[3830] P43P CQWW 1999 RTTY SOABHP

Jacobo Oduber p43p at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 9 01:36:52 EDT 1999

CQ WW RTTY Contest

Call used: P43P
Location:  Aruba

Entry Class: Single Op, All Band, HP

Band   QSOs Pts    QTH    DX  Zones  ANTENNAS
80        51      146    22      16      12     Inverted V @ 50ft

Force12dipole at 70ft
40       207     610    36      51      19     Force12 2el @60ft
20       450   1310    47      66      26     Force12 5el @60ft
                                                             C4XL (US)@30ft
15       638   1862    51      74      28     Force12 5el @75ft
                                                             C4XL (US)@ 30ft
4el at 30ft
10       750    2171    52      73      25    Force 12 5 el @75ft
                                                             C4XL (US) @30ft
4el at 17ft(EU)
Total   2096  6099   208   280   110
Claimed Score: 3,647,202

Software:     RTTY by WF1B  v4.4d
                    RITTY by  K6STI v3.06

Power Output: 1K
Club Participation: Aruba Amateur Radio Club

Equipment Used:
Alpha 76A
Pentium computer with SoundBlaster Soundcard
Top Ten Antenna Switching System
Stackmatch by WX0B
300m EU beverage, 120m US beverage and 200m EW Beverage
All antennas are mounted one a 60ft Rohn 45 tower, while the 15M 4 element
Cuscraft is installed on a separate 37ft mast.


FUN FUN FUN, definitely one of the most enjoyable contests I've participated
in so far.

Not much prep work before the contest this time, since just about everything
seemed to be working with the station and antennas. One important part of
the pre-contest preparation was done the previous weekend, by spending all
of the previous weekend with the XYL and 3 daughters ( PR work for the next
weekend ahead Hihi) and one afternoon installing a couple of sprinkler heads
on top of the tower to wash down the salt from the antennas and thus avoid
the salt induced high voltage arcing on my antennas. If you never seen
antennas arc like roman candles, you should ask John (W2GD), who's
experienced this first hand during his visit at my qth for the 1999 ARRL DX
CW contest.  More about my problems with salt induced arcing some other day.

Started the contest on 40m a few minutes later than planned, cause on my 1st
CQ my Windows 98 computer crashed quite unexpectedly. Great, what a start
for this contest. Hopefully this was not a repeat of the previous ANARTS
RTTY contest where WF1B RTTY program did not really like my Windows setup.

K6STI had just e-mailed me version 3.06 of Ritty a few days before
the contest (Thanks Brian), which I installed 2 nights prior to the contest,
to make sure everything worked well for the test. Well, I am ready for the
contest, at least so I thought. I had also read somewhere on the WEB
(probably on the WF1B web page) where Ray (WF1B) disables the comport in
Windows and runs the program without any problems.

Well, this is exactly what I had done and still, voila, CRASH ON THE FIRST
CQ, while it had worked perfectly just a couple of days before. HMMMMM

I quickly changes some more settings, removed the master.cal, reduced qso
numbers allowed and some other stuff to minimize memory requirements, but
still could not come up with a crash proof solution and my problems
continued. I finally went for a bold move and disabled ALL COMM
and LPT ports in Windows by clicking somewhere in the System Manager.

NOW THAT SURE HELPED. Made the next 2000 qs's without a hitch.
I know what I will do before the next contest. BTW,  getting the ports
to work again in Windows 98 after the contest was just a matter of
clicking "enable" on each of the ports I had disabled. Pretty Nifty.

In the mean time, about 2 hours of the contest were already gone,
so by now ...

Checked through the bands, cranked up the old but trustworthy Alpha 76A and
made them electrons fly wildly into the 40m Force 12 by about 0200z. Finally
it seemed that I could start concentrating on the contest ahead. Even though
I was tired from working all day, I was ready for an all niter. You see,
when you live and work down here in P4 country, it is kind of difficult
to take a day of to rest before a contest.

