ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, CW
Class: SO Unlimited HP
Operating Time (hrs): 22:45
Total: 1239 Sections = 80 Total Score = 198,240
Club: Northern California Contest Club
Good to get on and do a contest again!
Was up REAL LATE Friday night whipping the station into some kind of
functionality after such long time neglect. Had to patch in some workarounds
for things (like dead antennas that can't be fixed at midnight when it's
Then, I pulled R1 and got into it to fiddle around with the VFO encoder
adjustments to make it quit jumping around like a spastic monkey while tuning
in signals....I don't have the 300rpm drive motor & scope required to adjust it
properly, so I just dinked around finding which ways to turn the pots made it
worse & which made it better, while listening to signals on the air.
S'not perfect but it acts like a radio now ;-)
I managed to pinch the main AC power wires in it, one of the times folding the
front panel back & forth to adjust & then check.....and blew the breaker,
throwing the whole garage into darkness....lucky I always keep my flashlights
in the same place....by braile I found one and got the place powered again and
fixed the damage. Isn't this an electrifying hobby?
Ended up with enough working & connectd to the radios to make it feel like
SO2R, but some band changes for running were a real pain.
And, most important of all....I figured out Friday night how to keep my DOS
TRLog from crashing when entering every running qso! I found that problem
Thursday & Friday nights in the NCCC practices, it was making me scream
expletives into the night! Whew!
But, I still managed to fetch it up in the contest with my fumble fingers many
times (maybe it's that other keyboard I threw in there trying to fix the
problem), causing it to send endless cq's and reports after qso's (while locked
up), so I had to reboot and get back to square one. Most of the time, I sensed
that the folks out there in the ether were laughing and enjoying the show,
because when I got back to cq'ing, there was a pile ready to call in ;-)
In the contest:
Overslept my planned big break, leaving no more time to take off on Sunday.
Then had a few dramas (the big one was when the space heater in the garage quit
and I started freezing Sunday morning....didn't know I was also a heater
repairman?. What the heck? If a non-electrical-techie can stumble into getting
a spastic radio to work, maybe he'll get lucky twice and get warm ;-)
So I missed getting in all of the allowed time :-(
Might have been a pretty good score for this little place....
This was the best start in this contest from here in its 10 years (289 q's in
the first 3 hours)...and I think it might also be the best final score.
After it was all over, I came away with the thought that I'd just had a great
adventure enjoying all that the contesting hobby can provide. Glad I did it, &
might have to come back for some more!
Vintage Radios: TS930 x 2
Old Amps: Alpha 78 (only manual tune now) & Titan 425
133 mhz 386 Dos computer with TRLog, with sick whining cooling fan (that's what
headphones are for).
VE8CC & Telnet into the wireless (how about that, no more wires required to
enjoy wireless radio) laptop on the side for the manual spotting. Didn't use it
much, but did find VY1EI on it on Sunday for the last one....worked him on 15M
using the 40M beam (cockpit error, but only a couple of calls after I retuned
the amp while calling to get some RF down the line)....then got called by VE8EV
later while running on 20M.
TH7 tribander @ 45'
Homebrew C3 tribander @ 25'
402CD @ 55'
80M Inv L
80M Inv vee @ ~40' Very intermittent, ya can't listen on it (it's dead), but
put some HP RF into it and it works great calling west coast guys.
Tnx for THE Q, OM's & YL's!
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