webform@b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Thu Jul 14 17:38:12 EDT 2005

                    IARU HF World Championship

Call: N1YWB
Operator(s): N1YWB
Station: N1YWB

Class: SO SSB LP
QTH: Westchester Co, NY
Operating Time (hrs): 21.5

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Mults
  160:   0       0      0
   80:   0      71     19
   40:   0      46     26
   20:   0     179     51
   15:   0      38     21
   10:   0       0      0
Total:   0     334    117  Total Score = 106,938




This was the first serious contest operation I did by myself at my own station.
I'm pretty serious about Field Day but obviously thats a total different type of

* Yaesu FT-897 - Not exactly a great contesting radio, scrolling through menus
to find the right setting gets annoying fast.
* MFJ Magentic Loop - I WOULD have run this on 10/15/20, but 10m never opened
and 15 I was getting some kind of weird RF in the shack issue with the loop so I
ended up using the V for 15m. I will say that extensive on the air testing
during the contest showed the loop to perform significantly better than the V on
20m. The signals were a couple of S units higher, and the noise floor was a
couple of S units lower. It's still not a beam and the extra tuning effort it
requires can become tiresome but for a temporary or space limited situation it
* 80m V fed with TV foamcore twinlead & MFJ-914 tuner - Used on 80m, 40m, and
15m. I also tried 160m twice briefly but quickly gave  up  on it.
* NA 6.14 - Crashed about 5 hours in, apperantly has a low limit on the number
of section abbreviations it can handle
* NA 10.57 - I was able to import my log and it worked flawlessly for the rest
of the contest
* Boom mic headset, foot switch, voice keyer (thank god!)

I figured I wouldn't be able to get any runs going with my peanut whistle
station so I focused my strategy on rapidly changing bands and furiously S&Ping
mults and only CQing when I worked out a band or needed a break. Overall, I'd
say conditions sucked and it took a lot of effort to make QSOs and a lot of
repeating my call sign and asking for repeats. 20m was obviously the bread and
butter band until it shut down early in the morning, after that I only picked up
a few more on it. 40m gave up some nice mults early in the morning, I did get
New Zealand and Australia and two Hawaii's. 15 was mediocre during the day and
shut down early and that was that, except I did make a couple of odd south
american QSOs overnight. I was able to work into europe and south america on 80m
and 40m. My best rate was at about 2am on 80m when I started calling CQ and I
picked up a whole bunch of locals, I got up to 60 for a bit, but my overall rate
was only 14. This was my first experience working DX on 80m and 40m and it
definately adds a new twist when you have to work split, and it's pretty
frustrating when the DX ISN'T working split. Come one worldwide 300khz 40m
allocation!!! Yeah the last few hours were trying, S&Ping wasn't working because
nobody was on so I ended up mostly calling CQ and kind of dozing off until
somebody called me and I'd wake up and work them. Once 20m opened up again I
didn't really hear many (any) NEW stations so it didn't help me much. I
seriously considered bagging it towards the end and I might have if I hadn't
already blown 2.5 hours screwing around with software issues. But I saw it
through the end so I can say for certain that I earned the best score possible.
The only part of the world that was noticeably absent from my log was east Asia,
not a single JA :(

Geomagnetic condtions were unsettled for the second half or so, which of course
made 80 and 40 pretty noisy. Sunspots where higher than they've been, but for
some reason the MUF never got up very high and didn't recover rapidly in the
morning. No sporadic E on 10m, I checked it occasinally and never heard a single
signal. The daylight portions of the earth were plagued by high x-ray flux which
further hampered 80m and 40m. And of course we're not going to hit the bottom of
the cycle for another 18 months so we've got a lot more of this to look forward
to. Time to start working on the low band antenna systems!

It was a fun contest though, it's great to be able to work so much DX in such a
short time. I've got a lot of QSLing to do! And I learned some valuable lessons
for next year.

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