After US Fieldday where Gary – W4EEY and I installed the VHF station we decided to try another VHF contest. CQWW-VHF was last weekend and we were NU4E/r. We decided to start slow and only activate two grids, EM84 in Paris Mountain State Park and EM85 on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway. As this was our first time setup up a station like that we did the close by QTH on Saturday, in case we miss something it wouldn´t be far away to get it.
We came to the State Park and setup the station. After checking SWR and all modes (SSB, FT4, FT8 and CW) we discovered there was no automatic keying from the computer. So we made all our cw QSO with Gary´s Bencher paddle. I didn´t want to mess up with the comport settings and might interfere with the keying in FT8 and FT4.
Conditions on Saturday were pretty good. The 6m band was alive and we heard stations on 2m which were working sporadic E but we never heard the far away stations :-(. Only had 3 QSOs on on 2m but 121 QSOs on 6m when we finished at 7pm.
On Sunday morning we met at 6am to drive all the way up on the Blue Ridge Parkway. we arried 8:30am and installed the station at a comfortable 64F at 6020ft 🙂 much cooler than Saturday but also about 4000ft higher. I expected much better conditions and take off but 6m wasn´t like the other day. Very spotty conditions, the hole ssb / cw part was empty when we started. So we spent more time on FT4 and after we couldn´t find more stations there went on to FT8. But we still tried the majority of time to get stations attention in SSB. Once in a while we were lucky 🙂 and even a few DX QSOs to VE, HI, XE, CO and KP4 came into the log. The few QSO on Sunday came from NE and W and some tropo QSOs on 6m and 2m to some nearby grids.
We decided not to stay til the end and took down the station about 1,5 hours before the end. It was a good decision as rain came in and once it started we were already packed and on our way back to Greenville.
We had a nice time on VHF from both grids. Thanks for all QSOs and I hope to hear you all soon again (VHF / UHF Fall sprints in August and September). Please listen for NU4E from EM84 🙂
Here some pictures from our activity. Thanks to Gary – W4EEY for the hole station and food preparation: