[3830] K3MM SS Phone SOHP (long version)

Tyler Stewart k3mm at erols.com
Tue Nov 18 00:27:28 EST 1997

                         1997 ARRL NOVEMBER SWEEPSTAKES

     Call used: K3MM                                          Location: MDC

     Category: Single Op All Band         Mode: PHONE           Power: 1500

     Hours of Operation: 24:00

     band      QSOs     points
     160          0          0
      80        878       1756
      40        552       1104
      20        410        820
      15         11         22
      10         14         28
     TOTAL     1865       3730   X   79 multipliers  =  294,670

     Club or Team Name: Potomac Valley Radio Club


 Not quite a personal record for this contest.  As usual for phone,
80 meters was THE BAND from here, although not quite as good as usual.  I got
into too much trouble with the good 'ol boys from 5 land this time, which
kept my rate in check the whole evening.  I found 40 poor during the night...
it really came alive during the day, but not with the rates of previous years.
The low dipole on 40 was the daytime staple...far outperforming the higher
antennas according to signal reports and the rate meter, although RX was
usually better on another antenna.  I had a nice run on 20 as the sun went
down on Sunday, which salvaged an otherwise dismal high band performance (but
typical from here).

 I only had one partial failure the whole weekend.  A new 2el wire beam
on 40 developed a bad connection on RX only!  The amp was still unchanged, but
RX levels dropped almost 40 db.  This occured slowly and sounded like corona
on RX for a while.  I saw some wierd things happening to the SWR on my 80 inv
as well, so I think I'll be doing some rebuilding for CQWW CW.

 I had to laugh (almost) when guys would come on frequency and ask
to QSY up or down "a few kcs".  I think my new canned response is going to be
"you go find me a "clear" frequency and I'll move there".  Mostly you have to
learn to survive with 1 kc or less.  At one point on 80 some guy plopped down
on my frequency on 80 and started calling and just wouldnt leave.
I was still running at a very good rate for the end of the contest, and this
was actually working a few, although his rate was very poor.  This skips zones
were different enough, even on 80 that it worked out to a point.  The "high"
point on 80 was when some net was trying to fire up 1.5 kc below me on 40 and
some jerk told me I was 12 kcs wide.  I said I doubted it and asked him what
frequency he was on that I was interfering with...of course at 1.5 kc away, he
was going to have a bit of trouble!  He then went on a tyrade about his being
an OO, blah blah blah.  Of course shortly thereafter, the jamming started.
Thank the radio gods for inventing DSP notch filters ( about the only  DSP
thing of great value so far).

 I've decided 2 TX'ers is of little value on phone for this one.
Good run frequencies are too hard to find and hold to let them go for the long
exchange on the other radio.  In addition, the rates of S&P on 2 radios is too
poor on phone to be competitive (not even close unless it's the start of the
contest where you can call any noise you here).  The second RX is nice to see
how the rest are doing and finding VY1JA or, in my case, KP2D for the last

 Well, I'm going to try CQWW CW SOHP this time (well, I think so!).
Hopefully this year I'll only get 2 hours of sleep because I was operating
instead of running to the hospital to take care of a relative!  The new tower
is mostly up but unpopulated, so will at least try to hang a couple of new
for the low bands before the test.

73, Ty K3MM (ex KF3P)

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