Winter 2006 Issue
More than any amateur radio band, 6 meters has its unique set of propagation modes. The band is loved by a hardcore group of aficionados. On September 24, 2005 an event was held in Rhode Island. Known as SMOGfest (the Six Meter Operators Group ‘fest), many of these 6-meter aficionados attended. This was a once-in-a-lifetime gathering for many, and 6-meter operators were able to meet one another in person. Some of these ops had been worked via aurora, sporadic-E, and even F2 on the 6-meter band!
The event was planned when well-known 6-meter DXer Jimmy Treybig, W6JKV, was not able to conduct his annual barbeque on his ranch in Texas in 2005. Acting quickly, several New England hams worked to put together an alternate event at an East Coast location. John (Mick) McManus, W1JJ, along with Dennis Motschenbacher, K7BV, Steve Gilbert, K1SG, Ivan Pagacik, K1MS, and John Allen, K1AE, found a great location with an outdoor-style restaurant known as Yawgoo Bakes and Barbeque in the rural town of Exeter in Rhode Island. Invitations were sent to over 150 six-meter operators.
It was a beautiful fall day for the New
England area, with temperatures reaching almost 70 degrees F.
Approximately 100 people attended this event—about 80 six-meter ops and 20
YLs. All operators had sent in their QSL cards with payment for SMOGfest,
and from these cards some really great badges were made! People came via
plane, ferry, and automobile. Most of the attendees were from the East
Coast, with good representation from the 1, 2, 3, and 4 U.S. call areas
and the VE2 and VE3 Canadian call areas. However, some came from farther
away: Pat Rose, W5OZI, from Texas; Ned, AA7A, from Arizona; and Doug,
VE5UF, and Andy, VA6SZ, from the western provinces of Canada. Tom
Gallagher, N6RA, made the trip from California, and he brought logs and
QSLs from his recent DX trip as FP/N6RA. Many others brought QSLs to
confirm contacts made with the attendees.
A special T-shirt commemorating SMOGFEST
was for sale and was a very
From left to right: Mick, W1JJ, one of the event’s organizer, speaking with former QST VHF columnist Emil, W3PP, and current QST VHF columnist Gene, W3ZZ.
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