January 2015 VHF ContestBy Jose B Rivera - N2LRB
January 24, 2015 - East Harlem, NY. I prepared my 2 meter and 70cm loop antennas for use during today’s VHF contest. Both are tuned to Single Side Band. And no I don’t do FM during this type of contest, but am willing to do AM as it reminds me of my Citizen’s Band radio days.
I counted down the time until 1900 UTC and then got to working the 2 meter band. I had already been talking to N2FKF before the appointed hour and so I made an official contact with him and a few others. The band seems to come and go. At one point I heard a station coming in strong from Baltimore Maryland, but it was a short lived three second thing and he faded into oblivion.
So I sat at my ham station desk spining the VFO up and down the dial in search of other ham stations to contact. I was able to speak to the following stations:
N2FKF (2M/70cm), K2TXB (2M), N3NGE(2M), WB2SIH (2M/70cm), K1TEO (2M/70cm), K2MLB(2M), WB2BVH(2M),WB2CUT(2M), WA2CP(2M), WB2RVX (2M), K2RMX (2M), K2SMN (2M).
I also tried out my 5 element 70cm beam for a few minutes. But I saw that the SWR was a bit high and I had no time to make a choke balun, so I put it away. But the main problem with the antenna was that I did not have a way to install it out of the window. I am sure it would have worked very well. I need to figure something out for tomorrow.
Overalll I think I did well considering I was working from out a window with two loops (not as good as beams) and no pre-amp and on low power (50 watts on 2 meter and just 20 on 70cm. I will at a pre-amp and amplifier to my wish list. I also wish I could operate from a higher location. By that I mean a nice state park or mountain where there are no silly rules like in Central Park and where I can use higher ground from which to operate. I will see if I can make that possible for this coming summer. It may mean working with others, which is good for security reasons. Though I don’t want to venture out too far. Maybe a group of us can go to Ward’s Island, set up and talk till nightfall. During the summer, nightfall is pretty late in the day, about 8:30PM. Working VHF from 2:00 until 8:00PM is a good amount of time to make plenty of contacts.