WP2AHW (W2SC op) Score (Part I)

tom georgens tom=georgens%Eng%OpenSys at fishbowl02.lss.emc.com
Fri May 31 09:54:14 EDT 1996

This message is in two parts as my mailer does strange things over 6000

                  CQ WORLD WIDE PREFIX CONTEST -- 1996

      Call: WP2AHW (W2SC op)         Country:  US Virgin Is.
      Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator


      160        0        0   0.0        0
       80       70      356   5.1        4 	Inverted V
       40     1083     5852   5.4      404	C4-XL
       20     1783     4762   2.7      331	  "
       15      586     1601   2.7       87	  "
       10       40      101   2.5        5	  "

     Totals   3562    12672   3.6      831  =   10,530,432

My trip to KP2 was something of an impulse at a time of weakness.
Shortly after a very enjoyable weekend at K5ZD's in the ARRL DX
SSB contest, KE2VB put up a spot on the reflector indicating that the
WP2AHW station was available for the WPX contests due to a  cancellation.
Still being pumped up after the contest weekend plus having heard the
loud WP2AHW signal many times, I contacted Larry and quickly reserved the
WPX CW weekend.  I had vowed for the last few years to operate "from
the other side" but never took the appropriate steps.  This time I did
not want to pass up the opportunity although it was not the ideal contest
or time of year to travel to the Caribbean.  My wife was very supportive
even though we already had a ten day family vacation planned for mid 
April in Puerto Vallarta plus Dayton was the weekend before the WPX.  In
addition, I started a new assignment at work in April that represented
a career change.

After exchanging several E-mails with Larry (KE2VB),  I had a relatively
good understanding of the installation and the items I needed to bring.
This was capped by an eyeball conversation in Dayton where I got a dump
on propagation, strategy, and non ham activities.  His enthusiasm was
clearly evident.

I decided to bring a TL-922 amplifier along plus a number of incidentals.
The station already has a resident FT1000D.  I have the same radio at home
so could be relatively certain that I had all of the right cables and
connectors.  The Amplifier was just too heavy to carry on so I removed the
tubes and checked the amplifier as baggage.  Upon arrival in St. Croix
all of the bags arrived except the amp.  Upon investigation I was told 
that due to a weight imbalance, the box was still in San Juan and would 
be on the next flight in an hour.  Once again, the box was not on that
flight either due to the same imbalance.  I was then informed that "boxes"
were the lowest priority items and would be removed whenever this weight
situation occurs.  In addition, they will only deliver luggage that 
arrives late but will not do the same for boxes.  At this point my wife
offered that we should go to the house and she would go back and get
the amp.

The drive to the station consisted of a 15 minute hill climb to a location
that defies description.  Although I had seen pictures of the place and 
heard various descriptions, nothing came close to actually capturing
the full impact of the site.  It is billed as the highest residence on
the island but it absolutely towers over all of St. Croix.  It seemed like
we were still on the plane.

I immediately started assembling the station.  Larry has done an excellent
job with the place.  There is a 40' aluminum tower with a Force 12 C4-XL
and several wire antennas for 80 and 160.  All of the wire antennas and
feedlines were all coiled and ready for assembly at the foot of the 
tower.  Since it was only my wife and I, I set up the station in the
second bedroom about 10 feet from the tower.  All of the cables came 
through a sliding glass door to an operating position that faced north.
While operating, it was very inspiring to look out over nothing but water
for 180 degrees.  Actually, the water is over a mile away but at an 
elevation of about 900 feet, it seemed like I was right on the ocean.
I had the beam, rotor, and FT1000 set up by the time my wife returned
with the amplifier (and a bent luggage cart).  It was Wednesday and, after
a couple hours, the station was all set except for the 80/160 meter 

Larry has dipoles available for both 80 and 75 set up as full slopers and 
an inverted vee for 160.  In additional, there was a 160 inverted L that
was a surprise.  After some thought, I was not happy with the sloping
dipoles facing SE or SW.  I decided to just use the 80 dipole as an
inverted vee expecting that the awesome location would make this antenna
work.  For 160, I was not very optimistic so I simply connected up the
inverted L but never actually used it to make any contacts.  

By mid morning on Thursday, I was all set and just need to do a little 
listening to get some feel for propagation.  Did a couple hours of 
listening over next few days at various key times (sunrise, sunset,
mid morning, mid afternoon).  Basically, my understanding was that
there was a Europe and JA opening on 20 shortly after sunrise and
then the bands went quiet until after noon.  In the afternoon there
was Europe on  15 and 20 with 40 starting around 6PM.  Other than 
that, I was just going to wing it.

On Friday morning, the permanent resident at the house arrived with fresh
gas for the generator.  I knew the generator existed but I really had no
great desire to actually use it.  I asked the guy how often the power 
goes out and got dead silence.  Eventually, he replied "not often, about
every ten days."  At this point I decided it was worth a generator 
lesson.  Not only did it have conventional 110 outlets, Larry had
made a 220 cable as well so full operations could be maintained in the 
of a power loss.

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