WPX SSB IR4X(IZ3EYZ) SOAB HP
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Thu Apr 12 19:56:30 EDT 2007
CQWW WPX Contest, SSB
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Total: 2685 Prefixes = 1000 Total Score = 7,561,000
Not that being at the bottom with SFI=70 and K=3 one would expect pile-ups on
high bands but when I heard lots of loud US (20/30db over S-9) calling HV0A on
15 Friday afternoon prior to the contest I thought it wouldn't have been that
bad, especially on Sat. On the other hand forecasts themselves went totally
wrong and Sun ended up to be better than Sat, but way below how conds were
prior to the contest.
That said it has been fun anyway. A few highlights and lowlights as usually.
Successfully tested a 6x2 antenna switching with vacuum relays after several
months of work, not a single glitch! Thumbs up ;-)
After wiring all cables and with one radio ready to go I made a quick check
just to see if everything was ok. 80mt ant showed infinite SWR. It wasn't
neither a coax cable or a relay fault. Thus, we took a flashlight and went
outside. Well, half element of the 80mt yagi wasn't in his place anymore but it
was resting into vertical polarization right against the tower :-S
That was the result of some wind/snow we had a few days b4. It was the 1st and
only storm out of a quiet and warm winter.
So I ended up using the 160mt dipole on 80mt with 50w input :-)
Unfortunately even the spare antenna (80mt ssb slooping dipole) which needed
just to fix the lower end and connect the coax was damaged too. We couldn't
find a connector to replace the broken part...definitely it wasn't my lucky
day! Thanks anyway to Claudio I4VEQ for coming up there to check things.
Being totally focused on a SOAB effort I found it would have been really boring
to turn into a SOSB, especially as the only reasonable option was 40mt. I didn't
want to do it again :-P
Got a challenge with QRN for a few hours on Sat and almost the whole Sun which
prevented me from using all the yagis but luckly there is a quad so RX on 1st
radio was ok.
Starting from Sun morning I became something like SO2R distracted as the TX
input relay of PA on STN A started to fail. So I ended up running guys and
typing stuff with a hand and eventually forcing the relay to switch on with the
SO2R setup was really basic. Two networked PCs with their related keyboards, a
pair of headphones on RADIO A and my MP3 player ones which I put into left or
right ear depending on how I was feeling comfortable at a given moment. Dynamic
mic on 2nd radio.
No voice keyer so I didn't have to care about multiple sigs on the air ;-)
Guess I'm ok for the "die hard" category!
252 2nd radio qsos but it might have been much much better.
Didn't feel I need WT smart functions with my SO2R setup so used the default
software up here: WL which started to duplicate qsos in a crappy way whenever I
networked PCs after a reboot.
Apparently missed the best opening to US on 40 which happened right when I took
an offtime the 2nd night and a JA opening on Sun morning. It really hurt when
Dan LY6M told me when he switched on the radio the first thing he heard was a
JA guy S-9+ on 15mt :-(
Last but not the least thanks to Claudio I4VEQ and Francesco I4IND.
It's always nice to play with a Multi op. setup from a top notch contest
station into Single op. mode :-)
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