K1RA @ W1RT Rover ARRL Sept VHF 2011

W1RT Rover ARRL Sept 2011 VHF Contest
The Untold Story

For the third year in a row I had the opportunity to operate with John W1RT this past ARRL Sept 2011 VHF contest. I’m hoping this turns out to be a yearly event for us. In all reality though I realize any year I’m obligated to give the seat back to Christof, ON4IY, John’s original rover partner. Nonetheless, this year I tried to capture some videos and pictures (click on any within here) of our adventure and put down in words what I recall we experienced. Finally, I attempted a bit of post-contest analysis with a presentation of some pretty graphs, charts and KML maps.

This year John had planned to change up the rove from our successful expedition of 2009. We weren’t so successful in Sept 2010, follow the link at the bottom of the page for more on that fiasco. Anyhow, John decided spending more time operating in fewer grids was a better strategy. We’d shoot for 6 fixed grids and maybe catch 2 in motion. Another change from 2009 and 2010 was that we’d start south in VA and head north to end in CT. The thought was we could cash in on the activity to the west at the beginning of the contest and try to pick up some much needed grid squares. The plan was that John would arrive at my place in Warrenton, VA Friday night and we’d leave for FM08us Saturday late morning. We’d end in FN31 CT Sunday night and I’d take the train back to D.C. Monday morning, or so that WAS the plan.

As contest weekend grew closer John discovered that a multi-op decided they were going to set up at one of the rover’s shared sites, Big Mtn. FM19aw. This put a crimp in our schedule as it would be nearly impossible to garner QSOs on the low bands with a multi-band, multi-op high power station sitting right next to us. We’d experienced this problem in the past with another multi-op that uses Camelback, PA FN21 site during Sept. Its no fun dealing with receiver overload and splatter when trying to pull out the weak ones. The week of the contest we opted to revert back to the north to south route in the hopes that when we got to FM19aw the multi-op would be winding down and we’d have a better chance working stations. Fortunately I hadn’t gotten my train ticket earlier so I grabbed the train to D.C. Friday morning and by mid-afternoon was in CT.

Friday afternoon we began cleaning out and organizing the rover for the long road trip. John had most everything ready to go this time. He’d spent much of the year and after the June contest fine tuning all the bands. We ran the usual SWR and power checks in the driveway and everything looked good. I loaded up Roverlog and my special LUP lookup file and tested network and GPS tracking. Again all looked good. We were ready to roll.

Friday night we made our usual trip to Tashua Hill near John’s house to run the bands with Jeff K1TEO. All bands worked, though we noted Jeff was having some audio problems on 222, otherwise all systems were go. We cranked down the mast and headed back to John’s place to get a good nights rest and prepare for an early start Saturday. In the morning we hit the road, picked up snacks and headed off to Mohawk Mtn, CT. It would be another long weekend of driving and here’s a short snippet of what that was like as we started out from Easton CT.

The following is the schedule we’d published and hoped to stick to for the weekend. Times are local.

Sat 1400-1600 FN31it Mohawk Mountain, CT
Sat 1900-2000 FN20__ Alamuchy Overlook, NY
Sat 2200-2400 FN10xw Pismire Ridge, PA

Sun 0630-1030 FN21hb Camelback, PA
Sun 1400-1600 FM19aw Big Mountain, PA
Sun 1900-2300 FM08us Hogback Overlook, VA

FN31it Mohawk Mountain, CT
We got to the site before the contest started and I was able to grab a few pictures and videos. It was a beautiful day on Mohawk Mtn. Skies were clear and blue and visibility was excellent. There weren’t many others up at the site when we started though people straggled in after awhile and gawked at our setup. I grabbed a quick panoramic shot of the site from the edge of the parking lot looking out to the north.

After catching a glimpse of the scenery, it was time to get down to business. First John climbed up on the rover to check out the antennas and ensure everything survived through our travels. Although there were a few low hanging tree branches on the road to the top of Mohawk Mtn, we managed not to snag any loops or break any elements on the antennas. John reports no major problems as he visually inspects the arrays.

