CaQP N6D M/MCntyExp HP
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Wed Oct 10 16:00:58 EDT 2007
California QSO Party
Operator(s): AC7ZG NE7D W7YAQ KI7Y N7MQ
Class: M/MCntyExp HP
QTH: Del Norte
Operating Time (hrs): 30
Band CW Qs Ph Qs
160: 43 11
80: 183 87
40: 325 200
20: 373 409
15: 126 102
10: 0 0
6: 0 0
2: 0 0
Total: 1050 809 Mults = 58 Total Score = 276,544
Club: Willamette Valley DX Club
Our second year in Del Norte, this time from a mountain peak at 5300 feet with
surrounding mountains up to 8000-9000feet. This was a substantial advantage
over last year's coastal site where a 3000 foot mountain wall was less than a
mile to the NE/E/SE/S. Antennas at the new site, while only on short masts, had
nearfields virtually in freespace due to the extreme 1500-2500 foot dropoffs
within a few wavelengths from the antenna.
We were short an operator compared to last year, but we were again only
operating two stations (one dedicated to phone and one dedicted to SSB so we
could run the same band on both modes) with the usual separate station on 160m.
No effort was made on 10m-6m-2m. Unlike last year, there is no power available
onsite, so we were completely generator driven which meant that not only did we
have to bring all water onsite, but fuel for the stations for 30+ hours had to
be brought on site (and no convenient gas/supplies nearby - only at Grants Pass
or Crescent City - many hours away).
After a long drive across Oregon, the team arrived onsite Thursday at 1:00pm in
a blinding snowstorm.
The 2-el steppir and Spiderbeam were setup on masts during the snow, as well as
the 80m dipoles and 40m dipoles. By nightfall we were looking at 3-4 inches of
snow on the ground and concerned that we would be trapped by the continuing
storm due to the narrow, steep mountain roads with unprotected dropoffs (not
even a shoulder on the road!) of 1500-3000 thousand feet.
Friday dawned with continuing snow but the weather cleared by evening. The 160m
MA160 vertical was setup. By end of day the two run stations were setup and
tested, and a third station dedicated to 160m was setup.
Saturday contest went well, with early runrates higher than expected. The team
was optimistic that we could have high scores, but runrates dropped off
substantially on Saturday night and Sunday.
Saturday evening, we missed the 80m PH rally due to a faulty 80m antenna - we
replaced the 80m dipole at 0400 with a 80m bazooka(we carry reserve antennas)
in the dark...but it wasn't an antenna failure in the balun, it was the failure
in the coax...so we also replaced the 80m coax. Within an hour, the coax on the
40m antenna failed and had to be replaced (still dark, cold, snow....). We lost
phone runrates on 80m and subsequently 40m during these times directly
attributed to the failure of the Cable Xperts coax we had used on these two
antennas only(we switched to HRO and Home-assembled Coax lines). (and if Cable
Xperts representative is reading this -- we suggest that you make improvements
in your connector assembly to improve reliability. This is not the first time
this has happened....your coax won't be at N6D in the future without the
connectors replaced by us).
By Sunday, the snow was gone and temperatures were up. Runrates were
surprisingly light on Sunday but we did see the usual post-game surges from the
East coast. A last minute call by VY1WR on PH gave us the 58th mult (thanks
By contest end we were beat. We left the gear in place and drove to Crescent
City for a shower (unfortunately KOA campground could not accomodate so we went
for 5 days with no showers) and a great seafood dinner on the wharf.
Monday we packed up, somehow taking only 4 hours to disassemble and drag all
the equipment down the 300 feet from the peak to load, and all ops were home
before 6 pm.
A great contest, but conditions were certainly disappointing. DX was down
(although a TF called us, there were no other EUs unlike last year). JA's were
heard but busy with their own contest (but not worked - last year's atttempts
to cross-work contests really wasn't pleasant nor very productive for us.).
We know we were being heard across the US - getting consistent reports of
S9+20, had many QSOs with mobiles, a couple of QRP stations, plus we had the
mobile-only county hunters on 14336 call us to complain that we were too close
when we were on 14332. (When asked if they could use filters due to crowded
band conditions, they claimed their rigs didn't have them. We moved down a bit
to accomodate them, although we'd been running long before they started up, and
frankly there wasn't another hole elsewhere to be found between 14200 and 14346.
Such is life.)
Overall in spite of snow, we had a great time.
N6D Team - AC7ZG, KI7Y, N7MQ, NE7D, W7YAQ
(If anyone needs a card for del norte, qsl via AC7ZG.)
Posted using 3830 Score Submittal Forms at: http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/
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