N3ALN -- Jan 22, 2008 14:35 ET

This was my third ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes and I spent some time to see in the past where I needed to improve.

My goal was to get a radio with a better receiver and add more bands. On 2m and 70cm I was using an Icom 706MKIIG and I ended up selling it and buying a Yaesu FT-736R and I added a 220 MHz module and I ordered a 12 element antenna 220 MHz from Gulf Alpha Communication Antennas, Inc. On Jan 5th I broke my arm and then had surgery 3 days later. I had a friend come over and put my new antenna on my mast. (Thanks Gary! N3JPU). I did buy a 1.2 GHz module for the FT-736R but I was in no shape to think about that getting it on the air.

The contest started and there did not seem to be as much activity as in the past. I was having fun none the less. I was happy how the 220 antenna was performing. I worked someone near skyline drive on a HT with about 1 watt!

A bit of a disappointment was that I was causing some TVI to my neighbor when I was on 6m and I had to end transmitting about 4 hours early. I will try to resolve that problem before the next contest.

I made about 233Qs and worked 23 grids. 6m: 113Q; 2m: 62Q; 1.2m: 23Q: 70cm: 35Q.

Rigs: Icom 756Pro (6m) & Yaesu FT-736R (2m, 1.2m & 70cm.) Antennas Directive Systems (DS50-5) 6 meter 5 element yagi (DSFO144-12) 2 meter 12 element yagi (DSFO432-15RS) 70 cm 15 element yagi Gulf Alpha Antennas (222-12EL) 222 MHZ 12 Element Long Boom Yagi.

I had a great time and I am looking forward to the next contest when I can get 1.2 GHz on the air. 73 Alan -- N3ALN