Class: SO24Mixed HP
Operating Time (hrs): 23
Band CW Qs CW Mults Ph Qs Ph Mults
80: 108 23 29 13
40: 358 32 178 25
20: 551 36 728 52
15: 214 23 504 43
10: 45 9 39 6
Total: 1286 123 1478 139 Total Score = 4,670,412
Mr. Murphy was with me all the time.
I planned to work SO2R but my 2nd TCVR broke the very first day of my holiday.
Very strong wind on friday night before the contest smashed my antenna so 4
hours before the contest started I woke up and saw a desaster. I had to repair
the antenna and the tower. I finished the work 30 minutes before the start of
the contest. But the rotor didnt want to turn the antenna. I decided to operate
the contest anyway. What I had was a spiderbeam fixed to NW about 10m up for
20-15-10 and dipole fed with open feeder and tuned with an external tuner for
80-40. My 3rd antenna was R7000 hidden behind our guesthouse. The reports with
R7000 were 1-2 S units worse than with dipole.
I started at 12:05 on 15m with huge pile-up from England. After 15 minutes my
computer crashed, I tried to restart the programme, the device router (I still
used SO2R Box from Microham as interface) but it did not work. I had to restart
the computer and the problem was solved. But I lost another 20 minutes. Then the
contest really began for me. The rates were great - the best one 214/hour at
16:00 on 20m. There were not too many callers from the east, but I logged some
Japanese boys, some 5b4Â´s... Then I moved to 40m. There I had an incredible
pile-up for hours. At 2:00 the SWR got worse. I tried to find a better match
with my tuner - but no luck. My CW was distorted - HF feedback was the reason.
I moved to 80m. I could work a couple of stations here but the SWR problem
deteriorated. There were less callers, they didnt hear me well. I knew there
was a serious problem with my antenna. I went out to the darkness - I couldnt
see anything for minutes. Then I saw there was no problem with the tower, the
wires were still hanging in the trees, the problem was my matching unit. This
unit could not withstand the power of my SPE amplifier (1k PEP). I lost another
30 minutes. This situation was serious, I had very few multis on 40 and 80m. I
worked a couple on 40m with R7000 but the rates went down. I was very tired and
the missing antenna for 80m cracked me down.
At 8:00 local time my wife brought me a cup of coffee - and saved my life :-)
Then I moved to 20m, 15m and 10 and had good rates again. I finished the
contest with almost 2800 QSO and 4,67 mil. points. I was hoping I could break
the 5 mil. points but without a working antenna for low bands for a few hours
it wasnt possible. Anyway it was nice experience, my first contest holiday.
CU next time.
Ivan OM3LA/OE1DIA member of OM8A
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