[3830] SS SSB W6ML(W6KC) SO Unlimited HP

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Sun Nov 16 23:20:31 EST 2003

                    ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, SSB

Call: W6ML
Operator(s): W6KC
Station: W6KC

Class: SO Unlimited HP
Operating Time (hrs): 17

 Band  QSOs
   80:   16
   40:  256
   20:  280
   15:  162
Total:  714  Sections = 79  Total Score = 112,812



This year I operated both SS CW and SSB weekends from a portable location in
Mammoth Lakes (SJV Section) which is 8,000 feet elevation in the High Sierra of
central California.  Lots of early snowfall added to the challenge of launching
my dipoles in the pine trees.

I used the same four dipoles up about 70 ft in the pine trees and a 500 watt
amplifier on both weekends.   On the CW weekend the conditions were better and
my dipoles seemed to be more competitive.   On CW I made 860 QSOs and got a
sweep pretty easily.   On SSB it seemed more of a grind with my dipole antenna
farm.  I finally got all the sections except for QC.   I stayed on one frequency
on the low end of 20M for about 3 hours Sunday afternoon hoping a VE2 would find
me, but no luck, so no sweep.

I was thinking about putting up my 80 dipole, but opted just to use my 40/80M
trap dipole.  The trap dipole works great on 40M but is pretty much like a dummy
load on 80M.  If I only would have known that 80M was going to be so good I
might have had a 5th dipole up.

As it turned out most of my excitement was before the contest started.  Just
after I finished setting up my dipoles Friday afternoon I turned around to see
FOUR BEARS walking up the road towards me.  I have seen bears around before
looking for food in the dumpsters, etc.  But four bears walking all in a line
about 10 feet apart from each other, now that was note worthy.  I made a dash
for my camera, but by the time I got back I only could catch a picture of a
couple of the bears heading away.  I put up a few pictures from my portable
operations, including some bear shots at: 

It was nice using the Mammoth Lakes club call (W6ML) for both SS weekends which
up till now has only seen action during CQPs from Mono County.  And it was
really nice being in the Sierra again, bears and all.


Jim, W6KC @ W6ML in SJV

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