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[3830] CQ160 CW K3ZM Single Op HP

To: 3830@contesting.com, pbriggs@cfw.com
Subject: [3830] CQ160 CW K3ZM Single Op HP
From: webform@b41h.net
Reply-to: pbriggs@cfw.com
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2011 17:19:20 -0800
List-post: <3830@contesting.com">mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW

Call: K3ZM
Operator(s): K3ZM
Station: K3ZM

Class: Single Op HP
QTH: Virginia
Operating Time (hrs): 30

Total:  QSOs = 1811  State/Prov = 59  Countries = 76  Total Score = 1,230,660

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


As a few people have already heard, I had some good luck a week before the
contest.  With great resignation I concluded that a bothersome line noise from
the Southeast was in fact coming from all the way across the Chesapeake Bay on
the Eastern Shore of Virginia, which in that direction is 17 miles away. 
That's bad enough, but I had to drive 2 1/2 hours each way to get to the noise!
 I found the arcing pole and the power company over there fixed it immediately. 
The dreaded southeast noise was finally gone, after more than a year.  It was an
exhilarating victory that required driving over three major bodies of water,
including the Bay itself on the 17 mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.  The
tolls alone were $19.  But what a happy result!

Now for the contest.

After getting bounced by EU stations as usual at the start of the event, I
moved above 1850 in a risky tactical decision.  I had only 57 contacts the
first hour, but hoped the investment would pay off as EU started to hear and
answer me.  Slowly, this came about.  But I was sweating it.  I just knew my
rivals were kicking butt down the band and was really worried, but gradually I
caught up and this dicey move worked out okay.  It was quiet on Friday evening
with so-so signal levels and I managed 1,028 contacts by bedtime with 279 EU
QSOs.  But I had only 58 countries!  This compared with 977 QSOs, 267 EUs and
63 countries the prior year.  My score this year was 529K vs. 514K the prior
year.  I hoped I would do better on the second day.

I decided to stay low in the band on the second night.  This is easier to do,
as EUs become more hungry for trans-continental QSOs on Saturday.  The sunset
run to EU was disappointing, but picked up toward midnight zulu.  After that,
there was an unusually sustained opening to EU with callers across the
continent popping up over a long period of time with moderate signal levels and
very quiet conditions.  As EU sunrise approached, the walls closed in on my
frequency as the excitement built to a frenzy.  At this time, regular guys were
enjoying answers from EU to their CQ's and the energy level rose accordingly. 
Then things calmed down a bit and I enjoyed a peaceful and steady trickle of
answers from Western EU until well past their sunrise.  I started tuning around
on the second radio to see what was happening and try to shore up my low country

Armed with a much better signal in all directions, this year I worked a ZL and
a VK during a 160 contest, both for the first time.  Far out!  I was also
excited to get a call from Dave at KH2.  As soon as I heard the "NL" I sprang
to attention.  However, I must apologize to Brian, ZL1AZE.  Since I donâ??t get
out very often, I didnâ??t know his call and it took him three tries for me to
get the last character (donâ??t tell my brother!).  Thatâ??s pretty
embarrassing.  The prior morning, VK6LW was so clear he could have been in the
room with me.  No sexy JA runs for me in the contest, but I did manage QSOs
with three of our usual friends (their calls, I know).

Some fun DX for me was 7Z1SJ, SV0XBZ/9 and A73A.  Thanks also to Rich at KL7RA.
 I was sweating WY until well into Sunday morning.  As soon as I heard KO7X
answer my CQ, I was relieved and grateful.  He was on the list.

I never worked a single new country through S&P.  All answered my CQ's.

Total this year of 644 EU QSOs including a few dupes or 34.8% of my total Q's,
versus 687 in 2009 (Contest for the Ages).

I am very grateful to the XYL for helping me lay out the new RX array.  She
bravely trudged through weapons-grade smilax, ditches, lush poison ivy, tons of
dead, fallen pine trees just begging for you to turn an ankle, and reeds that
are taller than I am.  The good news is, it works!

And the noise is gone!  Thank goodness.


Peter  K3ZM

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