Another year, another unprepared contest effort about to take hold of a weekend, and Saturday is looking to be the one of the coldest days of the winter so far! With a high of 11 degrees, and chance of snow this could get interesting, but then again, doesn’t it always? There is also another factor this year, as there was last year… the Bills are in the playoffs, and of course the first game is Saturday at 8:15pm. As I stated last year, “I’ve been a Bills fan longer than I’ve been licensed,” so I of course built my schedule around that.
I’m considering rethinking 6 meters as I had elements freeze up on me last January at the most inopportune times, and it requires climbing on the roof to extend them, but if there’s any type of opening I’d like to have it there and at the ready – while not very likely in January, it’s always a possibility.
JT, and by that I mean FT, modes: I’d like to avoid them, I’m not here to debate their place in the contests, I just don’t have fun with them as a rover. Something about setting all of that up just to sit there and press keys on my computer just isn’t as fun as yelling into a microphone, and ending each day with a hoarse voice and feeling like I’ve done something. Not to mention additional PC operation equals additional power consumption by PC battery, which in turn equals more time in which I need to be running my engine to generate extra power to the laptop. With ALL of that being said though, I’m planning on having them readily available still, they just aren’t going to be my primary mode by any means.
Bands: A pseudo odd compilation of modes as I just haven’t had time to get the new (to me) transverters wired up and tested –
6m (100w): SSB/FM/FT
2m (50w): SSB/FM/FT
1.25m (10w): FM
70cm (35w): SSB/FM/FT
23cm (10w): FM
13cm (2.5W): SSB/FM
With any hope I’ll have SSB added to both 1.25, and 23cm by June – have the transverters, now it’s just about getting them on the air. I may have a limitation of a PCB antenna for 13cm as well – I was really hoping to look at my dish feed by now, but I haven’t gotten to it, and I give it a 50/50 shot that I do it in the next 72 hours with everything else needing to be setup.
Grids: Focusing on the local four with a lot of concentration on Sunday
There are a few question marks in there for time as I’m not sure how long our club meetup and “grid blitz” will take, and also I’m not sure about the spot in FN13AA – this is going to be a new spot to me, and it’s wholly based off of TOPO and Sat maps that should put me somewhere with a decent spot, but I may wind up skipping it. I’m planning on checking it out ahead of going to FN13GB as it’s on my way.
In the meantime, here’s a few photos from January 2021 to both serve as a reminder of what it’s like to rove in WNY, and the lovely ice we had last year, and to check out and later compare to the post contest photo I’ll likely post where I may have, at the last minute, decided to drastically change something as I often do:
I guess you could also click this callback to the January 2021 Contest Summary as well. If you’re wondering, I did start playing around with the laser, I just have yet to make it into a viable transmitter… and actually now that I’m reading my own post from last year, I should probably be a little concerned about FN03WA after last year – in June I was able to determine that it was the newly (now over a year ago) installed lights that were crushing my noise floor, making this a tough spot to work at night.
Anyways, assuming everything cooperates when it comes to setup tomorrow, it should be a good weekend!