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To: <3830@contesting.com>
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From: jimsmith@home.com (Jim Smith)
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 00:10:29 -0800
                              ARRL DX SUMMARY SHEET

Callsign Used : VE7FO
Operator : VE7FO

Category : SOAB LP

Operating time (hrs): 33


   BAND   Raw QSOs   Valid QSOs   Points   Countries   

   80CW       20          20         60        17 
   40CW        3           3          9         3 
   20CW      211         210        627        51 
   15CW      198         196        582        58 
   10CW      139         137        411        41 

 Totals      571         566       1689       170 

    Final Score = 287130 points.


Well, hard to know where to begin.  One would think the following was a
story set in a cooking ware store, there are so many lids.

One of my goals in my continuing struggle to get a credible city lot
SOABLP contesting operation together after many decades absence from the
scene and before either the sun spot cycle dies or I do is to actually
be ready for a contest when it starts.  The antennas are now about as
good as they are going to get for a while but accomplishing this
displaced certain other items on the to do list such as: 2 hrs a day cw
practice, bone up on propagation (didn't really have to when last
contesting in '58), and write an operating plan.  Oh well, I've got 2
weeks until the next one to do all that (well, maybe not the CW
practice) and get sbdvp.exe working.

It was just a year ago that VE7IN talked me into doing a multi single in
the ARRL DX CW at his QTH causing me to get the bug again and want to
set up my own station.  Little did I know....  (My wife has a few words
to say on this subject also.)  So here I am with my own station again,
feeling battered and bruised at the end of the 'test.

Qs came slower than the domestic 'tests I've been practising with, but I
guess that's no surprise.  I intended to go to bed fairly early Friday
night (normal bedtime is 1:00 am) to get up in time to catch the opening
to Europe.  I thought this would be easy as 40 is pretty well unuseable
for me due to as yet unresolved overload of the family TV and the 80
dipole is basically draped over the house, meaning that there is nothing
to stay up late for.  A quick foray onto 40 after 20 died yielded 3 Qs
and 3 mults (and some QRM from downstairs).  I figured that was it but
thought I should at least try 80.  What a surprise!  Couldn't hear any
W/Ks.  Made 17 mults including, to my astonishment, HC8 and VK.  I knew
I should go to bed but was having too much fun.  Didn't get up in time
for the grey line. 

The rest of the test was the usual mix of elation and despond.  I still
forget to switch from CQ to S&P mode in the logging S/W, causing me to
send CQ when I am trying to complete the exchange with somebody I
called.  I'm still not used to all the things modern logging S/W will
do.  For example, I didn't get the suffix of jj1lid's call right when he
responded to my CQ.  To my dismay, once I got it right and changed it in
the log I found the computer saying to him "LID LID OK".

I was surprised by the number of W/K stations who called me.  My
standard response was, "sri ur not dx".  One of these guys was so
insistent he drove me to another band!  Next time I'll have a macro (or
maybe a missile) programmed for this.  One unfortunate result of this,
plus my former experience of K*6 calls meaning something (KG6 = Guam, KA
= US military in Japan, KM6 = Midway Is. or was it Marshall islands, KC4
= Antarctica, etc), caused me to give the "ur not dx" finger to KH0Y in
the Marianas.  By the time I realized my mistake he had gone.  He must
have wondered what kind of DX I'm used to if he didn't qualify!  More
likely he uttered the L word.

Some things are still the same.  My CW skills aren't what they were so,
when CQing, I send at a modest 23 wpm, presuming those who answer will
send at the same rate.  Dream on.  Endless fills required, even after I
hit the PSE QRS function key.  

Lots of time spent trying to decipher the calls of some of the big
guns.  (My problem, not theirs, but maybe one time out of 4 they should
send their call at half speed, especially when no one is answering
anyway.)  In the closing hour or so, of course, everyone speeds up. 
This isn't unreasonable as, after 20-30 hrs of CW practice, those of us
who are slower should do better.  A particular WP2 was zipping his call
out at a great rate but with, I think, SD in front of it.  (No de)  In
retrospect, I guess he hadn't worked SD yet, but I thought it was some
strange Swedish call I just couldn't get.  Well, I have a pretty good
sig he would have difficulty ignoring so I sent "ur call?" to which he
nicely responded at a speed I could read.  Someone else, not him, sent
"LID" (also at a speed I could read).  I found this somewhat irritating
as there is a better than even chance that I was contesting and doing
well while he was still filling his pants, not yet knowing what the
toilet was for.  So I sent him the last 2 letters of my call.

Also near the end I wasn't getting much response to my CQs, the rate was
abysmal and I was feeling kind of down so when a dupe called me I worked
him anyway, just for the companionship.

Highlights for me, although probably a yawn for most of you, was
fulfilling some teen age dreams (no, no, not those ones).  OH0 was then
a very big deal, Galapagos was pretty unlikely and VQ9 ranked somewhere
up there with Heaven.  So, OH0 on a couple of bands,  HC8N on all 5 and
VQ9IO responded to my CQ a few hours before the end.  It doesn't get
much better.

Thanks everyone and see you in a couple of weeks.  

Jim  VE7FO

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