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ARRL January VHF Contest   2018   Jan 20   Claimed Score

Click on a call below for a list of all the contests for which that call sign is listed as an operator. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the claimed score.

Call: K2DRH
Operator(s): K2DRH
Station: K2DRH

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs):

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:342189Total Score98,469


Club: Society of Midwest Contesters

Comments:     [email]     2018-01-30 09:05:55
This was really slow and painful .. even more so then usual. Participation was way down this year. Conditions were also pretty awful. QSB on all bands was the worst I've seen since moving to this QTH. WQ0P was nonexistent on 1296 for over 15 minutes before he suddenly popped up out of the hiss. With a few exceptions the rovers all stayed home despite the warm weather (in all fairness it was bitterly cold for at least 15 days leading up to the contest making it difficult to prepare). Three out of the 4 rovers I worked were so far away they were difficult to work on many bands (or just don't carry them anymore). I only came across one station that had a functional 2.4GHZ and he was too far away to work for the conditions! Between NAQP settling in on top of the Jan VHF Test a few years back and the expansion of the football season with playoffs, participation keeps dwindling. But by my analysis the sudden popularity of MSK and FT8 does us no real favors either. Now instead of finding stations that call CQ on 2M or 6M SSB there are hardly any there at all (forget CW!). When I call CQ I get much fewer replies, if any. Its disheartening to see no signals at all on 6M or 2M SSB/CW but then look and see all the locals with small to moderate stations are piled up on 6M jamming up MSK and FT8 calling CQ mostly to no avail or (I assume) waiting to pounce. They take a long time to complete if they do, and few are using the ability to call CQ then shift the QSO to another frequency to lessen the congestion. Most of them have don't have the capability to look at the CW/SSB, FT8 and MSK144 segments all at once like I do with the Flex. So rather than call CQ to no replies I'm forced to work them on digital when I see a grid I need or a station I need to run other bands (if I can even remember they have other bands LOL). It's SO much easier just to ask everyone I work on SSB and then coordinate a QSY freq (most don't seem to copy or send CW well enough and that is equally frustrating). Now instead of 30 seconds to work them and coordinate a QSY to the 2,3 or maybe 4 other bands they have, I have to call one station on 6M digital wait the minute or three for them to finish up then waste another minute or three asking them to QSY to 2M in TX5 and maybe another minute waiting for them to figure out how to reply back. And its not easy to direct a QSY request to a particular station and still include Call, "QSY" and a frequency inside the 13 character limit (how I would QSY WA#ZZZ/R I have no clue LOL). Many fail open and don't reply at all. Nor can I quickly work a few at the same time while stacking up 2 or 3 stations in the same direction to QSY with me for a quick band run with all of them. And get a Rover on 50260 and watch the chaos! Due to the message length constraints signing a compound call like you are obliged to do by the rules where it cannot have the directed call of the other station or the /R in some TX messages due to length constraints. This makes everyone's auto sequencing that picks up the rover's message (whether they are working him or not) advance. That was a total zoo and got some really pissed off until the rover relocated his QSO freq off the call! This needs to be fixed, but due to the software constraints I doubt there is any easy way short of doing what that rover did and getting off the call. Also the LIDs who insist on NOT running contest mode on FT8 and then fail open when you reply to them and it looks "funky". No clue why they won't run contest mode during a contest! Fer cripes sakes if you call or reply to a CQ in a contest you don't expect to ragchew, so why do you insist on the equivalent in digital! When fsk-441 was province of the hard core Ms players and contesters we made a lot of pre contest skeds around the overnight dead time when most less committed stations were not on. It was a way of adding extra mults especially on 2M. Random CQing during a contest was done by those with dedicated 6M stations who could actually hear something and they almost always asked for replies off the call frequency to keep things clear. Now thanks to all the glowing articles in the ham magazines, CQing on digital is done by anyone with a dipole and HF rig that includes 6M as a deaf afterthought. They are difficult to work, requiring multiple sequences for them to hear you. Sequence is arbitrary, and hardly anyone directs their CQ to QSY off the call for the QSO. This causes a lot of local congestion, and my large antenna array sees the endless repeats that go by. Normally I just stand by and let them finish, but I just can't afford to be that polite during a contest. Digital is really amazing, but the fact remains that you still have to have a decent station to be consistently successful! While its still true that you can add mults (especially after the "casual" ops have gone to bed), its a lot harder now to get anyone to sked ahead much less attract their attention on PJ or ON4KST when a full screen of messages flies by every minute. I also watch in frustration as the more capable stations get tied up in endless sked requests from much less capable stations that take forever to work, knowing that I can work them 1-2-3 when I can finally get their attention. Strategically it makes more sense to sked with capable stations in grids you need than to take random requests from all comers. I had one guy try to set me up with a 1300 mile 2M sked when he had a station that had maybe a 10% chance of actually spanning that distance with me. At least after it gets into the overnight time the real players can work each other but it sure cuts into sleep time for single ops Worse most smaller stations, portables and rovers don't have the same reach on 6M they do on 2M were most of the band coordination occurs; few have 6M and 432 or the microwaves without having 2M. Its not as easy to put a high gain 6M yagi up high enough where it reach can out 200 miles on tropo or more like a relatively small 2M yagi will. Plus 6M in general does not propagate as well on tropo scatter or ducting like 2M will. So if everyone is CQing or laying in wait on 6M digital they are severely limiting everyone's efforts to reach out on the other VHF bands. Extending the reach of a small station with Ms is fine but its not where everyone should congregate waiting for something to happen and the current message limits are not conducive to multiple band runs. 73 de Bob