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.

N6ZE’s longest distance QSOs were with Steve Miller-W6QIW, on both 23cm and 33cm over a path of 115.96 km. Steve lives near the Santa Barbara Airport and has an exceptionally large station.

The 33cm FM converted Kenwood commercial transceiver provided some contacts. N6ZE used a 9 element M>2 prototype yagi with this radio and a 3 element WA5VJB PC board yagi with the ALINCO handheld.

Amateur radio authorized microwave frequency bands begin at 902 MHz (33cm) go upward in frequency allocation in a dozen bands to 241 GHz and above. Most of the bands do not have many users, but during various contests, hams who have gear for the most frequently used bands 902 MHz (33cm), 1240 MHz (23cm) and 10 GHz frequently participate.

Scoring for this event was based solely upon cumulative distance worked. N6ZE’s score of 662 km compared favorably with most other stations on the West Coast. His contacts included QSOs with 3 members of Ventura Co. Amateur Radio Society, 1 member of Conejo Valley Amateur Radio Club, 2 members of Pacific NW VHF Society and a couple of members of Central States VHF Society & the San Bernardino Microwave Society.  He operated from 3 locations: Topanga Overlook, which views the San Fernando Valley; the top of Stunt Road in the Santa Monica Mountains with views to South, North, and Northwest and also locations within the City of Thousand Oaks. Distant QSOS were made to Santa Barbara, Anaheim and La Crescenta.

As usual, Pete utilized his ancient “Yellow Pad” logging program, as his pen always worked, and he did not need to shield a laptop screen from the bright sun.

ALINCO handhelds with WA5VJB PC board yagis for 23 cm and 33 cm.

Other than 2 relatively new ALINCO handhelds for 23 cm and  33 cm, an old converted commercial 33cm Kenwood transceiver and an ancient Yaesu FT736 2m to 23cm 10-watt multi-mode transceiver were used for some contacts. At various times, whip, 3-element WA5VJB yagis and handheld 10-13 element yagis were used.

The weather was great, and N6ZE reports witnessing lots of bicycles and motorcycles bombing up and down the mountain roads.

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