[3830] NAQP CW VE7FO Single Op LP

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Sun Aug 8 19:44:10 EDT 2004

                    North American QSO Party, CW

Call: VE7FO
Operator(s): VE7FO
Station: VE7FO

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Vancouver
Operating Time (hrs): 10

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    1     1
   80:   24    13
   40:   54    26
   20:  222    54
   15:   10     8
Total:  311   102  Total Score = 31,722

Club: British Columbia DX Club



Well, that was fun.  Unsurprisingly, a bit slower than last year, but never
boring.  I really like this contest.

I started off running on 20.  No problem finding space on the band.  I was very
pleasantly surprised, for my 3rd Q, to be called by K2LE in VT.  That one is
usually difficult for me.  #7 was N6HC, Mr. Hotel California, who was lurking in
ND, then N6TR in SD, followed by K0EWS in SD, followed by VY1JA for Q #10. 
Well, you gotta like that.  I actually heard J quite strong a number of times
during the contest.  Guess the aurora gods let him out for a change.

When someone like Tree calls me I try very hard to appear that I know what I'm
doing.  However, the SD really threw me and I messed everything up a couple of
times before he was able to escape.  His own fault, of course; if I hadn't been
using TRMaster I would have just copied the SD he sent and all would have been

It was nice to hear all the folks signing OJ.  I was too, and will be for the
year.  I think people are pretty used to hearing OJ coming out of 4 land but it
seemed to confuse a number of people to hear it coming from VE7.

Didn't work any Chads this time.

Q #150 was a little disheartening, VA7RR.  When I hear him on I know there's no
chance for any wallpaper for me.  No doubt I was his #400 or something.  Then
again, I don't think I heard him again so maybe he wasn't full time.

I was hoping to get my 706 hooked up for SO2R but didn't have time.  I contented
myself with sticking its audio into the right ear and tuning around on 10 and 15
to try to make sure I didn't miss some whizz-bang opening.  Sure didn't notice
any.  My audio patch panel proved its value again.  I just ran a patch cord from
the 706 phones jack and plugged it into the appropriate jack on the panel which
routed it through its own mixer channel with independent level control into the

I was pleased to make some Qs on 15, but boy were they weak.

Listened some on 10 with the 706.  Nada.  I noticed in one of the other posts
that someone mentioned domestic 10m beacons.  I had forgotten all about them. 
You can be sure I'll be checking them on the next outing.

20 was up and down.  There were times when I couldn't find anyone I hadn't
worked, and that was just 3 hours into the contest.  Nobody at all in the bottom
15 kHz.

I ran some prop predictions to try to figure out when to take my 2 hours off.  A
number of paths showed a dip in propagation on 20 between about 2200 and 2359Z
so I took my 2 hours then.  I could feel 20 thinning out as 2200 approached. 
Still, it might have been better to take them from 0100 to 0300 as the rate was
poor in those hours.  I thought it was because the folks further east were
dropping down to 40 then.  I went to 40 around 0145.  11 Qs later, at 0230, I
gave up in disgust and went back to 20.  I S&P'd there for half an hour and made
9 Qs.  Well, that's better than 11 in 45 min.  "Hey, there's N7OU on 14.040,
I'll give him a call."  Well, Bill is another of those folks for whom I have a
lot of respect.  You may recall his recent world class performance from HI8. 
Once again, in my eagerness to show that I'm a cool op, I hit the wrong key and
sent his exchange before he even knew who I was.  By the time I recovered from
that and dumped my call in the normal fashion, he was gone.  "Oh my god, I'm
being called by a lid.  What kind of call is OJ BC?  I'm outa here!"  I dumped
my call a few more times, as did K0GEO.  When I realized Bill had gone, I called
CQ, K0GEO responded.  I then called CQ some more and had a great run, 60 Qs in
63 min.  That was a great spot, Bill, thanks.

I still haven't been able to figure out what I base my band change decisions on.
 What seems like an appropriate move at the time looks really weird later.  0358
- 2 Qs, 0359 - 1 Q, 0400 - 2 Qs, 0401 - 1 Q, 0402 - 2 Qs, 0403 - 1Q, 0405 "Oh
man, things are really slowing down, better move to 40" which I did.  Guess a
rate of 90 just isn't enough to satisfy me.  Maybe I was thinking about mults.

That was a 52 hour which was my best clock hour rate.  The best 60 min rate was

By this time, 40 was open for me.  For the next 50 minutes I had a ball as, like
a honey bee, I raced from flower to flower, piling up mults as I went.  30 Qs
and 16 mults.  Well, nothing to brag about but it made me happy.

Moved to 80 at 0405 to harvest those untapped mults.  It was a lot tougher than
40.  Mostly S&P.  Made 25 Qs in about an hour but 14 of them were mults.

Earlier this year I went to some trouble to put up an inverted L for 160.  The
ends of the flat top are only 30 ft off the ground with the middle at about 45
ft.  Obviously, I have to check out 160.  I'd been there earlier when I heard
folks being moved to 160 but never heard a peep.  This time, there's a nice
strong signal - N6RO.  With a lot of difficulty he managed to pull me through. 
Thanks Ken.

Finished on 40, mostly running.  The last 5 Qs coughed up 4 mults.

For a while I was thinking I might be able to do WAS on 20 - knocked off 38 of
them in the first 3 hours.  Ended up missing CT, NE, MT & RI.  Didn't get any of
them on another band, either.

I moved pretty well anytime anyone asked.  Most didn't work.

Hoping to do a M/S for WAE CW and newbie contest training M/S in NAQP SSB.

73 and thanks for the Qs everybody.

Jim Smith	VE7FO

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