N6ZE’s Report on the Spring 2-Meter Sprint

N6ZE operated for the first half hour of the Spring 2-Meter Sprint in the Santa Monica mountains. Note the brown/orange layer over Santa Monica Bay. This indicated that there was a temperature inversion between Ventura County and San Diego County which served to make 2-meter signals much stronger than usual over the 180-mile path. Three San Diego stations with just handhelds were worked by N6ZE.

By Pete Heins-N6ZE@aol.com

The first of the Spring VHF/UHF sprint events was held on Monday evening, April 5th. As per usual, I decided to operate from a favorite high spot in the Santa Monica mountains for the first half hour (7 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.) of the 4-hour contest period and to watch the setting sun.

I utilized an FT-857 and a little four element beam. Altitude typically helps to increase distances worked and I knew that there was a temperature inversion to enhance VHF signals between Ventura County and San Diego. I made 18 contacts in five grids, including DM03, DM04, DM12, DM13, & DM14. Three contacts were made to San Diego and at least two of those stations were using handhelds at distances of over 180 miles. The DM14 station was in Covina (82 miles). I did hear one station in Arizona but was unable to make a contact.

I then traveled to a high spot within the City of Thousand Oaks and then made five more Ventura County QSOs between 8:20 PM – 8:40 PM and used only a ¼ wave whip. Because my normal rover buddy, Woodie Woodward-WA6WDY is still observing Covid-19 distancing, I worked solo. For safety, I did not operate when driving from the mountains to Thousand Oaks on the mountain roads and US-101.

In this part of the country, most operating takes place between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM, although the Sprint runs from 7:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M. Of 23 total QSOs, eight were made with Ventura County stations.

Submitting scores for the VHF/UHF Sprint events is easy. Just fill out the simple entry form at:  https://www.3830scores.com/. You do not even need to submit a log. If you are reading this article and have not yet submitted your entry, please do so to show evidence of our local operating levels. Although activity levels were not particularly high this time, the 2-Meter Sprint was fun and served to help get us ready for the 135 cm (223.5 MHz FM / 222.1 USB) Sprint to be held on Tuesday evening, April 13th (7:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M.)

This spring, three other VHF/UHF Sprints will be held as well:

April 21st (7:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M.): 70cm (446.0 MHz FM and 432.1 MHz USB/CW)

May 1st (8:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.): 33cm and up (900 MHz and up)

May 8th  (4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.): 6 meters (52.525 MHz FM and 50.125 MHz USB)

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