IARU HF Championship -- 1996
Call: W2SC Country: United States (Zone 8)
Category: Single Operator(CW Only)
BAND QSO PTS/Q ZONES HQ STNS
160 9 2.11 4 3 Inverted Vee
80 70 2.74 8 9 Wire array
40 448 3.47 22 9 402CD @ 92'
20 686 3.80 35 14 TH7 @ 86'/TH7 @ 54'
15 398 3.48 18 10 " "
10 368 3.97 15 12 " "
Totals 1979 3.65 102 57
Score: 1,148,775 points
It has been a long time since I have tried the IARU contest.
My wedding anniversary, an annual July 4th trip to New York,
and the usual summer activities tend to reduce enthusiasm for
this event. I operated once before, several years ago, and
conditions were disturbed. I finished with a QSO total around
800 and was beaten by none other than K1TO.
This year the situation was different. I am pursuing a new
job that will force me to relocate to the midwest and it was
likely that this would be the last contest opportunity from
this QTH. The weeks leading up to the final decision have
been stressful and I think my wife understood my need to do
a contest from here, possibly one last time.
My station had been dismantled for my trip to KP2 in the WPX
so I finally got around to putting it back together on the
Thursday before the contest. I turned the radios on and heard
Jack, W1WEF, running guys on 10. I made a note to check 10
during the weekend and continued putting the station together.
I did a minimal amount of check out and declared the assembly
My wife and I went out for our anniversary on Friday night and
got back reasonably late (by our standards). Without much sleep,
I got up on Saturday morning, had some breakfast, and checked
out the bands. Things sounded mediocre so I decided to give it
a few hours. My expectation was that conditions would be poor
and I was going to rapidly change bands to try to find new
stations to work.
The contest started well but I quickly found that I had not
put the station back correctly and there was considerable
interstation interference and I could not hear much with the
second radio. I found the rates bursty with high rates for
short durations and then a slowdown. All morning I moved
quickly between 10, 15, and 20. I eventually left the second
radio and amplifier on 10 and went there periodically. On one
trip to 10, I noticed that DA0HQ was around S7 so I tried some
CQ'ing. In the next two hours I rattled off over 200 Europeans
on 10. They were all about S0 but it was excellent.
After 10, there some excellent hours on 20 and 40. 80 and 160
seemed to have decent signal levels but were extremely noisy
due to the hurricane that was passing through.
The next morning brought a 15 meter opening not long after
European sunrise and another 10 meter opening to Europe at my
sunrise. The contest ended with a call from Z30M for a final
I don't know if I ever was in a contest where the propagation
was so unpredictable. I was never quite sure I was on the
right band or beaming in the right direction. Nonetheless, it
was great fun but I do regret that I only worked about 5 of
the WRTC stations (K6Y twice). When I heard them, they were
generally weak and had pileups.
When the contest was over I was desperately in need of sleep but
my wife said there were people coming to look at the house and
I had to sleep outside on a hammock. I spend the next three
hours underneath hurricane soaked tree with water dripping on
me every few minutes. As it turns out, the people who looked
at the house are willing to rent it from us with the condition
that the radio station stays and I get to use it 4 weekends
per year. This was my wife's idea.
I would also like to add a me too to the WRTC praise. I am
hard pressed to think of any event of that complexity that was
executed without a single negative comment. From this end, it
looked like a world class job was done with all volunteer help.
This is a rare achievement and all congratulations are warranted.
Also, great job by Dan and Jeff. It was truly a competition of
all star players and to stand out in that esteemed group is a
I have seen some interesting commentary on the 10 meter propagation.
Several people have indicated that is was induced or otherwise
enhanced by the hurricane. Is that really possible? Also, when
I heard W1WEF running Europe on Thursday it was nearly 40 hours
before the hurricane reached us in New England. I am far from an
expert on propagation but I would be interested in an explanation of
how the hurricane could have such an impact. On a related note, I
seem to remember a recent CQ article linking sporadic E to lightning.
73 and thanks for the QSO's,
Tom W2SC (soon to be W2SC/0 in Kansas)
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com