[3830] NAQP RTTY AA4LR Single Op LP

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Sat Jul 25 06:46:02 PDT 2009

                    North American QSO Party, RTTY

Call: AA4LR
Operator(s): AA4LR
Station: AA4LR

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 7.7

 Band  QSOs  Mults
   80:   24    14
   40:   87    32
   20:   97    33
   15:   45    17
   10:    0     0
Total:  253    96  Total Score = 24,288

Club: South East Contest Club



Cushcraft A3S / A743 (40m-10m) at 15m
15m shunt-fed tower (80m)
115 foot doublet at 10m (40m, 80m)

Elecraft K2/100 w/ KAT100 running 50 watts (with supplemental cooling)


My objective for this contest was to fill in the holes in my RTTY triple-play
confirmations. I needed AK, DE, TN and WV. I worked one each of AK, DE and WV,
and two in TN. Three days later, I had the confirmations in LoTW. You have to
love that.

Goofed up on 10m, otherwise, I should have made a couple of Qs. The K2 has this
kind of weird behavior above 20 MHz that it inverts the signal, so it
compensates by flipping to the opposite sideband. This makes signals tune
backwards from the lower bands, so I often invert the CW sideband to make it
tune the same way. (This is an item on my K2 firmware wishlist, if Eric and
Wayne ever get around to it)

Well, somehow I wasn't thinking, and picked inverted RTTY on 10m. This means,
of course, that my mark / space are inverted as well. So, I heard a couple of
stations that I couldn't decode. I also called CQ for a while with no answers.
Once I figured out how stupid I was, I heard no more signals on 10m. 10m was
clearly open at the very start, but not very many stations active.

I tried to emphasize 15m a bit, since I need lots of band-states on RTTY, and I
still need five states for 15m WAS. I wasn't lucky enough to work any of those.

20m was jam-packed, as usual. Had a good run at 14112.5, which seems way high
in the band to me. Touch on 40m at 2130z, because 20m started to sound really
long, but it was too early. By 2230, conditions had gotten weird -- 20m was
nearly dead, but 40m had too much absorption to get anything going. I took a
break for some dinner and was back on at 0000z. 40m was still not hopping yet,
so I gave a quick scan of 20m for some needed mults and back to 40m at 0030z.

Rates were touch and go through the rest of the contest for me. Not much going
on 40m, and 80m was really sparse, even though there were many strong signals
there. Had to QRT at 0300z, since I had to get up early on Sunday.

Had a couple of weird incidents while I was CQing -- someone would get next to
me and put his mark frequency right on my space frequency. I'm mean, right
square on it. This isn't good for either of us, so I would tune down and ask
them to QSY. This happened not once but TWICE. One guy proclaimed he didn't
know I was even there, because he had his super filter in. 

Watch out for those filters, guys. If you have too tight a filter when trying
to find a CQ frequency, you may get some place where you cause interference,
and the other guy may interfere with stations trying to copy you. The bands
were never so crowded that you couldn't find a clear place to CQ.

All in all, a lot of fun.

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