After spending the first hour on 40m with only 19 q's due to computer
problems, I switched to 80m for a few minutes, quick qsy to 20 and 15m and
then pretty much settled on 40m until about 0400z, when I switched for about
an hour to 20m. By then I had already worked HC8N on 3 bands. Found Eddie
(TY1RY) for my 1st AF contact on 20m. By now my rates had gone up
to about 60 qs/hr, even though I was feeling pretty tired.
Got my first JA on 20 at 0533z. While I already had worked Indonesia
for a nice multiplier on 15m just before that. Took a short but very needed
nap between 0812z and 0935z and afterwards quickly worked JA
and YB on 40 for 2 new zones when I got back on the air.
At 1140z I switched briefly to 20m and realized that 10m was
already wide open to US and EU, so I stayed on 10 and 15m for the
next 12 hours. After that I pretty much stayed on 20m for the next few hours
until 0156z with frequent excursions to 80, 40 and 15m looking for mults.
With the first 24 hours of operation time I had racked 1207 q's.
Worked another 4 hours until 0429z when I dozed off for a
planned 2 hour nap right there in the shack....

..... The alarm woke me up after 2 hours alright, but instead of getting
back behind the radio and on the air as originally planned, I sleepwalked
in a daze to the bedroom downstairs, jumped in bed next to my XYL
and woke up a full 4 hours later when Simba the dog waggled her tail
hard against the bedroom door. Well, so much for the 2 hour nap.

That was a full 6 hours of sleep IN THE MIDDLE of the contest. I'll
never learn.^&)^^#$% Could not believe conditions I missed that
morning during my long nap. Noise level was absolutely ZERO,
something quite rare in this part of the world, where you get used
to lots and lots of noise from 40m on down. So with no noise at all
this morning on any of the bands, I was lucky enough to pick up
JA8BZL around my sunrise on 80m at 1036z for a nice multiplier
and worked quite a few of you afterwards on 40m.

Still had about  13 hours to go. Took a quick breakfast and finally settled
back into the rhythm of the contest. Looks like my best rate for the
contest was from 1300 to 1400z  was about 84 qs, including different bands
changes between 10 and 15m. Did a short 20m qsy around 1430z and then
repeated the previous day's strategy of basically staying on 10 and 15m for
most of the remainder of the day until  about 2100z.

Operating in the AB category, I still needed to get some more activity going
on 20m, where I was low on mults, but there the rates were extremely low and
thus I kept switching between all bandsduring the last 3 hours, sacrifycing
but just to make sure I was not loosing any multipliers.
When I hit 20m late Sunday afternoon local time, I did notice that the SWR
was fairly high (3:1) on the Force 12 C4XL antenna (tribander and 40m with 2
feedlines), while on the same antenna the 15m and 10m were still doing fine.
Took a peak out of the shack window, but with the late afternoon sun shining
in directly in my tired face from behind the tower, I obviously could not
that the 80m inverted V was the culprit of the high SWR.
It was not until the next morning that I saw that the 80m inverted V support
rope had broken off (i.e. The rope melted because of a voltage arc
accross the small Radio Shack insulators due to the usual salt buildup) and
the antenna wire was hanging right across the 20m driven element of the
C4XL about 20ft below the apex of the inverted vee. No wonder the
SWR was high on 20 m. Sure was a surprise to see 15 and 10m not
being affected on the antenna in this situation. This shows again it is
definitely nice to have additional antennas on each band to switch to
in case of problems during a contest.

During the last 3 hours, I still managed to pick up 7z, 14c and 1 state.
crossed paths with  FM5CD and 8P6SH, both of whom I had
qsy to few times as well as Ray (P43RR) whom I qsyd to all

All in all I think propagations were some of the best (at least low bands) I
have seen during a contest and it was nice to see quite some activity on
10m. Worked a total of 1279 different callsigns
( RYRYRYRY ... Thanks ... RYRRYRY), lots of you'all I worked
on more than two or three  bands.
Special thanks to P43RR, the guys at HC8N, W3LPL, K4EA,
AA5AU, WN1E, KE1FO, W1BYH, OH1F and HK3WGQ for
working me on all 5 BANDS and many of you, like Eddie @ TY1RY,
8P9SH, FM, various JA's, YB's and VK's, which I  worked on 4 Bands.
Congratulations also to W3LPL, HC8N, OT9E, P3A, VY2SS,
who have posted extraordinary scores.

Thanks to the contest committee for hosting this contest and congrats to
those who posted
new records.

Hope to work YOU all on all 5 bands in next contest!!

73 de Jacob - P43P

FAQ on WWW:               http://www.contesting.com/3830faq.html
Submissions:              3830 at contesting.com
Administrative requests:  3830-REQUEST at contesting.com
Problems:                 owner-3830 at contesting.com

More information about the 3830 mailing list