Sunday, July 22, 2007

CQ WW VHF contest wrap-up

Below are the totals from the CQ WW VHF contest this weekend along with a snapshot of the operating position taken late in the day with the camera in my iPhone. (It was pretty badly backlit so I cranked up the brightness.) The top antenna is a 6m Buddipole beam with an eight foot boom and three elements. The bottom antenna is an Arrow handheld antenna with the optional mount clamped to the Buddipole mast. Both antennas performed very well.

The big help was the location. Mount Wachusett is approximately 2000 feet high with a great view of Boston, Western Massachusetts, the Connecticut valley to the South, and New Hampshire to the North. The top is relatively flat and a favorite for hikers, tourists, and, for some reason, wedding parties. Seriously, lots of people drag their wedding party up their for a group picture with the Boston skyline in the background. (When this happens, I'm no longer the weirdest guy on the top of the mountain, IMHO!)

The Army Corp of Engineers has a relay station on top of the mountain. Apparently, LoJack (the car recovery system) also has facilities there as a fellow from LoJack dropped by to talk to me. Actually, quite a few people came by and chatted just as they had done two years ago when I had last been there.

The most gratifying visit was near the end of the day. I was just about to begin packing (you need to be off the mountain before sunset) when a fellow, a ham, introduced himself. He had never contested so I told him to take a seat and I would walk him through it. This was about the time that a very nice opening to the South appeared and we (first he, then I) worked into North Carolina, Georgia, DC and Virginia. He called and made the contact, then handed the microphone to me and I snagged a QSO, too. We worked about five people that way and by the end I believe he was hooked! Contesting is great fun and it looks like I've brought another young fellow into the fold. It was a very good day indeed.

Band QSOs Mults
6: 51 15
2: 11 5
Total: 62 20 Total Score = 1,460

By the way, check out the nice rock at the base of the tripod. No guying necessary that day. I just bungied the rock to the base of the tripod and it was solid.


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