ZL2DX m/op ARRL10, story (long)
w.knol at niwa.cri.nz
Tue Dec 16 22:27:12 EST 1997
ARRL 10 METER CONTEST -- 1997
Call: ZL2DX Country: New Zealand
Category: Multi Op
MODE QSO QSO PTS STATES COUNTRIES
CW 928 3712 49 49
SSB 700 1400 48 34
Totals 1628 5112 97 83 = 920,160
All reports sent were 59(9), unless otherwise noted.
QSL: to ZL2DX via the bureau.
Operator List: ZL2AGY ZL2DX ZL2BSJ
Venue: Barry's Woolshed, Long Ridge.
ZL2DX ARRL 10 METER CONTEST Multi Single 14 Dec 1997 1659z
North America CW 565 34.3
South America CW 1 0.1
Europe CW 112 6.8
Asia CW 230 14.0
Africa CW 0 0.0
Oceania CW 34 2.1
North America SSB 389 23.6
South America SSB 3 0.2
Europe SSB 28 1.7
Asia SSB 230 14.0
Africa SSB 0 0.0
Oceania SSB 55 3.3
Propagation was better at the start of the contest, with good signals
across the Pacific, from JA and from the US during the first 6
hours of the contest, and good Eu starting in the (local) evening.
Only a few VE were heard and worked.
The Eu started off with RA0JD early (local) Sa evening, followed by
RX9's, UR and then I, F etc. Lots of good Eu was worked on a due West
path from ZL2 until half past midnight local time.
The band opened again at 06:00 local time Su morning as a huge,
red sun popped up over the Eastern hills from the South Pacific,
lighting up the inside of the woolshed shack through the
I had been up since 05:00,trying to kick-start the brain with cups of
instant coffee, killing time by admiring the amazing sunrise views
from the loading platform and reading tips for multi/singles
(m/s amateur radio stations that is :-) from CQ Contest magazine.
The run rig I had parked on 28.200 with the beam pointing to the US,
the spotting radio was scanning 28.400-28.500 with a vertical
connected to it. The big US contest stations won: the spotting radio
started spluttering first, well before the W6WX and KH6WO beacons
Once again good rates were run up by Tony ZL2AGY on CW and Chris
ZL2DX on phone when they turned up soon afterwards. The US was
very good right up till 1 PM local time. JA was worked in the
afternoon, but wasn't as fast as the day before.
The second night didn't go so well for us. JA had become very
faint by Su 05:00 UTC, and the band basically died for a couple of
hours. The Europeans were back again on the short path, but not
until 07:30 UTC, 2.5 hours later than the night before, and in
general signals were pretty weak. By about 10:00 UTC the band once
again went dead, but my hopes for an early night were dashed when
it came alive again to Eu an hour later with DL6RAI (outstanding
sigs), F5PGP, 9A1A and others. G and PA were not heard.
The next morning (Mo local time) I was up at 05:00 (loc.) again. No
nice sunrise that time, instead the wind had got up overnight
rattling the roof and sliding door. It was back to reading more M/S
tips and jolting of the system with caffeine as the 10 m band took a
little sleep-in. Tony turned up for the early morning shift and had
to wait an hour for the band to open to the US.
By now we had cottoned on to what was happening and were becoming
seriously alarmed over a large number of missing states, in
particular on SSB, mainly W0 and W1, and most of the VE provinces.
Clearly it was the right time for a Blind Panic. As Tony worked on
the CW I tried to spot the missing SSB mults and work them from the
2nd rig. Like headless chickens we ended up abandoning good CW runs
to pop up on SSB to attack unsuspecting W0 and W1's. It paid off, the
missing CW mults were worked in the runs, and some of the missing
SSB states mopped up by QSY-ing.
The signals were initially good but started fading out soon after the
band opened. Three hours before the end Tony disappeared to go to
work and the band once again fell flat. SSB had become a write-off,
too weak to be of any use. I ended up calling CQ on CW, having worked
every audible signal on the band and finished up at a QSO rate of
15/hr, unable to move the score over the 1 Meg mark. With Chris and
Tony gone to work, it was a single op finish and I had to do the
patting on the back bit myself with a wool shovel, repeatedly saying
'wel done, well done', in true team building style.
States missed on CW: DC, NM, IA, ND
States missed on SSB: NE, NH, RI, VT, DC, SD
Was DC on at all??
VE was even tougher to work, we only got on CW: PQ, ON, NB and AB
On SSB we worked PQ, ON, BC and AB.
In hindsight we should have chased these mults a bit harder earlier
on in the piece, or asked for a K4MA-style QSY. Thanks for W7VPN/QRP
for the Nevada CW mutiplier in the last 60 seconds of the contest.
And to the ARRL for organising an excellent contest.
Wilbert, ZL2BSJ (@ ZL2DX)
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