Stew Perry Topband Challenge
Operator(s): K2TW, N2OO, W2GD
Class: M/S HP
Grid Square: FM29
Operating Time (hrs): 14
QSOs: 455 Score: 1
Club: Frankford Radio Club
IC781 + Alpha 87A, IC746, TS930S
Delta Loop @ 165 feet broadside NE/SW
1/2 wave sloper @ 190 feet sloping toward W/NW
Transmit antennas are mounted above a salt marsh adjacent to Barnagat Bay.
NE - Phased 2 ele beverage, 1000 feet long, 280 foot spacing
E - Terminated Beverage, 580 feet long
S/N - Unterminated Beverage, 700 + feet long
SW/NE - Unterminated Beverage, 580 feet long
W - Terminated Beverage, 580 feet long
NW/SE - Unterminated Beverage, 580 feet long
This was our first ever entry in the Stew Perry event and it proved to me much
more enjoyable than anticipated.
458 QSOS with 3 dupes in the log
225 Grid Squares
33 DXCC Countries
65 Non W/VE DX Contacts
DXCC Countries Worked: 9A, EA, EA6, EA8, EI, F, FM, G, GM, GW, DL, HA, I, K,
KH6, LA, OK, OM, ON, PA, PY, RA, S5, SM, T7, T9, UA2, VE, VK, XE, YO, YV, and
ZF. We heard CT1CJJ call but he got away. Did not hear 4X, 5B4, JA, ZL or
ZS....if you called us, we're very sorry.
This is a new 160M QTH for the Sandy Hook team so we wanted to use the SP event
for some additional antenna testing in preparation for the CQ160 CW a month
Preceeding the contest a work party (K2TW, NO2R, W1GD and W2GD) up in place
three additional beverages (E, SW, and a 2nd NE ele), expanding upon what we
already had erected for the ARRL 160 contest several weeks earlier. Fortunately
the weather along the NJ coastline on Saturday was sunny/cold, but dry...a good
day to walk about in the woods and salt marsh.
We got the station set up and ready to go about 2130Z, roughly 20 minutes
before local sunset. Two slave receivers, each with access to the new
compliment of receiving antennas, were wired up. As it turned out, having
three sets of ears listening on our run frequency to dig out callsigns and
reports from extremely weak stations proved invaluable. As reported by others
on the 3830 reflector, conditions were poor, but in our opinion not horrible.
At our location the band was very quiet, virtually no QRN, a perfect evening
for low signal, in the noise work.
We got off to a pretty good start logging 64 qsos the first hour. FM5BH called
us just 13 minutes into the contest, followed by HA5JI, our first EU station
worked, just 8 minutes later. We seemed to have several mini-runs of EU
stations, but the signals were generally weak with significant QSB. The first
hour (2153-2252z) produced 8 EU contacts.
Our second hour was about the same, another 59 qsos logged, 12 of them DX.
EA8AK peaked up nicely on the East Beverage....but we were still getting used
to how directive the beverages actually were. If we happened to be listening
on the wrong antenna, it was easy to miss a caller. We apologize to PY2FUS who
evidently called us during this period...we fortunately worked him within the
next hour. Our NE phased beverage array has a particularly pronounced "cone of
silence" to the west. W4s, W8s, and W9s simply are not perceptible much of the
time....until the west beverage is switched in. A second receiver connected to
an rx antenna different than the run station was tuned in most of the time.
Our new water's edge QTH is generally very quiet, the only notable exception
being some very low level (S-zero) powerline buzz on the NE beverage (there is
a HV substation about 4 miles to our N/NE which we believe produces this
intermittent noise). So stations from EU have to build to a level at or above
the buzz to be heard.
During the next four hours we averaged 45 to 50 qsos/hour, ending up with 308
qsos after 6 hours of operating time. The first west coast station worked was
K7RAT (thanks Tree) at 0040Z....now that's early for transamerica action!
There was a nice steady (but limited) stream of EU calling in to keep it
interesting. K6NR and K6SE were the first from CA. Not being regular VHF
contesters, next year we plan on having a set of Grid Square Maps for reference
so we can readily visualize station locations.
There seemed to be a normal peak in EU conditions as the grayline made it's way
across the continent. But unfortunately no volume. But considering the flux
and other index numbers, conditions were much better than we had hoped for.
The last few hours were exceptionally slow, but most of the contacts were
western USA so the point value per contact was there. Thanks to KH6ND for
calling in, and then our best DX of the night, VK6HD and VK6VZ, who were worked
about 35 minutes before our sunrise.
We especially want to thank everyone who struggled with us - some contacts were
multi-repeat, multi-minute marathons. It was often a letter by letter effort by
three of us. Bravo!
Comparitive signal reports are most welcomed - please drop me an email about
how our signal stacked up against others from the eastern USA this weekend.
Happy New Year,
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