>Where is the activity out west? Monitoring the Ping Jockey, it is rare
>to see stations active out west so I checked my Callsign.text file to
>see how it was distributed. Forty seven percent of the operators are
>in EN & EM grids or if you add FN grids into that mix it is 62%!
I would guess it is because we have a very low density of VHF weak signal
operators to start with. Out here it is a very long ways to other
population centers so voice and CW contacts beyond next door require a
reasonable antenna and decent location. Add to the low density is the
still low awareness factor. Further diluting the number is the even lower
number of people with sideband gear connected to their computer at this
point. Also many of the SSB capable station only seem to get on the bands
The good news is that the Pacific Northwest VHF Society
is growing quickly with over 160 members in less
than 2 years. Activity has definately increased in roving and voice/cw, 222
and 1.2G and up (DEM gets several club purchases each year now).
Today I believe most of the newcomer energy is still directed at erecting a
first station and making the first DX voice contacts.
Still there are several stations around here that I know are capable of
digital modes on VHF and above -- I have helped many of them test their
stations -- they still have the FM and voice contacts competing for their
I am one of those few CN stations on Ping Jocky each night. The midwest is
a long shot for modest stations includig mine. The main Meteor Scatter
population for us here in CN land is California and Arizona. Nothing but
ocean to the west, relatively uninhabited mountains to the east for a 1500+
miles. Three hour+ drive to the next population center.
To me it is not hard to understand. It will take some time to get the word
out and beef up the stations to do more than go across town. Even that can
be rough in this neck of the woods with all the trees, mountains and hills.
On 222 and above, it is common practice for everyone to point to Mt.
Rainier and bounce signals to clear the hills.
On a brighter note - I have made JT44 contacts over the Cascade mountains
easily. By SSB/CW it is very difficult, thus rare from my QTH. I am
looking for a scenario that maybe the mountains will "pipeline" my signal to
great distances down to California along the waters edge.
They are slowly coming, it is a log curve, not linear though.
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