of operation. So I opted for N3FJP’s VHF Contest Log which not only is simple to set up and operate but it also handles rover operations. We’ll see how it works on the road.

With antennas, my previous operation used a Diamond 5-element 2 m yagi but the reflector is broken. So I’ve added an Arrow 4-element 2 m yagi. It should prove simple, lightweight, and easy to set up at each stop. For 70 cm last time I used a Diamond 15-element yagi. It was a bit much lifting it on the painter pole. So I’ve swapped it to my home station and now using a Diamond 10-element yagi which should be just as effective and easier on the painter pole.

You can find the map of my rover route below. My Saturday route is much easier than the September contest but overall I end up with just seven grids activated. Sunday has a few options late for activating duplicate grids from different locations, but only if I’m not too tired. I have to remind myself this is a hobby and meant to be fun.

Here’s the details. The times show more precision that you should expect. I’ll announce arrival times on Twitter @k5nd and will see what I can do with APRS.

Saturday 20-January-2018

  • 1900 UTC — EM22bf (A on the map to the SE of Dallas)
  • 2030 UTC — EM21ax (B)
  • 2200 UTC — EM11ww (C)
  • 2330 UTC — EM12va (D)

Sunday 21-January-2018

  • 1300 UTC — EM03xe (A on the map to the West of Fort Worth)
  • 1530 UTC — EM02xt (B)
  • 1830 UTC — EM01wv (C)
  • 2030 UTC — EM11dv (duplicate grid) (D)
  • 2230 UTC — EM12ea (duplicate grid and may drop if tired) (E)

I hope to work you during the contest.

What do you think?