Operators hiked to local hilltops or worked the VHF bands from home shacks, cars and even bicycles for the CVARC “Virtual Picnic” Sprint on Saturday August 29, 2020. Sprint organizer Keith Elliiot-W6KME said 24 operators reported scores. A remarkable total of 455 QSOs were made during the three-hour VHF contest.
Summits on the Air (SOTA) operators were heard at distances up to 100 miles. Several operators logged QSOs with a station operating on Mt. Waterman in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Martin Hickey-AJ6CL was on Simi Peak with a SOTA designation of W6/CT-207. Kathy Berk-KM6MIH was at the 1,800-foot peak of the Bowfield Trail as W6/CT-228. Paul Van Zule-K6PVZ was a little lower and further west on a hill between Grissom and Westlake Boulevard. Pete Heins-N6ZE started his day on Tarantula Hill and Ron Topolinski-K6CPR and Ron Nelson-K6RIN were on a hilltop designated as W6/SC-375 in Camarillo.
The contest got off to a fast start with lots of stations heard on 146.52 during the 0800 hour. Due to the significant QRM stations began to spread out to other frequencies such as 146.55 and 146.58 simplex.
The contest winner was Pete Heins-N6ZE who made 72 QSOs from three different locations. He had a total of 216 points (QSOs x number of locations.) Mike Bass-N7WLC was second with 31 OSOs from four locations for a total of 124 points. See the results here.
N6ZE shared his log from his 2 hours and 14 minutes operating from:
Station #1 Tarantula Hill (34 QSO) 1:15
Station #2 By Old Korean Church On Warwick Ave (22 QSO) 0:28
Station #3 Home QTH (16 QSO) 0:31
During the SPRINT, N6ZE worked 26 unique call signs, some on just one band from one location and some on 3 bands from multiple locations. Pete said W6KME’s Sprint idea worked out great and he hoped an event like this can be done again in the future, and possibly even adopted by other clubs and groups.
Mike Bass-W7WLC operated the CVARC Sprint as a bicycle mobile. In addition to his home, he was able to work stations from Wildflower Park, Wildwood Park, and Waverly Park. He worked stations using HTs on 2m, 1.25m, and one station on 6m. He said, “It was fun trying to pick places that were both close and had some altitude. Having a mountain bike allowed me to go to the top of a hill in Wildwood Park.”
After the Sprint ended at 11:00, everyone gathered on Zoom to swap stories. One of highlights was Victor Zeng-W2AYZ in Oak Park sharing live video of Martin Hickey-AJ6CL on Simi Peak using his iPhone connected to a telescope. (Martin is the little spot on the left!)