I enjoy participating in NAC, and preferable on as many bands as possible. But at my new QTH it is not possible to have antennas and parabols up for all bands. So, now I am “only” QRV at 144 – 432 and 1296 MHz.
At 144 MHz I have a 10 element DK7ZB Yagi at 7.5 meters height. It’s enough to be able to participate, but not enough to make it into the top three. But it gives me the opportunity to participate, and I enjoy it.
Unfortunately I have a lot of wide band noise, believe its generated by cheap Chinese SMPSU’s, and is impossible to get rid of. I therefore consider using the antenna position for another band, perhaps a combined 50/70 MHz Yagi. EMC noise might be the same, but I’ll check it to be sure.
Fall 2020 I started to work as operator @ OZ9KY contest team, second operator is landlord OZ5KM. QTH in JO45VX provide Denmarks highest place for 50-70-144-432-1296 MHz antennas, and it is funny to participate from such good conditions.
432 MHz is a much better! My 23 element DK7ZB Yagi is placed at 8.5 meters height. At that height I am above most of the rooftops in the neighborhood. Result is more worked stations, and better distances.
Rankings are somewhat better compared to 144 MHz 🙂
432 MHz band has always been my favorite, less noise, and you can make contacts out at the same distances as at 144 MHz.
1296 MHz is a fun band, but you must choose good antennas to be able to make good results. I have a 70 element Yagi from “Antennas and Amplifiers” It has 21 dbd gain, and therefore a narrow beam, so you have to work a lot with the rotor to hit some stations. Calling CQ is often a waste of time, as you have to be lucky hitting another station by coincidence when using this antenna.
My results at 1296 MHz give me rankings in the top three. I’m proud of being able to make such fine results with the antenna at only 9.5 meters height.
Most QSOs are made via airplane scatter, and scheduled via ON4KST chat. FT8 is not part of the noise I make on the VHF-UHF bands, I still prefer SSB and CW.
Post scriptum: In the winter of 2020, I replaced my 6m pipe tower with my old Carl C tower that can be raised between 7 to 17.5m. I will take advantage of that when the weather allows it, but also with regret to my neighbors.