In what can only be described as a "coup at midnight" a few Anti-Assistance folks on the VUAC have recommended that the PSC remove the Assisted classes from the ARRL EME contest--and they were removed. This was done essentially in secret, out of the view of the bulk of the EME operators. Only one VUAC member voted against this insanity--Wayne, N6NB. The effect of this, will be to make it very hard for the small EME stations to work anyone in the EME contest. Why these people decided that they needed to harm the smaller stations is hard to understand, especially since the Assisted classes were the most popular classes--there were more logs submitted in the Assisted classes than any other class.
Using digital EME, small stations can work other small stations if they can use coordination to set up schedules. They can then slug it out against the conditions until a valid contact is achieved. Without coordination, a small station will be able to find a few of the "big guns", but they will not be able to work each other because they literally cannot find another trace.
I will not be participating in the EME contest this year, as there is now no class for me. Other small EME stations are saying the same thing and will not participate for the same reasons. I believe that there will be a significant drop in participation, from the smaller stations and a few of the bigger stations, because of this extremely ill advised action. I ask that other EME capable stations to contact the ARRL and let them know that you are very upset. Send your email to all the officers and to Sean (firstname.lastname@example.org). Request that Sean forward your email to the entire VUAC. That is the best way to reach them. This is VERY important. Please send your letters of protest off ASAP.
I don't know why the Anti-Assistance people believe that their way is the only way and we must operate exactly the way that they do. But that is precisely what they believe. Bumbling around the band hoping that you might bump into someone to work is just a very poor way to run a railroad. Please contact me if you agree with these thoughts, we need to get the word out to as many EME operators as possible. Thank you.
***************MY NORMAL BIO****************************
First licensed as WN4BUQ in 1965 when living at Ft. Belvior, VA. I passed the General and became WB4BUQ. When I left the Army Corps of Engineers, I returned to Lubbock, TX to begin work on my Ph.D. in Mathematics/Computer Science. At that time I received WA5UNL as my call. I graduated from Texas Tech in 1972. I became interested in weak signal VHF while in Lubbock, but became a real serious when I moved to Jonesboro, Arkansas. I gave Arkansas to many a VHFer that needed that state. In Jonesboro, with the help of Bob Sutherland, W6PO, I built a KW amplifier for 2M using a 3CX1000A7 and an EME array of 16 5-element yagis. I made the first 2M EME contact from the 5th call district when I worked Bob, W6PO, on 2M. I then moved to Oklahoma to work for K5JL and K5GL. There, I erected a 240 element 2M EME array and worked W6PO and many others. While in Oklahoma, I was able to change my call to K5MB. In 1976, I made a DXpedition to Hawaii on 2M EME which was hosted by Bert, KH6HI. We worked many stations that only needed Hawaii for WAS. I moved to Pasadena in 1980, and ended up teaching Computer Science at San Jacinto College. I also started a computer networking company that completely absorbed all my time. So much so, that I was off the air for many years and foolishly allowed K5MB to lapse! What a disaster. I re-tested and gained the Extra Class, but was a few days too late requesting my former call - it had been given to someone else.
I now live outside Hemphill, TX in EM31cj right on the Texas/Louisana border. I have 6M, 2M, 222, 432, and 1296 stations on the air at the house.
I have built a big Multi-Multi Contest station here in the wilds of East Texas. Contest station details are:
6M = Icom 756Pro3, LunarLink LA-62, 1500w out and a vertical stack of four 7el MSquares, top antenna at 100'. We also have 4 stacks of 3el yagis fixed on CA, GA, and MI. For 2M and above, I use an Icom 756Pro2 for the IF with DEMI transverters for all bands. 2M = DEMI + LunarLink LA-22 1500w out and stacked 17el MSquares at 160'. 222 = DEMI + LunarLink LA-12 1500w out and stacked 23el MSquares at 135'. 432 = DEMI + LunarLink LA-72 1500w out and a triple stack of 38el MSquare at 135'. 902 = DEMI + surplus amp 425w out and stacked 47el loop yagis from Directive Systems at 145'. 1296 = DEMI + DEMI amp 130w out and stacked 55el loop yagis at 145'. 2304 = DEMI + surpus Pyro Joe amp 180w out and a 76el loop yagi at 135'. 3456 = DEMI + Toshiba 40w amp tower mounted and a 112el loop yagi at 135'. All antennas are fed with 1 5/8" Heliax except 6M and 3456Mhz. Preamps on all bands except 6M are tower mounted and most are by WD5AGO. On 2M and 432, I have large fixed arrays similar to the LVA of K1WHS. These awesome arrays are easily switchable and cover all of Texas so we don't have to rotate anything for most contacts. Look for us during the contests. Thanks.
The 2M EME antenna is now up and working great. It is 8 x 2M18XXX with the custom EME elements from M2. Pictures are on my web site. I have finally completed my 2M WAS. Thanks to all who worked me here in TX.
The 432 EME antenna is now up and working as well. It is 16 x 28el M2 with full AZ / EL. The amp is an LA-72 running about 1000W.
73's Marshall K5QE
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