Sunday, July 22, 2012

CQ VHF 2012-Small Pistol is Big Gun for the Day

One of the great things about the Magic Band is that the band itself serves as a great equalizer. This is especially true during contests. Seven element over stacks at 300' and a KW are great---but you may
still miss out on a contact to someone with a modest antenna at a lower height.

During contests, I tend to be a "S&P" specialist. Scanning the band looking for contacts, and especially multipliers. This is the typical strategy employed by small pistol stations on HF--and it seemed natural to do it on VHF contests for the first couple of years.

But I've since learned that during a strong opening, you can make a lot more points by sitting on a frequency and doing a "run" like the big boys do.

The 20122 CQ VHF Contest proved the point again on Sunday afternoon. Lunch time came along with a strong opening to FN and FM grids. I perched on 50.200 and began calling CQ, right at the top
of the MUF and just a bit clear of the frenzy at 50.160 and below.

My strategy worked. Soon I was in the midst of a pile-up, with QSO run rates of nearly 100 per hour
at times. It hovered between 60 and 78 for a run rate for almost an hour. My score literally tripled in that
brief opening--and I had a  blast to boot.

If you're a small pistol with indoor antennas, don't disregard the Magic Band. It's the easiest to make VUCC, and a lot of fun in contests.


Les N1LF