Next it was time to crank up the microwave antenna array. John emphasized that we both should pay close attention to the whereabouts of the crank at all times. We did’t want to leave it on the roof or loose it during our travels, as it would render our back array much less usable if it wasn’t cranked up to its full extension. Below John begins to crank away.

Unlike 2010 where we had intermittent low band DC power issues on Mohawk, this year we hit the ground running. No issues at all. Setup went smoothly and we were actually on the air before the contest started. I scanned the bands and met up with fellow contesters K1TR and N3NGE. I passed Ed to John to test microwaves and the contest begins and I grab WA2FGK, N3NGE and K2QO/R on the low 4 bands and start passing people to John on the microwaves. John starts out working K1TR followed by my initial low band QSOs. We’re off to a great start. The bands are in reasonable shape. We are able to work down into MD and VA on the low bands and some of the low microwaves. We catch up with a few other rovers on the bands to include KJ1K, K2QO and W1AUV. After about about 2 hours we notice another ham arriving in the parking lot. He’s unloading tripods, dishes and is laying an assortment of wires and equipment all over the hood of his car. It’s NJ1F/R setting up his microwave equipment and pointing all antennas north towards W2SZ multi-op. We have a quick rover handshake with Brian and snap a few pictures.

Its back to running the bands to grab a few remaining QSOs before its time for us to pack up and head on to our next grid. We’re off to a great start. In the 2hrs and 15mins we’re at FN31 we grab 125 QSO’s and 12 unique grids. Our best DX from this location includes the follow stations on the following bands:

FN31 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – N1JEZ in FN44ar @ 210mi
144 MHz – W8ZN in FM19BB @ 305mi
222 MHz – W8ZN in FM19BB @ 305mi
432 MHz – W8ZN in FM19BB @ 305mi
903 MHz – K1TR in FN44ig @ 197mi
1.2 GHz – W8ZN in FM19BB @ 305mi
2.3 GHz – WA2FGK in FN21de @ 130mi
3.4 GHz – WA2FGK in FN21de @ 130mi
5.7 GHz – WA2FGK in FN21de @ 130mi
10 GHz – WA2FGK in FN21de @ 130mi
A few final pictures of the site and the rover before we crank down the array and we’re back on the road for a long roadtrip to our next grid square FN20. We leave the site with 21 more QSOs than we had in our best year in 2009, we’re feeling pretty good about this.

Back on the road again we head out through the back roads of CT and into NY. The roads are clear and the weather is still quite nice. The sun is shining, so we crank up some music and try to relax. We avoid going through the city as its 9/11 weekend we try to avoid any public areas where we might raise any suspicions.

FN20 Alamuchy Overlook, NY
Our next stop will be Alamuchy Overlook in FN20. This is a rest area off the highway. We arrive there about 45mins behind schedule. We don’t even fully crank up the microwave antennas. This will be a short stop. There’s not too much to see here. It’s pretty dark since the sun is already behind the horizon. Clouds are moving in from the west. It looks like we might get some wet weather. I’m barely able to capture a picture of the rover with dusk in the background. A few snaps with the flash on as I try to capture the rover in the parking lot.

We spend about 1 hour at the overlook and have about another 15 mins of operation while mobile from this grid. We only manage to catch two other rovers from this site K2QO and NN3Q. We predominantly work locals. Our breakdown for FN20 turns out to be 50 QSO’s (41 while fixed and 9 in motion) and 9 unique grids. Our best DX on the bands shapes up like this:

