Roving for me is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this hobby. Roving is loading up all your gear in your car and traveling to different locations to make contacts. I typically rove in the various VHF, UHF and Microwave contests. Each has its own rule and challenges.

Location, Location, Location

Regardless of the contest the basic idea is to talk to people from different grid squares. Grid Squares are essentially one degree by 2 degree squares based on latitude and longitude. For the VHF and UHF contests the whole grid square is your working area, for Microwave we use 6 digit grid squares. Example, I live in DM03 of which the majority is in the Pacific Ocean. DM04 right next to me extends from just about the LA, Orange county border to up to and over the Grapevine. It takes a good hour and a half to two hours to cross a grid. If I am working a Microwave contest my grid would be DM03ww and I can easily work DM03wt which is about 12 miles away. So you can get a feel for how much smaller the 6 digit cells are. Check out this Grid Map to find where you may be.

The cool thing about roving is whenever you change Grid Squares you can work the same people all over again. This allows both of you to make points and keeps the contests going with rovers constantly moving into new grids.

If you look at my Pictures link you will see lots of photos of my rover setup for various contest. The bands covered and antennas have changed over the years. Currently I am running 12 bands from 50MHz up to Lasers. Highest Microwave band I have is 24GHz then everything below down to 50MHz.

Each time we go out we try to add something to make it better. I have a back seat operator who runs the bands from 220 up while I drive and work 6 and 2 meters. We have loop antennas for operating while in motion and even a very rare 10GHz omni manufactured by Chip Angle, N6CA. We have successfully made 50 plus mile microwave contacts while in motion provided we keep a constant speed to reduce Doppler shift. . Best bet is to use your cruise control to maintain a constant speed. 

Of course it is a plus living in Southern California from a weather stand point. Even in January it is not much trouble to do a thousand mile rove during a contest. On the other hand the mountainous terrain reeks havoc and these so called line of sight bands. It is nice to be up on top of the mountain but when you are in the flatlands  trying to shoot over 8 thousand foot mountains presents quite a challenge.

All things considered roving is a blast. You get to create you own setup, strategically plan your route for the most contacts and tactically execute your plan or change it on the fly when things don't work out. The contest never gets boring and there are usually plenty of opportunities for problem solving along the way. I highly recommend this activity for anyone who likes to get out of the house and explore new adventures.