September 2021 VHF contest

Never missing an excuse to get on the air, the ARRL VHF contest was this past weekend. Many of us, myself included, have permanent VHF / UHF antennas (plural) on the roof. Don’t ask how many, we’ve surely lost count… But they’re extremely non-ideal when the polarization doesn’t match the traffic you’re trying to work… (like weak signal VHF/UHF that is typically horizontal polarization).

Not much of an issue with a tower trailer – just made a simple dipole with wire, electrical tape, and the wood or fiberglass rods that you can buy to mark deep snow areas. Hoist it up and you’re in business with a very simple, light, horizontally polarized antenna.

This simple dipole was able to get out and reach stations on 2M and 6M that the high-gain vertically polarized antennas just couldn’t get, several contacts between 90-180 miles on digital (FT8) with this little thing and 35 watts. The 2M vertical normally deployed with the tower trailer dangles downward, as it’s not needed for horizontal polarization.

Sky silhouette of 2M / 6M dipole
Horizontal 2M/6M multiband dipole

The September VHF contest was a hoot, and even though the weekend was packed with other non-radio based activities, it was still fun to get on and make some contacts for a few hours.

On the to-do list: Having a shack-connected coax run for the place the tower trailers park… Currently, I must disconnect my best loop HF antenna and borrow that connection. That’s not too much of a problem for contests that are VHF only, but it’s not ideal.

Hope you all are having fun and staying safe.

73, KC0LQL

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