[3830] CQ160 SSB VE7FO Single Op LP

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Tue Mar 16 00:09:04 EST 2004

                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, SSB

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

Class: Single Op LP
QTH: Vancouver
Operating Time (hrs): 13

Total:  QSOs = 99  State/Prov = 18  Countries = 1  Total Score = 8,835

Club: British Columbia DX Club


The big test of the brand new 30 ft high 160m inverted L.  Didn't have time to
install any radials.  Just a ground plate about 9" x 18" buried in the wet soil.
 (They don't sell ground rods here, just plates.)  The antenna is purposefully
too long.  Will trim it to length once I have my mickey-mouse radials in.  Autek
RF-1 analyzer says the impedance between the insulated tower base and the ground
plate (no coax connected) is about 150 ohms.  All the worms stood on end and

I have essentially no experience with 160 so put lots of time in the chair for
this one.  What a slog.  Didn't get started until about 1715, Fri, local time. 
At 1830 I had 7 Qs and 2 mults.  Took time off to have a nice dinner of take-out
Greek food with my wife to celebrate our 45th Wedding Anniversary.  (I wanted to
do something fancy, heartless brute that I am, but that was her preference.) 
She faded around 2200 and went to bed.  So, what's a guy going to do?  Hit the
bars?  No way.  At 0400 Sat, local time, with about 7 hrs in the chair I had 62
Qs and 16 mults.  Noise level was S9 the entire time.  I even had a 27 hour in
there.  That was pretty exciting.

The whole point of going into this contest, in which I am not even slightly
competitive, was to try to get a feel for what mults might be available to me on
160 using the new inverted L in the various contests I enter.  Well, 16
Provs/States would be a really good addition to my mult totals in some contests,
although a mult production of 2/hr wouldn't be.  However, that just means I need
to monitor 160 on an ongoing basis during a contest.  At 10am, Sat, I was back
in the chair for NAQP RTTY.  Really felt the lack of sleep.

NAQP was over for me at 2030 local (10 hrs op + .5 hr break for lunch).  Did way
better than last year.  (See my NAQP RTTY story on 3830, if I ever get it
written.)  While I was sitting there catching my breath, something (the debbil?)
made the radio switch to 160.  Next thing I know, I'm making Qs.  I decided to
call it quits around 2300 with 84 Qs and 18 mults and spent some time catching
up on e-mail.

At about midnight I started to head for bed but thought I'd make a quick check
of 160 in case I might be able to pick up a mult or two.  Hmm... noise has
dropped from S9 to about S6.  At about 0200 local on Sun, with 94 Qs and 19
mults I'm thinking of bed (again) while watching the grey line in DX Atlas
creeping over the Atlantic.  Hmm... sure would be nice to get over 100 Qs and
some more mults so I decided I'd tough it out to see if I could get past
Illinois.  As the front edge of the grey line got to around W8, activity on the
band started to pick up.  Heard lots of the guys I worked earlier but hadn't
heard for a while suddenly show up and start working 2s, 3s and 4s.  Good for
them.  Too bad I couldn't hear who they were working.  However, some stations
who knew I was there earlier but couldn't figure out who I was were now louder
and, I guess, so was I, so I made a few more Qs.  Some, for whom I was still at
the noise level, were starting to fade as the sun got nearer.  Called it quits
at 0420 local with 99 Qs and 19 mults, including 1 DX country, Alaska.  Didn't
even hear any other DX.  Areas worked were VE5, 6 & 7, W6, all W7 except Mt plus
Tx, Ks, Id, Mn and Il.

Well, I would have to say that I'm reasonably pleased with this.  While 99/19 on
SSB for 13 hours in the chair isn't that great I am quite encouraged that I
could do that well in the middle of the city on a 33 x 120 ft lot with LP, a low
antenna and no radials.  What really encourages me is the knowledge that I
should be able to do way better on CW.   (Did 33/10 in 2.3 hrs in 160 CW using
my 80m dipole - inverted L not up yet.)

Somewhere in all of this VE6SF called to ask if I could hear VE6JY calling me. 
Don could hear me just fine.  I couldn't hear the slightest trace of him.  Well,
that's really something, I'm doing way better than one of the super stations. 
Watch out there, top ten box, here I come.  Turned out he had a coax problem on
the transmit antenna.  He was pretty loud once he got it fixed.  Watch out
there, bottom ten box, here I come. 

73 and thanks for the Qs and the patience with my crummy signal.  You can
expect, well, a few of you can expect, to hear 7FO on 160 in the coming

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