FN20 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 260mi
144 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 260mi
222 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 260mi
432 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 260mi
903 MHz – K1TEO in FN31jg @ 85mi
1.2 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jg @ 85mi
2.3 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jg @ 85mi
3.4 GHz – K2KIB in FN21qh @ 27mi
5.7 GHz – K2KIB in FN21qh @ 27mi
10 GHz – K2KIB in FN21qh @ 27miAfter our short stint its off to grid FN10 Pismire Ridge. In 2009 at this exact time, 9:30pm, we had only 140 QSOs, we’re at 175 this year, but in 2009 when we left FN20 at 10pm and we had a total of 177 QSO, so we’re about in the ballpark this year. Its about another hour drive before we are at our next fixed location. We cross into FN21 for a few minutes and I jump in the back to make a few QSOs on the low bands with W2EA. By now we’re starting to get some light rain and mist. While cruising down the highway we hit a massive pothole that rocks the rover. All of a sudden the computer blinks out. John’s setup includes one computer with two displays and two kybd/mouse ports. Its less power consumption than multiple computers or laptops. Unfortunately the system doesn’t immediately boot. I begin to dissect the system while we’re in motion. Crossing briefly through FN11 I loose any chance of picking up any additional QSOs from that grid. I can eventually get the system booted, but only one display adapter. Fortunately I took my laptop with me so I fired it up, re-IP’d the network, setup Roverlog configuration and patched into John’s system. Its a kludge but will at least let us both be able to log simultaneously.

FN10xw Pismire Ridge, PA
We cross into FN10 and while still on the road I work a handful of people on the low 4 to include K2KIB, K1WHS, WA2FGK, K2LIM, W2SZ, W8ZN, VA3ST, N3NGE and W3PAW. Once we arrive at FN10 site, about 60 minutes behind schedule, John gets out to crank up the microwave mast and we get on the air and try to make some QSOs. N3NGE is waiting and I move him to the microwaves where John works them up the bands. Next its WA2FGK and K2KIB all up through 10 GHz followed by and K1TEO through 3.4 GHz. It was too dark here, so no pictures, but we ended up spending about 3 hours in FN10, 2 while fixed and another hour mobile. We capture 78 QSO’s from Pismire and 26 in motion and 14 unique grids. Our best DX from this grid looked like this:

FN10 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – W2SZ in FN32jp @ 248mi
144 MHz – K1WHS in FN32mj @ 370mi
222 MHz – K1KG in FN42 @ 339mi
432 MHz – VA3ST in FN03ia @ 210mi
903 MHz – K1KG in FN42 @ 339mi
1.2 GHz – K1KG in FN42 @ 339mi
2.3 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 210mi
3.4 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 210mi
5.7 GHz – K2KIB in FN21qh @ 138mi
10 GHz – WA2FGK in FN21de @ 85miIts off to the hotel to get a few hours of sleep from 3-7am. In 2009 at this time ~12:30am we were leaving FN30 with 217 QSOs. This year we’re sitting at 256, 39 more than our best year, so we go to bed feeling better than ever. After a short rest its back up again, grab a quick shower and then its off to Camelback PA grid square FN21. We arrive at around 8am Sunday morning about 1hr and 45mins behind schedule. There’s rumors a multi-op might be operating from this location. In 2009 we had the site to ourselves, but in 2010 we were greeted at night by an unlimited multi. This year we were uncertain as what to expect. Below is our drive to the top through the thick soupy mist. And what do we see?

FN21hb Camelback, PA
After cranking up the microwave mast we start operating and we get off to a good start working W1AIM in FN34, W1MR and AF1T in FN43 on the low bands. John picks up W2SZ, W2EA, K1TEO, K3TUF, K2KIB and N3NGE on the microwaves. Activity is good even though the wx isn’t so great. We only run across a few other rovers from this site. After about an hour of operating we pick up W1AUV and another 30 minutes after that its NN3Q and boy they are LOUD! Oh wait, they’ve just set up on the other side of the parking lot! We grab a bunch more QSOs, WA2FGK and K1RZ on all bands, K3EOD, N3YMS, W3IP and WB2SIH on up through the low microwaves. We operated from FN21 for ~2.5 hours and made 181 QSO’s in 16 unique grids. Our best DX turned out to be as follows:

FN21 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 277 mi
144 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 277 mi
222 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 277 mi
432 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 277 mi
903 MHz – W3IP in FM19bb @ 190mi
1.2 GHz – W3IP in FM19bb @ 190mi
2.3 GHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 155mi
3.4 GHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 155mi
5.7 GHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 155mi
10 GHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 155miIn 2009 we operated at Camelback until 11:30am, this year we’re leaving at 10:30am. Comparing our QSOs to the same time in 2009 we’re 120 QSOs ahead, but comparing to when we left in 2009 its 404 to 434, still 30 ahead. We’re psyched! On our way back off the hill we stop on the other side of the parking lot to have a rover handshake with Russ NN3Q Rover and his partner Al K3WGR. I snap a few pictures of their rover and them at their operating position and the two rover vehicles side by side.

