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Mon Jun 16 10:25:28 EDT 2008

                    ANARTS WW RTTY Contest

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

Class: SOST HP
Operating Time (hrs): 13.2

 Band  QSOs  Pts   Mults
   80:   13    68     7
   40:   64   783    22
   20:  222  3385    52
   15:    9    72     4
Total:  308  4308    85  Continents = 5  Total Score = 1,830,900



* FT-2000 + SB221
* N1MM Logger + MMTTY 
* 3 element tribander at 45'
* 40M twin half-squares (switchable NW-SE)
* 80M twin vertical array (raised)

Well, they sure don't make contest weekends like they used to. SFI=67 A=16 K=4
-- the numbers were terrible, but the real-life conditions were the worst yet
for the bottom of the cycle (and we've seen some doozies in the bad propagation
dept.) At one point on Sunday afternoon I called CQ to north Africa for two
hours and worked about 5 stations, all Ws.

Friday night was relatively great to all points, but Saturday was worse and
Sunday totally wiped out by geomagnetic conditions -- Au was 7, A in the
mid-teens and rising K index, so the polar path was gone as of Saturday
afternoon and even stateside QSOs were nigh on impossible for the last half of
the contest. Only put in 13.2 hours but it felt like 30. Took many breaks
hoping to find signals better when I returned (they never were).

10M -- never heard a signal there.

15M -- worked 9 stations, though the band was open to W4 and W6 from here. No
activity, or everyone south of me was aiming at South America and not looking
for the Pacific Northwest mults.

20M -- very good to EU on Friday evening and I had a great time finding bunches
of 24-pointers. Later, starting 0630z conditions were good to JA for just over
an hour.

At 0548Z on Friday evening (10:48 p.m. Pacific) I heard 7X0RY working stations,
and tried to get his attention for about half an hour, but the path was just too
weak. In hindsight, I should have stayed right there until I worked him as I
only heard him one other time -- water-weak at 2000z Saturday (around noon
here) -- and not again all weekend. 

Thinking I'd get lucky and draw out CN8KD or 7X0RY, I spent several hours in
total Saturday afternoon, evening and Sunday pointed at 50 degrees calling CQ,
but it was just dead air no matter where I pointed. I did manage to work 4 VKs
around 0630z on 20M Friday night, which was satisfying.

40M -- the newly twinned half-square array worked nicely into NA, Asia and
Oceania. Qs were down from last year due to less time spent on the air, but
mults were about the same. No EU heard on the dual vertical array pointed over
the pole. Worked 2 VKs and 2 ZLs. JA/UA0 opened strongly around 1220z for half
an hour.

80M -- 13 Qs for 6 mults was much better than last year (6 Qs for 2 mults). The
band provided easy Qs across NA but no one seemed to be there. Still haven't had
conditions or activity to really feel out the new 2-element vertical array.

This is the first time since 2004 that I didn't get all 6 continents.

Year-over-year claimed scores:

Year     Cat.    Qs   Mult Cont     Score   Hrs  Call
June-08  SOABHP  308    85   5  1,830,900    13  VA7ST
June-07  SOABHP  389    98   6  3,083,684    19  VA7ST
June-06  SOABLP  175  	61   6	  764,408    18  VA7ST
June-05  SOSTLP  289 	84   6	1,775,384    14  VA7ST
June-04  SOABLP  158 	64   5    687,120    12  VA7ST
June-03  SOABLP  120 	67   5    567,530    16  VE7ASK
June-02  SOABLP   60 	42   5    226,340    19  VE7ASK

Worked a non-contest Q with KE7OPK who was using a VIC-20 computer. Didn't get
an exchange, but had a flashback, hi. My first RTTY QSO as a teenager in 1983
was on a C-64 using a homebrew rat's nest terminal unit and hand-assembled
machine language software peeked and poked into RAM. I think the entire program
was under 2KB in size... could have fit into CW keyer memory in today's rig.

73 and thanks for the contacts!

-- Bud, VA7ST

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