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To: <3830@contesting.com>
From: psoper@encore.com (Pete Soper)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 10:32:11 EDT
                      IARU HF Championship -- 1996

      Call: KS4XG                    Country: United States
      Zone: 8                       Category: single op, low pwr,
                                              phone only, no assist

      160        0        0     0.00      0      0
       80        9       13     1.44      2      2   g5rv @ 55ft
       40       34       98     2.88     10      6   dipole @55ft
       20      202      600     2.97     19     12   TH6  @ 70ft
       15       83      207     2.49     13      9   TH6  @ 70ft
       10       15       43     2.87      6      2   TH6  @ 70ft

     Totals    343      961     2.80     50     31

                 Score: 77,841 points

Equipment Description: IC735, two cheap tuners, CT

Club Affiliation: PVRC

(This was my first repeat contest. I worked last year's IARU by the
seat of my pants a few weeks after getting licensed.)

Mother nature remodeled part of my station the week before the contest
and I was resigned to a glum IARU weekend when Jim Price, N3QYE invited me to 
use the NC state university station. With just two evenings to get ready there 
was a lot of scrambling. By coincidence the club station's beam was getting a 
rotator Thursday and by Friday night things were more or less ready. But my 
mind was running too fast and I got only a couple hours of sleep. This was 
scary because I'd only slept a couple hours each of the previous two nights.
This was my very big mistake as it kept me from recognizing trivial solutions
to problems as they arose and surely hurt my operating in general. One funny
thing was that when the last of the bands went stone dead/inactive around 8:30z
I found myself going to sleep with my eyes open within a matter of minutes. A 
90 minute nap followed by five cups of semi-fluid coffee was good for the last 
couple hours of the test. 

The campus power was going off the last hour of the contest for maintenance,
so I ran the rig off batteries. But the flashlight batteries were duds and
I was forced to do the paper logging by holding the dupe sheets about 1 inch 
from the rig's display! This was actually fun as I found my finger's knew how 
to operate the rig controls very quickly even though I was blind. However when 
the AC power came back on I got a clear indication of just how much local noise 
is floating around at that location (horrible). 

The 10 meter opening was fun (caught a bit of it) and I really enjoyed 15
meters the most overall with many exciting contacts. But what was best was
finding and easily working AH6 and VK stations on 40m when the rest of the
world had abandoned that band. 

My favorite WRTC moment was listening to W6O repeat his call
with a drop in pitch and very long "O" like "W 6 Oo

Hilarious and quite a contrast with the very grim, machinegun cadence of 
some of the other ops. I hope at least some of the participants will send 
writeups to 3830.

Despite the mistakes and regrets, all in all it was another incredible
experience and I'm looking forward to the next IARU very much. 

The hope is that Jim will be able to promote this past weekend's happening
to the (HT/repeater user) club members and stimulate some interest in HF.
And despite being old and needing a tuner on 20m the TH6 will be a great
tool for showing the students how big and yet how close the world can be.


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