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Mon Nov 30 15:30:18 PST 2009

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: P49Y
Operator(s): AE6Y
Station: P49Y

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 45
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:  124    11       20
   80:  746    20       71
   40: 1678    30       92
   20: 1701    28       82
   15: 1575    27       77
   10:  131     9       15
Total: 5955   125      356  Total Score = 8,500,000

Club: Northern California Contest Club


(Note that score and countries count is approximate.  Some recent improvements
in my software made it forget that most KG4s aren't Guantanamo and that NP3D/W2
isn't interesting DX, so I'll have to make a few small programming changes, and
the result will change slightly.)

This was only my second all band effort in CQWW CW (the first being in 2006,
when I finished ninth in the world but only third on Aruba, behind N6AA and
W2GD!), and I had psyched myself up for a major effort in staying awake.  Last
two years were 40m SB, which is a comparatively civilized way to do this
contest. I felt pretty good for most of the contest, although with occasional
falling asleep-at-the-switch episodes, but at about 0600Z Sunday, I was
becoming totally uncoordinated and confused, so I took about a two-hour nap
which turned out to be just what was needed.  No major hallucinations, though
in the very last hour of the contest, as things were drying up on 20, I QSYed
to 40 and had an instant pileup.  I was convinced that I was in a large room
full of Europeans, who were yelling at me for intruding, and were ready to
start a fight with the W/Ks who started calling.  I somehow managed to make 122
very befuddled QSOs in that last hour, but I was sure that I was about to end up
in some sort of knife fight with the EUs!  

Low points:  (1) A stupid operator error could cost me in the standings.  We
have a not-terribly good vertical H-Dipole for transmitting on 160 (in contrast
to our receiving beverages, which work great on 160-80-40).  The lower leg had
been reported as removed some time ago.  It runs to a neighbor's telephone pole
and apparently got in the way of the garbage trucks.  I reattached it, and the
antenna seemed pretty flat on most of the band. W2GD convinced me the coax
might be failing, but it did seem to work, so I used it as is.  Then during the
contest, the Titan starting faulting on that band intermittently.  Since I had
convinced myself there was a major problem, I did only a minor effort on 160
(one and a half hours in all).  I couldn't think of anything to do Saturday
night, even though I could hear some EUs. Anyway, after the contest, it seemed
that the connector was loose at the Six-Pak!  Although I had checked them all
before the contest, I must have made a mistake on that one.  I suspect I could
easily have worked a number of additional mults, if I hadn't been so ready to
believe there was a major problem.  I guess it's a "teachable moment".
  (2) I was very concentrated on QSO rates, so I did almost no hunting for
mults, though I did get some on the second radio. But it was hard to use the
second radio until things slowed a bit on Sunday, as the pileups demanded my
total attention most of the time. I had a goal of 6000 contacts (which was
achieved if you count dupes), but undoubtedly left some easy mults on the
table.  But since one mult is worth about 10 or so QSOs in this contest, I
decided, for example to go back to 15 on Sunday afternoon for a higher rate,
rather than stay on 10 in the hope that some odd mults would appear.  I may
have overdone this emphasis on QSO numbers.

High points: (1) Some very good hours on 15, 20, and at the start, on 40. Also,
the odd experience of running JAs on 80 Sunday morning.  But what has happened
to the old JA discipline?  It used to be that if you sent JR1? and there was a
JF1 calling, he wouldn't reply.  Now the whole JA pileup seems to keep calling.
 Has there been a general deterioration in the politeness of Japanese society,
or are the contesters just more aggressive now?
 (2) Being able to stay up for just about the whole contest, and feeling OK at
the end for our usual Aruban post-contest dinner.
 (3) As always, the K3 is an excellent run radio and insulates you very well
from adjacent QRM.  To help its second-radio capabilities, I hooked its IF
output to our second 756 Pro2 and used that as an effective but expensive band
scope (an idea from W0YK).  
 (4) The usual Aruban social calendar, which included a Thanksgiving dinner
with P40V (Carl, AI6V) and P40YL (Sue, AI6YL), P43L (Lisandro) and Lissette,
P43P (Jackie) and Katrina and Jasmine, P43A (Jean-Pierre) and P43C (Chris),
P43E (Emily), P49MR (Martin), and P40W (John, W2GD); and a nice visit with P40A
(John, KK9A) and Leslie.  This is such a nice place! (License plate logo: One
Happy Island).

  Thanks to everyone for the QSOs, especially some weak stations that had to
wait patiently in pileups. Some of these were very nice mults, e.g., TX3, HL2,
CE0Y, and are much appreciated.

Rig: Elecraft K3, Icom 756 Pro2, Alpha 86, Ten-Tec Titan
Ant: F12: 1 el 80, 2 el 40, 4 el 20, 5 el 15, 2 el 10; C31XR. 160 H-dipole.
Software: CQPWIN ver. 11.5

  73, Andy, AE6Y, P49Y

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