[3830] NAQP SSB AA4LR Single Op LP

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Sun Aug 22 19:54:00 EDT 2004

                    North American QSO Party, SSB

Call: AA4LR
Operator(s): AA4LR
Station: AA4LR

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 9.7
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    8     8
   80:   54    21
   40:  156    38
   20:  162    40
   15:   13     8
   10:    1     1
Total:  394   116  Total Score = 45,704

Club: South East Contest Club

Team: SECC Team 1


A3S at 15m (10m / 15m / 20m)
1/4 wave sloper at 12m (40m)
125 foot doublet at 11m (80m / 160m)
Shunt fed 15m tower (80m)
Cushcraft R7000

Elecraft K2/100 w/ KAT100
Kenwood TS-430S w/ AT-250
Homebrew K1KP-style voice keyer (1 message)
Homebrew SO2R switchbox


Pew! Conditions really stank! 

After the first five minutes, hearing no one on 10m, no one on 15m and calling
CQ for a couple of minutes on each band, I finally found all the fellow
contesters on 20m. Scores are really going to be down this time, especially from
the west coast stations -- who usually are beacons on the high bands until well
into the evening.

Took three off times early, hoping conditions would improve. Managed a few good
runs on 20m. Oddly enough, my best hour was at 0200z, where I ran on 20m around
14241! Band was short -- with lots of 8 and 9 landers -- which is usually a
signal to this area of the country that you're on the right band. That late in
the evening, however, few stations were calling in.

Managed some good runs on 40m in the 2200z and 0000z hours. Runs would dry out,
then I would change frequency and they would start up again. Ended up spending
over four hours on 20m, and over three hours on 40m. 40m had the best rates,
likely due to the poor conditions.

Worked only W4ATL on 10m, when I moved him from 15m. 15m opened briefly around
2240z with spotlight propagation into MN. Worked KT0R there, and called him
twice on 10m, with nothing heard on his end.

80m was a real bust. Didn't get down there until 0330z. Listened there earlier,
but there wasn't much happening. No real runs on 80m. Was begging for Qs there
around 0530z just before I quit. Noise levels were high, so each Q on the low
bands really had to be dug out. Some were right at ESP level.

K2/100 used for most Qs. Kenwood did service on 160m, and as a second radio. Not
many second radio Qs. Main reason was lack of rate on the main radio, and I need
more practice.

First chance to really work out the K2 DSP noise reduction. It works, but makes
the band sound really funny, like you are listening to the wind blow through a
long, narrow tube. It was handy when trying to dig calls out. I don't like
tuning the band with it on, though. I'm going to have to get the firmware
upgrades, though, as switching it on and off is a four keypress operation, and
you can cancel half of while transmitting. (The upgrade makes it a single,
similtaneous press of two keys)

Worked everyone on my team but WW4LL (although at one point, I think we were
both calling CQ on the same frequency on 40m). Worked W4ATL on 10-20m. In
retrospect, I should have moved him through six bands. Worked WT8Y on two bands,
and K4BAI I finally found on 80m near the end.

This was a really tough contest. It was evident from the start that new personal
records were out of the question. It was a good chance to practice and learn a
bit about some very odd propagation. See everyone in January.

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