2022 ARRL September VHF


No major changes to the rover setup since the last outing (CQWW). A little tidying up of the cabling, added a VESA mount for one of the computer displays in the operating position, and probably a couple other minor things that I have forgotten about. There are still improvements to be made to the setup, but life seems to be getting in the way lately.

Leading up to contest weekend, the weatherman again was predicting poor weather in many of the spots I have frequented in the last several contests. So, I began to plan my route around trying to avoid as much rainy weather as I could. With that in mind, the EN40-EN50-EM49-EM59 corner looked like it would have pretty good weather on Saturday. This would again be a new corner that I had not been to in the past, but I found several spots via Google Maps that looked viable to operate from. For Sunday, I decided to head to Taum Sauk Mountain in EM47. This is the highest point in MO, is another spot that I’ve had on my list to visit with the rover, and weather looked like it would be decent from mid-morning on for Sunday.

Since the first grid corner is relatively close to home, there was no issue getting there early to scope out a couple operating locations prior to the start of the contest. So, after doing just that, I still had plenty of time to get setup and lounge around a bit at my first spot.

As was expected based on the days/weeks before the contest, 6m was all but dead propagation wise. That fact did seem to breath a little more life into the upper bands though. Since 6m was dead, the day was spent mostly working the usual suspects within a couple hundred mile radius. After spending a couple hours in each of EN50, EN40, and EM49, I decided to head towards home and make a stop at a rest area on the interstate to hit EM59. That plan almost backfired when I started heading south and there was a sky full of lightning in front of me. Turns out the bulk of the weather was still south of my planned stop at the rest area though, so it all worked out. I pulled in, got setup, and operated for about an hour before continuing on home for the night. The drive home however, that was an adventure. Rain, rain, and more rain.

The rain was supposed to continue until about mid morning on Sunday, so again I was in no big hurry to get out the door. After a pretty wet drive, I arrived at the top of Taum Sauk Mountain, found myself a parking spot, and got setup. By that time the rain had stopped though, and the sky was starting to clear. By early afternoon it was absolutely beautiful out. I couldn’t have asked for better conditions to be out playing portable radio! I’ll take windows down / doors open and taking in the fresh air over having to run the van to get A/C any day of the week. Though 6m was still dead, the elevation of Taum Sauk made for some interesting Qs on the higher bands and a generally enjoyable afternoon.

I wanted to get back down off the mountain before the sun started to set so I could still see the antenna killers that were hanging over the gravel road leading to the top. So, I started packing up and headed down around 6pm local. That gave me time to drive home and setup in a school parking lot a couple miles from the house to finish out the contest from EM58.

At the end of what looked like it could have been a total wash out, it was actually dry and mild temps. The propagation gods could have been a little more helpful, but I guess you can’t win ’em all.

Flex 6600 / Q5 Signal 5BVUX
50 - 200w - Par Moxon @ 18’
144 - 200w - Directive Systems 6el Rover Yagi @ 12’
222 - 100w - Directive Systems 10el Rover Yagi @ 10’
432 - 100w - Directive Systems 15el Rover Yagi @ 8’