Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sweepstakes from Two Rivers Contest Club

In the Chair at KL2R
I had the privilege last weekend to participate in the Multi-single effort at the Two Rivers Contest Club north of Fairbanks. I was very excited about the team effort and being able to reunite with Larry, N1TX, Carl, WL7BDO, and Elaine, KL6C. 

I made it up there late on Saturday due to other obligations. The drive is about 2.5 hours from my QTH but as I drove north out of the city of Fairbanks, I could the see aurora overhead. Of course, that view is bittersweet to any ham. Viewing of the aurora is always breathtaking but it does not play well with HF propagation. It had me wondering what type of propagation we would be encountering for the weekend, if any.

Carl, WL7BDO working the masses
Each and every time I head to KL2R,  I learn something new. It can be about operating technique, software functions, propagation, equipment, strategy and more. It's also fun to play with a different radio and also hearing what propagation sounds like from a different QTH (location). I have lots of low band QRN (noise) so it was nice to actually hear and work weaker stations on 40 & 80 meters! Of course, superior antennas and equipment helps, too!

Since my close Compadre, KL1SF is no longer in the neighborhood, I don't have anyone nearby that enjoys HF radio contesting. Carl, WL7BDO is the closest and he lives in Nenana, which is about an hours drive north of my location. I've been to KL2R previously, with my last trip being to operate Field Day a few years ago. So, I was long overdue for a trip up north. 

Elaine, KL6C drawing in the contacts!
I was able to operate Saturday night and Sunday and it was fun to find the high bands active for the Sweepstakes weekend. It was also fun running high power as contacts came a bit easier than I'm used to since my amplifier has been mothballed. The antenna system at KL2R is far superior to mine and it was fun having two beam antennas on the high bands to chose from. Larry, N1TX has set the station up wonderfully and is a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to contesting and strategy. Larry is certainly one of those operators that I look up to and have the utmost respect for. Carl and Elaine are both outstanding operators, too. I get as much enjoyment out of watching others operate as I do operating myself. Operating single operator as much as I do from home, the team environment is contesting on steroids for me. We all feed off each other, motivate one an other and you can never go wrong spending countless hours with those who share the same passion as yourself. 

The November Sweepstakes weekend will be one I remember for many years to come. I love the KL2R contesting environment as it's competitive but low stress. Larry, N1TX and his awesome wife Connie, KL1BE are wonderful hosts and I can't thank them enough for their hospitality. I had so much fun hanging out and operating with Elaine and Carl once again. They both are so much fun to watch operate. They can be digging out the new multiplier one minute and have you in stitches the next. It's an honor knowing and operating with each and every one of them. 


  1. Phil, Thanks for posting a wonderful entry on our weekend. I see as I post this we are dishing out 10 meter QSO using JT65 this fine Thanksgiving morning. Carl

  2. What a hoot! I was super-fun to have you, Phil. I promise next time accommodations and K9s to be more comfortable. Can't wait for a serious CW effort with you.

  3. Thanks guys! It sure was fun! Thanks Carl for the JT65 QSO this morning. Nice signal on 10 and surprising a bit with our locations. Larry, I'm looking forward to our next get together, too! Thanks for all your help and advice over the last few years.