Now its a long 3 hour trek to our next grid FM19aw, Big Mtn. Who will we find at this site? Will it be occupied by the big multi as we expected? Nothing we can really do about it, so no time to worry. Its time to turn back on some music and give our ears some rest from the band noise. It is still overcast for a good portion of the drive.

FN10 Again, From The Road
After a short while on the road we leave grid FN21 and cross back into grid FN10. Although we had already worked a number of stations the night before from Pismire Ridge in FN10, I still crawled into the back of the rover to see who we could work while in motion. I snag K3TUF in FN10 through 2.3 GHz, W3HZU in FN10 through 1.2 GHz and W3PAW in FM19 all the way through 10 GHz, not too surprising though since the rover and antennas are beaming right at him along our drive path. Finally while still in motion I find and work Dave K1RZ in FM19 through 1.2 GHz. It’s 1:15pm as we’re about to leave the grid in motion and we’re at 460 QSOs. It 2009 we were just leaving Pismire Ridge FN10 and we were at 468 QSOs. Below is a view from the low band operating position while we cruise down the road.


FM19aw Big Mountain, PA
While still on the road we cross over into a new grid, FM19. Still about 40 minutes from our portable operating position on the mountain I go back to scanning the bands and looking for stations I can work. Again I pick up K1RZ, though only on the low 4 bands, then W3SO, K3TUF, W4IY and W3PAW as well. Then wait, there’s the multi we were worrying about. They sound mighty weak even though we’re approaching the mountain. Oh no, something must be wrong. Is it with us or them? I give K8EP a call. FM09 they report. Wow, we luck out, we’ll have the FM19 site to ourselves!

We arrive at FM19aw and are on the air at 2pm only 15 minutes behind our original schedule. Sure enough the site is quiet, no one else there. John again cranks the mast up and I scan then bands to find him some stations to pass up the bands. W3HMS and WA3PTV rovers are just over the grid line in FN00wc and we run them on all bands. We pick up K1RZ through 5.7 GHz. K3TUF and N3NGE through 2.3 GHz. I work a bunch of stations on the low 4 including WA2VNV FN30, WB2RVX FM29, W2SZ FN32, K1WHS FN43 as well as some other stragglers. I manage only one QSO with NN3Q rover in FN10xx and no other rovers are found. In total we spend 2hrs 20mins in FM19, though only 1hr 40mins on top of Big Mtn. We end up with 102 QSO’s and 12 unique grids. Our best from this grid breaks down as follows:

FM19 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – W2SZ in FN32jp @ 310mi
144 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 430mi
222 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 430mi
432 MHz – K1WHS in FN43mj @ 430mi
903 MHz – N3NGE in FN20bd @ 111mi
1.2 GHz – N3NGE in FN20bd @ 111mi
2.3 GHz – N3NGE in FN20bd @ 111mi
3.4 GHz – WA3PTV/R & W3HMS/R in FN00wc @ 15mi
5.7 GHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 58mi
10 GHz – WA3PTV/R in FN00wc @ 15mi

We pack up and head down the hill toward Front Royal, VA and the entrance to Skyline Dr. for our final grid stop FM08. We’re sitting at 562 QSOs. In 2009 we were on the road for 2 hours during this time arriving at Big Mtn much later. Comparing to when we left FM19aw in 2009 we’re a mere 10 QSOs ahead, its close! The skies are starting to show signs of some possible thunderheads off in the distance in front of us and behind us. I managed to get some brief data coverage on the laptop and check NOAA weather radar. Sure enough there are some isolated showers popping up around the area. We’ll have to see if we meet any along the way. For the moment its time to enjoy the rolling roads and country scenery.

