webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Mon Apr 9 03:38:45 EDT 2007

                    EA RTTY Contest

Call: VA7ST
Operator(s): VA7ST
Station: VA7ST

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 12

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   80:   20    13
   40:   71    27
   20:  187    74
Total:  278   114  Total Score = 70,110



SB221 amp (typically 500-700W)
3 el. tribander at 45'
40M -- 2 el. raised vertical array aimed N-NW
40M -- rotary dipole at 55'
40M -- deltal loop E-W { http://www3.telus.net/va7st/rotary.htm )
40M -- ground-mounted all-band vertical
80M -- ground-mounted all-band vertical


Looked forward to EA RTTY for ages -- was in contesting withdrawal for three
weeks with no major CW or RTTY tests.

Checked solar conditions just before the contest: SFI=71 A=4 K=0. Last year's
SFI=81 was slightly better. Did hear several EUs an hour before the Saturday
morning 9 a.m./1600z start on 20M, so hoped the opening would hold for a few
hours into the contest. Have been hearing EU into mid-day lately. The opening
lasted a couple of hours into the contest, then it was domestic stuff for the
afternoon. A small bunch of JAs later in the afternoon, but the band died with
the sun. Worked all-time new one: R1 Franz Josef Land -- he had a good,
slightly fluttered signal.

Nothing heard on 15 or 10. Had hoped for some 15M US/VE mults, but nada.

40M was pretty good -- YU7W and Z33F were strong here. Never felt very loud to
EU, though. Worked 40M till 0335z then to 80M till 0551z. Up again at 4:50 a.m
(1150z) to see what 40M could offer. VK4UC was quite loud, but took two Qs to
get my call CFMed, moving from the rotary dipole (busted call) to the vertical.
John was stronger later on. 

N8S Swains Island lads were on RTTY 7.030 and fellows were spread out over 5
khz calling for a while. No one was strong. The band was weak and power line
noise made it even tougher to find anyone. 

Watched 20M starting at 1300z for the EU opening, to squeeze every last mult
and Q. Sure was slow to start with SP9UNX heard weakly as the dawn blush hit
the horizon. Then the doors opened around 1400z and it was run, run, run for an
hour and a half. That  opening had started to melt away by the end of the
contest at 9 a.m. local.

Ended up with 615 QSO points, 59 countries, 39 sections and 16 EA sections.

Year   QSO  Mult  Score   Time
2004:   10     8      80   1 hr  LP
2005:  117    61  18,105         LP
2006:  247   111  60,273  11 hrs LP
2007:  278   114  70,110  12 hrs HP 

Extra notes:
Rotator meter reconfig: When I installed my rotating tower in Sept. 2004, the
CDE rotator control box had a south-centered scale. I never thought about that
till this week. I suddenly realized that changing to a north-centered scale
would greatly reduce the turning required to work JA - EU - W/VE. Duh. 

Some CDE meter scale backplates have reversible North or South sides. Mine did
not. Imagine my disappointment upon opening it up. So, I had to make my own. I
scanned the south-center scale and created new bearing numbers along the arc
lines, and S-W-N-E-S indications. While I was at it, I added ZL VK JA EU AF W
SA labels to the appropriate bearings for a custom job. 

Printed it on white paper and glued it to the "blank" side of the plate. 

Details and images at http://www3.telus.net/va7st/meter.htm

Power line noise update: In early Feb. I did another RDF exercise to try and
pinpoint my power line noise source. Rough bearing using the 20M yagi with 18db
attenuation kicked in, then drive-about in the direction indicated, using a
121-mhz AM receiver and dipole (two 2-foot test leads on a 4' broom handle). I
found it -- big, very wideband hash signal coming from a substation about 1.6
km (1 mile) away, almost due east in the valley below my QTH, and precisely on
the bearing I had from the 20M beam. 

An e-mail to BC Hydro's expert in Vancouver let him know about it and in
mid-March, he came up from Vancouver. It was his third 400-km trip since April
2005, and he went right to the spot I indicated and confirmed a faulty
insulator "sparking like crazy" on a pole inside the substation compound. He
has put in a repair work order, but the repair hasn't yet been made. I have
high hopes this time that my 2.5-year ordeal will soon be over.

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

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