K1to at K1to at
Sun Jan 12 23:30:18 EST 1997

K1TO/4  NAQP CW 1997

160 - 1/1
 80 - 55/25
 40 - 154/40
 20 -  84/36
 15 -  37/20
 10 -  37/17
total - 368/139 = 51,152  
7.5 hours 
Florida Contest Group

The FCG has made a push for this contest in recent years and since I was
already hanging my head in shame for not entering either the ARRL 10 or 160
tests to generate some points, I felt the time had come.

1500Z Saturday AM - arrive at the Sarasota hamfest.  Ron, WD4AHZ and George,
AE4MH continue the FCG pressure to get on.  I search for an all-band vertical
and find one at none other than kr4TO's table.  The TO suffix nets me an
additional break on the price and I'm now a proud owner of a Hustler 6BTV

1700Z - Ron explains the exchange to me over 2M on our way to touring the new

1800Z - contest begins (without me)

1805Z - begin to assemble the vertical, not knowing if all the pieces are
even here.  Hmmm.  I can put this thing up with NO radials!

1900Z - vertical assembled.  Locate old closet pole and pound it into the
sand for the support rod, since I have no 1 1/2" boom sections.  Locate some
already pig-tailed coax and "install" it.

1915Z - try to key the '930 and get a solid tone.  Hmmm.  Check all the
wiring and looks OK.  Rip the keyer open and find that one leg of a capacitor
somehow broke loose from the circuit board.  

1945Z - look everywhere for the keying line from the computer to the rig.
 All the boxes are unpacked from the move, but it's nowhere to be found.
 Decide to send everything by hand.  .  

2000Z - begin to tune the vertical, beginning with 10M.  Second attempt seems
to make things a lot worse, so I decide to see who can hear me.

2021Z - first QSO is W5NN, sending Sluggo and asking for repeats, even though
he's the strongest station on 15 by far.  Wonder how many ways Sluggo can be
spelled and prepare for the worst, in case there's a whole team of Sluggos.

2026Z - have called dozens of stations, all of whom CQ in my face.  Finally
get K0RX on 20 to hear me for QSO #2.  

2031Z - 2 QSOs in the log in 10 minutes.  Decide that this is a waste and to
try to tune the vertical better.  Discover that the coax twisted while
raising the vertical and was shorted!!  

2041Z - now this is better!  VE3EJ hears me right away on 10.  Good sign.
 I'm actually being heard.  Off to the races... Averaging over 70/hour S&Ping
with only one or two answers to CQs.  Still lots of guys CQing in my face,
but interestingly, I'm working some guys on 10 & 15 that are barely audible
here.  Begin to wonder whether the 930 rx needs tweaking or the vertical is
just that good.  N5TJ is weak on 15, but hears me anyway somehow... KB4GID
has a weird signal, then sends "FROG' as the name.  Wonder if he's doing that

2307Z - work N5TJ on 40.  In case I wasn't aware, he sends "PUNY". 

2310Z - 2.5 hours and I'm now at #181.  High bands beginning to fade rapidly
now that it's after sunset and finding that 40 is not as good a band for me.

0005Z - 20 pretty much gone, nobody hears me on 80 and I've picked off the
first wave on 40.  TIme for a break at #219.  Decide to cut some radials to
see if it helps the horrible performance on 80 and the poor performance on

0054Z - little improvement with the radials.  Only 30W on 80M.  Should've
gone QRP!
Much more tedious now hopping across 20/40/80 as if they are one band.  Band
switching requires no antenna/amp/filter changes.  

0300Z - manage to get N5TJ to hear me on 80.  In case I didn't copy it on the
other band, he sends "PUNY".  Maybe I'll use that as my name on SSB!

0351Z - dinner rescues me from the tedium at #333.

0416 - Begin last stretch.  Call my new "neighbor" (30+ miles away) Jon, W4ZW
repeatedly on 40.  Get "?".  Finally get "ND".  Guess that means "NO DICE".  

0457Z - Bob, N4BP on the other coast of Florida suddenly appears on 80 and is
S9+40 when no other signal peaked over S9+10 all evening!  He even hears me.
 Hear HR3/KS9W call CQ on 3520 with an S9 signal and I pounce.  I'm the only
and he CQs in my face.  

0522Z - decide I've had enough low-band torture and pack it in...

Well, it was a blast to operate from my home station for the first time in
ages.  Never thought the all-band vertical could produce so well.  Wish I had
tape-recorded the contest just to hear how many guys CQed in my face.  On the
other hand, the "good ears" award goes to...lots of guys!

Know that SSB will be more brutal, but might get on and work a few more.  CU

73, Dan, K1TO/4

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