[3830] WAE CW VE6TL Single Op HP

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Sun Aug 15 17:31:15 PDT 2010

                    WAE DX Contest, CW

Call: VE6TL
Operator(s): VE6TL
Station: VE6TL

Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 16

 Band  QSOs  QTCs  Mults
   40:   25     0    45
   20:  198   209    72
   15:   36    40    30
Total:  259   249   147  Total Score = 74,676



This was my best effort in this contest.  Last year I scored 13,000 points in 6
hours on low power (doubled the previous year's score) and this year I made
almost 6 times that, but on high power (about 400W).  Yet, it was still really
tough as the fast solar wind blew out of a coronal hole in the sun and right
into my back yard!  All the signals sounded like they had gone through a
blender and I had to make almost everyone repeat their reports several times. 
On Friday night on 40m I had to ask everyone to QRS, as well.  Anything over
about 15 WPM was unintelligble.  40m died just before midnight and I could only
copy one station on all of 80m (and not from Europe).  So I went to bed.
Saturday morning was devoid of Europe on all bands and it wasn't until around
4PM (2200Z) that things started to pick up on 20m.  Yet everything was still
S&P.  Sunday morning was much better as there were actual signals on 20m by
10AM (1600Z).  Sunday afternoon featured a nice opening on 15m where I was
actually spotted (thank you IR4X!) and suddenly had a pileup to work.  Guess
there weren't many (any?) other VE6s in the contest.  I probably made two
thirds my QSOs in the last 4 hours of the contest.  I ended up with 10 QTCs I
was trying to give away in the last hour.  This is where I ran into a bug with
N1MM.  I tried to give QTCs to a station that I had already given the maximum
10 to.  Before I realized it, or could change it, N1MM allowed me to give 1 QTC
to him (26/1).  The other station then realized too the problem and we struck it
from both logs.  N1MM then said I had 10 QTCs to give (correctly) but when I
finally found a station to take them, it gave an error and refused to send any
more QTCs.  Good thing I was pretty much done the contest!  

One interesting thing happened that I hadn't run into before.  While I was
running on 15m this afternoon, DL1A called me with a loud and distinct signal. 
But someone else tried to add an A right after his call, so that I would get
DL1AA and perhaps make an error in my log.  This happened 3 times in a row,
with the second A appearing right after DL1A had given his call.  It was
perfect timing, except that the frequency was about 20 Hz off - just enough to
tell it wasn't zero beat.  After several calls to DL1A the other guy quit
adding the second A and I was able to log DL1A just fine.  Would someone go to
this length to ruin a QSO?

Anyway, the WAE is my favorite contest because of the QTCs and the added
confusion (fun).  I doubt that Skimmer would be much use due to all the
callsigns floating around and given that spotting is allowed, everyone is
pretty much equal (except for power and antennas).  It would be nice to reverse
the QTC process some time just to try.  And I'm sure glad I have my new
FTDX-5000MP as it helped cut through a lot of QRN with all the different
filtering options.  

CU in the next one!

Jerry VE6TL

Rig:  FTDX-5000MP
Amp:  FL-7000
Ant:  TH6DXX tribander
      BigIR Vertical
Software:  N1MM

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