N6MI contest van, CQ WPX CW, May 2022, DM15aa (Friday morning before the contest)
My call is N6MI.
I operate amateur radio (ham radio) contests, Field Day style, from multiple California counties and grid squares.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, I operated portable from a pickup truck. I replaced the passenger seat with radios. In addition to a yagi at 30 feet on a push-up mast, I sometimes used a commercial blimp to raise a long wire antenna.
On occasion, I was honored to operate from N6NB's monster station in Tehachapi, California.
Today, I operate a Yaesu FTdx101D, a FlexRadio 6500, an ICOM IC-9700, and an ACOM A600S amplifier in a former electronic news gathering (ENG)/cellular on wheels (COW). This van has a 56 foot pneumatic mast, a five kilowatt generator under the hood, and five large batteries. The N6MI van was profiled in CQ Amateur Radio magazine (February 2012). A photograph of the N6MI van was featured in an industrial brochure by Soitec.
With the help of visiting operators, I earned DXCC from the van (including mixed, CW, and phone endorsements). I also have four-band DXCC certificates for working more than 100 countries from the van on 10, 15, 20, and 40 meters.
The following operators have received their training and are qualified to operate from the N6MI van: K6VCR, NB6E, N7DA, AF6O, W6PNG, KN6OGP, WB6HPW, KJ6SSY, KJ6SSU, N6VI, K1BTW, and Broden Weeks (license pending).
I also enjoy contesting with AF6O from his high desert contest station in Piñon Hills, California.
March 2010 CQ WW WPX SSB (with K6VCR and KI6ACI, Jacumba Mountains, San Diego County, DM12, #3 W6 call area, Multiple Operator, High Power)
June 2010 ARRL June VHF QSO Party (Mojave National Preserve, San Bernardino County, DM25)
October 2010 California QSO Party (Inyo County, DM15)
May 2014 CQ WW WPX CW (with NB6E at Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, CM95, with a gangbuster vertical and radials on 40 meters, #2 W6 Call Area, Multi-Operator, Single Transmitter, High Power)
June 2014 ARRL June VHF Contest (Alvord Mountain, San Bernardino County, DM15, with K6VCR and 34,322 angry killer bees)
June 2014 Field Day (3A SCV, Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, CM95)
July 2014 IARU HF World Championship (Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DM04, #1 Single Operator, Mixed Mode, High Power, Santa Barbara Section)
October 2014 CQ WW DX SSB (Riverside County, DM23, #1 W6 call area, Multi-Operator Single Transmitter)
November 2014 CQ WW DX CW (San Bernardino County, DM14, at AF6O's super station, #3 W6 Call Area, Multi-Operator Single Transmitter)
March 2015 CQ WW WPX SSB (with NB6E and K6VCR, Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, CM95, #2 W6 Call Area, Multi-Operator Single Transmitter)
May 2015 CQ WW WPX CW (AH7T operation from Big Island of Hawaii, BK29)
October 2015 California QSO Party (top California Multi-Operator Single Transmitter Expedition, with K6VCR, NB6E, and a four element 20 meter yagi at Lake San Antonio, #1 Monterey County, CM95)
October 2015 CQ WW DX SSB (with K6VCR at Palomar Mountain, San Diego County, DM13, #3 W6 Call Area, Multi-Operator Single Transmitter)
March 2016 CQ WW WPX SSB (with K6VCR, at Palomar Mountain, San Diego County, DM13, #3 W6 Call Area, Multi-Operator, Single Transmitter, High Power)
July 2016 IARU HF World Championship (#1 Santa Barbara Section, Multi-Operator, Single Transmitter, Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DM04, with operators N6MI and K6VCR, and a post-contest SOTA visit from W1ZU)
October 2016 California QSO Party (#1 Kern County, #8 California, Multiple-Operator, Single Transmitter, High Power, with K6VCR, 10 miles east of Mojave, Kern County, DM05)
March 2017 CQ WW WPX SSB (#2 W6 Call Area, #11 United States, Multiple-Operator, Single Transmitter, High Power, San Bernardino County, DM14, with a team of N6MI, K6VCR and AF6O, at AF6O's high desert station)
October 2017 California QSO Party (#6 Los Angeles County, a few hours in the driveway with a whip on the roof of the van)
June 2018 ARRL June VHF Contest (#1, San Joaquin Valley Section, Single Operator, High Power, Kern County, Mojave Desert, DM15aa)
June 2018 ARRL Field Day (1,727 contacts, four operators -- N6MI, K6VCR, KB9FKO, and NB6E in SJV at Tecuya Mountain, Kern County, DM04)
July 2018 IARU HF World Championship (AF6O operation in San Bernardino County, DM14, #1 Orange Section, #6 Zone 6 Multi-operator, Single Transmitter, with a team of K6VCR, N6MI and AF6O, at AF6O's high desert station)
October 2018 California QSO Party (#1 Ventura County, #11 California, Multiple Operator, One Transmitter, High Power, Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DM04, with N6MI and K6VCR -- 32 degrees at night and one beautiful sunrise on Saturday morning)
May 2019 CQ WPX CW (AF6O multi-op with N6MI and AF6O, San Bernardino County, DM14, 1,573 QSOs and 678 WPX using wire loops and a yagi on the N6MI contest van parked in AF6O's driveway, #13 North America, #9 United States, #1 6th Call Area)
June 2019 ARRL June VHF Contest (Tecuya Mountain, Kern County, DM04)
June 2019 Field Day (#15 United States, #1 California, Class 2A, Frazier Peak, 8,013 foot elevation, Ventura County, DM04, 1,884 contacts with good food, strong winds, a nice sunrise,a four element 20 meter beam on the van, K6VCR, NB6E, KB9FKO, N6MI and Mr. Broden Weeks)
October 2019 California QSO Party (1,088 contacts and 57 multipliers in the N6MI van, at Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DMO4, with AF6O, N6MI, a fresh N7DA, and N7DA late at night in the cramped operating position -- Multi-Single High Power, #7 California, #4 Mult-Single Expedition, #1 Ventura County)
May 2020 CQ WPX CW (a casual solo effort from Frazier Peak, #6 United States 6th call area, tribander/single element wires, high power). I assembled a small triband beam on the roof. The nights were very cold, but the sunrises on Friday and Saturday were spectacular.
