2022 CQ World Wide VHF


Even though the last outing for the rover was only a month ago, there were several changes to the setup prior to CQWW. New batteries dedicated to the rover station completely isolating it from the vehicle electrical system. A new inverter/charger to maintain the batteries and run AC loads. A generator for battery charging as needed while stopped. N8XJK boosters to stabilize the DC supply to radios / amplifiers. Probably something else I’m forgetting, but those are the major changes.

For this outing, I decided to stay a little closer to home and spend less time on the road. After getting the last couple items into the van on Saturday morning, I set out for the EN50-EN51-EN60-EN61 corner. The drive ended up taking a little longer than expected, but still arrived to my first stop with plenty of time to get setup before the start of the contest.

Things got off to a pretty good start working several of the usual suspects locally. While six was open to the east coast and/or Florida most of the day, the rolling conditions were exhausting at times. I was able to work some folks on phone, but as usual many seem glued to FT8. Called CQ on phone several times with very few takers. Overall, Saturday went pretty well, was rather enjoyable (the real point of all this right?), and ended up with ~150 Qs in the log.

After catching a few ZZZs overnight, I was back on the road headed to the EM58-EM59-EM68-EM69 corner just before dawn Sunday morning. This was a new corner for me and the only scouting was via Google maps. So, this one would be a bit of an adventure. There were storms in the forecast for the day across the midwest, so it was bound to be interesting. The one time you want the weatherman to be wrong never seems to work out. The sun had barely come up and I still wasn’t close to my first planned stop when the rain started. There were several rounds of pretty heavy rain and storms throughout the day, but most of the time it was just raining enough to be annoying… and keep me from running the generator pretty much all day. The bands seemed to be just as bad as the weather. There were a few very sporadic openings throughout the day, but mostly it was just working the locals.

Then with about two hours to go in the contest my six meter antenna decided it didn’t want to be an antenna anymore. RX seemed to be OK, but the SWR was off the charts. That was enough for me… I decided to pack it up and head toward home a little earlier than planned.

In the end, it wasn’t all bad. I ended up beating my own score from last year (improvement, yay!) and I got to see how the new additions to the rover all play together in an actual contest. Thanks everyone for the Qs and see y’all in the next one.

Flex 6600 / Q5 Signal 5BVUX
50 - Par Moxon @ 18’
144 - Directive Systems 6el Rover Yagi @ 12’