This year’s Grid Madness was held on September 18, 2016 and was a larger event than 2015. The event had double the logs submitted and 23 more stations participated this year with over 150 more contacts reported than 2015 and almost 200 more than 2014. This has proven to be a popular event in the islands.
Grid Madness is about islands, mountains, ocean, and radio signals. It’s a simple event; we designate a time, frequencies and some rules. Amateur Radio Operators in the State of Hawaii get on their VHF/UHF radios and talk simplex to anyone they can reach. Mobile stations, base stations, clubs, and handheld stations entered the event this year and submitted logs.
The first place station this year was a mobile station operated by Steve, KH6WG. Steve operated from his truck at the EARC repeater site on Mauna Kapu on Oahu at an elevation of 1800’. Steve also set the record for the longest simplex contact at 211 miles on 2 meters and 70 cm from Oahu to the Big Island. Steve contacted Stan, AH6KO on 2 meters and 70 cm. Steve was using 50 Watts with a J-pole antenna. This was also the longest contact in the 3-year history of Grid Madness. This record could be broken in the future with a contact between Kauai and the Big Island.
Figure 1 shows a map of the Hawaiian Islands, from Oahu to the Big Island, and the contacts that were made between the islands.
Peggy, KE6TIS, came in 1st place in the base station category making 22 contacts and 16 grid squares in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. Peggy operated from the Big Island Mountain View area and said she had a great time.
The event manager Stan, AH6KO drove from sea level to 11000 feet to the Mauna Loa Weather Observatory in a little over two hours. He reported having a great time but he says to make sure you run your vehicle’s engine to charge the batteries. He dropped off the air around 4 PM because of his battery. Stan said it was a great location and he had never heard so many stations on 146.52 before.
On Maui, Tom and Arch, NH6Y and AH6U, roamed around the roads to provide inter-island targets and showed up in many logs on the Big Island and Oahu. Rob, WH6DXW, participated in his first Grid Madness and operated near the summit of Haleakala and had a great time as well.
On Oahu, Todd operated from Tantalus Lookout with a off the grid station as WH6DWF. Todd stated, ”For those that did participate, everyone had fun! Other hams were checking out my setup and so did visitors to the park where Gus, Greg and I had set up … [My station had] golf cart batteries being charged by solar panels and a wind turbine … We are also getting the public thinking more positively towards Amateur Radio when we do events in public places …”
Figure 2 shows WH6EZE, Eric in the Puna District of the Big Island. Eric set up as a rover. He made 41 contacts and activated 7 grids.