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VHF Contesting Scott Honaker – N7WLO. Scott Honaker - N7WLO2 Why Contesting? Emergency preparedness Familiarity with equipment Operating practice Competitive.

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Presentation on theme: "VHF Contesting Scott Honaker – N7WLO. Scott Honaker - N7WLO2 Why Contesting? Emergency preparedness Familiarity with equipment Operating practice Competitive."— Presentation transcript:

1 VHF Contesting Scott Honaker – N7WLO

2 Scott Honaker - N7WLO2 Why Contesting? Emergency preparedness Familiarity with equipment Operating practice Competitive need Challenge

3 Scott Honaker - N7WLO3 Why VHF? More about location than station – even playing field Cooperative contest More relaxed Less band “fighting” No awkward antennas Everyone can play – available to all class licenses

4 Scott Honaker - N7WLO4 Rules - Classes Single operator (high/low power) (Limited) multi-operator Rover Single operator portable (QRP)

5 Scott Honaker - N7WLO5 Rules – Grid Points Maidenhead Grids –1 degree latitude x 2 degrees longitude –Either 4 or 6 character designator –Covers the whole world –Seattle is CN87, Bellingham CN88 –Vancouver, BC is CN89, Portland is CN85 1 Grid point for each grid contacted per band 1 Grid point for each grid activated

6 Scott Honaker - N7WLO6 Maindenhead Grids

7 Scott Honaker - N7WLO7 Rules – QSO Points Modes (CW, SSB, FM) –Most activity is USB on/near call channel –A QSO is same points regardless of mode –No additional points for additional modes Bands –6m to light –Higher bands worth more points Exchange – Call and grid square Score = Grid pts x QSO pts

8 Scott Honaker - N7WLO8 Equipment - Radios Multimode (CW, SSB, FM) – most activity is SSB Multiband - 6m, 2m, 220, 440, 1.2 gig FM OK 2m and up IC-706MKIIG, FT-100(D), FT-817, TS- 2000(X) Don’t forget IC-T81s, TH-F6A, etc. Transverters

9 Scott Honaker - N7WLO9 Equipment – Antennas Loops Beams – Planars - Dishes Horizontal polarity Verticals only useful on 2m, 222, 446 Arrow, Cushcraft, M2, KB6KQ, Par Mast/rope, telescoping masts, park-on mounts, etc.

10 Scott Honaker - N7WLO10 Facilities Car Camper Truck Tent Trailer RV Rodger KK7LK on Mt Anderson

11 Scott Honaker - N7WLO11 Rover Vehicles

12 Scott Honaker - N7WLO12 Mapping Delorme Gazetteer – Identifies grid squares and good operating locations Topo data is critical for finding good operating locations or route planning GPS – Can provide antenna bearings Locations scouted on –http://pw1.netcom.com/~n7cfo/locations.htmhttp://pw1.netcom.com/~n7cfo/locations.htm Radio Mobile software –http://www.cplus.org/rmw/english1.htmlhttp://www.cplus.org/rmw/english1.html

13 Scott Honaker - N7WLO13 Locations Altitude Access to population centers Unique grid squares Accessibility – rover Beware of “populated” hill tops – may need intermod filters

14 Scott Honaker - N7WLO14 VHF Propagation Modes Sporadic-E –Most common on 6m Troposcatter/ducting –Most effective on 6m through 70cm –More common in summer, near water Aurora –Works late at night on 6m and 2m –Point antenna north

15 Scott Honaker - N7WLO15 New Modes Not too common - yet PSK 31 –Similar noise immunity to CW –Easily run on most laptops –http://aintel.bi.ehu.es/psk31.htmlhttp://aintel.bi.ehu.es/psk31.html JT 44 with WSJT –Copy up to 30dB below the noise floor –Computer clock and radio freq must be accurate –Not real-time, must be scheduled/arranged –http://pulsar.princeton.edu/~joe/K1JT/http://pulsar.princeton.edu/~joe/K1JT/

16 Scott Honaker - N7WLO16 PSK 31 Frequencies HF BandFrequencyVHF BandFrequency 160 M1807 KHz6 M MHz 80 M3580 KHz2 M MHz 40 M7070 KHz MHz 30 M10140 KHz70 cm MHz 20 M14070 KHz33 cm MHz 17M18100 KHz 15M21080 KHz 12M28120 KHz Most PSK 31 is USB

17 Scott Honaker - N7WLO17 VHF During Field Day VHF/UHF QSO counts are notoriously low The vast majority of QSOs are voice FD scoring gives 1 point for voice, 2 points for CW and 2 points for data QSOs Typical VHF QSOs might be 80 – all voice If 50% added soundcard modes, we get 5 points per station rather than 1 point 80 points becomes 240 points This doesn’t count QSOs now possible with PSK/JT44

18 Scott Honaker - N7WLO18 Strategies Make noise Pay attention to 6m band openings Track rovers and the bands they have Identify big stations with multiple bands Use CW/PSK/JT44 for extra QSO points Bring as many bands as possible Scan 2m FM simplex channels and Check out

19 Scott Honaker - N7WLO19 Monitoring Activity – MHz USB MHz FM – MHz USB FM and 2m simplex (not ) FM or USB – MHz USB MHz FM FM or USB

20 Scott Honaker - N7WLO20 Additional Field Day Info Use HamScope/MixW/WSJT to make CW/PSK available to all operators – it all loads on the logging machine Arm the GOTA station with VHF and multimode software Anyone not operating should be contacting the VHF and GOTA stations Use down-time for JT44 contacts – while continuing to monitor other frequencies

21 Scott Honaker - N7WLO21 Have Fun!


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