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[3830] TBDC K1WHS Single Op HP

To: 3830@contesting.com, k1whs@metrocast.net
Subject: [3830] TBDC K1WHS Single Op HP
From: webform@b4h.net
Reply-to: k1whs@metrocast.net
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 16:27:51 +0000
List-post: <mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    Stew Perry Topband Challenge - Spring

Call: K1WHS
Operator(s): K1WHS
Station: K1WHS

Class: Single Op HP
QTH: FN43mj
Operating Time (hrs): 8

Total:  QSOs = 257  Total Score = 1,370

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club


I was all set for the Spring Stew. I told the Missus well in advance that I was
going to be busy on Saturday night. She should not plan any overnights for the
grandkids, no sporting events with the grandkids, and definitely no flower and
garden shows!!! I was going to be in the Stew Perry!! Well that all went out the
window as she had me going out to dinner with some really great friends who we
rarely see now that they have moved far away. I could not say no, So while the
Sun was setting and the band was hopping, I was on my way to a restaurant for a
night of frivolity! Did I mention that the place had craft beers? We had a great
time. I got into the IPAs, and when I finally rolled home, it was about 01:30
UT. So much for getting a headstart in the Stew!!
    I did manage to turn on the rigs without hurting myself and was greeted with
some mild activity but the band was full of static crashes. It was pretty
difficult as the lightning crash would come every time the DX station would send
the middle letter in his suffix. This must be a new "AI" feature of T
storms now. I'll bet they have a dedicated telnet type link and have a self
learning routine so that they can let loose a "bolt" at the exact
right time to mess me up. I did note that Europe activity seemed a tad low.
Signals seemed pretty good  in between the static crashes, but I needed many
AGNs and ?? to fill in calls of even strong stations. I used my diversity
setting on the K3 and had the Europe beverage in my left ear and the NW beverage
in my right ear, so I could hear in two directions at once. If things were
really weak I turned off the opposite ear so the noise would not mask it, but it
sure was nice to not miss callers this way. I made a few longish contacts out
East. US6EX and RU6B in KN94 were good copy and worth 16 or 17 points. I mostly
called CQ and occasionally tuned around looking for any pileups on a rare
station, but I don't think I ever found one. I did not tune with the second
receiver. That really confuses me and hurts my CW copying. I guess I am still a
struggling CW op. When things got slow I took some time off and went to work on
my old WW2 aircraft radio restoration project. I am making a new Pilot's Control
Box since I can't find a real one. I would do a little soldering or metal work,
and then go back to calling CQ after a break. One high point of the evening, was
hearing a moving heterodyne that swished in on my frequency and then NO3M called
me with one of his vintage CW rigs. It sounded great with just the right amount
of chirp!!  When the Sun came up in Europe, I switched the RX wires to the West.
I noted that the static from the midwest was now worse, and crashes seemed
longer, taking out entire calls at times. Activity dwindled, but I stuck it out
for awhile until about 09:00 UT. I was surprised at the strength of KH7B. He
sounded like a local almost! It sure was a lot of fun playing radio and sending
CW, and I am sorry that I missed the high activity period at the start, but the
beer was really good. I still managed to work over 40 EU stations. All the
beverage wires seemed to be working too. My TX vertical is buried in snow and I
noted some creeping SWR problems. The longer I transmitted, the higher the SWR
went. I must have been melting some ice out there at the feed. One of these days
I will finish the antenna and put the matching network in a real box. Having the
parts sitting in the snow and ice is not a good move!

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