CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op Assisted LP
QTH: Roswell, GA
Operating Time (hrs):
Total: QSOs = 81 State/Prov = 33 Countries = 0 Total Score = 5,940
Club: South East Contest Club
How bad do YOU have it?
So, it was not a great week, but it was over and I was looking forward to the
weekend, especially the 160M contest. I got home, went up to the computer and
radio to get them ready to go... the contest green flag was already seveal
hours behind me. I wanted to be sure that everything was clean and fresh, so I
decided to reboot the computer. I went through the normal shut down procedure,
but it seemed to be taking an extral long time to cycle. After about 5 or 7
minutes, I pushed the power button to "cold boot" it. It never came back to
life. Evidently I have experienced a hard drive failure.
So what to do? The computer will be there, but the contest won't. Fortunately,
I had my laptop near by, and after downloading the latest version of N1MM, then
fiddling around with the com ports and the VSPE software, I was able to get the
laptop to play nice with the radio, and get it to key and send CW messages.
Step two was to get CWSkimmer badged into the inner circle. That went fairly
easy thanks to VSPE, and so I was finally able to go hunting.
I am hopeful that I suffered a logic failure, and not a physical crash, and
will be able to recover the data. However, I have uploaded all of my QSO
records (the most important elements on the drive) to LoTW and eQSL, so
rebuilding records is possible, if not easy.
Oh, and the contest...
I was able to work a lot of folks I never dreamed that I could on that band
with just a stock G5RV. The Kenwood TS-450SAT does NOT auto tune at 1.8 MHz,
so it was all manual with the ol' reliable MFJ Versa Tuner II (MFJ-949B).
Once I got a pretty good match, I had about 5KHz +/- before I need to tweek it
again. I had "best I could get" SWRs ranging from 1.5 to 1.1 as I dialed
around between 1.805 and 1.850... From ME to CO, FL to AB, I was tickled, and
grateful for the cathartic release.
Yeah, some of you guys made as many contacts as I had total points, but
considering the week, and the weekend, I'm not complaining.
One more thing... I turned off the raw text on CWSkimmer... Once I clicked on
the spot, I used my ears to fine tune and verify the call signs AND the
exchange. When I know what I'm listening for, I can hear it!
Thanks for all of the contacts!
Kenwood TS-450SAT - 100 Watts
G5RV Dipole at 30 feet AGL
MFJ-949B Versa Tuner
MFJ-407B Electronic Keyer
Bencher BY-1 Iambic paddles
RIGblaster Plus Interface
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