[3830] CQ160 CW - W2GD Multi-Op

John Crovelli w2gd at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 3 12:46:15 EST 1999

Station:              W2GD
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

Contest Soapbox:
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 
first night.  

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.

John,   W2GD

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