[3830] ARRL 10 Meter Contest

Roderick M. Fitz-Randolph w5hvv at aeneas.net
Mon Dec 15 11:37:32 EST 1997

    Callsign Used : N5HV
         Operator : N5HV

         Category : SO HP Fone Only

 Default Exchange : 59TN

        Team/Club : Tennessee Contest Group

   BAND   Raw QSOs   Valid QSOs   Points   Mults   Countries

   10SSB     815         815      1630      89        38

 Totals      815         815      1630      89        38

    Final Score = 145,070 points.  Hrs. worked = 26.5

Best rate was 160/hour about 30 minutes into the contest...
Unfortunately it didn't last too terribly long.
Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Murphy, and the 10 little Murphies all came and
visited!  It was simply not destined for me to put in a winning

First, the rotor for the TH7DXX at 132' went blind: it worked but I
had to time it from quadrant to quadrant and/or run outside and look
up to see where it was pointed and then readjust.

Second, the 7/8" hardline (which wasn't quite long enough by 50 feet
to reach the shack .. and which was buried, decided to part company
with the pigtail... 2 feet underground.  That made me think I had
blown the amplifier for awhile.... which I couldn't understand,
because I sure wasn't abusing it.  When I found out I had a
discontinuity on the heliax, I had to jump in the car, go to the
storage facility, get the 100 feet of RG-213 I won as a door prize
at Dayton last year, couple it with some disreputable coax I had
laying around (after putting some cheap connectors bought at a hamfest
fleamarket - that were too small) on all the ends and finding some
barrels and inserting them at the appropriate places, ran it down the
long hallway, through the kitchen and sitting room, out the back door
and across the yard to the tower.  After about 2 and a half hours, I
was back on the air.  Unfortunately, it was prime time that was lost.

Finally, the software quit scoring.  Fortunately, it logged all the
entries but it sure wouldn't let me know how I was doing!!

And then there were all the little Murphies running amuck but I won't
bother you with the little stuff!

Anyhoooo, despite the mishaps, I enjoyed it.  Just sort wished that I
had been the only hindrance to my scores...... in a way, I guess I was.
Most of that could have been prevented when I installed the stuff!

An interesting note:  The TH7DXX at 132' outperformed the KT-34A at
72' consistently save one notable exception and that was only for a
very short period of time after which the top antenna regained its
sovereign operating position by a good 5-10 dB.

I actually piled up some good runs on Friday night to the Northeastern

It was very interesting to note that I made a number of contacts using
the Geminids meteor shower at 1000Z on Saturday morning.  The burst came
frequently enough and were profoundly strong enough to allow some
contacts to rise up out of the noise floor to an S6-S8 level for
comfortable identification.  Unfortunately, they were not as often as
I'd have liked.

The band seemed to oscillate between almost-completely-dead (at which
time I'd snooze for about an hour) and much-more-lively for about an
hour or so...

A crazy event happened in which LU6ETB (at about 1545Z on Sunday) was
60-70 db stronger to the Northwest than he was to the Southeast (he was
30 over nine on the meter for about 15 minutes, long path, on the KT-34A
and very, very weak on the TH7DXX, short path.  I checked with the KT-34
on short path but it confirmed the TH7DXX).  At the same time, LU6ETB
was raving about how unbelievably strong some station he was talking
to, was.  At 1556Z, it was back to normal - a very strong signal to the
Southeast and much weaker off the back of the beam... anyone else notice
that phenomena?

I also experienced one-way skip (of which I've often been most skeptical
about in the past) in my communications with the Northeastern U.S.  I
repeatedly got glowing signal reports of S9+++ from stations that were
right down in the noise and extremely hard to hear.

Rod, N5HV

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