CQWW WPX Contest, CW - 2021
Class: SOSB20 HP
Class Overlay: Classic
Operating Time (hrs): 20:30
Total: 1110 Prefixes = 614 Total Score = 1,259,928
Club: Southern California Contest Club
Score : 1,259,928
Rig : Elecraft K3 Alpha 87 (Friday) Alpa 91B (Saturday and
Antennas : 5-Band HD Spiderbeam up 16 Mtr + 20M Inverted-Vee at 6 Mtr
I operated from the 0000 UTC start to ~1:30 AM local time on Saturday (08:30
UTC) when my Alpha 87A completely died. It had been rock solid until about 12:30
AM local when it started to randomly retune every 10 minutes or so (an old
problem that I thought was fixed). When it finally died, a cold restart wouldn't
clear the fault indicators, so I went to bed (things were getting slow anyway).
Later on Saturday morning (I think around 5 AM local) I tried swapping to my
backup amplifier (Alpha 91B), but there was no RF output, so I went back to bed
deciding that fate didn't want my butt in a chair all weekend.
I tried backup amplifier #2 (Drake L7) later on Saturday after goofing around
all-day, but it had the same problem - no RF output. Then it dawned on me that
both amplifiers were acting as if someone had swapped the input and output
cables. I was convinced that this was impossible despite the fact that neither
cable is labelled. "But I never removed the RF output cable from the
wattmeter directional bridge", I thought. Turns out that I had (doh!).
After re-installing the Alpha 91B, I operated on and off on Saturday night
(local time) and most of the day Sunday. I wanted to make at least 1000 QSOs and
1 million points. It was nice to finally have a rotary gain antenna up in the
air again after something like 6 years using low dipoles on the high bands. I
switched to the low 20 meter inverted-V occasionally to remind myself how much
better a Yagi @ 50 feet plays 😁
73, Mike W4EF..................
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