K7FR Stew Too

Gary Nieborsky k7fr at concord.televar.com
Mon Dec 30 10:45:23 EST 1996


Call: K7FR
Power: 120W
Antenna: Vee at 100'
Grid: DN07
Q's: 155

Random Commentary:

This contest has real potential!!  Having the RAC going on at the same time
caused a little confusion but the VE stations quickly caught on to the
DN07/599 # exchange.

Working grids has a different kind of rush than working mults.  I looked at
things like;  Mults/Q, Grids vs. Time of nite, strength of signals vs. Time.

Propagation was wierd.  Stations would go from 10 over to S5 during the
exchange.  The noise level (natural) would go up and down like a yo-yo.

Best distance was SM4HCM.  Worked a total of 4 "DX", 2-SM, KH6AT and GM3POI.
Was amazed to hear, at 0347Z, 'POI calling CQ and getting no takers.  His
signal was in there until at least 0700Z.   Had a persistant station follow
me all over the band trying to work me.  It was either a DK or OH station
because that was all I could pull out over the 3 hours he/she tried.  Snow
static picked up about 0800Z when the big blizzard of '96 laid into us.
Worked a little longer then went QRT.  Didn't want a repeat of CQWW CW when
I blew the front end out of one of the 850's due to snow static.

Murphy Visits - Started Saturday nite at 0125Z and immediately noticed that
hte SWR on my vee had gone way up. The computer would lock up when I'd try
to work someone.  After 2 q's I decided to fix (investigate) the problem.
My apologies to K5NA.....he was the unlucky soul that I kept trying to call
and getting only a steady keydown.  I grabbed my RF-1 and headed for the
tower.  It was snowing, the wind was blowing and it was darn cold.  Wind
chill was -35. Fortunatey I designed my equipment box to open to the south
which kept the wind off me.  Word of advice:  the RF-1 doesn't like cold (0
deg still air) temperatures.  The oscillator goes drifting away something
fierce.  The knobs on the tuners went bye-bye too.  The inductor cranker
broke off on one and the Teflon spacer on one of the cap controls stripped.
The solution was to bring them all in to the shack and live with the
additional losses.  Once inside the RF-1 came back to life and all was well.
My spring project is to put heat in the equipment box.  Should have known
better.....I heat all my equipment boxes at work.....  Also found that the 3
feet of snow underneath the tower was probably the cause of the higher SWR.
I wrote down the readings for comparison after the snow leaves.

The aftermath of the Great Blizzard:  there is now 6' of snow under the
tower.  It took my neighbors 3 hours to dig me out yesterday evening.  Stuck
all 3 at one time or another.  I live on the east side of  Washington State
about 2 hours west of N7EX.  Snow is a common thing here as opposed to the
west side.  So when you see all the news accounts of the terrible snows in
the Northwest remember:  it is 10 times worse on our side.

My luck with no man-made QRM continues.  S3 to S5 noise during all the time
I was on.  Had one stretch of S0!!  This makes me wonder if Beverages are
worth the hassles.

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