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2010 Forester 2.5X Prem A
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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, so this weekend is the ARRL VHF Sweepstakes. Hams will be getting on the air from 50Mhz and up. Having never participated in a contest, besides Field Day, and a new Forester. Common sense dictates that I load up the Foz and find a nice high point to work from. You can probaly guess, this pretty short notice

The place was going to work from, a parking lot, isn't available, but a friend suggested another spot. This has me wondering: An internet search turned up lists of mountains in Fairfield county and the rest of Connecticut with lat\lon and hiking info. What's the best way to use this info to plan a drive? Is it as simple as throwing the location into the TomTom and hitting the road?

thanks!
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Oakdake CT where I grew up is 478' above sea level theres a big radio tower there, as kids we used to climb and tie bed sheets from it. theres a parking lot right across the street too with the best pizza around too, man I love that Pizza.. . Oakdale Pizza. 430 Chapel Hill Rd,
Oakdale, CT
Thats got to be one of the highest points in southeastern CT
 

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2009 Forester AT
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35 Posts
This sounds analogous to when I go out geocaching, I have only the coordinates to get there. In our case, we enter the coordinates into the Nav (gps) and let it choose the route. Then garmin usually has sufficient maps to put us on the right road to get close as possible. I also use the handheld gps to judge straightline distance to the point. Just use good judgement, some of the "roads" indicated in Nevada are a challenge even for the Forester.

Are you going to drive in, then set up a fixed antenna? I still need to figure out a good mount for my 144/450 mobile antenna on my 2009. I'm trying to work a lip mount onto the rear hatch.

I would be interested in pictures of your mobile rig.

KE7QLC
 

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2010 Forester 2.5X Prem A
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Discussion Starter #4
That sounds close what I've been doing. I found a list mountains\hills and they all had links to Google and Bing maps. I used the search nearby feature to look for state parks. So next time, it looks like I'll be heading to Squantz Pond State Park.

For the recent January VHF Sweepstakes, I was going to work portable. I setup a tripod and the club's 6M beam. It took forever in at night (cold). Ran the coax through the window and did my best (made no contacts). I put my IC-7200 on the rear passenger center armrest. I sprang for a West Mountain Radio IsoPwr and I heaved a 150Ah auxiliary batt into the trunk.
On the second day, I worked from home (same tripod), made six contacts. For my first contest, I was incredibly happy.

I will say this: I now want a roof cargo basket so I can carry larger antennas on that instead of carrying them inside the Forester. Also I can mount lights on any side when needed. Due to the area I was in, my only light was the Maglite I had to bite down on. I definitely plan on going portable again when it's warmer!!

Mount:
As for lip mounts, I've been using a Comet HD-5M ordered from Universal Radio. It's right on the rear hatch on my 2010. A fellow ham suggested both the Comet and Diamont lip mounts. I went with the Comet because it's all black, even the rain cap. I had originally ordered a CP-5M from HRO but they changed the shipping location on me and I wanted the mount for contest. Universal had the HD-5M (HD = heavy duty) in stock and for less than I paid for the CP-5M at HRO. HRO said if I wanted to return the CP-5M, I can without any hassle but I know a local ham who's been looking for a mount. I'll try to put a pic of it on the Forester by the weekend.
 
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