June 2020 ARRL June VHF Contest (Mojave Desert, grid square DM15aa, with five bands). The wind was blowing up to 55 MPH -- the clouds were dancing. K6VCR tracked the ARPS signal so that we could share a cup of coffee on Saturday morning; Tom left before the contest began. In the Single Operator/High Power class, I was awarded First Place San Joaquin Valley Section and Third Place in the Pacific Division.
June 2020 Field Day (Frazier Peak, DM04ms, Ventura County, 926 QSOs, ninth place of the 462 stations in Class 1B-1). There were excellent views just before sunrise to the northeast and southwest. K6RIN stopped by for a SOTA activation.
October 2020 California QSO Party (1,605 QSOs and 57 multipliers from the open Mojave Desert, in grid square DM15aa, using the special call W6E). We finished first in Kern County (new multi-multi high power county record), finished second in California in the multi-multi high power class, and won a plaque for highest scoring multi-multi expedition in California. We were socially distanced with W6PNG in his Jeep -- here is the W6PNG camp at sunset -- and N6MI in his van. W6PNG used a hex beam with an "arm-strong rotator." The smoke from a fire in the Angeles National Forest made for amazing sunsets. Here is a sunset view of the microwave tower to the west. Here is a link to the detailed W6PNG report on the CQP adventure.
November 2020 CQ WW CW (#9 Sixth Call Area, Single Operator, High Power, All Bands, in the N6MI van, from DM15qa, along a ridge in the Mojave Desert). It was 37 degrees at night, but pleasant in the afternoon. The Friday sunset and Saturday sunset were memorable; the sun appeared to be sinking into an ancient caldera. The Beaver Moon (Friday and Saturday) was bright in the clear desert sky; there was no need for a flashlight in camp.
May 2021 CQ WPX CW contest (#1 U.S. Sixth Call Area, tribander/single element/high power class from Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DM04). I built the yagi on the roof and then used the pneumatic mast to erect the antenna to about 60 feet above the ground. The sunrise on Sunday was a special treat. It was about 44 degrees at night and in the 60s during the day. The 20 meter band was especially active.
June 2021 ARRL VHF contest, 20 miles northeast of Mojave, DM15aa. First place, San Joaquin Valley Section, Single Operator, High Power. 51 degrees (nights), 99 degrees (days).
Wind, 0-40 MPH (can’t keep a hat on). 5 element yagi on six at 60 feet (500 watts),
14 element yagi on two at 66 feet (100 watts, but that feed line was too long),
18 element yagi on 432 at 15 feet (75 watts), can’t even count the number of elements on the yagi on 1296 at 20 feet (10 watts). The results:
June 2021 Field Day (Frazier Peak, DM04ms, Class 2A Santa Barbara, 2,358 contacts). For the Field Day 2021 video, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7ibQpNwqxw. We finished seventh in the nation out of 277 entries in the very competitive Class 2A. The team included K6VCR, N7DA, NB6E, N6MI, K1BTW, Broden Weeks, plus our GOTA operator. We used an inverted vee on 80 meters (106 CW, 56 FT8, 28 LSB contacts), a two element yagi on 40 meters at 50 feet (401 CW, 787 LSB contacts), a three element yagi on 20 meters at 60 feet (790 CW, 7 FT8, and 145 USB contacts), a three element yagi on 15 meters at 25 feet before it blew over (14 CW, 1 USB contacts), a three element yagi on 10 meters at 20 feet (not used), a 6 meter loop (not used), and a 6 element yagi on 2 meters at 8 feet (1 CW and 1 FM contact). Our GOTA station used a spider beam at about 20 feet (22 USB contacts, mostly on 15 meters). The sunrise on Sunday was pretty. K1BTW and Broden Weeks (BNinja Productions) produced a fun documentary of the 2021 Field Day operation. Contact me if your club needs a speaker on "Field Day in the mountains."
