Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 June VHF Contest - Mt Diablo

The 2012 ARRL June VHF contest was a lot of fun again this year! As in 2011, I camped near the summit of Mt Diablo (grid square CM97) and operated solar-QRP portable. The equipment consisted of a 20W PowerFilm flexible solar panel powering a 6.4 Ah LiFePO4 battery, which powered the Yaesu FT-817ND QRP radio. My antennas were a 6m HO-Loop from M-Squared, and a 2m/70cm dual-band log periodic from Elk.

I started the contest around 1pm on Saturday, and kept going to about 8:30pm (sunset) Saturday night. Sunday I operated from around 7am to 8pm, the end of the contest. Conditions were pretty good -- other than some very strong winds, the temperature was pretty nice. Radio-wise, there seemed to be a few more stations out this year than last, and there were a few brief band openings on the 6-meter band.

 Overall, I made 249 contacts on the three bands (excluding duplicates), working a few dozen grid squares in the process. Lots of fun!