[3830] HC8A IARU M/S -- Long

Stephen Merchant merchant at garlic.com
Thu Jul 16 19:23:48 EDT 1998

This report is subtitled "Field Day at Don Guido's."

Trey, N5KO was at HC8 to do antenna work and scout locations for a new
station -- Rich, N6KT decided to join him.  Trey invited me down to "hang
out", so Rich and I timed our trips so we could also do IARU if that worked

One of the main reasons for moving from (our host) Guido's HC8GR qth is
line noise.  It has gotten worse over the years and by this trip it was
very often between S6 and S9+40, depending on time of day and frequency.
Outside the contest, Trey and I logged about 5,000 q's, almost 90% of which
were made running 100w and using an antenna we dubbed "The Guido Special"
-- a B&W pre-fab all-band folded dipole whose center was at about 55' --
something Guido uses to talk to ships in the area.  According to our
resident antenna expert, W6NL, it is only 30% efficient, but it sure
handled the noise.  We just couldn't hear very well on the yagis and longer

Since N5KO and I are such total computer geniuses, we naturally waited
until the very last millisecond Friday night to hook up the computer
network.  And just as naturally we could not get it to work.  So we made a
last-minute logging program switch that didn't make N6KT too happy (he
hates changes.)  The network worked flawlessly, though.

All day and early evening Saturday we flogged away, looking for bands where
we could hear.  Rich generated his usual incredible rates on phone, and I
alternated with him on cw and once on phone.  (Talk about feeling a little
pressure for a cw guy, trying to get the hourly rate meter above 265 with
KT looking over your shoulder...:-)..)  Trey took a few spins during the
first 12 hours, but he was more interested in a siesta and saving himself
for the last six hours.

In the HC8 time zone the IARU contest starts at 0600 local.  Students of
HC8A and HC8N lore will recall that the power is turned off at midnight and
back on at 0600 each day.  The generator that Rich and Trey use in contests
had been serviced in Quito and was ready to be returned.  However, the
airline serving San Cristobal with daily flights raised some local fares,
there were protests and flights were cancelled for a few days.  Our Quito
host Pedro, HC1OT could not ship the generator in time for IARU.

We knew we would lose power at midnight, so at 6 p.m. Guido rigged up the
battery from his van with a charger so we'd be ready to switch over.  He
also dug up a 12v light from somewhere that was a real llifesaver.
Midnight came and we switched to dc.  Rich suggested we crank power down to
50w, so we did.  Laptops were on internal batteries.  We had respectable
rates (107, 123, 172) on 20cw for the next three hours, running 50w to the
high EU yagi.  (Now that the power was off, the noise had gone away --
duh...)  The first laptop expired a little before three hours had gone --
the second one went for about 1.5 hours -- the last 90 minutes or so of the
contest Trey logged by hand.  I was busy taking apart a dvm to get its 9V
battery for the outboard keyer when he remembered there was an internal
keyer in the TS850.

Thanks to everyone for all the Q's -- we all hope we weren't being total
alligators the whole contest.  Congrats to the guys who turned in some
incredible single op scores, esp. LT1F!!

Callsign Used:  HC8A      QTH:  Galapagos Islands
Category:  Multi-Single   Exchange:  599 12

   BAND   Raw QSOs   Valid QSOs   Points   Mults   Zones

  160CW        6           6         30       0         6
   80CW       29          29        131       2         9
   40CW      503         492       2374      18        22
   40SSB       2           2          2       1         0
   20CW      519         516       2540       8         4
   20SSB     560         553       2673      13        24
   15CW      557         549       2688       6         8
   15SSB     738         733       3615      11        21
   10CW        1           1          1       1         0
   10SSB     368         363       1777       4        14

 Totals     3283        3244      15831      64       108

    Final Score = 2722932 points.

Operators:  N6KT, N5KO, K6AW
Club Affiliation:  Northern California Contest Club

Station 1:  TS830, AL-1200
Station 2:  TS850, AL-1200
Antennas:  the usual yagis and wires, augmented by HC8GR Special

73, Steve K6AW

p.s.  The first antenna at the new site will be another Guido Special...

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