Owen Wormser – K3CB (ex-K6LEW) SK

It is with great sadness that the K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group announces the loss of another member of our organization. Owen K3CB past away October 16, 2016 after his courageous battle against brain cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

We’d like to share some pictures to help us remember Owen at his best. Over the years, Owen contributed to the success of the K8GP Contest group while participating in many of the ARRL June and Sept. VHF contests. Owen was always very giving of his time and resources. As an avid VHF, UHF and microwave operator he had a wealth of knowledge that he was always willing to share. He will be sorely miss. Owen K3CB – R.I.P.

[b]Owen Wormser - Captain Lafitte[/b] 9706gp013.jpg 9906ZZ001.JPG imag0107.jpg JN15-008.JPG
gp97sep060.jpg 9706gp014.jpg

K8GP Rover plans for ARRL Sept VHF 2014

Terry W8ZN and I (Andy/K1RA) will be roving again this coming weekend as K8GP/R to attempt to better our effort in June. This time we will attempt to take the newly rebuilt W8ZN Rover (Dodge RAM, towing trailer), which will offer us more power, bigger antennas and extra operating room over the N3UW van. We will take a somewhat similar route as in June. As it stands our grid stops and rough times will be:

Sat. GMT
FM19aw 1800-2000
FN10ca 2100-2300
FN00rg 0100-0400 (barring access issues)
FN00wa/FM09wx 0100-0400

Sun. GMT
FN00rg 1000-1300
FM09te 1530-1730
FM18ax 1830-2030
FM08us 2130-0300

Hoping for good E-W tropo Sunday morning if Hepburn tropo predictions hold true and maybe some ES or AU on 50 & 144 MHz during the evenings.

I’ll op 50-432 MHz and Terry will op 902-10368 MHz.

I’ll use our standard freq of 144.247 for coordination and fallback and use pass freqs of 50.247, 144.247, 222.147 and 432.147.

73 and GL to all this weekend!

andyz – K1RA

K8GP / Rover ARRL June VHF 2014 Final Report

The Grid Pirates were unable to mount an multi-op effort from their FM19bb contest location due to severe ice and wind damage this past winter. So, this past June Terry W8ZN and Andy K1RA roved as K8GP Rover in the ARRL June VHF 2014 QSO Party. They entered the Classic Rover category again after a successful rove in the ARRL Jan. VHF SS 2014 contest. Check out their most recent roving adventure by clicking here.

K8GP / Rover in the ARRL June VHF 2014

Terry W8ZN and I (Andy/K1RA) will be roving this coming weekend as K8GP/R. Our FM19bb location was hit hard this past winter with wind and ice damage, so we were unable to repair it in time for June. We hope to continue bus and tower repair work over the summer and attempt a fixed operation again sometime in the future.

This contest we will take a somewhat similar route as to what we tried in Jan. VHF SS 2014, but this time starting north at FN00. We’ll also again be employing N3UW’s rover with some new improvements. Here’s our route map info.

Click on colored map markers on the left or in the map for details. Zoom in for terrain info.

The above breaks down to the following grids, local and GMT times:

Sat.       Local        GMT
FN00wa - 1400-1600   1800-2000
FM09wx - 1600-1800   2000-2200
FM19aw - 1830-2000   2230-0000
FN10ca - 2100-2300   0100-0300

Sleep  - 0015-0630   0415-1030

Sun.       Local         GMT
FN10ni - 0700-0900   1100-1300
FN20bi - 1030-1230   1430-1630
FM29ax - 1330-1530   1730-1930
FM19xx - 1600-1800   2000-2200
FM18dv - 2100-2300   0000-0300

I will be mainly operating the low band seat (50-432 MHz), while Terry operates 902-10368 MHz. We pride ourselves on quick band hopping and appreciate your working all the bands with us when we call in and request you to attempt QSO’s. Even if there is an amazing 6m ESkip opening, please take the time to work us across the bands, as our time on sites will be relatively short.

In tradition with Bill/W3IY (SK) and the recently decommissioned W1RT Jitney, I will be using 144.247 MHz as our coordination and calling frequency. Please look for us there often. My other pass/jump frequencies will be 50.247, 222.147 and 432.247. Consider putting these in your rigs memory channels if available to assist in the frequency hopping exercise 🙂 I will be tuning mainly 6&2m to otherwise find CQ’ing stations – so make lots of noise in our general directions!

N3UW rover to be used by Terry/W8ZN and Andy/K1RA as K8GP during the ARRL June VHF 2014 contest.

N3UW rover to be used by Terry/W8ZN and Andy/K1RA as K8GP during the ARRL June VHF 2014 contest.

73 and GL to ALL this weekend.

