Since last September’s VHF contest, I have been looking forward to the next one. Especially since I have a base station now and I no longer have to sit in my car to talk on the radio, braving freezing temperatures or burning gasoline just to talk on the radio. I get enough freezing temps when I do a SOTA activation.
Anyway, this was my first time participating in the January VHF contest. Although my home setup did allow me to make several contacts, I had problems receiving stations that I should have heard clearly. I believe the big problem is my antenna. Currently, the j-pole rests atop a landscaping timber, perhaps 10 feet above the ground and 3 feet from the side of the house. I plan on raising it, although I’m not sure exactly how yet. I also wouldn’t mind having 440 MHz or 220 MHz capability in my “shack” before the June contest.
The January contest was fairly active around the area, but didn’t seem to be as active as the one in September. I believe 2m band conditions were better for the previous contest. I was hoping the weather would allow for some tropo ducting but it didn’t. At times, signals from other stations would vary widely, being 59+ one second, only to submerge into the white noise abyss moments later. All of my contacts came from EM86.
Total QSOs: 18
144 MHz: 13 x 1 grid square
432 MHz: 5 x 1 grid square
Looking forward to June!