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[3830] WAE RTTY VE7ASK Single Op LP

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Subject: [3830] WAE RTTY VE7ASK Single Op LP
From: ve7ask@rac.ca (ve7ask@rac.ca)
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 12:42:04 -0800
                    WAE DX Contest, RTTY

Call: VE7ASK
Operator(s): VE7ASK
Station: VE7ASK

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 30

 Band  QSOs  Pts  QTCs  Mults
   80:    2   27    0      5
   40:   32   32    0     23
   20:   70   70   10     40
   15:  106  106   10     69
   10:   41   41   20     49
Total:  251  251   40    186  Total Score = 54,126



Gear: FT920, hex-beam at 9M, G5RV with bend tails, all-band vertical

My first WAE RTTY. Had a lot of fun, and learned lots, too. 

This weekend gave me a much-needed refresher course on late fall propagation --
don't know about the rest of Canada, but I sure noticed some polar cap
absorbtion on Sunday. High bands were essentially dead beyond 1,000 km or so for
long periods, then would kick up a bit before dying down again. The records I
was able to track down suggest the last significant PCA event was back in
August. Great timing... the ionosphere waits till WAE to scrub the VE7 path to
Europe, hi. 

Lately, I have set goals of 100 or more contacts on the three high bands. This
time, managed 107 QSOs on 15, but didn't do so well on 20 and 10 -- propagation
just didn't favour me this time around. Still loving the simple, lightweight
hexagonal 5-band beam, though.

Noticed that few stations dropped down to 80 when 40 fell away. Could have been
a good spot to pick up some area multipliers, but only heard a handful of
signals there -- managed to work AD6WL and AC6JT. Was able to have almost normal
sleep times as activity was non-existant after midnight local time. 

Worked a couple of new countries, including HB9 and CT9 (who had a phenomenal
signal here on 15 and 20). Was called by BX4AF, which was a treat. And it was
nice to hear many loud JA stations. 

I didn't have QTC-capable software. Although hand-compiling QTC lists was no
problem at all (I had four lists ready to go at all times, just in case), I
didn't feel comfortable sending QTCs as filling missed lines would have been
cumbersome (and probably frustrating for DX ops). I was happy to have four
stations offer to send. Next year, I may get bolder and brazenly ask a few DX
stations if they have any to send me. 

The curse of the low-power op appears to be that while I often hear stations at
S9 or better, if I'm only S4 or S5, they may not realize how strong the path is
between us, and don't feel confident that their QTCs would make it through. I do
like the QTC feature a lot. Will just have to get smarter and use it next

I went into this hoping for 200 contacts, then pressed for 250 with about half
an hour to go and 243 Qs in the log. Made it with 10 minutes to spare, so jumped
around a bit looking for a last-minute mult or two. Found ZX2B all alone up on
15M but conditions were fading and we couldn't connect as the minute hand
touched the top of the hour. 

The sudden, hollow silence at the end of a marathon contest always seems rather
sad to me. No matter how I fared, the experience instantly becomes part of my
personal golden old days of radio. Time to pause and reflect, thinking about the
stations I heard, the ones that got away, the quick notes of encouragement from
guys like Bob (VE6YR), and all the hams around the world doing the same thing at
that moment: cleaning the shack after a weekend of reckless snacking. 

As I gathered coffee cups and plates, I left the rig tuned to the last remaining
RTTY signal on 20M (Luis, 6J1L making anniversary contacts) and I remembered
that I get to do this all over again in CQWW CW in two weeks. I'm planning a
trip to the country for that one. Low power as always, but with much higher
antennas than I have in our back yard. I'm gonna love it. See you there!

73 and thanks for the contacts,


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