[3830] W6XR/2 SOHP CQWW

Natan Huffman force12e at lightlink.com
Tue Dec 2 21:08:18 EST 1997

The results:

                               CQ WW SUMMARY SHEET

    Contest Dates : 29-Nov-97, 30-Nov-97

    Callsign Used : W6XR
         Operator : W6XR

         Category : SOHP

 Default Exchange : 59905

             Name : Natan Huffman
          Address : 27 Hungerford Road
   City/State/Zip : Ithaca/NY/14850
          Country : United States

        Team/Club : Frankford Radio Club

   BAND   Raw QSOs   Valid QSOs   Points   Countries   Zones

  160CW       18          18         40        12         9
   80CW       71          71        180        42        13
   40CW      229         229        660        64        20
   20CW      483         483       1369        74        29
   15CW      465         465       1353        72        23
   10CW       48          47        120        25        13

 Totals     1314        1313       3722       289       107

    Final Score = 1473912 points.

Total Hours operated:	20 Hours

 This is to certify that in the contest I have operated my transmitter
 the limitations of my license and have observed fully the rules and 
 regulations of the contest.

 Date ______________   Signed _____________________________  Call

The Real Story:

Another disappointing weekend brought about by system component failure. 
All the planning, all the work, all the good intentions and this years CQWW
was a bust indeed.  Started out real strong this year and had hopes and
enough adrenelin to keep myself going through Friday night into Sat.
morning.  However Murphy struck big around 6:00 local during a JA run on 40
meters.  After making a fair amount of Qs on 40 suddenly Mr. Alphy tripped
and I definitely had no antenna.  A quick check verified that nothing of
any consequence was connected to the other end of the coax.  Decided to go
to 15/20 and deal with the problem later.  Had good runs on 15 with first
four hours over 135 for each of the four hours.  Went to 20 and good rates
there also.

Did notice the "problem" on 15 and 20 where I was hearing myself propagate
around the world and essentially QRM the first letter of the stations
calling.  It is neat thinking that the signal is actually making it all the
way around the world!  Picked up some good multipliers and progressed
through lunch time when I knew I had to deal with the 40 meter problem.

Went outside and never expected what I found.  The coax run to the 2 el 40
comes up to the center of the antenna and then traverses the boom on its
way to the center of the driven element.  Approximately 5 or 6 feet from
the end of the antenna, the coax is pulled apart and both ends are visibly
frayed as if something pulled on the coax, tearing it apart.  Thought about
this ever since I first noticed it and don't really have any idea what
happened.  We did have high winds the day before the contest (local gusts
of > 82 mph on my anemometer) and had some icing also.  The coax that is
used was replaced this summer and is RG213 at the antenna but does connect
to hardline after a short loop.  Only three scenarios that I can think of
that may have happened.  Perhaps the coax had been contaminated and was
filled with water or something, however, no indication of a change of VSWR
was noted.  The power level I run on 40 is well within the limit, so I
doubt that the specifications of the coax were exceeded.  If this was the
failure mode, I doubt if the cable would be frayed the way it was.

Second idea......local hunter shoots the cable.  It is deer season in
upstate New York, but I don't think it is kosher to hunt before daybreak. 
Also, if someone shot the damn thing, I doubt it would appear to be frayed.
 I do live on a rather isolated hilltop, so don't think I have anyone mad
at me.

Third idea.....and most probable.   Here in upstate NY, we have a very
large indigenous bird called a Great Blue Heron.  A fully grown adult is
quite large with a wingspan of about 8 to 10 feet according to my new
friends at Cornell's department of Ornithology.  I spoke to them and
described my "event" and they agreed that one of the big guys decided to
use my antenna for his private perch.  The Great Blue Heron eats fish and I
have a pond on my property, so it could have been looking for breakfast
from the vintage point of my 40 meter beam/perch at 85'.  The professors at
Cornell said it would have been easy for the critter bird to tear apart
something as flimsy as coax so I guess I am to believe that my CQWW CW
effort was ruined by a damn Great Blue Heron.  Don't know if this is a
first, but it sure is for me.

Now don't get me wrong about providing a nice habitat for the
Heron....although my tastes migrate toward its cousin the Herring...but
what does a bird think he is doing messing with a perfectly good antenna. 
I still cannot believe the weekend was done in by a bird.

Realizing that I had no antenna for 40 deflated me so much that I simply
lost interest in the contest and operated only a little after seeing the
frayed coax.  Guess I should have gone on, but had some personal goals set,
and knew I would not meet those goals without one of my best bands.

Propagation was wonderful and while I was on, I managed to hit the openings
as good as it gets.  Particularly on 15 where so much came in over Europe. 
Told Eu to wait a minute and was surprised at the stations from SE Asia
that were below the European signals.

Thanks to everyone who worked me and I can only say....Wait until next

I plan to remain in mourning for some time as I try to come to terms with
the events of the last weekend.


Natan W6XR

W6XR, located in the heart of the Fingerlakes of New York State is:

160.........1/4 wave vertical with elevated groundplane

 80..........rotatable dipole at 72'

 40.........2 el. bird perch at 85'

20/15/10....stack of C3s at 85 and 45

10.........4 el yagi at 87'

Radio One.......Yaesu FT1000MP and Mr. Alphy/86

Radio Two........Yaesu FT920 and Alphy 374

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

More information about the 3830 mailing list