w5robert at blkbox.com
Wed Mar 11 23:13:19 EST 1998
ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST 1998
Call: 8P9P Country:
Mode: SSB Category: SO HP
BAND QSO QSO PTS STATES/PROV
160 94 282 27 dipole abt 70'
80 369 1107 51 dipole abt 56'
40 695 2085 58 3 elements abt 80'
20 1800 5400 59 TH6 at 56'
15 1376 4128 58 "
10 1488 4464 54 " & 5
element abt 90'
Totals 5822 17466 307 = 5,362,062
TS850SAT w/ IRI filter & DVP, MLA2500B w/ tuned input board,
CT version 8 on 486 laptop. One beverage about 330 degrees.
94/27 369/51 695/58 1800/59 1376/58 1488/54 5822/307
Flew down on Wednesday before the contest. My 13 year
old son had always wanted to travel and I offered that
if his teachers agreed, he could go. He got there.
This was also my first ARRL test as DX. We arrived
late on the island about 10:30 pm and elected to use a
taxi to get to the site at Warleigh plantation. Next
day we set up the rig and amp and try them out
checking antenna SWR and marking band settings on the
amp. Precontest we have to shorten the 80 meter
dipole for SSB and get the 160 beverage out. We get a
rental car & go to get the 8P9P license. During the
island tour we find a 450KW wind generator up on the
NE side of the island. An impressive land mark near
new and out of service, I believe due to politics.
The contest was an amazing experience for me. I was
impressed with the quality of operators that called.
I was extremely tired however from too much site
seeing. The sleep issue hurt and slowed my ability to
run. The QRN on 160 is bad and my total counters on
that band shows it.
I also try some of my other contest training and try
moving counters on Monday to 10. This is a good plan
when it works but about 4 of the attempts fail. This
costs about 10 minutes per failed attempt. On 160 the
MLA will not fully tune out - even though I added
another turn to the output coil at home site, it still
wasn't enough. So on 160 I feel that my signal is not
LOUD. On 20 the MLA & TH6 give me a different
impression of being LOUD in the USA.
One of my favorite items of ARRL test from home is to
put up a 160 antenna for the test and see how many
stations (mainly Caribbean type from Texas) I can work
on six bands. I find on this outing that several
other enjoy this practice of seeing how many bands
they can work a station on.
1. I find a clear spot on 20. This is amazing. I
get the CQ machine going but can hardly get 2 QSO's
complete before I'm informed why 14.230 is clear. I
find moving 3 khz will still get wrath of the SSTV
crew. I move on.
2. I am operating on 20 at another frequency when a
group that has a regular skid there start their skid.
First they call each other until about 4 are there.
Then they just start off raging together with only a
few remarks about the contest. I think it's their
frequency and some contest will not slow down their
skid. I move on.
3. I'm running stations and ask "the station with 'a'
in the callsign again." 3 reply. I start working
them and after the 2nd station I get a lecture on not
giving my callsign. The lecturing station explains
that I should always give my callsign after each QSO
and that I'm WASTING HIS TIME by not doing that. This
goes on for about 2 minutes. I punch F1 ("8P9P") and
continue with the pileup. (the teaching of always
give your callsign has worked guys - to a fault)
This is highest score I've made in a test. I now
understand the requirements & work to do such. My
highest regards to those running the high rates. I
can hardly wait to try again with perhaps more SLEEP!
Sorry if I faded during our QSO!
The question during the test that seemed difficult to
answer was: where are you?
This normally in a great run. (how would you handle
this??) If I said: Barbados, then
questioner would say: no no which part of the island?
If I said answered Warleigh first, they'd say what
I think some guys just didn't want spend time to look
We met and talked with 8P6CV while on the island.
This operator has contests in his plans.
Thanks for your help for this trip Stephen. Also
thanks to k4fj & k3kg for use of such a good site!
W0GJ for equipment help and planning ideas. Many
others who had operated 8P also put in ideas. My son
was a good traveler and understood the contest rules -
he was chief cook :>). If I can get him to get a
higher class license we can try MS sometime.
73! Robert W5AJ at P40W
PS: P40W has posted his score. IMPRESSIVE! &
NEWS: On the flight home we get to read a Barbados
paper. There is a one page article about Puerto
Ricans protesting missile launches on their island.
These launches (known as Coqui Two) release chemicals
into the different layers of the atmosphere to test
their effect on communications and radio. The HAARP
experiments in Alaska were also mentioned. It says
there were launches Wednesday last week (before the
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