CQ160 CW - W2GD Multi-Op
w2gd at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 3 12:46:15 EST 1999
Location: U.S. Coast Guard Station, Sandy Hook, NJ
Entry Class: Multi-op High Power
QSOs W/VE DX SCORE
1273 57 59 574,000 points
Operators: K2SQ, K2TW, N2AA, N2NC, W2CG, W1GD, W2GD, W2NO, W2RQ, and
Club Affiliation: Frankford Radio Club
It was obvious from the start that the 1999 CQ160 CW contest would be
different. There generally were fewer stations to work and band
conditions reflected the increased solar activity. It later became
evident that conditions were better in the southern US than in the
After the first night, our total number of DX contacts was down 25 %
compared to 1998. We heard the Europeans working each other just fine
but there were only brief periods when signals peaked sufficiently to
sustain runs, the best time being near EU sunrise. At times we wondered
if the antenna had fallen down. Conditions to the west were not that
great either, as evidenced by few WA and no VE7 stations in the log the
During the day Saturday, W1GD and KB5U came in to operate the "graveyard
shift". Its always amazing that there are stations to work throughout
the contest, but the 8 hours of daylight operation are the most
difficult to stay focused and motivated. Thanks guys for your help.
Saturday evening just before dark N2NC joined the team for "prime time".
Conditions were much better to Europe and we managed to make 200 of our
300+ ten pointers during the course of the second evening. But there
were times it required 4 sets of ears listening to the same station, on
three separate receivers, to pull out a complete callsign. Signals were
often very weak, with deep QSB and some QRN. We're still kicking
ourselves for missing W5XX in Mississippi for a mult (next year Mal).
We were also very disappointed the normal enhancement of DX signals at
EU sunrise didn't materialize. No VK or JA contacts were made, although
we heard both.
This contest is always a big team effort for us and this year was no
exception. Three pre-contest weekend work parties were needed to get
the antennas ready (seven beverages require putting up lots of support
poles). Much of the fun during the weekend is the constant swapping of
contesting stories amongst ourselves when not sitting in one of the
operating seats. Throughout the first night the shack was quite cold
(K2SQ even had his gloves on at one point), so W2NO came to our rescue
the next day by "rejuvenating" a 4KW space heater. Saturday night the
shack was much more comfortable despite howling 35 knot winds and a
temperature in the mid-teens outside.
When the final bell range, the results of the score exchange with W1BB
came as quite a real shock. We fully expected the New Englanders to
have the lead with their great Cape Cod location and experienced team of
operators. Little did we know the W8JI team down in GA had amassed a
huge score and in all probability would have won easily if not plagued
by thunderstorm QRN. Congratulations to all the multi-ops groups
worldwide for their fine efforts. The CQ 160 CW contest multi-op
category remains one of the most competitive in all of radiosporting.
It won't be known until late in 1999 whether we'll be back on the HOOK
for next year's contest. The Coast Guard wants to demolish the building
we use for shelter. "Field Day in January" is too much fun to miss.
A narrow, flat, and sandy peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and
Raritan Bay, about 12 miles south of New York City. Salt water path in
all directions except SE.
Two self-supporting towers, 200 and 100 feet high, support vertically
polarized full-sized delta loop transmit antennas. The apex angle is
close to 90 degrees.
A two element phased beverage is pointed Northeast toward Europe. Each
element is 880 feet long and they are spaced ½ wavelength apart. Using
680 ohm termination resisters, we were able to obtain excellent signal
rejection, literally a "cone of silence" toward the US.
Our West and East beverages are about 600 feet long and are terminated
with 470 ohm reisisters.
Unterminated beverages were erected in the South, Southwest, and
Northwes directions. They range from 500 to 900 feet in length.
All beverages are suspended 5 to 8 feet above ground, over acres of sand
dunes, using temporary wood supports. Every beverage has a 9:1
transformer and is fed with either RG213 or 9913 coax .
Run Station: IC 781 and Alpha 87A
Mult Station: IC 781 and Alpha 76PA
Third Receiver: IC 765
Spares: IC 765, TS 930S, Alpha 87A
Three networked computers running CT9
We want to express special thanks to the U.S. Coast Guard for granting
us permission to use their facilities. Thanks also go to Andy, N2NT,
who came to our aid on a cold and windy Sunday morning, by providing a
reference signal from his mobile at a location 3 miles across the bay,
greatly facilitating our beverage tuning efforts And our sincerest
appreciation also goes to W8JI, K6SE, W3LPL, AA1K, WW2Y, K1ZM, N3RS,
K1KI, and many others who shared their experience, ideas, and
suggestions about beverage construction and tuning.
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