CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 21
Total: QSOs = 1000 State/Prov = 35 Countries = 58 Total Score = 510,384
I was looking forward to this great contest as every year and had a dilemma
whether to enter LP or HP this time.
In time I had the 27m vertical was ready, also 2 beverages over the fields
(300m to NA and 400m to AS) and K9AY loop, plus Elecraft K3 + Acom 2000A so I
decided to run HP. That was not the right choice as I found later.
Problems started during the first night with PA protection frequently shutting
PA off. I first suspected arcing at the antenna but this was not the case. As
late as Sunday morning I found the culprit. The output of the K3, while set to
40W, was randomly jumping from 40W up to 60-100W causing overdriving of the PA.
K3 display said 40W but the in line power meter revealed the increased output.
The problem was frequency dependant and mostly happening on the frequencies
higher in the band. So until Sunday morning I was mostly running the K3 at 12W
resulting in final output of some 400W.
Sunday morning I finally replaced the K3 with a K2 and could increase the
output to a stable 1200W. However the vulnerable K2 could not be keyed from the
PC at higher outputs due to RFI which caused it to key down and stay on TX. The
only way out of this was saying good bye to N1MM keying and use the paddle for
the rest of the contest.
Fell asleep the first night between 03 and 0530Z and the second night had a 3
hour nap from 21 to 02Z.
Total operating time 21 hours.
Condx were better on Sunday, the highlights were XE1RCS with great signal at my
sunrise, two C6 and JT5DX. Missed most of other multipliers.
As usual the JA window 1810-25 was a horrible mess of huge signals and clicks
so after working two JAs I gave up and moved further up the band.
Only 137 DX QSOs, very poor result compared to previous years.
Anyway another lesson learned.
Thanks every one for the QSOs and see you next time.
73 Peter OL0A / OK1CZ
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