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Mon Oct 29 00:12:19 EST 2007

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

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

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
   80:   23     7        6
   40:   63    13       22
   20:  175    22       42
   15:   87    11       26
   10:    1     1        1
Total:  349    54       97  Total Score = 123,367



* FT-2000 + SB221
* N1MM Logger
* 3 ele. tribander @ 45'
* 2 x 40M half-squares
* 80M delta loop
* 160M Inverted-L (80' high/50' horizontal)

SFI=67 A=14 K=4 == Rotten prop on all bands
* I'm not a phone op. Now I remember why. It's rough work
* Almost every DX station was a new mode-country for me :)
* Had some practice running. Those few 4Q/minutes were great fun
* Bad bands + incessant power line noise (thanks a heap, B.C. Hydro) 
  = some tough slogging.
* Ran unassisted, but cluster would have really helped S&P production

Went in with very low expectations as conditions looked bad. Used this one to
get my feet wet (damp, anyway) in a full-tilt phone test. The station's SSB kit
consists of a Heil Pro Set Plus and footswitch (obtained after dabbling in WAE
SSB last month), and otherwise all CW-band antennas. Must say the FT-2000
played great -- made it possible to fend off some very heavy QRM. 

Got exactly what I expected: low production. Wondered many times what the
hard-core stations were thinking about conditions, and how many guys sat this
one out. Going by the modestly populated bands Friday and Saturday night, I
suspect attendance was low. Was impressed by the number of VE7s active -- must
have heard a dozen of us over the weekend (though big VE7/VE6 signals here on
80M through 15M usually mean DX conditions are marginal, if not totally

Bands were truly lousy -- not as bad as some recent weekends, but still lousy.
20M and 15M success here is limited by the tribander's CW settings. Definitely
wasn't being heard too well at the high end of either band. Low ends were FB
but stations not in the same abundance, especially when running stateside.

Evenings at the microphone (voice finding its way from the shack through
furnace ducts to the kids' bedrooms upstairs) prompted a case of 'XYL and
harmonic' supression: "Keep it down!" I was told by the three non-hams in the
family late Friday night. Being a sport and seeing as bands were quite rotten,
I went QRT during the wee hours, but was at it again for 40M at 6 a.m. and damn
the torpedoes, hi. 

"Over and over again. 'QSL five nine three...' what does that even mean?" one
kid asked over breakfast. "That's what points sound like," I replied. "Don't
worry. At this rate, none of us will go deaf from it."

Note to self: use the rig's DVK next time out.

160M -- Heard a coupld W6s but they couldn't hear me. Inverted-L over a dozen
temporary radials wasn't enough with unamplified 100W SSB even for close-in
regional stuff this weekend.

80M -- Touch-and-go propagation. Some JAs heard Sunday a.m. but none worked.
Only DX worked were KH7, XE, 8P, KL7. Didn't feel like a WW contest there at

40M -- Seemed pretty good to SA. No EU or AS worked, but a couple of Pacific
(KH6 and ZL only). Slim pickings finding stateside guys not split down below
7040 for EU (worked those who said they were also listening on their own freq,
but didn't want to go way, way low to work 'em split).

20M -- No EU opening Saturday here, just a few big guns not pointing to the
western part of NA. SA was super. Sunday morning EU opened much better but
still no hell. A nice sampling of UK stations, plus SM, OH, F, I, DL, UA1, ES
and that was about it. In the final hour found AS wide open for VR2, B7P and
UAO mults.

15M -- Not bad to NA/SA on Saturday, but a lot weaker Sunday here. Better
conditions than I've seen in several months, though. Was not a wasteland as it
has been. Alas, no EU or AS.

10M -- One lone SA station. Not another sound heard. 

Unique calls: 309 of 359.
Only four-bander: KH7X (80M-15M)

Will be back for more next time. Gotta hope for better in the CW leg next month
and sweepstakes weekends. See you in the fray.

-- Bud VA7ST

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