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Sun Nov 30 23:01:15 EST 2003

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: K1TO
Operator(s): K1TO
Station: K1TO

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 32
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:   25    10       20
   80:  191    21       70
   40: 1061    30       89
   20:  348    32       93
   15:  550    26       92
   10:  614    27       82
Total: 2789   146      446  Total Score = 4,557,216

Club: Florida Contest Group


After operating the first 32 hours pretty much straight through, I intended to
take a 3-hour nap.  When I woke up *6* hours later... uncharacteristically, I
quit since the wind was out of my sails and I just went on to other things.  Did
S&P a bit in the last hour, after an almost 16-hour off-time.

Thanks particularly to WD4AHZ for pulling on lots of ropes here in the past week
and to N4TO for loaning a computer at the last minute when my shack computer was
deemed unfixable.  They and many others have spent time here helping with
various projects and I'm saddened to have not put in a full effort to partially
repay them for their kindness.  

Did some upgrades to the 10 and 80 meter systems this month and am very pleased
with the results so far.  But on 80, nothing compensates for our serious
geographical disadvantage here in extreme southern W4.  I suppose I should be
thankful for being so far away from the auroral buzz.

>From what little I heard on Sunday after 23Z, conditions sounded much better
than Saturday.  20 was still wide open to Europe at the end, whereas it had
closed much earlier on Saturday.  And 15 & 10 were open for the juicier
multipliers, too.  

Never heard a European on 160.  Closest QSO was EA8.  Working T32WW through the
buzzing swarm of USA multi-ops on 160 was my favorite QSO of the weekend! 
(Second neatest Q was TO4WW through the European wall on 40 at around 2315Z

Add me to the list of those who disdain improper packet usage.  Many times, I
had USA "point and shooters" blindly dump their call in on my frequency, either
because the spot was not completely accurate or they did not hear the DX on the
adjacent frequency.  A few actually figured out that they had not worked the DX
station they intended to when they received a quick "5nn5" from me.  

Several 3830 posters have already commented on the lack of usefulness of packet.
 When the Assisted category first came out, it was labeled "Single Op
Distracted" by many.  Seriously, very few have mastered the art of using packet
spots effectively and constructively, compared to the long list of folks who do
nothing but chase spots all weekend and never turn the main VFO knob at all!  

Maybe packet can follow in the footsteps of smoking.  First, restaurants
designated a "no smoking" section.  We could establish "no packet" categories,
even for the multi-ops.  (To their credit, the N2RM M/M entered that
non-category in a recent year and did just fine, thank you.)  Now, some US
states (including FL) have mandated that restaurants are completely no-smoking
and that smoking is allowed only outside.  Let's do the same for contests - only
use packet outside them.  

Also did not enjoy the DX stations who could not find a clearer spot
(particularly on 40M) and just tried to CQ right on my frequency with the hope
that they would outlast me, ignoring my "QRL"s and QSY requests.  I made a list
of those stations and did not work them this contest or ever again.  And I will
be sharing that list with my FCG friends.  Maybe eventually, if enough people
blackball them, they will not have anyone left to work.  

Speaking of lists, I had one station send "NO QSL NO QSO" to me.  I answer all
cards, bureau or not, so this was disappointing.  Maybe his incoming bureau
cards will arrive tomorrow and my card will be in the bunch.  Answering QSLs can
be a chore and an expense, but it is the correct thing to do and I actually
salvage enough enjoyment out of it to keep on doing it.  Thank goodness for LOTW
and the anticipated physical QSL reduction that should result.  Even though my
SS CW effort was not a full one, it was odd to not receive a single physical QSL
this year - definitely a first.

Strangest moment of the contest came when another FL station called in and told
me that something was wrong with my signal on 10 Meters.  I think it was just
multi-path flutter (KL7RA described something quite similar very eloquently in
his post), but it sure scared me for a few minutes while I checked things out!

CQWW is THE contest.  My t-shirt says it, so it must be true.

See you all in the ARRL 10 Meter Contest in 2 weeKS.

73, Dan

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