August 222MHz and Up Distance Contest

From the top of Tarantula Hill, N6ZE/R made a few evening contacts on 70 cm, including one with W6JWP.

By Pete Heins-N6ZE

For several reasons, the August 222MHz and Up Distance Contest was a unique and different contest for me. Several clubs in the local area had made special plans to help less experienced hams gain operating experience by utilizing 2 meter handhelds and mobile rigs to make QSOs during this year’s COVID-19-modified Field Day. They also encouraged operation on 6 and 2 meters during the “CQ VHF Contest.” For this reason, I heavily promoted this year’s “ARRL 222 MHz and Up Distance Contest” to encourage local area stations to participate and gain more experience in this part of the hobby.

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VHF Initiative: What You Can Do With an HT on Field Day

N6ZE holding 33cm and 23cm Alinco HTs, both with factory whip antennas.

New hams – particularly those with Technician licenses and hand-held radios – may wonder if they can get much out of Field Day (June 27-28) with their operation limited mostly to the VHF band.  CVARC and the other Ventura County amateur radio clubs have been encouraging these new hams to get involved on Field Day through the VHF Initiative where experienced operators will be monitoring VHF simplex frequencies to make Field Day QSO’s with the new hams.

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The 2020 Spring 6-Meter SPRINT: A Ventura County Perspective

The 5 element M>2 six-meter yagi is mounted below roofline of a one-story house. Davis Weather Sensor Suite is also mounted on the mast. Part of a Cushcraft R-5 HF vertical is also in the view.

By Pete Heins-N6ZE

The 2020 Spring Six Meter SPRINT, the final one until fall 2020, was held on Saturday, May 9, 2020, and what a SPRINT it was:

  1. Lots of Ventura County stations were active.
  2. Many hams with little prior 6-meter experience tried the band.
  3. Not a bit of Sporadic E (Es) Propagation was to be had.
  4. One CVARC member activated a Summits on the Air (SOTA) Peak.
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Spring 2020 Microwave SPRINT

N6ZE’s First operating location for the Spring 2020 Microwave SPRINT was overlooking the San Fernando Valley from the Topanga Canyon overview (from outside the closed park, of course). The elderly Yaesu FT736 does not like 12VDC power so I used my generator and 13 elements of an M>2 yagi. This stop was for only 30 minutes.

The Spring 2020 Microwave SPRINT was held on Saturday, May 2nd. Five seasonal SPRINT events, sponsored by the Central States VHF Society, are held in the Spring and Fall to encourage use of and foster simplex activity on the VHF/UHF bands.

During four hours of operation from three locations, Pete Heins-N6ZE made 14 contacts on 23cm and 33cm with 10 different stations. He made two additional contacts with N6VI from another location, but only the furthest distance counted for points.

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N6ZE’s 70 cm and 135 cm Spring SPRINT Results

N6ZE’s pickup truck with bed mounted 70 cm yagi with rotator and whip antenna for 6 m, 2 m/70 cm and 135 cm

By Pete Heins-N6ZE

On Wednesday evening, April 22, 2020, the 70 cm Spring SPRINT served as a “highlight of the day” to escape today’s issues. The weather was great: T-shirt weather, with calm winds and great visibility. The activity level was a pleasant surprise with many stations worked throughout Ventura County.

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N6ZE’s Spring 2020 2 Meter SPRINT Results

By Pete Heins-N6ZE


I operated from a local Thousand Oaks hilltop (DM04ne) during the first two hours of the Spring 2 Meter SPRINT, which was held on Monday evening, April 6th. Hint: To increase one’s VHF/UHF score go to the highest hilltop you can access!

I made 23 QSOs in 3 Grids. Score is 69. I contacted DM04 (19 QSO), DM03 (1 QSO), & DM13 (3 QSO).

I also heard K6MYC in DM07 (205 miles), north of Fresno and N6RMJ in DM25 (257 miles), in the Northwest corner of Arizona. Not one peep was heard from DM12, DM14, CM94, or CM95.

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N6ZE/Rover in the January VHF Contest

Woodie-WA6WDY listens for stations on 135 cm (222.1 MHz SSB). Pete-N6ZE uses a 33 cm (927.5 MHz) yagi and ALINCO 33 cm FM handi-talkie to make a contact on that band. Using the ALINCO handheld provided 4 contacts on that frequency band from the Mountains and from Palos Verdes.

By Pete Heins-N6ZE

The ARRL January 2020 VHF Contest was held on January 18 – 19, 2020. N6ZE/R, operated by Pete Heins-N6ZE and Woodie Woodward-WA6WDY, made just over 250 QSOs on 6 bands from activating four Ventura and Los Angeles county grids. Our 7-hour stint at our Saturday location in the Santa Monica mountains (DM04qb) yielded 150 QSOs.

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More SPRINT Ops with Pete Heins-N6ZE

October 9, 2019  – 70 cm (420 – 450 MHz) SPRINT Operation

Just 8 days after participating in the 135 cm (222 -225 MHz) SPRINT, Woody-WA6WDY, and I traveled again to the top of Stunt Rd. in the Santa Monica Mountains (DM04qb) to participate in the 70cm (420 – 450MHz) SPRINT. From our location more than 2000 feet above sea level, with an unrestricted RF horizon in many directions, 100 watts of SSB & FM, and an 18 element horizontally polarized Yagi, we made 20 contacts (QSOs) in Ventura, Los Angeles, & Orange Counties in 1.5 hours of operating. Interestingly, we worked 8 stations in both Ventura County and in Grid DM13 to the East/Southeast of Los Angeles. Thanks to CVARC/VCARS/ACS members who got on.

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135 cm (222- 225 MHz) SPRINT Report by Pete Heins-N6ZE

Unlike my 2 meter Fall 2019 SPRINT operation on Thousand Oaks’ Tarantula Hill for last week’s event, Woody-WA6WDY, and I traveled to the top of Stunt Rd. in the Santa Monica mountains (DM04qb) to participate in the 135cm (222 – 225 MHz) SPRINT. From our location, more than 2000 feet above sea level and with an unrestricted RF horizon in many directions, 100 watts of SSB & FM, and a 7 element horizontally polarized Yagi, we made 13 contacts (QSOs) in Ventura, Los Angeles, & Orange Counties in just over one hour of operating.

Several stations which we contacted were more than 40 miles distant; one, WA6EJO, used just a handheld with whip antenna from Ventura.

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