[3830] IARU NX5M M/S HP

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Sun Jul 12 09:43:52 PDT 2009

                    IARU HF World Championship

Call: NX5M
Operator(s): NX5M, KU5B
Station: NX5M

Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 22

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
  160:    12      0     3        1
   80:    67      5    12       12
   40:   354    256    30       44
   20:   352    632    39       51
   15:   190    181    22       33
   10:    51     18     6        4
Total:  1026   1092   112      145  Total Score = 1,638,118

Club: Central Texas DX and Contest Club


Tentative plan to do a multi right up until a couple of days before the contest.
 KU5B and I were not sure if we wanted to do this one without another operator
to help out but we did it anyway.  Unknown to us, whether we would actually do
the whole 24 hours or not, we basically stayed in the shack the entire 24 hours
although only getting 22 hours of operating time.  I think the omen started on
Friday morning when I walked out of the house and saw that the top 2/3 of a
large oak tree had fallen across the south anchor and guys of the 15m tower.  I
had to spend a couple of hours getting that cleaned up and then noticed that one
of the limbs had taken out some of the elevated radials on the 160m antenna.  It
had also fallen across all the coax and control cables running out to the 15m
tower so I was afraid that there might be some damage to those but they ended
up being ok.
40 and 80 were brutally noisy but it got better later into the night....thank
goodness.  Struggle to pull calls out in all that noise.  I still do not like
the multi-single rules in IARU.  One of us had to sit on our hands while the
other operated.  Although the rules apply to all, sitting around doing nothing
is really not very much fun.
First catastrophe:  30 minutes into the contest the amp that I thought had been
repaired decided to act up again.  Being an Alpha, it kept faulting without any
LED indication of what the problem was....same problem as before it seemed. 
Could only run about 500w out of it...anything more and it would fault into
standby.  We thought about it for a while and finally decided to swap it out
with the amp that is used on the 15/80 station and just use the 20m amp on 15
at seriously reduced power.  That lasted for a while but not long after we had
started working 15m the amp decided it did not even want to work on low power
so we ended up being barefoot on 15 for a while.  We then decided to swap band
assignments with the 40m radio so that we could run some power so another 15
minutes of fumbling through coax, re-routing cables, moving antenna switches,
etc., were spent doing that.
We made the old 15/80 radio into the 10m radio.....moved the antenna switch to
accommodate the operator and just ran barefoot there.  Even managed to work
into EU on 10m with low power.
So when it came time to do 80m.....we had to use a smaller amp at one of the
other operating positions.  Probably no big deal really but it seemed to make
it a bit harder to get into EU so we spent less time on 80 than we had actually
thought we would.  On top of everything else, the 80m beverage switching could
not be moved so we used the 160 beverages on 80.  They work, but not as good as
the ones that are specifically set up for 80m operation.
In all, we spent 22 hours operating, a total of 1 hour trying to figure out
alternate plans to keep things going and another hour disconnecting and
reconnecting this and that just to be able to be on the band we wanted to be on
even if it was not with the right amp or no amp at all.
The end result was not too bad.  A better score than the last multi in
2007....but now I have to send an amp back to Alpha.
About 0700z we decided that one of us should sleep for an hour while the other
operated and then trade places.  I think I felt worse after I had slept an hour
and Colin agrees....so did he.
Next year, who knows!  There are going to be some things happening in the near
future that will impact the station to some degree but may end up making it

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