As you can see, the path to Portland for VHF/VHF has to plow through 750 ft. of hill. Seattle is better but the Cascades do get in the way and limit the number of stations I can work to just a handfull. Even with this handicap, I was able to break the EWA record for single operator low power for the June 2006 ARRL VHF Contest.....mostly thanks to 6 meters (195 Q's, 105 G's, in 35 states)!
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Operating from eastern Washington is quite a challenge. We are far enough north to be adversely effected by the aurora oval and not far enough west to get a boost from the ocean. My QTH has good and bad aspects. I'm half way up a 1500 ft. hill that faces 30 degrees north. This gives me a great shot at Europe but forget long path. My VHF/UHF path from west through south is blocked and 160 suffers from our powdery volcanic soil that has the conductivity of Teflon!
My little 32 ft. tower has over100 ft. of antenna booms on it. When the desert winds whip around the hill, things get really interesting! It also holds up 30M dipole and slopers for 80 and 40M. My 160 antenna is a dipole up 67' that doubles as a vertical (see link). A 17 M quad loop rounds out the antenna farm. My 1/3 acre hillside has a lot of aluminum and copper hanging around! The antennas from top to bottom are, 144, 1296, 222, 50, 927, 432, and 20-10m. The 1296 antenna has my best 7/8" heliax for about 100' followed by about 25' of LMR-400. 927, 222 and 50 MHZ antennas all are fed with LMR-400. The 432 and 144 MHZ antennas have 1/2" heliax.
I hope to work you in the next VHF/UHF contest!
I have several radios and antennas, mostly used for operating VHF/UHF. My addiction to contesting these bands has led to a renewed interest in the hobby. I'm looking forward to "F" openings in a few years and moonbounce. I can now operate digital modes on 2m and 6m.
My newest bands of operation required antennas (9/06). I put up homebrew beams for 1296 and 927 MHZ. Both were built from the WA5VJB "cheap yagi" design published on the Web. I replaced the 1296 antenna in May 2007 with a 55 EL K1FO loop yagi.