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Topband: ARRL 160

Subject: Topband: ARRL 160
From: "Gary Smith" <>
Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2017 16:25:26 -0500
List-post: <>
This is the first major contest that I 
have taken part in a while, at least to 
the extent I actually put a real effort 
into it. Its taken a bit to get back in 
the game after my friend Pat became a SK 
this year. That said, I almost matched my 
score from two years ago when the band 
conditions were for me, far better for DX 
than this weekend.

I was running QRP with a less than ideal 
antenna yet still managed 535 QSOs. It was 
frustrating to hear so much DX and not be 
able to have them hear me. I'm guessing I 
must've heard at least 15 countries that I 
didn't work. When running QRP on 160, you 
have to go for low hanging fruit. I'm sure 
it's the same for everyone.

I was grateful that there weren't any 
storms happening locally this time and for 
the most part bands were pretty quiet. 
AMTRAK had its way with me at the Gray 
lines what with commuter trains running at 
that time but being a weekend made their 
schedule a little easier.

One of the surprises was when K7RAT called 
me Sunday Morning so at least my QRP 
signals were getting up to Boring, Oregon. 
The band must've been good because his 
signals were truly marvelous here as well, 
one of the loudest & cleanest signals on 
the band and he heard me with no trouble. 
If that was you at the helm, thank you 
Tree for the multiplier!

Sunday morning at Gray line was really 
something beautiful to see on the P3. 1/2 
hour before there may have been 50-70 
people CQing and then the waterfall became 
a Kaleidoscope with the band packed with 
people as tight as sardines up to 1875 or 
so. It's obvious when the band changes and 
the atmospheric noise is visualized as 
color in motion, in two dimensions. If you 
haven't seen the morning Gray line on a 
waterfall during a 160 contest, you're 
missing something interesting.

Hope all had fun.


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