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Tue Oct 30 09:05:58 EST 2007

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

Call: GM0F
Operator(s): GM4AFF
Station: GM4AFF

Class: SOAB(A) HP
Operating Time (hrs): 14
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:    0     0        0
   80:  223    13       69
   40:  148    15       71
   20:  364    20       78
   15:   44    11       33
   10:  139     9       41
Total:  918    68      292  Total Score = 510,120



Sadly, this year's CQ WW SSB was a complete non-event. I had a few issues which
really put a damper on my enthusiasm (which doesn't take much to dampen these
days) and my score.

I entered the Assisted section. I don't know why, when you're given your mults
on a plate, the rate just falls through the floor. I think it's essential to
ignore the cluster until at least midnight on Saturday night! Strangely, as
others have said, it's not Single Op Assisted, it's Single Op Distracted. This
was borne out by my rapidly failing score on Saturday morning. Using the
wonderful WinTest objective facility I could see that I was falling behind
after 0400 without any let-up on my enthusiasm up till then (compared to

My 15m signal was awful. Apologies for that. I was given a couple of 'bad
audio' reports when I started running on 15m, although I was unaware of the
cause. I listened on my second radio, and sure enough, it was awful. I
disconnected everything that might have allowed RF in, but to no avail.
I tried running using the second radio (FT1000MP + Collins 30S1) and it was as
bad. Very strange when you get RF feedback in the same manner on two separate
radios! It looks like it's the antenna. I had to repair the feeder last week,
so perhaps there's more to the problem than meets the eye. So 15m was out of
the frame.

I couldn't copy stuff on 20m. This was a real pain. Conditions were good and
the band was busy. I now realise that I am not better than the radio. I've
always refused to buy additional SSB filters for my radios.
I now realise that I'm not better than the radio, and that filters are an
essential part of a decent transceiver. I nearly bought two new ones last

160m set the phone off. Every time I transmitted on 160m I set the house
telephone off. It's done this in the recent past but I never really dwelt on
it. This was serious and I couldn't go on. As to why, I have no idea. Was it
doing it to the next door neighbour's phone too? Up until July this year it was
not a problem, and nothing on 160m (or the phone
system) has changed. In fact I actually removed the phone line from the shack
earlier this year. It must be RF getting in to the actual phone line, which
passes by the antenna field at about 20 feet high. Very simply, it must be
over-powering the phone. So, no 160m either.
10m was open and was jumping, but for me, only with lots of Europeans. I called
CQ and worked strings of DL's and OE's. I felt this wasn't as productive as it
might have appeared at first.

I have some horrible bug which I caught in Ghana a few weeks ago which I can't
shake off. Have now been put on a course of some extremely potent anti-biotic.
I'm run down. (Just adding this to the list of excuses!)

But it was the 20m and filtering problem which finally did it for me. I find it
incredibly difficult to walk away from a contest. It takes me to a place I don't
want to go (mentally). I am tired for a start, which I am not good at handling
these days, as mild paranoia seems to creep in (I think - I'm not an expert).
Then I just get so depressed once I have had a sleep because I feel that I
could rescue the situation, but then another side says - no way, you're .5 mil
points behind already.

So, last night I booked my flight to operate at CT9L in November!

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