By Pete Heins-N6ZE
I went out for about half an hour last Tuesday evening to see who was participating in the Fall 2020 135 cm (222.1MHz SSB/223.5MHz FM) Sprint. In 25 minutes of operating, I contacted seven stations, all located in Ventura County.
Three stations are CVARC members, one station is a member of VCARS, one station belongs to both CVARC and VCARS, one station belongs to Ventura County ARC, and one does not have a club affiliation.
Most stations were using 10-20-watt 135 cm mobile rigs with whip type antennas. WA6EJO used a 25-watt Alinco with a 5 element yagi at his Ventura (DM04jg) hilltop location. Phil-K6UJO, in Newbury Park, ran 30 watts into his Alinco DR235 with a mag-mount 135 cm whip. Terry-AE6JR, utilized a Kenwood TH-F6 handheld with a Comet SMA 503 whip at home. When operating from a nearby hill, Terry used a TBJ vertical. Mike-N7WLC, used his Alinco DJ-G29 handheld with supplied whip from his home QTH.
I looked through the Sprint entry submissions on the 3830 Rumor page* to see how other SoCal stations fared. Unlike during the good conditions which prevailed the previous week for the 2-meter Sprint, stations in San Diego (DM12) worked nothing out of their area and WA6EJO made just one contact south of the Santa Monica mountains in DM03. Activity levels were quite low as compared with the 2-meter Sprint, but hopefully there will be substantial 70 cm Sprint activity next Wednesday October 7th.
From a ridgeline on Wildwood Avenue, I used a Kenwood TM331 and a ½ wave whip to complete contacts with WA6EJO, K6UJO, AA6JR, AE6JR, W6NCT, and W6KME. Later on, after getting away from some obstructions, I contacted N7WLC from a hilltop near Bethany Baptist Church.
If you have never tried operating on this band or have only used repeaters, you might consider getting a handheld or mobile rig to join the activity. A ¼ wave whip is only about 13 inches long!
*All VHF/UHF SPRINT events use https://www.3830scores.com/ as the sole way to submit an entry. This web site is a great aid in seeing what others have achieved in contests.