FM09xk From On The Road
After about an hour of driving we briefly cross into a new grid square, FM09xk, well be here for only 15-20 minutes. We won’t stop anywhere in this grid, so I’ll have to crawl into the back and pick up whoever I can while we are in motion. I don’t hear too much on the flat lands, but do manage to find and work Mike W3IP in FM19bb through 1.2 GHz, as well as N3HBX in FM19ig and finally W3PAW and K1RZ on the low 4 bands before we’re no longer in FM09. In total I work 18 QSOs and only 1 unique grid. Best includes:

FM09 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 45mi
144 MHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 45mi
222 MHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 45mi
432 MHz – K1RZ in FM19jh @ 45mi
903 MHz – W3IP in FM19bb @ 27mi
1.2 GHz – N3HBX in FM19ig @ 41miIt would be one more hour before we arrived at Hogback Mtn. In 2009 as we crossed out of FM09 we sat at 582 QSOs, this year we leave that grid with only 580 QSOs. This year though we’ll have an extra hour of operating time vs. 2009. The final plan would be to grab some food in Front Royal and head briefly down the parkway and have a few minute leisurely dinner before the final push. The clouds were continuing to thicken is some directions so we were a bit worried we’d be stuck in a storm at the top of the mountain. So a couple of burgers for the road it was, through the entrance to the park and up, up, up. John picked a nice overlook about 5-10 minutes down the road and we took a quick break. Where, of course, we were visited by the local park police asking the usual questions.

W1RT Rover Skyline Dr After a quick dinner break its back on the road. Its still another 15-20 minutes down the road. The sun is starting to set and the clouds are starting to build.

FM08us Hogback Overlook & Devil’s Staircase, VA
There are two operating locations from FM08us within a quarter of a mile of each other. Each have their own favored directions. Devil’s Staircase which favors south through east northeast and Hogback which favors west through northeast. Since we had 4 hours left until the end of the contest we would bop back and forth between the sites, visiting each twice. First Devil’s Staircase.

I managed to find KN4SM in FM16 and work on the low 4 bands, Also I work WB4IUY in FM05 on 50 & 144 MHz, but there isn’t much more to the distant south that I hear or can work. FM05 will be the best southern DX on 144. We do pick up K1RZ and N3NGE on all bands and N3IQ rover through 2.3 & 5.7 GHz. We snag KA3EJJ, W3PAW and N3HBX through the low microwaves. After about an hour we head up to Hogback to try our luck out to the west.

Hogback has a bit better shot to the north and east so we pick up WA2FGK through 10 GHz and K1TEO through 5.7 GHz. K3TUF and K3EOD complete through 3.4 GHz. Many stations to the north and east keep coming back to me on the low bands to grab some 903 MHz & 1.2 GHz contacts with John. Its a bit of a juggling act to keep an ear on him and his rate and try to keep myself busy working low band stations. Unfortunately we don’t make it on the low microwaves with some stations like WA2VNV and WB2SIH, though we appreciate their trying.

A quick jump back to Devil’s Staircase and I manage to round up K4QI in FM06, though only on 144-432 MHz. That’s the farthest south we’d work on 222 & 432 MHz. We work KO4YC in FM17 through 1.2 GHz and a few stations in the local MDC / VA area, but then its back to Hogback to wrap up the contest.

Many CQ’s to the west and north and northeast to try and drum up some distant grids. N8KOL calls in from EN80 on the low 4, but no other EN## stations are worked. There is a surprising lack of activity from FN20 and beyond. A glance out the front windshield reveals the problem. There are many distant lightening strikes out along the horizon from east through north. We do manage to pull in K2LIM and N2VB from FN12 on the low 4 and W2SZ in FN32 on 144 & 432, but the DX is otherwise absent. In the end we yield 191 QSO’s and 21 unique grids in our 4.5 hrs of operation from FM08. Our best DX is as follows:

