K3WWP's CQ WW 160 QRP Results or the Saga of ? and AGN

John H Shannon johns at bankswith.apollotrust.com
Sun Jan 26 23:08:47 EST 1997

Hi everyone,

It was good to hear from you after my last report. Here's my third contest
report. I understand the Reflector had technical problems and this didn't
get through the first time so I am resending it. Hope this isn't a

K3WWP's Contest Station

I operate 'pure' QRP (and CW only) with an actual radiated power
around 5 W using the following:

Transmitter: Homebrew tube rig with a 6Y6 final amplifier
Transmitter Power Output: 5 W on all bands
Antennas: 160/80/40/15 - Random wire with apex 30 ft high
          20 - Ground mounted vertical dipole
          10 - Sloping dipole with center 20 ft high
Receiver: ICOM R71A       Transmatch: Homebrew
Keyer: CMOS Super Keyer II with a homebrew paddle

QTH: On a small lot in a town in a river valley.

On this Super Bowl Sunday it is appropriate to compare my contest results
with those of any AFC team in the Super Bowl over the past 10 or so years.
(Sorry, Patriot fans - maybe your team can end the drought). Well, now I
 know they didn't cause it's after the game as I am resending this. I
haven't done
so poorly in a contest in ages. My 'pure' QRP just wasn't cutting it this
time around. I had a goal of 260 QSO's and didn't even make 50% of that.

I have never had so many '?' or 'agn' responses to my calls (if I got
anything at all). Even the regular contesters who copy me easily all the
time were not hearing me this time around. I know a lot of stations were
complaining about QRN so maybe that was the problem. Certain areas of the
country were hearing me fairly well (WI, MN, MI) while others were
impossible to work (mostly the SE). It was so frustrating I just gave up at

To make matters even worse, my 30+ years old VFO started to act up and jump
in frequency so I had to tear it apart a couple of times during the
contest. Still don't have the problem completely solved. I think the
bearings/wipers on the variable capacitor are finally wearing out.

I want to thank each and every one who did manage to pull my signals
through. You've got great 'ears'. Thanks also to the couple of stations who
initially had my call wrong, and took the time to correct it after I called
them again.

Speaking of that, I know we do forget sometimes in the heat of battle, but
if you initially copy a call wrong, please send the correct call before you
complete the QSO.  A few stations had me initially as K3WWW or K3WWG, etc.,
then after I sent my correct call again and my exchange, they came back
simply with QSL, R, TU, and never did send my correct call. I still am not
sure how they logged me. And with QRP, it is hard to get back to the
station to check with them.

Not much more to say about this contest, except after my poor performance,
it is going to be a long wait till December and the next 160M test to try
to redeem myself.

My final score (I'm not sure I want to give it. Well,.....OK)

About 8 hrs of agony yielded 117 QSO's, 252 QSO Pts, 25 Mults, 6300 points
(down from 16K last year)

If you want to learn more about my ham adventures with 'pure' QRP, come
visit K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities on the web at:

73, John, K3WWP

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