January 2019 VHF Contest After Action Report

by Etienne K7ATN on 2019-02-06

Usually a few small things go wrong, had a few more than usual this rove, but still a good time. First, the statistics:

  • 596 miles driven
  • Nine grids activated (had hoped for 12)
  • All Seven Bands 6m through 13cm got used
  • Preliminary 414 QSOs made
  • Lots of 2m FM activity in CN85

A bit much of the rain at the Coasts making for a pretty soggy weekend to be out, but a dry Monday Holiday to put everything away was quite a gift.

Antennas included loops for 6m through 70cm, verticals for 2m, 70cm, 33cm and 23cm, and gain antennas for 6m through 70cm. Those last four antennas proved to be “difficult when wet” and the SWR was unacceptable, causing me to leave them behind on the second day.

Another antenna snafu occurred with a low hanging tree branch taking exception to the passing of my 6m loop – knocking it down but not off the roof of the car. All went back together and afterwards, my 2m loop featured a much better SWR – what?

And on Sunday morning heading to the Coast my 2m FM rig was behaving strangely and I finally noticed that my radio bus voltage was 9.8V! Turned out my auxiliary battery had come unplugged from the car battery and I had flattened it. A few PowerPole arrangements later, it was out of the circuit for the rest of the journey and I made sure to run the engine more often.

Most fun QSO was 222.1-SSB with Mike KB7W in CN93 from CN85 on Green Mountain Road (Kalama). LOUD armchair copy over a 150 mile path.

Thanks to those ARES folks who got on the air – it was great to work everyone!

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