October 2021 California QSO Party (Frazier Peak, Ventura County, DM04ms, using special call W6E, with W6PNG on SSB and N6MI on CW). 1,243 contacts, 57 multipliers, 179,208 points. Number 1 in Ventura County, number 7 in California, in multi-single high power category. The sunrise is always special on Frazier Peak. The weather was perfect and the wind was light.
May 2022 CQ WPX CW contest from DM15aa in the hot and windy desert near Mojave, California. We operated from N6MI’s converted television news van. It was 95 degrees in the van on Thursday, but about ten degrees cooler on Friday and Saturday. The team included N6MI (Scott), N7DA (Drew), and W6PNG (Paul). Paul camped in his tricked out contest Jeep, with a bat wing for shade. The team used a small triband antenna at 60 feet for 20, 15, and 10 meters. Paul calculated the horizon from camp. We used a sloper on 40 meters, oriented toward Japan, with one end anchored by N7DA’s vehicle. We used an inverted vee on 80 meters. N7DA enjoyed his night shifts. 20 meters never closed. We operated for the first 23 hours and made 651 contacts. Paul left early to handle family business. Then Drew and Scott broke camp (reluctantly) on Saturday afternoon after the yagi started rotating on its own in the very strong winds (with gusts projected to reach 57 miles an hour). This was Paul’s first CW contest.
I operated the June 2022 ARRL VHF Contest from Frazier Peak, Ventura County, California (DM04ms) at 8,013 feet in N6MI’s converted news van.
It was about 86 degrees in the day and 54 degrees at night. There was no wind on Friday or Saturday. I enjoyed a pleasant 15 mile per hour breeze on Sunday.
I used a: 5 element Yagi on six meters at 60 feet (500 watts); 14 element Yagi on two meters at 20 feet (100 watts); 18 element Yagi on 432 MHz at 15 feet (75 watts); and a 22 element Yagi on 1296 MHz at 10 feet (10 watts).
I made 349 contacts in 142 grids, including 118 grids on six meters. I was not able to break the wall of QRM into Europe, but I did work my first JA on six meters. I operated until about noon on Sunday. When I left the mountain, six meters was still open. The results:
I have also operated CW and SSB contests from my four wheel drive truck.
July 2011, IARU HF World Championship (#1 Single Operator, Mixed Mode, Low Power, San Diego Section, IARU Zone 6)
AH7T operation (CQ WPX CW 2015)
QSL information for AH7T follows.
In May 2015, I operated the CQ WW WPX CW contest with the North Shore Contest Club, AH7T, from the big island of Hawaii (Hawaii County, BK29, #3 Oceania, Single Operator, High Power) at the contest station and bed and breakfast of KH6RC. For the 1,398 QSOs with AH7T on May 30 and 31, 2015 (UTC), you may confirm your QSO with AH7T via LOTW (Log of the World). If you need a QSL card, please send a 4.5 by 5.75 inch (or larger) self-addressed envelope to:
J. Scott Bovitz
Transmitter hunts (t-hunts)
Since the 1980s, I have been active in the monthly 24-hour transmitter hunts in the mountains and deserts of Southern California (primarily on 146.565 MHz FM).
Amateur Radio Extra Class license, N6MI (first licensed in 1969)
Volunteer Counsel, American Radio Relay League (1981-present)
Transmitter hunting activities profiled, Los Angeles Times, Outdoor Section (March 30, 2004)
Member, United States National Radiosports Team, International Friendship Amateur Radio Games -- silver team and personal bronze medals (1991, 1993)
Speaker on radio direction finding (transmitter hunting), ham radio contests, audio, photography, and other amateur radio topics at:
I am available to speak at your local or DX club in person or by video. Send your invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
QSL information for N6MI
I am honored by the thousands of beautiful QSL cards which I have received via the QSL bureau. I send reply QSLs when my busy professional schedule permits. But, despite my best efforts, I am simply not able to check my logs and reply to all of your QSL cards.
I will continue to post all N6MI contest QSOs after January 1, 2010 to Logbook of the World. LoTW is an easy method to confirm a Cycle 24 and Cycle 25 contacts with N6MI.
If you really want (or need) my paper QSL card, please mail your own QSL card *and* a self-addressed envelope. Do not send money or postage; these are not required. I will promptly return my own QSL card in the return envelope you provide. Use this address:
J. Scott Bovitz
Yes, it gets cold in California.
You can also contact me at email@example.com.