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[3830] VK4IU 1999 CQWPX MS

To: <3830@contesting.com>
Subject: [3830] VK4IU 1999 CQWPX MS
From: peter_wetzig@msn.com.au (Peter Wetzig)
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 15:07:44 +1000
                  CQ WORLD WIDE PREFIX CONTEST -- 1999

      Call: VK4IU                    Country:  Australia
      Mode: SSB                      Category: Multi Single


      160        0        0   0.0        0
       80        3        3   1.0        0
       40      512     2974   5.8      173
       20      372     1086   2.9      210
       15      177      481   2.7      102
       10      661     1909   2.9      161

     Totals   1725     6453   3.7      646  =   4,168,638


        QSOs #148, #1640, #1694 scored as 1 point by CT, should be ZERO pts.
        QSO #1745 deleted - outside time limits.

              #148       -1
              #1640      -1
              #1694      -1
              #1745      -3
              1725     6447            646  =   4,164,762 <- ****** Claimed
                                                             ****** Score

All reports sent were 59(9), unless otherwise noted.

Operators: Peter VK4IU, George VK4XY, Kerry VK4MZ, John VK4CEJ
             and Bernard DL2GAC(H40MS)

        Kenwood TS870 + YAESU FL2100Z and TS440SAT
        160m            GAP Vertical
        80m             GAP Vertical
        40m             KLM 4 el at 27m
        20m,15m,10m     Monoband Yagis at 20m

        CT 9.39

        CT using Ethernet packet drivers and the NETTSR interface written
        by David K1TTT. We extended the network by an 40m serial cable to
        computer in "the   kitchen", so off duty operators could monitor
        the activity.

        The QTH of Kerry VK4MZ, at Gympie, 175kms north of Brisbane,

Club Affiliation: Pacific Rim Contest Club


The 1999 WPX followed the usual pattern for a WPX from VK4 - working into
the side of every Yagi in the northern hemisphere.  My thanks to all those
who took the time to turn their beam our way.

Early preparation efforts suffered the usual problems of commitments to
family and work and a proposed multi multi effort became a Multi Single
effort before the contest had started.

We all gathered at the QTH of Kerry VK4MZ, at Gympie, 175kms north of
Brisbane, on Friday morning, 24 hours before the contest.  Friday was spent
preparing the computer equipment and running cables.  On the RF side, it
was simply a matter of connecting the coax and installing the listening post
protection equipment.

Most of the computer equipment was under test, in preparation for a multi
multi effort later in the year.  Three types of network topology were being
tested: Ethernet using COAX and UTP, and a very long run of serial cable.

In the early hours of the contest it was difficult to break into the
triangle of Europe, USA, and Japan.  We failed to secure a run frequency on
10, or 15 meters, until 40 meters opened at 0820z.  This was to affect our
activity for the rest of the weekend as we struggled to catch up.

40m was our best chance, and, though slow at times on the first night, we
worked 40 meters to the US, Japan, and Europe, all through the dark hours
until 2000z.  10 meters then opened into the USA, and we worked solid rates
until California faded at around 0200z. Switching to 15m and working long
path towards Europe, dropping to 20 meters at 0445z, we were surprised by
the number of South American stations working the contest.

We tried 40 meters at 0630z, but it proved too early to get a run going.
We ran Europeans long path on 20 meters until 0730z when we again used our
best equipment to work 40 meters into the US. The usual short opening on 10
and 15 meters at 0900z into Europe was worked, with a return to 40 meters
at 1115z.  40 meter band conditions was not as good as the previous night
and we ran 20 meters into Europe from 1300z to 2000z.

In the final hours of the contest, the 10 meter band conditions seemed good
for us, but few operators seemed to be on the air.  We worked strong
stations into the US, but new contacts were few and far between.  We worked
several VKs during this period all having the same problems.  On the
positive side, we had a good "chat" with some US operators, working W0ZZ

The CT software performed well.  We experienced two problems: The band map
ceased to update over the network from the listening post at one point, but
a reload of all computers cured the problem;  In the final hours the run
station could not select spots from the band map.  The cursor jumped
randomly around the band map. We worked around the problem by reading the
band map and entering the frequency and call manually.

The network topology worked flawlessly in a network of 5 computers
(run station, listening post, "spare", "kitchen" monitor, network packet
monitor) to test RF immunity for future multi multi efforts.  The UTP hub
and cabling operated without any problems from RF, and the "long haul"
serial cable
survived without problems - all logs were in sync at the end of 48 hours.

The biggest surprise of the whole contest was the lack of JAs on 10 and 15
meters.  We worked most multipliers on 20 meters into Europe both short and
long path.  Clearly, we need to do more to break into the European wall of
QRM and make ourselves heard.

The lynch pin of our efforts was the performance of VK4MZ's equipment on 40
meters. This, combined with the operating experience of Kerry VK4MZ and
George VK4XY gave us 512 high scoring QSOs with 173 multipliers.  John
VK4CEJ worked any band with skill, and Bernard DL2GAC provided valuable
assistance on the "listening post".  My thanks to them all.

Until next year ...

Peter VK4IU

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