[3830] Salmon Run W7CE SOMixed HP

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Mon Sep 18 11:10:24 EDT 2006

                    Washington State Salmon Run

Call: W7CE
Operator(s): W7CE
Station: W7CE

Class: SOMixed HP
QTH: Thurston County, WA
Operating Time (hrs): 19.9

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Dig Qs
  160:   17     16       
   80:   40     91       
   40:    0     13       
   20:   75    592       
   15:    0      2       
   10:    0      1       
    6:    1     13       
Total:  133    728      0  Mults = 102  Total Score = 203,776



This is my first Salmon Run.  It is also my first somewhat serious effort in an
HF contest.  Initially I only planned on spending a few hours in the contest,
but was having so much fun that I just kept going.

Conditions weren't great in general, but there always seemed to be stations
calling.  When 20M finally died Saturday evening, I was surprised by the
general lack of activity on 80M.  I worked lots of WA stations there but wasn't
hearing much else.  It might have been conditions, but it's not often that I
can't work most of the U.S. and Canada on 80M at night.  On Sunday, 20M
conditions were worse, but I still managed to work 297 Q's (56 CW and 241
Phone).  Activity on 40M seemed almost non-existant and I would have liked to
hear more 6M activity.  

Overall, I'm pleased with the results of my first Salmon Run.  861 Q's is by
far my best contest effort to date.  I worked all 50 states for 49 multipliers,
worked 7 of the 8 Canadian multipliers (where was VE6?), 12 DXCC multipliers and
34 of the 39 WA counties, for a total of 102 multipliers.  I never heard Adams,
Columbia, Ferry, Lincoln or Whatcom counties.  My score includes the 1000 bonus
points for working W7DX twice.

My station is not set up for contesting, nor am I an experienced contest
operator.  I'm using an Icom IC-746 with a QRO HF-2500DX amp (legal limit).  I
have a 6M amp, but never fired it up.  Antennas are a Cushcraft A3 (with 40M
dipole) at 95 feet (with 250' of relatively lossy RG-8 coax), a 40M double
extended zepp at 90' fed with window line and an antenna tuner for 160/80M, a 5
element 6M beam at 70' and a 7 element 6M beam at 35'.  Band changing is pretty
slow, so I would typically leave the amp tuned on 20M and run barefoot on the
other bands.  I did retune the amp a few times for 160/80M operation on
Saturday evening.  My laptop is sitting on the pull-out tray on my desk, so it
is awkward turning back and forth from it to the equipment.  I need to figure
out a better station setup.

I also going to continue working on my CW skills.  After 20 years of no CW,
it's been a slow uphill battle but I'm getting there.  My best CW run rate was
near the end of the contest.  I worked 53 Q's in 57 minutes.  Thanks to all of
the patient CW ops who put up with my mistakes.

It was a fun contest and I'm sure I'll do it again next year.  By then I'll
have a SteppIR antenna that covers 40-6M at 95'.  I'm also replacing the coax
with 7/8" Heliax which will buy me an additional 1.3 dB on 20M over the RG-8. 
I'm hoping that the combination of those two will help me hear a little better
so I spend less time asking for repeats on the weak stations.

Clay  W7CE

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