FM08 Best DX by Band
50 MHz – WA2VNV in FN30 @ 303mi
144 MHz – W2SZ in FN32jp @ 377mi
222 MHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 325mi
432 MHz – W2SZ in FN32jp @ 377mi
903 MHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 325mi
1.2 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 325mi
2.3 GHz – K3EOD in FM29 @ 180mi
3.4 GHz – K3EOD in FM29 @ 180mi
5.7 GHz – K1TEO in FN31jk @ 325mi
10 GHz – N3NGE in FN20bd @ 160miFinal Breakdown and Comments
The final breakdown of our score for the weekend looks like this:

RoverLog QSOs by Activated Grid:
Grid   QSOs     Grid   QSOs     Grid   QSOs
FM09     18     FN31    123     FM19    101
FN10    102     FN20     49     FM08    189
FN21    180

RoverLog Score Summary, Using new rules:
Band   QSOs   Value    QSOPts  Mults
50      130     1       130     25
144     175     1       175     28
222     111     2       222     25
432     131     2       262     26
902      51     3       153     11
1.2G     56     3       168     11
2.3G     34     4       136      9
3.4G     28     4       112      8
5.7G     23     4        92      7
10G      23     4        92      6

Grids activated:  7

Totals: 762            1542    163	

Claimed Score: 251,346


For some reason on the long drive back to my place in Warrenton, VA we didn’t think we beat our all time best effort back in 2009, we were down 14 grids and the QSO total was close. After some sleep and a day or two of recovery and digging through the old results we realized we improved our best score by almost 4,000 pts. Here’s the overall breakdown.

-------  Sept 2009    Sept 2011
QSOs         751          771
QSO Pts    1,399        1,542
Grids        177          163
Score    247,623      251,346   


Without looking at the band by band breakdown it not obvious, but we ended up making more microwave QSOs at the expense of more low band QSOs given we visited fewer grids. Spending more time at fewer grids gave John the extra time he needed to complete the hard to make high band contacts.

Needless to say we were very pleased with our efforts. If we hadn’t had computer issues along the way we would have most likely made a number of additional QSOs from FN11 from on the road. Maybe next year.

Little did we know and much to our surprise we ended up winning the classic rover category this past Sept 2011 VHF contest. If you were to go by the Sept 2011 Submitted Logs page at ARRL for this contest, as we did, we’d thought we came in a distant second with a score ~15% less than the claimed winner. Look very closely at all the rover scores there. For whatever reason, the tentative winner was nowhere near the top of the pack in the final standings and the leader was listed as W1RT/R. We were happy to see the QST writeup and have them publish one of my weekend’s pictures.

W1RT Rover Sept VHF 2011

Congrats to John for pulling together a winning roving station!

73 & thanks for the QSOs

andyz – K1RA

50 – 432 Mhz op @ W1RT/R

ARRL Sept 2011 VHF Contest

The Gory Post-Contest Analysis (Chart, Graphs & Maps)
For those interested in the details of the post-contest analysis continue to read on. Otherwise skip to the very bottom to find a pointer to the sad story of W1RT Rover in the ARRL Sept 2010 VHF contest. Below are some graphs I created that compare various statistics for W1RT Rover in both the ARRL Sept 2009 and 2011 contests.

When did we work new unique grids over the entire contest in Sept 2009 vs 2011?

How many QSOs and QSO Points did we earn per hour in Sept 2009 vs 2011?

How did we perform per grid square in Sept 2011? See the pie charts for time spent operating per grid, new unique grids earned and QSO points earned per grid WE operated. Not too surprisingly more unique grids are worked at the beginning of the contest, and in this case FN31 with 61. Most QSO points were earned at FN21. Again not too surprising being its central to most of the ham population and close to many microwave Packrats.

Who contacted W1RT Rover the most during ARRL Sept 2011 VHF contest on the low 4 bands, microwaves and overall? Low 4 – Jeff K1TEO. Microwaves – Herb WA2FGK. Overall – Jeff K1TEO, with runners up N3NGE, WA2FGK, K1RZ, K2KIB and W3PAW.

How did our overall running, hourly scores from Sept 2009 and 2011 compare for the low 4 bands only, microwaves only and all bands combined? For each score graph QSO Pts are multiplied times the number of grids tallied at hourly intervals to calculate running score over the entire contest period. For low 4 only this means 50-432 MHz QSO pts * grids worked on 50-432 MHz, the same was done just for microwaves only and finally all bands together. This shows what station showed most improvement. What station showed most improvement? The microwave station with John at the helm.

