ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, CW
Class: SO Unlimited HP
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Total: 1215 Sections = 80 Total Score = 194,400
Club: Society of Midwest Contesters
Wow. My first ever full-time SO effort for SS CW in the 19 years I've been
contesting. Most time operated before was 13 hours and 755 Qs. I can't
believe I did that. I never intended on operating 24 hours. I just went to
bed when the rate got slow (3am) got up when my 2 year old daughter did (4.5
hrs later, then had b-fast) and then took one hour off in the afternoon. I
never felt tired. We even went grocery shopping at 10pm after the contest.
The XYL was very supportive of the contest. Even brought me hot food several
I almost didn't get the sweep. I had 79 worked by 4z the first night (NE was
#79, IA, VT, KY, ND before that) and still needed VE4. Then on Sunday, I saw
VE4VV spotted on 20M a bunch. I could barely hear him (he was S2) and KI9A 300
miles SW heard him S9+30 at that same time (chatting on IM). The pile was huge,
and there's no way Derrick would hear me through that pile. Then he went away.
Then a few hours later, he was spotted again on 20. Same deal. S2. Then later
on 15M, even worse. Then late in the contest, he was spotted on 40M, but again,
the skip was too long and he way too weak and too many calling. I had mentally
given up on getting a sweep. My biggest Q total, and no sweep. Then, 20
minutes before the end of the contest, he was spotted on 80M. I was the next Q
in his log. SWEEP with only 19 minutes to spare! That made the 29 rate in the
last hour worth it. So, thank you Derrick!
The whole motorcycle accident/foot smashing was just over a year ago now.
Things are better, but I still have pain every day and walk with a limp. This
Monday I go back under the knife for surgery #6 to try to improve things. I
didn't think I'd ever be able to climb my own tower any more, but an hour
before the contest I proved myself wrong. I couldn't get the neighbor
ham/tower climber over and I really wanted to see what was wrong with my
homebrew stack switch, 75' up the tower. I AIMed some SMCers to let them know
if I'm not back at the keyboard in one hour to call the paramedics over to my
QTH (I was home alone). And, since I made it up 75', I thought I'd go all the
way to 100' and point the beams back in the correct direction. All went
without a hitch (nice pun) and no paramedics were called in, although there's
quite a bit of pain. :-) Oh, and I rode a Harley Ultra a couple months ago.
All is well. I'll probably be placing an order for a new Harley in spring.
Thanks for the fun!
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