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[3830] VK3TZ WPX 98 SSB SOAB TS Category

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Subject: [3830] VK3TZ WPX 98 SSB SOAB TS Category
From: jennyb@alphalink.com.au (Jenny Burt)
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 10:07:46 -0700
The results for the 1998 CQ WPX SSB contest follow:

Band    QSOs    Pts     Pts/Q   PFXs    Score
10m     453     1332    2.94
15m     293     855     2.92
20m     502     1489    2.96
40m     163     960     5.89
80m     1       6       6.00
160m    0       0       0.00

All     1413    4642    3.29    571     2,650,582

Operating time :        34.10 hrs


FT-1000MP, FL-2100z, (FT-107m and TS-50 spare), Heil headset
TH6DXX, Homebrew 40m loaded 40m dipole, 1/4 wave sloper

The FT-1000MP only arrived in the shack Wednesday night before the
contest. Not much time to learn how to drive it properly and compare
the performance to the old guard (FT-107). The 40m dipole was sagging
due to 40 - 50 Cockatoos (large birds) using it as a perch some months
earlier and it was now reasonant at about 7.160 rather than in our
band around 7.080 MHz. The good (sarcasm) neighbors were informed
earlier in the week that I would be contesting all weekend and not to
disturb me with their complaints until Monday. My wife took the kids
(2.5yrs and 3 mths) away for the weekend so the cost of the weekend
was not going to me lost because someones $2.00 alarm clock/TV had

I tried to get the soundblaster card connected to the FT-1000mp in
time so that could auto CQ but it didn't happen. At switch on at 0000z
the FT-1000mp was dead???? I took the statin to pieces ove the next
hour, undid the top panel on the 1000 but found nothing! Checked all
cables.. all OK. Put the lot back together and bingo all was OK. I
still do not know what was wrong. For me the contest started at 0100z
and from what I hear that was the best hour of the whole test. Several
VKs were already sporting serial numbers of 120 +.

It was great to hear 10m open although not too strongly. QSO rates
were fair throughout the contest but I did not get one pile-up for the
contest... a little unusual. There were a few short runs of 5 to 10
mins but generally lots of CQing required. I guess propagation was not
that brilliant. I was unable to really determine how conditions were
because the FT-1000MP S-meter read so differently to the old Ft-107m.
An unsual opening on 20m at 1400z on the first night was helpful. This
is 2 am local and for the past few years the band is usually
dead.. and I go and catch some Zees. However, the states were calling
in regularly and I knew that I needed to make the hour a good one. My
previous best rate for 1400 - 1500z was about 21 Qs. I worked 84
stations when the power blacked out for about a second. I swore at the
power company and the state Govenment! The power supply has been
privatised (the Govt sold it off to a private company)and their idea
of maintenance is to place fullpage adverts in the paper telling me
how good they are! The 2100z and the 1000mp came back up but the PC
was dead.. nothing on screen. I retrieved the old VGA screen and tried
again? Reboot... nothing, reboot..... hash, reboot..... nothing,
reboot.....hash, reboot...... ding, yes it fired up. You guessed it I
still do not know what was wrong all equipment is now performing
fine. Reboot dbase IV launch my contest program....yes 692 records
phew!  Do a browse.... damn and end of file character at record
550. Launch Norton utilitues and can see the missing 150 records. Try
everything to retrieve but the only way to see them is in HEX looking
at the cluster.... Print screen.. print screen, print screen, type
type type type. I hit the sack at 5.00 am effectively loosing 2 hours
operating at my best rate of the test (84 in the hour at a 120 rate).
Nothing else went wrong except for marginal propagation.. K3EST's
advise (CQ magazine) to keep going and set mini-goals certainly
worked... get to 1100 QSOs.... get to 2 million points, get 10 more
mults, get to 1400 QSOs etc. I still did not beat my best (1700 Qs and
3.5 million in 1994) but considering the propagation and problems am
very happy with the result. Nice EU run on 10m was very pleasing.
Nice to work you all again and hope you enjoyed the run down of how my
test went.
Cheers Tony VK3TZ

P.S. I got the auto CQer going with only 15 mins work last night
     (wrong IRQ ...... dooohhhh!)

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