Utter VHF Contest FAILURE

So I got an email from Marc W6ZZZ Thursday:

from: Marc Ziegler, W6ZZZ
to: WVARA Chat <chat@wvara.org>
date Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 9:08 PM
subject: VHF Contest this weekend; rally time

Most everyone might try getting on 147.54 Mhz FM for the Sunday 1:00 PM rally!

Cool. Everyone makes a point of getting on at a specific time for this relatively sparse contest. I made a point of blocking out 1PM this afternoon to get on the air and be an extra 2 points for everyone in the area. A time line of my experience:

12:20 - Get online and print log forms to submit for all my contacts afterwards
12:40 - Setup antenna and radio
12:45 - Send test signals on local repeater and find a clipboard to write on
12:55 - Start listening on 147.54 MHz
1:20 - Start calling "CQ Contest"
1:25 - Have Dad check my signal on his scanner, a little under-modulated, but definitely there
1:35 - Scroll through all the simplex channels
1:40 - Stop calling CQ, pack up the antenna for the winter and put my radio away, greatly frustrated.

This coming from the middle of the Silicon Valley. #%*&$_*#$. I can't believe there wasn't a single person on the entire 2 meter simplex band. I really just need to belly up and get an HF rig. Only people stuck on VHF are people who are really stuck on VHF.

I'm going to try and attend the Yolo County ARES meeting Tuesday night. We'll see how that goes.

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