K8GP / Rover in the ARRL Jan VHF SS 2014

Terry W8ZN and Andy K1RA activate K8GP / Rover in the ARRL Jan VHF SS 2014 using the newly improved rover of Rich N3UW. Terry and I worked on outfitting and rebuild the rover during the month of January. We had several nice weather days that allowed us to get the masting and antennas affixed to the vehicle. The weather contest weekend was quite cold and we’d had snow the night before. This impacted operating from some of our planned locations. Overall we did quite well considering few problems with equipment and considering poor radio conditions. To read more about the weekends activities as well as see pictures and videos, please read the article located here.

W4XP ops K8GP Fall 222 MHz Sprint

Chuck W4XP manned the K8GP station this past SVHFS 222 MHz Fall Sprint.  You can view a grid map of the stations Chuck contacted below.  Final breakdown and score was 57 QSO and 27 grids for 3,078 points. Click on a grid below to list the stations contacted in that grid. Click the View Larger Map to see a more detailed view of stations on a full screen map.

Click here to View a Larger Map with Verbose Grid List

#QSOs Legend: 1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128 >128

K1RA ops K8GP Fall 2m Sprint 2013

Andy K1RA activated the K8GP Grid Pirates contest station on 144 MHz during the SVHFS Fall 2m Sprint.  There was some excellent tropospheric enhancement during the 4 hour event and Andy captured several weather and tropo maps and discussed why conditions were so good.  As well as he has posted his log, his grid map and audio he recorded from the event.  Check out his article by clicking here.

W3ZZ – VHF Contesting

Dr. Gene Zimmerman, W3ZZ (SK) will have passed away one year ago this June and the Delmarva VHF and Microwave Society, K8GP and the Grid Pirates Contest Group, as a memorial to Gene, are republishing a recorded Webinar on our website and making it available before this years June and September ARRL VHF Contests. We do not want Gene’s memory to fade any faster than it already is, this may help to keep his memory alive for a while longer. In May of 2010 Gene provided this presentation on “VHF Contesting – What to do and How to win” for the PVRC webinar archives. The presentation is ~90 minutes and covers station siting, station design, station integration, winning strategies, digital modes and the ideal stations. We have acquired a copy of the presentation and made it available for those interested in reviewing it.


K8GP operates in June VHF 2012 contest

The K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group set up operations from their new location in Virginia, grid FM19bb. This was the first contest since June 2008 that the group entered the unlimited-transmitter, multi-operator category. Since leaving Spruce Knob, WV in 2008, the group has only operated the low 4-bands (50-432 MHz). To read more about the weekends event, see pictures and videos and hear audio from the stations please click here.

Dr. Gene Zimmerman W3ZZ (SK)

On June 3, 2012 our good friend Dr. Gene Zimmerman W3ZZ, affectionately known among us as ‘Dr. Doom’, passed away due to complications of surgery. May he rest in peace. We will all miss Gene very much since he was a cornerstone of our organization. In the early 1990’s Gene was the driving force behind pulling together the right people in the D.C. area to build a new, competitive, multi-operator VHF+ contest group. This group in turn became known as the Delmarva VHF and Microwave Society and K8GP Grid Pirates Contest Group. Gene was extremely knowledgeable in terms of VHF, UHF and microwave propagation and was an avid radio operator and contester. He was always willing to share lessons learned and his extensive experience as well as entertain answering our questions. Gene also provided our group with countless hours of conversation, antidotes and plenty of good humor over the years.

We hope to continue on in his memory and attempt to introduce and foster ham radio operators both young and old into weak signal, VHF+ communications and radio sport. Something Gene was well known for doing himself. Below are a collection of pictures of Gene over the past 15+ years as we remember him best as we contested from West Virginia and the D.C. area.

Gene W3ZZ Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2010 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2010 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2008 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2007 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2006 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2005 Gene W3ZZ Sept VHF 2002 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2002 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2002 Gene W3ZZ Sept VHF 2001 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2001 Gene W3ZZ Jan VHF 2001 Gene W3ZZ Sept VHF 2000 Gene W3ZZ Sept VHF 2000 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 2000 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 1999 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 1998 Gene W3ZZ Sept VHF 1997 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 1997 Gene W3ZZ June VHF 1996

Below is a rare video of Gene operating. Here he was at the 222 MHz position of K8GP contest station when we operated from Spruce Knob, WVa in the June VHF 2007 contest.


And finally Gene had a unique voice. Everyone knew Gene’s sound on the air. You couldn’t confuse him for anyone else. In June 2007 I recorded much of the activity at the various operating positions.

Click here to listen to Gene’s distinctive voice and CQ.

You can stream that entire weekend of the 222 MHz position of which Gene operated a fair amount, as well as mentored K8GP newcomer Mike N2NAR. Click here to listen. You can jump forward in 1 minute increments.