W5EHM participated in the ARRL September VHF QSO Party conducted from 1800 UTC 14 September 1996 to 0300 UTC 16 September 1996. We operated as a limited multi-op station (no more than four bands, with multiple operators - N1PVB, KA5WSS.) We were active on six meters (50 MHz to 54 MHz), two meters (144 MHz to 148 MHz), and (for the first time) seventy centimeters (420 MHz to 450 MHz.)
Neither 6M nor 2M opened up from our QTH in EM10. Activity was generally low, but more active than the CQ WW VHF contest earlier in the season. Most of our activity was in the first several hours of the contest. We worked most of the immediate neighborhood on 2M and 6M, missing only a few grids that but for lack of active operators in them would be easy contacts. We did manage to work two new grids on 2M (EL28 and EM30); EM30 is also likely our first Louisiana QSO on 2M. We also worked EM21 on 2M, a grid we have worked before, but at the time had yet to confirm with a QSL card.
This contest was also our first attempt to include 70cm communications. This was accomplished with a dualbander HT and a mag mount mobile whip monitoring the 70cm FM simplex call frequency, and we managed two 70cm QSOs. The antenna was actually sitting on top of our window air conditioning unit below the roofline of our club station, since we couldn't find an SO-239 to SO-239 coupler to use the one unconnected line of coax going out through our feedline bulkhead with the mobile antenna we had handy. Obviously this is not an ideal 70cm contest rig, but it was a worthwhile experiment.
The one big, and recurring, disappointment during the contest was our failure to find anyone in EL19 on 6M.
We had 71 QSOs during the contest, heavily favoring 2M QSOs. We worked two new grids on 2M, made our first two 70cm QSOs ever, and made one CW QSO during the contest (after we finally found the 1/8" to 1/4" plug size converter so we could actually hook the keyer to the 2M rig.)
The score calculated below is official, winning the South Texas (STX) ARRL section in the Limited Multi-Operator class, and earning third place in the Midwest ARRL region!
EL09, EL17, EL29, EM00, EM10
EL08, EL09, EL17, EL18, EL19, EL28, EL29, EM00, EM10, EM11, EM12, EM13, EM21, EM30
Last Updated 26 June 2020