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[3830] 432FallSprnt WA4A Single Op QRP

To: 3830@contesting.com
Subject: [3830] 432FallSprnt WA4A Single Op QRP
From: webform@b4h.net
Reply-to: truitt@elon.edu
Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2020 18:07:23 +0000
List-post: <mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    432 MHz Fall Sprint - 2020

Call: WA4A
Operator(s): WA4A
Station: WA4A

Class: Single Op QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 4.0

Total:  QSOs = 2  Mults = 2  Total Score = 4



Last minute preparations for the Fall 432 Sprint meant two simple antennas and
two rigs: A makeshift tripod anchored with cinder blocks, supporting a 15-foot
mast topped with an aging 11-element Cushcraft horizontal yagi placed in my
driveway for 432.1 multimode and a makeshift quarter wave vertical whip
magmounted on the roof of my Jeep Patriot for 446 FM simplex were rigged. Two
QRP transceivers were used: A battery operated FT817nd Go-Box rig, tailgated
next to the antenna mast for SSB/CW and another battery powered FT818nd manpack
for backup and working FM. Initial tests with the FT817nd at 5-Watts out on the
yagi showed high VSWR and intermittent connections. The problems were finally
traced to loose hardware at the antenna's gamma match. Another half hour to
retune the match to 432.1 was rewarded with reception of lots of local noise
from various sources in the neighborhood! After a quick dinner break, the first
three hours of the contest was spent with alternate calling and listening on CW
and SSB around 432.1 and FM voice on 446. No signals were heard until about 10
PM when I heard W4DEX about 77 miles away on 432.09 winding down the Thursday
night net!  A quick callup and exchange of reports with him was followed a few
minutes later by my only other contact, an exchange with KO4YC. So poorly
prepared, I forgot to bring my grid square charts, so after the contest,  I
found out that YC was about 168 miles away and that he had worked me off the
back of my beam!  In the end, I was elated that my little SSB rig had been
copied at such distances but disappointed that no CW or FM or any other activity
was heard.

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