webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Mon Feb 18 13:39:58 EST 2008

                    ARRL DX Contest, CW

Call: K1IR
Operator(s): K1TWF K1VR W1VE WO1N K1IR
Station: K1IR

Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 48

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:  103    58
   80:  490    84
   40:  925   102
   20: 1540   108
   15:   97    63
   10:    2     1
Total: 3157   416  Total Score = 3,937,440

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club


What a great contest. Despite truly poor high-band conditions, the competition
was fierce. It sure looks like there was a 'ceiling' on what was achievable,
creating extremely tight races in most categories.

In M/S, we were in a dead heat with K1LZ for the entire contest. With the
ability to see competitive position updated at five minute intervals on
getscores.org, our motivation was driven to its max. We were also aware of
other likely M/S teams in the game [K8AZ and KT3Y], who were not posting to
getscores, but could potentially be trouncing us. So, we did our best to keep
the pressure on for the full 48.

The station was in reasonably good shape going into the contest. Upgrading the
40m TIC ring to a Green Heron controller did wonders in stabilizing its
operation. We had no trouble with 40m rotation through the entire contest - a
first for the station.

Our "Dual-Rate Station" was not working properly as of Wednesday. This critical
capability was not something we could afford to live without. So, I spent all
night Wednesday getting it running.

The Beverages were not in good shape as Friday approached. K1VR came over and
we spent much of the day in the marshy woods, in the snow reconstructing a
field of broken wires. Most of the wires were buried under the snow; this was a
major job. Many thanks to Fred for his help with this ugly task. We really ned
to get the active RX 4-square technology running here. That should relieve us
somewhat from this constant maintenance requirement.

Line noise has plagued the station since CQ WW. On phone, the s7 noise level
really impacted our ability to hear anything to the NW on the high bands. It
was a killer for weak Asia/Pacific mults. On cw, with narrower RX bandwidths,
we are not affected quite as much. This one has been quite difficult to track.
Back in January, I identified a pole generating some arcing about 1.5 miles
away from the station in the direction of greatest signal strength at the
station. After many fits and starts, the power company came out the weekend
before the contest and replaced everything on the pole. They cured the arcing.
But, they didn't cure our QRN at the station. I had identified a source - but
not the right one. I continued the search through the week prior to the contest
- imposing on several neighbors to turn their power off. Even after the contest
started, I continued the search, and with a few tips from friends on the RFI
reflector, was able to track the source down to a very small localized area. I
believe I have identified the house that's generating the problem, but nobody
was home all weekend, so we lost the opportunity to fix it for this contest. I
am hopeful that the issue will be fully addressed before the SSB weekend. In
the end, because there was so little propagation in that direction for us, we
were not impacted too severely by this problem.

Toward the end of the contest, we encountered a small issue with the main mast
rotor losing calibration. I climbed and determined that there were no
mechanical issues. I will have to investigate this further.

We realized that there are a few station improvements that need to be made to
get another 1% out of our efforts . . . 
1.  Better 160m transmit and receive antennas [wire 4-square in the woods?]
2.  More than just one 40m antenna so we can cover multiple directions [and you
think you can find a spot for that on the tower, Jim?]
3.  Better Beverages or other receive antennas
4.  Ability to receive on the second Rate radio and tune for mults/Qs while the
main Rate op is running

This time, we welcomed K1TWF and WO1N to the team. Both have competitive
contesting experience with the likes of K1TTT, K0TV and K1KI. After coming to
the station for their training sessions just a few days before the contest,
they were able to dive in and help make a real difference, right away. They
drove hard and contributed greatly in bolstering both our runs and multiplier

Kudos again to W1VE and K1VR, anchoring the run and mult functions,
respectively. Gerry generated Rate when it shouldn't have been possible, and
Fred filled in the Mult Chart with all the tough ones - particularly on the low

After staying up all night on Wednesday to get the station working properly,
dealing with excessive work issues, and rushing through the Beverage repair job
on Friday, I suffered a major crash over the weekend. I couldn't seem to stay
awake long enough to put in any quality hours in the Rate chair, so I did what
I could to add to the Mult count.

Other Observations
QRP - So many! This is a great thing for contesting. These stations are a
challenge to copy - and getting them correctly into the log is a tribute to
station capabilities and operating skill. And, of course, these stations help
to increase the pool of available QSOs.
On-Air Behavior - We had very few 'run-ins' with other stations this year. Our
general feeling is that, despite crowded bands, competitors seemed to get along
pretty well.
www.getscores.org - Everyone with an internet connection and a computer logging
program should be on the live scoreboard. The board showed a total of 92
stations posting in this contest. If there's no interface for your logging
program, complain. If there is, and you need help setting it up, ask for

It isn't conditions that make for a great contest. It's competition and
participation. As long as we have enough stations trying to win, combined with
a large number of stations who want to get on for a few hours and make a few
QSOs, we have a formula for a successful contest. We're definitely looking
forward to the next 'big one'.


Jim K1IR

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

More information about the 3830 mailing list