ARRL June VHF contest plans

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
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Nov 19, 2005
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California
Oh man, I was replying and wrote a paragraph about their apology culture and caught myself. hahaha way off topic.

Anyways, for the June contest I'm going to see what I can do with handhelds only. This means handheld antennas as well and FM only. Hmm...or maybe use the Yaesu 817 (SSB), but without an improved antenna. Either choice will be challenging. I'll bet I am unable to make a contact more than 50 miles away, unless they're on Mt Diablo to the north or Frazier Peak to the south.

I've done 5W FM mobile on various bands, using mobile antennas and I probably will continue to change things up by doing that from time to time. Still, I think using the 817 only with the stock antenna will be a fine challenge. Thank goodness for my 7000' tower. Yeah, definitely the 817 now and then give the 705 a try to compare and contrast.
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
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So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
My KX3 has the 2m option so I might use that instead of a 705 for hilltopping in the June contest. Or I could lug my Icom 9700 around with a battery.

Oh man, I was replying and wrote a paragraph about their apology culture and caught myself. hahaha way off topic.

Anyways, for the June contest I'm going to see what I can do with handhelds only. This means handheld antennas as well and FM only. Hmm...or maybe use the Yaesu 817 (SSB), but without an improved antenna. Either choice will be challenging. I'll bet I am unable to make a contact more than 50 miles away, unless they're on Mt Diablo to the north or Frazier Peak to the south.

I've done 5W FM mobile on various bands, using mobile antennas and I probably will continue to change things up by doing that from time to time. Still, I think using the 817 only with the stock antenna will be a fine challenge. Thank goodness for my 7000' tower. Yeah, definitely the 817 now and then give the 705 a try to compare and contrast.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
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Nov 19, 2005
Messages
1,411
Location
California
Thinking back over the years, 70cm SSB & FM has some numbers, but as you know it is nothing like 2 and 6 meters. Small and light is nice. I've whipped up a five element six meter antenna a few times and it all adds up comparing setup/takedown to fun time.

I do not have a 7300, so I am hoping to get the 705 in my hands ahead of time to config, get familiar with it, and get a good idea on the power draw based on my usage.

As to power, I'm going to put that 6Ah lithium to the test with a 50W solar panel and controller. They handle the 817 fine, considering the C rate. With the 705 turning off the screen, I am hoping I can push the 10W and still keep it friendly with the same solar and battery setup. I have additional solar, batteries and radios to push full blast, but I would like to start packing less.

Hmm...that might be fun for one contest. Push the max the 897D puts out on each band using directional gain antennas while up at 7000+ feet. Hell, I could do the same with 220 and 900 MHz during that same contest. With up to 13dB additional gain, I could get into those nooks and crannies. Definitely on the back burner though. I know what I can do with 5W, so it is not too hard to imagine the additional gain. At 7000' there aren't too many stations I can hear that are unable to hear me a well, even with 5W. (I just remembered you know all of this, so enjoy it others that stumble in to this thread.)
 

_sundown_

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Jun 16, 2017
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Deep in the tick infested Ozarks
I think a lot hams will be participating this year due to being stuck close to home for the most part, IMO. I'll be working VHF simplex with my arrow antenna but hoping to borrow a SSB rig to pair up with my arrow. I'm in AR and our highest elevation is 1,800' and easily accessible. So I'm with "vagrant" on using my HT for starters, paired up with my arrow and high elevation I'm looking forward to it on the day.
 

vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
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California
Indeed, at 1800' a handheld can perform rather well with and without a Yagi. I do not have an Arrow antenna, but I have used my Elk Log Periodic. It definitely makes a difference. While most of my contacts are SSB, I do switch over to 6m through 33cm FM call frequencies at the top and bottom of the hour. I do wait to transmit until five minutes after though, due to the locations and elevations I am usually at. I can RX rather well with a 7700'+ antenna.

I'm hoping things loosen up enough that I can get to one of my spots. Time will tell.
 

N8FNR

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Oct 1, 2012
Messages
46
Location
Royal Oak Michigan USA
I have been thinking about operating in the ARRL VHF June contest but only with FM/digital voice HT's.

There is a park north near me in EN82lq (20 miles north of Detroit) and it is 200 feet above the surrounding area. It has clear view to the horizon from about the ESE to the WSW.

I would be using an Arrow II satellite 3 element 2 meter yagi mounted to a camera tripod. The antenna also can operate on 440 using 7 elements. The radios will be a Kenwood TH-D72a HT, a Icom ID-51A Plus2 HT and an Anytone AT-D878UV HT. All of these have a maximum output of 5 watts and I would be able to use FM, D-Star and DMR.

The Arrow II has about 5 DBd gain on 2M giving me about 15 W ERP and about 11 DBb on 70cm for around 60 W ERP. Effective Radiated Power ERP from Antenna Gain dB Calculator Free

Will be interesting to see what find of results I get.

Zack
 
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vagrant

ker-muhj-uhn
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California
I have never heard, nor used, D-Star or DMR on FM simplex or one of the call frequencies during a contest. You would probably get some interesting feedback and not in the form of the information you need to log a contact. Maybe things are different elsewhere and or changing, but I definitely have not heard DMR or D-Star here in central California during a VHF contest weekend during the last five years or so.
 

popnokick

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Mar 21, 2004
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Northeast PA
Absolutely! Go for it... that’s part of ham radio. If you’re in a densely populated area you’re likely to have 2M, 6M, and even 70cm analog FM QSOs.
 
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