AA5B (@K7UP in Las Cruces, New Mexico)
Single op, all-band, low power 1200 x 515 1.6M
Radios: IC765, TS940.
Antennas: Single monobanders on 10-40 @ 60-100'
TH7 ne @ 60 ft and A3 nw @ 30 ft.
Forgive me, I feel gabby...
Not sure if it's more appropriate to sing a few lines from "Back
in the Saddle Again" (this was my first soab contest in several
years) or "On the Road Again" (I had to drive 250 miles to the
station). Despite the bad condx, it felt great and I'm looking
forward to doing more of this soon. Somewhere. Anywhere.
Why low power? Mostly I didn't like the thought of being cooped
up in a radio room with 2 amplifiers in the southern NM desert
when the temperature was expected to be about 98.
Had a fun time with John's new automated two-radio switch box,
and the station worked with no significant visits from Murphy
all weekend. After I got a little brain-tired, I had a couple of
minor problems with band changes -- sometimes with up to 7 or 8
knobs and buttons, depending on run/mult antenna and radio
combinations; it was awkward just because it was unfamiliar to
me, I guess. What was the biggest problem for me? Two words: cut
numbers. Sorry, but when the watery Europeans send something
like "5NNAT4A" at 40 wpm after I've not slept for the last 30
hours, my brain locks up. I heard lots of 'em giving repeats, so
I don't think I'm the only one not getting it.
Conditions were generally lousy everywhere, but maybe especially
bad out here; too far west for European signals, too far east to
get JA runs on 15 meters as a little compensation. EU runs
seemed impossible from here on any band with 100 W, though a few
did call in during some of my 20-mtr CQing (I was trolling for
stateside mults). I worked only a couple of JAs on 15 very late
one nite, and surprisingly few on 20. But the JA runs on 40 were
very nice, sometimes with 20-minute spurts at rates way over
100/hr ... a nice surprise for 100 watts. On the first night, my
first 40-mtr JA called in nearly 3 hours before his sunset. The
last one was 7 hours later when I switched the run radio to 20
My congratulations to KN4T. In a year when just about everyone's
score went down significantly, Walt managed to raise the low-
power standard a couple of notches.
And my thanks to John, K7UP, who let me use the station while he
went to the lake (yes, there is a little water in NM!).
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