W1RT Rover Sept 2011 Grid / Band Maps
Finally, I created a script to parse our log and generated QSO data as KML overlays on Google Maps. These overlays consist of details of the station callsigns we contacted in the ARRL Sept 2011 VHF contest from the various grids and bands we operated. The following map is an example of this QSO KML for W1RT/R operating from ALL grids and across ALL bands. Clicking on a marker icon will give you more information about the station we worked to include their call, grid and distance to our QTH. Click the View Larger Map below this map to see the entire list of call signs we contacted and a more interactive map. Below this map, use the form to choose another grid and band that W1RT/R operated and click submit. That will pop up a full page map showing you who we worked and where.

View Larger Map of W1RT Rover for ALL Bands ALL GridsPlot a Grid / Band Map for W1RT Rover Sept 2011
Plot a map for a given grid and band or band range for W1RT Rover in the ARRL Sept 2011 VHF contest. Pick a Grid and a Low and High Band and click Submit. For one band set Low=High Band.

Pick Grid:

Pick Low Band:

Pick High Band:

andyz – K1RA
50 – 432 Mhz op @ W1RT/R
ARRL Sept 2011 VHF Contest

What happened to John and I in the ARRL Sept 2010 VHF contest? Read the sad, sad story here.

10 Responses to K1RA @ W1RT Rover ARRL Sept VHF 2011

  1. Kyle W4KTF says:

    It looks like you guys had a great road trip and ham radio contest all mixed into one. Hopefully I can get into roving at some point in my ham radio career because it would combine two things I really love: road tripping and ham radio contesting. 73!

  2. Tad Danley, K3TD, EM10dq says:

    Wow, what a great write-up, thanks! Very interesting and well done. 73! Tad, K3TD

  3. George WA2VNV says:

    Andy, Tnx for a great write up of your rover trip with John. Nice data statistics showing how it all comes together. Glad we worked from my FN30kv grid at a couple of the locations you visited. Hope to work the Intergalactic rover wagon in June.
    73’s, WA2VNV, George
    HF+ 50-1296, FN30kv

  4. Mark Adams, K2QO/r says:

    Super job guys! I thought about going out for this contest in the classic rover category and settled for Limited. Glad I did as my rover partner K2ZR and I bagged first place. Had we done all 10 bands we’d have been CRUSHED by the RA-RT Juggernaut.

    Your Google maps are way cool. Is it true that you guys basically worked no one west of Binghamton on any band? Activity here in western WNY has dropped off and that is why we started our rove in FN31. It is a long drive but well worth the gas.

    Mark K2QO/r

    • k1ra says:

      Congrats Mark on the unlimited win and for the kudos here and on the writeup and maps. Yes except for a VA3 in FN03 and one EN80, not much worked to the north and west from any of the grids we operated. Look forward to working your team in the next contest.


      andyz – K1RA

  5. Bob2 K2DRH says:

    Enjoyed the writeup and the statistics. Obviously a lot of work and effort went into your rove and you certainly earned a great score. I got a kick out of the best DX stats though. Agree that anything over 350 miles with a rover is certainly worthy of note, but when I work rovers here in the the flatlands of the MidWest we consider 250 miles to be a chip shot on all bands and 350 a doable distance! We are both quite dissapointed when W9FZ/R and I can’t make it above 1296 at 350-400 miles. Always wished we had the elevation of your spots working for us here, but I’m beginning to realize that maybe the flatland actually works in our favor. Now all we need is some killer tropo to work you guys from here like we had during the 2005 CQWW VHF …

    73 and keep us the good work!
    de Bob2 K2DRH

    • Bob2 K2DRH says:

      I meant keep UP the good work!

    • k1ra says:

      Thanks for the comments and taking time to read my write up. Hope
      to catch you on in June when I should be back at K8GP and our
      operating location here in Va (FM19bb).


      andyz – K1RA

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