[3830] NAQP SSB N5LT(@N3BB) Single Op LP

webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Aug 24 00:06:40 EDT 2004

                    North American QSO Party, SSB

Call: N5LT
Operator(s): N5LT
Station: N3BB

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Texas
Operating Time (hrs): 10
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    9     4
   80:   66    25
   40:  186    48
   20:  476    55
   15:   40    19
   10:   10     8
Total:  787   159  Total Score = 125,133




Still trying to get back into swing of things after a 7 year layoff.  In fact I
was going through some old NCJ’s and saw the first, and last, time I did this
contest as a single op was in August 1995.  (I did 2 or 3 M2’s with K5TR around
that time as well).  I did a lot better my first time than this second

I arrived at N3BB’s house a little over an hour before the contest as I had
never used FT1000’s before.  So I spent a few minutes getting used to the radios
and learning how his station worked.  As I listened to the bands it was
amazingly quiet.  I heard nothing!  In fact even after the contest started I
asked Jim if the antennas were hooked up!  It was terrible.

This contest is so great because of all the things that can trip you up.  The
off time strategy is always a biggie.  I always like to set some time aside
before a contest and try to think about how things will go.  Unfortunately I
didn’t have any time this time.  In fact, I didn’t think I was going to get to
operate until about Wednesday or Thursday.  

As the contest started I stayed on 20m and listened for something on the higher
bands.  The rate was ok during the first 3 hours; right about 100/hour, but it
was all 20m.  I’m pretty much a seat-of-the-pants operator, so when the rain
began around 2130z I figured that was good enough.  Not being able to hear for
the rain static was a pretty good reason to take a break.  We had some pretty
amazing lightning storms during the week and I figured I’d have to shut down at
some point anyway.

After about 45 minutes I got back on again and was still able to run guys. 
However, nothing but 4 or 5 q’s on 15 and zero on 10m.  Just plodding along on
20 and waiting for something to happen. 

Went to 40m about 2345z which I thought was early but as it played out it seemed
about right.  Still calling CQ’s on 15 to see if I could get any action.  I
didn’t want to get stuck with a ton of off time late and I also felt that 10 and
15 would open later and I wanted to be able to work the mults on those bands.  
I took my second break at about 0015z for about 40 minutes.  As I read my notes
in my log I wrote at 0102z ‘bad off time strategy’.  That just comes from no
experience in this contest as well as trying to do too many things.

Things kind of fell into place as I started hearing signs of life on 15m. 
Around 0200z I had a nice run rhythm going on 40m as well as moving guys to 15m.
 Started working the Midwest and then K1TTT came through.  The southeast started
coming through on 15 and then K1TTT came back and said he was working W4 on 10m.
 We went to 10m and I couldn’t hear him but I started moving guys to 10 and it
started paying off.  Most guys on 40m were hesitant to go to 15 and even more
incredulous at my request for 10.  However, this is a great contest in that
everyone will move if they have an antenna for the band.  So Ky, Ga, Ohio, SC
and a few others finally into the 10m log.  I even coaxed a TG from 15 over to
10m as well.

My biggest mistake was trying to work multipliers hard on 80.  My last offtime
at 0409 hosed me as I think I could have hung around and easily worked my few
mults on 80 during that period.  When I got back on I struggled with 80 and 160.
 I look at some of those 20 - 30 mult numbers on 160 from the Midwest and east
coast.  I didn’t hear 10 stations total on the band and moving guys was

I should have done the math and tried to run rate as for me, 5 q’s would have
been worth a mult.  Oh well.  Lesson learned.

Still trying to get used to so2r again.  Back about 10 years ago I seemed to
have an advantage because there weren’t as many operator aids.  I do the
contests live, meaning I don’t use DVP accept to grab a quick drink.  I’ll call
my cq and listen through my talking as someone on the second radio comes back. 
No problem.  My ability to ‘outlast’ people would pay dividends too.  Now with
all the software aids it seems that I need to up my skills and use the tools
that are available.

A great contest albeit frustrating, but the challenge makes it both frustrating
and fun.

I hope to keep staying active so hopefully I’ll see everyone in the next one.

Thanks again to Jim, N3BB, for allowing me to operate and for spending the time
to explain how his station setup.



Posted using 3830 Score Submittal Forms at: http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/

More information about the 3830 mailing list