Maine 2 Meter Fm Simplex Challenge
Congratulations to our 2014 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge Winners!

This year's Overall Winner is:

Tim Watson KB1HNZ, from Gorham, Maine, who made a total of 141 QSOs in 37 different towns. Tim becomes the first mobile operator to win overall, and one of four this year who surpassed the 100 QSO mark. Congratulations on a job well done!



No Logs
No Logs
Dakota Dumont
Rick Fickett
Charlie Shepard
Cindy Shepard
Tim Watson
31  /  14
63  /  21
58  /  21
58  /  21
141  /  37

There was plenty of activity during the 2014 edition of the Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge, although it'd be fair to say that most of it was confined to the I-95 corridor, with a few exceptions. Almost all the logs came in the Medium Fixed and Medium Mobile categories, and those were certainly the most competitive.

2014 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge This year saw the first time that a mobile operator competed for the overall win, and in fact there were four stations battling it out for the category as well as overall. Second place Sebastian Ames, operating WS1SM, was only 1 QSO behind, and third place Dave Wood KB1FGF was only 2 QSOs back of the category winner.

The competitiveness continued to the Medium Fixed category, where three stations were very close. Rick Fickett K1OT had 63 QSOs with 21 multipliers, and Mark Bilodeau N1SDH also had 63 QSOs, but with 19 multipliers. Third place Steve Curry, KD1O had more multipliers at 30, but only 38 total QSOs. Their final scores were all very close. But not as close as the Mobile QRP category, which finished as a tie for first place between Charlie Shepard W1CPS, and his XYL Cindy W1CJS. In the QRP Fixed category, Dakota Dumont, KB1YYC successfully defended his category win with 31 QSOs and 14 multipliers.  
York county was represented well by N5YXK, KB1VPE, KC1AIG, KB1YBU, and KB1VFQ, who showed up in many logs throughout the afternoon. The mobile team of Bert KB1ZLV and Annette Dumont KC1AMQ activated towns around the Lewiston-Auburn area. Many stations were operating mobile as well, including Ryan Michaelson KB1YTR, who activated Portland, Windham, Grey, Westbrook, Gorham, and South Portland. Others included K1GUP, who was logged in Hamden, Newburg, Carmel, Etna, and Hermon, and KB1AES who activated Bayside, Belfast, Waldo, Brooks, and Knox.

There was a surprising absence of those high power stations who usually like to flex their muscles and show how easy it is to knock off huge numbers of contacts, continuing a trend we've seen over the last few years towards the Medium and QRP categories.

The contest committee was impressed by the fact that they found no math errors, although QSO times differed in some cases by up to 4-5 minutes. There were a few miscopied call signs, but these were rare for the most part. Cross-checking was possible on 85% of the received logs, which is an all-time high, and an indication that the overall accuracy of the logs we received was very good.

Awards Night
From left to right: Sebastian Ames (op. WS1SM), Tim Watson KB1HNZ, Dave Wood KB1FGF, Cindy Shepard W1CJS, Charlie Shepard W1CPS

The contest continues to grow in both the number of stations participating, and in its popularity across the country. Recently the WSSM has been contacted by clubs in other states, including Rhode Island and Ohio, who are interested in hosting a similar event.

The only change we may consider for next year's 2 Meter Challenge is the requirement that all logs be submitted in UTC time. Each year we receive logs in military time, local, and UTC which makes the job of cross-checking more diffecult than it needs to be. The only gripe we have is the uncalculated number of stations that find our contest interesting enough to participate in, but can't be bothered to send in a log. Your logs not only help with verifying the results but also help us to better understand simplex coverage across the state and to make our reports more accurate in this area.

2014 was the first year that we offered a Club Category, and the Wireless Society of Southern Maine won this handily with 25,875 points. To our surprise, almost all of the logs we received claimed either WSSM membership, or No Club Participation. We know that the WSSM may be one of the most popular clubs in the state, but it certainly isn't the only one. Hopefully we'll see more club participation in the future.

Thanks again and see you next year!


Thom Watson

2014 2 Meter FM Simplex Visual Study

2014 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge Visual Study
Point-to-point study of QSO's made during the 2014 Maine 2 Meter FM Simplex Challenge

KB1YYC Visual Study
Above is a coverage analysis based on KB1YYC's fixed operating position using 5 watts.

KD1O Visual Study
Here's a visual analysis based on KD1O's fixed operating position, with elevation, and 50 watts.

N1SDH Visual StudyMark, N1SDH, was in many of the logs sent in. Here's an analysis of his QTH, using 50 watts.

K1OT Visual Study
Rick, K1OT, had a strong signal from his QTH in Windham, using a tower-mounted base station antenna and 50 watts.

Contest Soapbox

Steve Curry KD1O sent us this picture of his antenna mounted in a snow bank from his hilltop operating location.

Here's Thom W1WMG, operating mobile from a parking lot in Biddeford during the early hours of the 2 Meter Simplex Challenge.


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Wireless Society of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 6833, Scarborough, ME 04074