k3zo at arrl.net k3zo at arrl.net
Tue Feb 20 18:04:21 EST 2001

                     ARRL DX Contest, CW
Call: K3ZO

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 42

 Band     QSOs  Mults
  160:     69     42
   80:    262     59
   40:    810     76
   20:    827     79
   15:    769     87
   10:    819     76
Total:   3556    419  =  4,469,892

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club 


Murphy paid me a lengthy visit in the two weeks leading up to the contest.  
First of all, my FT-1000-MP died two weeks ago and has been sent off to Yaesu 
USA for repairs.  I substituted my favorite, hot old TS-830-S  but in operating 
the PACC contest last week the sleeve connecting the receive and transmit 
portions of the bandswitch shaft split all along one side, making it impossible 
to change bands on transmit.  

So I hauled out #2 TS-830-S which is what I used in this contest.  This rig has 
always been notoriously bad on receive on 10 meters.  One advantage of this is 
that you can't hear the line noise on 10 so you aren't bothered by it!  Also 
the bandswitch was dirty and I usually had to try several times before it would 
play on 10 and 20 meters when switching there from other bands.  Once it 
slipped out on 10 meters while I was sending my exchange to a Caribbean 
station, but I guess he knows me because he rogered anyway.

Oh yes, we had two days of high winds during the PACC contest so about 1/4 of 
the driven element of my 80 meter KLM Yagi came down, necessitating the 
substitution on that band by my trusty old 80 meter half-sloper sloped to 
Europe.  Conditions on 80 in this contest were so good it sounded to me like I 
had the beam on anyway, but I ran only sparingly on the band, preferring S&P to 
wasting time on unanswered CQs.  But I had a reasonable run the second night on 
about 3530.  

Finally, my operating chair in the shack finally gave up the ghost after 
suffering for 10 years or so under the 320 pound chief operator, so I 
substituted the chair I use in my home study.  Funny how different chairs yield 
up aches and pains in different parts of the anatomy after a long contest.  A 
substitute chair has been ordered from the bed & back shop.

All of the above notwithstanding, I thought conditions on all bands were 
outstanding.  When I can work 42 countries on 160 with only my transmit antenna 
used for receiving, conditions there are GOOD.  I couldn't believe RW2F's 
30-over-9 S-meter reading on that band;  it sounded like they were here in 

I noticed some commentary by Bill, W4AN, on bringing a good old TS-830-S back 
into service on the bands.  I had to do that in this contest of necessity.  For 
the first several hours I felt pressed without the no-tune-up features of my 
FT-1000-MP, and trying to figure out exactly where zero-beat was on my RIT took 
a little remembering and a little study, and meanwhile I blundered on to other 
peoples' run frequencies a couple of times.  But after six hours or so 
everything became second nature again and I settled down.

In the final analysis, it was a lot of fun!                      

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