k8dx at raex.com k8dx at raex.com
Mon Oct 30 13:58:56 EST 2000

                     CQ Worldwide DX Contest - SSB
Call: K8DX
Operator(s): K8DX
Station: K8DX

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 37
Radios: SO2R

 Band     QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:     11      4      9
   80:     41     13     29
   40:     74     22     52
   20:    473     33    105
   15:    908     36    119
   10:   1057     35    127
Total:   2564    143    441  =  4,274,296

Club/Team: North Coast Contesters


I’d started my sleep depravation training about three weeks ago.   It seemed 
that CQWW was right around the corner and there were so many things that 
needed to get done, that staying up until two or three in the morning most
nights was the only way to find the time.   I’m usually the type of person who
like to get 7-8 eight hours of sleep each night, so living on 3-4 started to
have its consequences.

Even though I’ve been contesting for a number of years, this was my first entry
as a serious SOAB.  I was a little concerned about how / if to sleep, what to
eat, and what bands to be on when.  

Since doing a serious SOAB requires that EVERYTHING be ready, and not just a
single band like I’d done in the past, lots of changes needed to be made for
this year.  This included more antennas, making a two radio box, and a new desk
console to house to house all the equipment, which meant tearing down the whole
station and reassembling it.

On Friday morning I still had quite a few things to get done, but thought I
make it and still have time for a 4+ hour nap.  Boy was I wrong!  I started by
finally wiring the three TIC rings for 20M, so I’d have had them rotating (what
a concept).  As it turned out, one of the motors to the rings is not mating
well with the indicator pot, and even though the antenna was rotating I had no
indication of it L In the sake of time I decided to fix it on EU and wire
the top two, which worked fine.

The next step was to solder the 64 .25 160M radials together for the 160M
vertical and tune it.  After a few cuts the antenna finally resonated at 1840,
and at about 1PM I seemed just a little behind schedule.

The only thing left to do was to put up the 500’ unterminated NW/SE Beverage. 
When I was about half way done, K8LN stopped by on his way up to K8AZ’s for
their M/S.  He was kind of shocked that all the wiring needed to be done in the
shack, but I was sure I could still get it done on time.  While John was
helping me roll out some cable of the Beverage, a truck pulled up and I got a
really bad feeling.  It was the farmers son making sure that I had "the
wire though the cornfield" down.  They were going to try to get it all done
while the weather was good, and there was no way they could wait until after
CQWW!  My tight schedule became even tighter, and I started to remove all the
fence posts and 3" PVC tubing from the 880’ EU Beverage.  I thought if they
could just get the field done, I’d take some time off that night and restring
it that night.

When I finished the NW/SE Beverage and made it into the house, I still had two
hours before the contest started, but was feeling exhausted and I hadn’t even
started the contest yet!  The shack re-wiring took much longer than expected
(doesn’t everything?)  and I watched the clock hit 00:00 and still wasn’t ready
to go.  I was so tired I couldn’t figure out where all the feedlines were
supposed to be run, and took a few minutes to sit down and regroup.

I made my first Q at 00:31Z on 10M, but by 00:50Z I couldn’t even copy calls
and went upstairs.  My wife took one look at me and said "you don’t look very
good". I didn’t feel very good either.  I’d worked like a man posessed , just
to get things done, and now was too tired / sick to operate.  I decided at that
point, that this contest would have to be a learning experience.  Since CQWW
Phone happens just once a year I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have to wait
until next year.

By 01:30 I was asleep.  At 10:00 I headed back downstairs to do some more
(the 10 & 15M rotators) and started to work some guys.  Started a great run on
10M, but started feeling sick again and laid down from 13:15-14:45Z, right in
the middle of the EU opening.   When I woke up I was freezing cold and had the
chills.  I thought I could either pile on the blankets or close the door to the
radio room and heat it up with the amplifiers.  I chose the latter :-)  The
warmer the room got the better I started feeling, and decided to
keep going.  Even though I took numerous 5-10 minute breaks, I wanted to try to
go without sleep if I could the second night.  Since I hadn’t made any Q’s an
40, 80, or 160M the night before I kept busy before things started to open
towards EU again on the high bands.

I’m really dragging today, but really looking forward to CQWW CW!  Hopefully
I’ll be well rested and the station will be in order:-)

73...Scott K8DX


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