Thursday, January 27, 2011

January VHF Contest - Mt Diablo

The ARRL January VHF Contest was the weekend of Jan 22-23 this year. Last year I operated from Mt Vaca (CM88), but this year I decided to operate QRP in the "Single Operator Portable" category from the summit of Mt Diablo (CM97). Mount Diablo is a 3950' peak situated roughly in the middle of California's central valley, with line-of-sight views for hundreds of miles in many directions. Rather than hiking, I took the easy way and drove to the summit, and used the truck's Yaesu FT-857D radio with power output turned down to contest QRP levels (10 W).

For antennas, I used the Elk dual-band log periodic array for VHF and UHF, and I used the truck's screwdriver antenna for 6 meters. Things worked out well -- in 3 hours I was able to make 78 QSO's over 9 grid squares in three bands. Weather conditions were perfect -- temperature around 60F, with sunny skies and calm winds.

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