January 2009 VHF Sweepstakes Contest

On 17 January the ARRL held their January VHF Sweepstakes contest. Kevin, W2FA and I, N2WLH were invited to join Randy, KC2COB, Bob, N2NF and Billy KO2W at Barnegat, NJ to take part in this event. Kevin swung past my house and picked me up and off we went. This was my first opportunity to really get involved in a VHF contest so I was anxious to see how things would transpire. Kevin and I arrived at Randy’s home and were immediately made to feel at home by Randy, his wife Nancy and I couldn’t forget there dog Cody. Randy gave us a quick tour of his “Shack” and the operating positions. We then fallowed Randy and Bob outside to where we were shown the antenna farm. Randy has several VHF antennas to include a 6 meter cubical quad and a 2 meter Yagi mounted on his tower. Bob and I began assembling a 1.25 meter and a 70 cm Yagi antenna to use as well. Randy then introduced Kevin and I to a trailer mounted tower which the four of us mounted the 220 and 440 Yagi antennas. Within an hour or so we had stations set up for the 2 meter, 6 meter, 220 and 440 bands. All was ready for the big event to commence. While we had some free time Randy took up a collection and headed off to the local sub shop for get lunch. After eating we arranged antenna cables and set out headsets and microphones. The logging computers were started and programs setup and checked for operation. We sat and discussed strategy to use and in no time we heard the speakers crackle with the first stations calling CQ; the contest had begun.

We made many contacts on every band and naturally had some friendly competition as to who was ahead in total contacts made. We had a great time operating on the bands and of course the hospitability was great. I’m looking forward to our next visit with Randy and Bob.

Below are a few photos I took along with some from Randy.


                           Bob N2NF and Kevin W2FA.                                                                                             Randy KC2COB.



                           The 220 and 440 station.                                                                                                     The 2 meter station.



                                                                        Here you can see the trailer tower with the 440 and 220 Yagi’s.    Here’s a view of the trailer mounted tower and Yagi’s.



                           Randy’s 6 meter quad and 2 meter Yagi.                                                                              Randy KC2COB working his Icom 746 on the 6 meter band.



                           Bob N2NF working the 220 bands.                                                                                      Kevin W2FA calling CQ on 2 meters.



                            Steve N2WLH working 6 meters.                                                                                       Cody the Wonder Dog.