Bob Patten n4bp at shadow.net
Fri Oct 25 05:03:57 EDT 1996

                             1996 QRP ARCI CONTEST

     Call used: N4BP/VP9 					Location: VP9
     Category: Single Op High Band 	Mode: CW 		Power: 5W
     Callsign of Operator: N4BP
     Exchanged Information: N4BP/VP9 RST VP9 3412
     Hours of Operation: 14:16

     band 	QSOs 	points 	mults
     ====	====	======	=====
      20 	 263 	  7070 	   74
      15 	  10 	   315 	    9
     ====	====	======	=====
     TOTAL 	 273      7385 	   83            SCORE: 612,955

     Comments:  TS-430S, 4 band trapped vertical
I arrived in Bermuda on Wednesday afternoon, October 16.  Before the Radio
Society of Bermuda's banquet at 7PM, I managed to get the station set up
at my Palmetto Bay Hotel cottage and made three QSO's on 20 meters.  The
first was California and the second England;  these were replies to my
CQ's and seemed very encouraging in that conditions might be decent for my

        During Thursday and Friday, I intended running at the 100 watt
level which I did for 170 Q's on 20m.  But on Friday during a respectable
run on 10m (mostly New England), the rig smoked and the power dropped to
the QRP level.  For a while, it intermittantly jumped back and forth from
100w to 5w, but finally could muster no more than 5w.  The propagation was
good on 10m however, and the run continued until I finally decided to give
it up and see some of the island on the scooter provided to me by VP9ID. 
The final tally from my "casual" operating on Thursday and Friday was: 

     band 	cw QSOs 	ssb QSOs
     ====	=======		========
      40 	   28 		     0
      20 	  170 		    22
      15 	   17 		     0
      10 	    0 		   105
     ====       =======	        ========
     TOTAL 	  215 	  	   127 		342 Q's

        On Saturday at 1200Z, I began operation in the QRP A.R.C.I. Fall
QSO Party.  For the first couple of hours, the European QSOs far
outnumbered the U.S. contacts.  I suppose this was because I was in the
Atlantic time zone and had an earlier sunrise than the states.  The
weather all day Saturday was horrible with heavy rains and high winds.  I
felt fortunate since I planned to be indoors anyhow, and the bands still
sounded reasonably quiet.  Fifteen and ten were a bust.  Fifteen only
produced 10 Q's and ten provided none.  Since I was to have a busy day
Sunday with the return flight and then had to work overnight Sunday, I
decided to forego forty meters and get some sleep.  An even wiser choice
would have been to enter single band on twenty meters instead of high
        Some notes on the antenna.  Almost thirty years ago, I was given a
scrap Hy-Gain beam (a DB- something or other) as a bonus when I bought a
Heathkit Apache linear amp from a co-worker.  I salvaged the traps and
some pieces of aluminum to construct a four band vertical.  For forty
meters, I use a Hustler mobile resonator.  This ugly antenna has been on
many Field Days in the Florida Keys, to Cape Cod, San Francisco, the
Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and now to Bermuda.  Prior to this trip, I used a
hacksaw to reduce the antenna to pieces no longer than 18 inches so that I
could fit it in a suitcase.  With an engraving tool, I numbered the
sections so that I could easily reassemble it.  I also brought eight
pre-cut radials, two for each of the four bands.  Near the end of the
party, VE3VA commented to me that my signal was as strong as from home. 
This didn't surprise me as I've seen this phenomonon before.  When using
this vertical from the Keys, it is also set up by the water at ground
level and outperforms my 45 foot high tri-band beam at home. 

        My entire station fit into one carry-on suitcase, but was
incredibly heavy.  This proved to be a major problem in navigating the
Atlanta airport for connecting flights going to and returning from
Bermuda.  But all the equipment survived, even after the puff of smoke
from the TS-430S on Friday.  The Radio Society of Bermuda treated me
royally!  Glenn, VP9ID made most of the arrangements including the loan of
one of his scooters to tour the island.  Mike, VP9KK and his twin brother
Manny took me to and from the banquet and general meeting, and Larry,
VP9MZ ran me to the airport for the return trip.  All in all, a memorable
trip thanks to the Radio Society, the Bermuda Department  of Tourism, and the
people of Bermuda.  I hope to return again at a future date. 
Bob Patten, N4BP

FAQ on WWW:               http://www.contesting.com/3830faq.html
Submissions:              3830 at contesting.com
Administrative requests:  3830-REQUEST at contesting.com
Problems:                 owner-3830 at contesting.com
Sponsored by:             Akorn Access, Inc & KM9P

More information about the 3830 mailing list