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AC1O ARRL SSB DX Observations (long)

To: <3830@contesting.com>
Subject: AC1O ARRL SSB DX Observations (long)
From: ac1o@gate.net (Walter Deemer)
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 12:59:59 -0500
     This weekend's low power SSB effort yielded 400 less Q's but --
unbelievably -- 13 more mults than my CW outing (also on low power).  Some
band-by-band observations:

     160:  28 Q's/24 mults (compared with 12/11 on CW).  Wow; never before
has 160 yielded anything like this for me; the just-installed JPS ANC-4 must
work!  (Hey, guys -- I'm only running 150 watts into a Jade ladder-line
Marconi antenna @ 70' with 4 elevated 135' radials.  K1ZM I'm not!!)  I even
got 5 EU QSO's: EI7M, 9A2TW, HB9AUS, IR4T and TM1C -- all of whom, by
definition, have world-
class *receiving* setups on top band.  (9A1A does not.)  TM1C is to be
especially commended; their strong signals on all bands have already been
noted by others -- but they have equally good receiving capabilities to go
along with those strong signals.

     75: 90/47 (84/47).   The ANC-4 must have helped here, too.  (I'm using
a dipole @ 75').  Even got ZL1RS Sunday morning while checking the band
(unsuccessfully) for a KH6.  Never heard the pig farmers quite so riled up,
either (or was that *really* K6LL calling "CQ Contest" on 3830 just after
the contest ended?) 

     40:  105/50 (334/62).  The black hole of the SSB contest for a low
power station.  I got 94 Q's in the last two hours of the CW contest by
CQing above 7040, but running is impossible on SSB -- and one quickly learns
the calls of the big EU signals calling CQ between 7040 and 7100 by heart.
Did manage to work JA7YAA for the mult Saturday morning before moving to 20.. 

     20.  223/74 (507/81).  Almost made 40 look good; wall-to-wall EU
signals from 14200 all the way up to 14350 made finding a hole and running
impossible almost all of the time -- and the few times I tried it yielded
nothing.  The S&P alternative, meanwhile, was a nightmare once the first two
layers of Europeans were worked, and I spent most of the daylight hours on
15 and 10 as a result.  I'm sure I gave up quite a few European Q's with
this "strategy" -- but at least I was reasonably sane when 0000Z rolled
around Sunday night.  Eavesdropped on a couple of major league frequency
fights on the band Sunday afternoon -- and also heard someone on the
Retarded Humans Frequency (14.313) play a tape of the never-to-be-heard
again KV4FZ calling "CQ Contest" on one of my S&Ping swings.  (And my only
comment re QRP stations: 5-watter KP4DDB -- "Ding Dong Bell" -- was coming
through loud and clear on both 20 and 15 several times during the weekend.
It's not power. it's propagation; when the time is right...)

     15:  207/64 (144/48).  Thought I did better here (relatively speaking)
than I actually did by catching a couple of good but localized and
short-lived European openings (like the one to EA/F at 13Z Sunday).  But at
least it was fun to operate on 15 (unlike 20 or 40).  Since I'm too old not
to have fun in contests, I think I'll go 15 single-band in the SSB WPX (I am
*not* going to spend all night scrounging for 6 pointers on 40 on SSB in the
WPX Contest!!!)

     10:  64/14 (19/11).  Had the second radio on 10 all weekend to catch
Caribbean stations on the one Sporadic E opening/weekend we're allotted
(they're too close for F-skip openings; even P40V can be tough on F-skip.)
Found WP2AHW with a foot-stomping signal Saturday afternoon (GREAT job,
guys; p-l-e-a-s-e do it again next year!).  Went back to 15 and told NP4Z
the good news; Felipe came right over to 10, and I worked VP2E 10 minutes
later.  But that was it for the Caribbean.  Worked XE2BV and XE2EBE on
Saturday but nada from TI1C or TD9IGI.  Told Scott (who had minimal QSO's on
10 at the time) what had happened when I worked him that night, adding that
I'd be looking carefully for him Sunday.  Nada all day.  Finally ran across
TI1C at 2116Z Sunday.  Rushed back to 20 to tell Scott the good news.  He
sez "been there, done that; worked at least 30 mults on 10 earlier today
along with about half-a-zillion FL stations.  If you'd have been there you'd
have heard me."  So much for my two-radio pull-out-the-10 meter mults
strategy (although Scott was nice enough -- or took pity on me enough -- to
QSY anyway.)  And a special salute to all the LU's in the contest, who made
10 an interesting and worth-while band.  Muchas gracias, senors!

     6-Band QSO's: HC8N, NP4Z, TD9IGI, TI1C, VP2E and WP2AHW.
     5-Band QSO's (EU): IR4A, TM1C.

     Masochists who'd like to see my entire log (including the .brk and .sum
pages) can find it at http://www.4w.com/deemer/96arrlsb.  (The CW log is at

     We now turn the reflector back to the discussion of incorrect packet
spots, which caused people to have to <gasp> *actually identify* the
station's call themselves, and the nasty flaming of the posters thereof by
multi-multi ops.  Life must be kinda tough over there in the fast lane...

73 de Walt, AC1O/4  (Who TOLD you we'd need some ":-)"'s this weekend!)

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