Speaker: Dick Frey, WA2AAU
Abstract: VHF Contesting – What is it? What and when are the contests? Why do it? What is interesting about it? How do I participate? What technology is appropriate? How is scoring done? What are the key categories of participation? What about fixed stations, portable stations, mobile stations, “Rover Stations”? How far can I talk anyway? This talk will touch on anything and everything about VHF contesting, and will include lots of photos of the W2SZ Mount Greylock VHF contest operations, as well as what’s new in VHF, UHF (and up) contesting.
Dick Frey was born in 1946 and grew up in the Catskill Mountains of NYS. He became a ham in high school. His first QSOs were with a borrowed DX-20 transmitter, and a Hallicrafters S-38E receiver. He built his own transmitter with a 6DQ6 in the output stage and a 6AG7 as a crystal oscillator. He modified a Zenith multi-band short wave radio to work as a receiver on the ham bands by adding a BFO and a QMultiplier.
At RPI, Dick became interested in VHF. He worked some VHF contests from W2SZ in Troy, and did his first portable effort in 1969 from Slide Mountain in the Catskills with DISASTEROUS results. Walk, Hike, Rain, RAIN, WALK, HIKE, HIKE,… Tired! Moved to Mt. Greylock in the Fall of 1969… been there ever since.
Dick worked for RCA near Boston, and for Motorola 2-way in Illinois. After earning a Masters degree from RPI, he worked for GE Global Research, retiring after 33 years. Dick continues to lead the W2SZ RPI radio club VHF contest efforts since the start in 1969, always on Mt. Greylock. My personal interest is primarily in the bands above 2 GHz. One of his most notable memories is an opening on 1296 MHz between Mt. Greylock and Northern Florida that lasted for 2 days straight. Another was a contact on 2304 MHz from Mt. Greylock to central Michigan where the Michigan op had his equipment and “looper” antenna on a picnic table in the back yard!!!