Scott Babb sbabb at lpub.com
Mon Jul 13 23:00:36 EDT 1998

WA1VHT 1998 IARU HF Championship
Single Operator, All Band, Phone Only, High Power
ITU Zone 8 - Merrimack, NH USA

All reports sent were "59 08"

        CW             PHONE           Total           ZN  HQ  Mults
BAND    QSOs    Pts    QSOs    Pts     QSOs    Pts
160     0       0         2       2       2       2     1   1     2
80      0       0        30      48      30      48     5   5    10
40      0       0        36      98      36      98    11  12    23
20      0       0       297     943     297     943    26  20    46
15      0       0       136     452     136     452	   20  19    39
10      0       0        13      49      13      49     6   2     8

Total:  0       0       514    1592     514	   1592    69  59   128

HOURS OPERATED 23  (minus breaks for food input and output)

1592    X   128    =      203776
points      multipliers   score

Station Info:

Transceiver: Icom 751A
Amplifier:   Amp Supply LK-500ZC
Tuner:       Dentron MT-3000
Antenna:     Radio Works Carolina Windom 160 Special
DSP:         Timewave 599zx
Log S/W:     Writelog v9.08

SOAPBOX (WARNING: My voice may be shot, but I can type forever!)

Started 1/2 hour late, finished 1/2 hour early.  Didn't get enough
sleep the night before (the LK-500ZC arrived Friday night.)

Murphy's appearance was in the form of a tree branch that picked
this particular windy day to make intermittant contact with one side
of the Carolina Windom.  The SWR meter got a workout!

The Carolina Windom is a great antenna, but I probably would have
changed bands more often if I'd had resonant antennas on each band.
Re-tuning for each band change was a bit time-consuming, since the
Murphy-branch made the tuning different each time I changed bands.
I only managed to get it to about 4:1 on 160 meters, so I had to
run <200 watts to keep the tuner from arcing.  Of course, the branch
cleared at about 1100Z and I could get a nice 1:1 tuning on 160 then,
when the band was nearly useless.  I also need to get this antenna 
higher.  The line isolator is only about 4 meters above the ground.

I should have run more.  A voice keyer would probably have helped.
Every time that I ran on 20 meters, I got decent results for at least
15-20 minutes.  Probably the best opportunity I had (wall-to-wall
signals on 20m) I couldn't find anything remotely resembling a clear
frequency to run, so I stuck to S&P.  That probably cost me.

I almost packed it in at about 0630Z, but then I worked WB1GEX and
he informed me that he intended to keep me from repeating my section
win from last year.  Of course I was now duty-bound to at least try
to give him a run for his money ;-)  I haven't heard how he made out.

I expected a lot more Asian Russians.  I hear them all the time, but
it looks like they weren't on during the contest.  I missed most of
the Asian Russia zones.  I took zero points for only 1 QSO: RK3AWL at
0409Z, because I was pretty sure he didn't copy my call or zone.

I wound up explaining what the contest was and how it worked several
times, and I heard quite a few others doing the same.  Maybe we made
a few converts in the process!  Time-consuming, though.

I couldn't seem to get through to a few (Singapore, Japan, S. Korea),
but I did manage to work a few countries I'd never worked: Turkey,
Malta, American Samoa, and Uganda.  I never found all of the stations
from New Caledonia that I worked last year.

The longer I operated, the more I used the Timewave DSP.  Mostly it
was for random noise reduction (especially on 80 and 160), but the
heterodyne killer and the variable high and low-pass filters came
in handy, too.

Wish List:  A beam.  A voice keyer (I'll probably use the cool
sound-card VK built into Writelog.)  A computer monitor that isn't
S9+ on 15 and 10 meters (the XYL raised an eyebrow at the aluminium
screen bonnet it sprouted in the middle of the contest.)  A way to
cut down that #$^%& branch!  More antennas.  Does anyone have any
info on slinky (or other short) beverages?

Fun as always!

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