September VHF Contest 2022, N7FKI, KA7EXM, and W7ZOI

Wes Hayward, w7zoi.   15dec2022

Not all contests are a raging success with zillions of contacts in numerous grid squares.    But they can still be great fun.     The three of us had originally planned to hike to a location in Oregon's Cascade Mountains that was, from prior experience, a great location for VHF.    Alas, conditions are not what they used to be.   We could usually depend upon good September weather with mild temperatures and great views.    Today, wildfires in the western states often compromise these conditions.    This year the conditions were bad enough that we called the hike off.   But we still wanted to get on the air for the contest, so we picked a new location.     It was a park on a very tiny peak in Beaverton, OR.   We have operated there in the past and while less than spectacular, it still was better than home.   Here are a couple of photos from that outing.

This photo shows Bob, N7FKI (left) and Roger, KA7EXM.    Note the smoky haze in the sky.   The cord tied to the fence held one end of a 6 meter dipole.

The above photo shows Bob and Roger operating the rig, an IC-705 that belongs to Bob.   We made contacts on 50, 144, and 432 MHz CW and SSB.  The antenna system can be collapsed and stored in a pack.   The 10 ft mast consists of two old 5/8 inch OD tent poles.    The top antenna is a 4 element Yagi for 144 MHz while the lower one has 8 elements for 432 MHz.    Roger has used this antenna setup for perhaps a dozen portable operations over what must be a 20 year span.  

In spite of the lousy conditions, it was fun to get on the air and work some of the local gang.    The January contest is coming up.   I think there is a good chance that it will be smoke free.    Time to get out the snowshoes.    Don't laugh--we've done that in years past and it's great fun.