WP2AHW (W2SC op) Score (Part II)

tom georgens tom=georgens%Eng%OpenSys at fishbowl02.lss.emc.com
Fri May 31 09:55:35 EDT 1996

.. Continued from Part 1

I am not a big believer in pre-contest goals but rather I try and focus
on making good decisions and making each minute as productive as possible.
As for strategy, I wanted to press the low bands as hard as possible due
to the double point value even though the attraction to the better rate on 
high bands was hard to ignore.  From there it was just let the rate 
meter choose the band and off time.

I decided to start on 40 and operate just like I was at home in W1.  I
went low in the band, aimed the beam at Europe, and tried to run.  This 
worked very well and I came to the conclusion that operating from the 
Caribbean was much like W1 except that I did not have to press F1 quite
as often.  I ended up on 40 nearly exclusively until my first off time
around 615Z.  I tried several excursions to 80 but could not raise anyone.
I never tried 20 that evening and wondered if I missed some JA opening but
40 was excellent and I was working 80% 6 pointers all night.  The 
Russian and Ukrainian stations were crushing loud.

Got back on at sunrise to a 20M European and JA run.  It was hard to keep
things going through mid morning but tried 15 before noon and the rates
improved.  Most of the Europeans were at the noise floor but were very
workable.  I had this mad hope that, since they were so weak, maybe the
other Caribbean stations could not hear them.  Twenty was excellent in the
afternoon and back to 40 at 22Z.  This time I did come back to 20 for 
one of the few times I ran stateside.  US activity in the WPX is 
poor and I suspect I only beamed stateside for about 5 or 6 hours all 

At the 18 hour point, my score was about 4.7 Meg.  Renowned contester K5ZD
once told me that the final score is roughly twice the halfway score plus
10%.  This is when I set my overall score goal to 10.5Meg.

During that second night I began to have some reservations about my 
strategy.  I had been operating like a W1.  I was low in the band and
focusing on Europe.  It seemed that  whenever I heard my competitors,
they were higher in the band often trying to work stateside.  I was
concerned that being in the extra band was depriving me of US contacts
and I was going to try operating more above .025 on Sunday.  In the end,
I did not feel that I worked that much more US stuff above .025.  I don't
know if my Europe only strategy hurt or helped.  It seemed that rates
were higher beaming Europe below 025 than beaming US above 025.  The W1
instinct made running Europe just seem like the right thing to do.

On Sunday, I had to drain my off time which I did in the slow mid morning
hours.  About 30 minutes into my final 90 minute off time period, I was
watching the Indy 500 to pass the time and the power went out.  When
no amount of swearing would bring the power back I decided it was time to
take a look at the generator.  I put some gas in and it started on the
second pull.  My previous experiences with generators on field day have
not been so successful.  I ran out the 110V lines and got everything but
the amplifier running.  The next step was to try the 220V cable but it
was too short, so I carried the running generator closer to the operating 
position.  All the while I was wondering whether I was going to able hear
anything over the generator noise.  Just as I plugged in the amplifier
I heard my wife yell.  I immediately pulled the plug back out but she
was just trying to tell me that the power had come back on.  I looked at 
the clock and there was still 15 minutes left in the off time.

Once back on I was on 15 and things were slowing down.  AC1O stopped
by and asked about 10 and I said no.  When the time came to change
bands, I  relented and gave 10 a try.  I worked about 40 guys in 25 
minutes including a number of Europeans.  At this point, I decided that
I was DXing and not contesting and went back to 20.

Finished the contest on 20 and 40 with a brief, fruitless stop on 80.
As the end neared I still had not reached 10.5 Meg until KW8N called for
a new multiplier with about 3 minutes to go.

In the course of the weekend I only received a higher number than I
sent on 3 occasions.  LZ9A, 8R30K, and 3V8BB.  Don't know how I 
finished compared to NP4Z, P42V, and 3V8BB but is was a great deal 
of fun, albeit a little frustrating competing from 2 point land. 

Overall rates were consistent with no great hours.  I averaged just 
under 100/hour for the duration with a best hour around 135.  I seem to
remember a 146 hour in this contest from home a couple of years ago. 

Thanks to Larry for the use of his station and I think I may be hooked 
on operating from the DX side.  Where to next?  I am open to ideas
on available contest locations for the ARRL DX or CQWW.

All QSL's for this weekend only go to W2NY

73, Tom W2SC  w2sc at emc.com

BTW - Congratulations to KE2PF on a truly phenomenal score.  I have been
trying to win this contest for years from home as NR1E but have never 
quite gotten there.  A couple of times this weekend I wondered if I 
would have won if I had stayed home.  Upon hearing his score, the answer 
was clearly NO.  His QSO number were close to mine most of the weekend 
which is exceptional from the US.  Fine Job!

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