K8GP Rover June VHF 2016

Please check out an article I posted on my time spent with Terry W8ZN as we roved in the ARRL June contest.  There you will find pictures, audio and video of our operations from various grids square in western PA and VA.  I have also published numerous maps and stats of the stations we contacted across the 50 MHz – 10 GHz bands.  Please click K1RA @ K8GP Rover ARRL June VHF 2016 to read more.

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KW4VA VaQP 2015

I organized a few fellow hams to help participate this year’s Virginia QSO Party. With the help of Terry W8ZN, Craig N4OHE and the gracious host of Jim W4RX we put the KW4VA VaQP call on the air from Jim’s shack for the weekend of Mar. 21-22. We set up a small multi-multi station with 2 HF (80-10m) stations running Elecraft K3’s and an Alpha and Heathkit amps and one V/UHF 146/223/446 FM station running a Kenwood TM-742A. Our antennas ranged from some low dipoles for 40 & 80m, to a tribander for 10/15/20m and several monobanders. An 80m wire beam, a 40m 3L rotatable beam, a 5L 20m beam, stacked 5L 15m beams and a 6L 10m beam. For the V/UHF station we ran a triband vertical antenna up 50′. Full time op’s included Terry W8ZN, Jason KJ4EOO and myself Andy K1RA as well as part time ops Bill N4SV, Rich N3UW and Mike N2NAR.

Check out my photo album or a video collage with some pictures and video snippets from over the weekend below.

Our final contest breakdown for stations and multipliers contacted is as follows:

Total QSOs = 2408

Mobile QSOs = 323 (3pts each) = 969 pts
CW QSOs = 404 (2pts each) = 808 pts
Digital QSOs = 0 (2pts each) = 0 pts
Phone QSOs = 1681 (1pt each) = 1681 pts

Bonus Pts = 500 (K4NVA QSO)

Total Points = 3458

Multipliers = 266

DX = 89
VA Counties/Cities = 119 (of 133)
States = 48 (of 49)
VE = 10 (of 13)

Final Score = 920,328 points

73 and thanks for all the contacts!


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With the solar flux rising again in the winter of 2014/15 I’ve finally got my Raspberry Pi microcontroller based WSPR beacon on the air. I’m generating RF on 160m, 80m, 40m, 30m at night and 20m, 17m, 15m, 12m and 10m during the day every 2 minutes using my club call sign KW4VA. The controller generates ~10 milliwatts of power to either a 40m horizontal full wave loop in my attic up ~25′ or ZS6BKW @ 50′ or 400+’ long wire in the back yard. I’d developed a script awhile back to pull data from WSPRnet and display who has been copying my 10mw signal. Below you will see an OpenStreetMap on which I plot some of the most distant stations who have received my signal over the last few months. The blue 0 icon is my home beacon station QTH. The red icon #’s are placed over the 6 digit grid square or approximate latitude and longitude of the receiving station. Those red # icons represent what band (in meters) my signal was received. Click on the icons to read more information about the receiving stations to include their call sign, grid, distance, beam heading, average signal to noise ratio, # of reports posted, frequency and first and last times I was spotted. Click on the View Larger Map links below this map to see a larger interactive map with more specific band data for my running total of unique DX country spots.

View Large Map for all time unique DX countries

My beacon is running Jamesp6000 WsprryPi C++ code on a RPi microcontroller board.

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K1RA @ K8GP Rover June VHF 2014

This past June I again had the opportunity to rove with Terry W8ZN. We had last roved in the ARRL Jan. VHF SS contest and had a great time and scored very well. Since the K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group were unable to host an operation from their multi-op, multi-trasnmitter contest site in FM19bb, the two of us opted to pull together another plan to enter the Classic Rover category. Rich N3UW was kind enough to allow us to again borrow his rover for this event. Terry and I spent some additional time improving and re-engineering the rover given what we learned in Jan. Read more about our preparations, route planning, contest weekend experience and post contest analysis by clicking here.

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