[3830] AA5NT WPX SSB M/S + El Nino

Naumann, Bob bob.naumann at eds.com
Mon Mar 30 10:56:07 EST 1998

      Call: AA5NT      Country:  United States - North Texas
      Mode: SSB       Category: Multi Single


      160        4        4   1.0        0
       80       43       80   1.9       19
       40       81      444   5.5       17
       20      907     1511   1.7      326
       15      595     1333   2.2      279
       10      136      346   2.5       67
     Totals   1766     3718   2.1      709  =   2,636,062

Operator List: AA5NT, K5PN, W5WW, N5NJ
Support Staff: N5TVL

Equipment Description:
Radio 		: 	FT1000 / AL1200
10,15,20M	: 	3 x Force 12 C3 Stack @ 130/90/50
40M			: 	Force 12 2 el 40 @ 140'
80 and 160 m slopers on top guy station
All above on 140' Rotating Rohn 45 ala K5IU - RTS

Club Affiliation: North Texas Contest Club

AA5NT has been assembling his new station for the past 2 years and this 
was to be the first serious multi-op effort.  We did a true multi-single
only one radio.

As indicated in the title, El Nino did some damage and caused us to be off
the air
from 0300z Friday until about 1400z Saturday morning.  As you can see from 
the antenna description, all the antennas are on one tower.  Unfortunately
us, the short length of RG213 going around rotating point of the tower
(shorted) at about 0330z.  Since we did not know what the failure actually 
was and El Nino was delivering about 40 mph winds at that time, and it 
was quite dark, we decided that it would have to wait until daylight to
the problem.  We know that the El Nino winds caused the cable to fail.

At daybreak, W5WW scaled the tower and removed the initially suspected
coax switch, and we found that the problem was not resolved.  Through using
highly skilled troubleshooting methods, we determined that the feedline was
indeed shorted below the final run of rigid coax going up the top portion of
tower.  We installed a temporary run of new RG213 from ground level up to
point, and got back on the air.

Generally speaking, everything worked very well and we enjoyed some pretty
operating and experienced some incredible conditions.  20 meters is full of
and at times it seemed that we were working the entire globe at once.
During one
15 minute period around 2300z Sunday, we were called by JA's, several
UA types, 9K9K, VU2JNA, 8P9IJ, 9H4B, several PY's and many stateside qsos
with new multipliers.  

Don't you just love this ham radio "stuff" ?

But, what happened Sunday morning ?  It seems that as the sun came up, the
conditions just got worse.  We could not get anything close to what I'd call
a "run" going, and basically had to S&P all day just switching from 20 to 15
to 10 meters and back and forth all day to try to keep things going.
Speaking of
10 meters, 10 was open well after dark here in North Texas on Friday night.
We worked several Pacific stations and actually had a "mini-run" of VK's
between 0115 and 0145.  We also got a surprise by working JA7OWD 
@ 0138Z who was peaking up for us beaming Southwest. 

15 Meters was lackluster but definitely better on Saturday than on Sunday.

We obviously missed out on a good portion of operating time on 40 and 80m
on Friday night as we had not gotten to those bands prior to the feedline
VE3BMV/1 was the only counter heard on 160.  

Packet was a waste of time as throughout the weekend spots were delayed 
up to two hours as they were during the ARRL SSB.  What is the bottleneck ?

I have had the pleasure of operating from many multi-ops and have
some really great (K2GL, W2PV) hospitality at those other people's homes.
AA5NT's wife Marian (N5TVL) thrives on taking care of visitors and made 
us feel better than right at home.  Dick and Marian have no shortage of 
hospitality at their QTH and Marian has set a new high water mark for making

guests feel welcome.  It was a wonderful experience. Thanks !

Respectfully submitted,
N5NJ at CQWW.com

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