[3830] NAQP SSB AA4LR Single Op LP

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Sun Aug 22 21:18:16 PDT 2010

                    North American QSO Party, SSB - August

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

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 10
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    9     8
   80:   61    26
   40:  241    45
   20:  108    34
   15:   13     5
   10:    0     0
Total:  432   118  Total Score = 50,976

Club: South East Contest Club

Team: SECC Peach Pits


Cushcraft A3S/A743 at 15m (10-40m)
80/40m trap dipole at 10m (80m, 40m, and even 20m and 15m through tuner)
Half-size K9AY receiving loops

K2/100 w/ KAT100 running 100 watts
Kenwood TS-430S w/ AT-250 running 100 watts
K1KP-style voice keyer (1 message)
Homebrew SO2R switch box


It's been a while since I've been able to put any kind of full-time effort into
any contest, even one as short as NAQP. While I was happy to do this, it would
have been nice to have better conditions.

10m was a complete bust. I even tried to move a local to 10m after working him
on 15m, but zip. 15m wasn't doing much either. You know it is bad when you find
all the west-coast guys on 20m right away. Even so, I kept going back to 15m in
the first three hours, hoping something would open up, like it had during the
NAQP CW a couple of weeks earlier. No doing.

Even 20m wasn't sounding great, and it had gone long enough that I was running
briefly on 40m at 1930z and again at 2100z. It was bounce back and forth
between 20 and 40m for most of the contest. 

I worked the second radio as hard as I could most of the contest. My setup
proves you don't need to have an elaborate station to work two radios. The
Kenwood was hooked up to a 80/40m trap dipole, although I would sometime steal
it and use it with the K2 on the low bands. I find the two radio method to be
much more difficult to use on the lowest bands, since there's so much noise it
is difficult to tune for stations using one ear.

I count 38 second radio QSOs, which is less than 10% of all my contacts. The
main benefit, I believe was in finding a few multipliers I might have missed,
such as KH7Y on 15m, all by himself at 2253z, or at least, not being worried
about what I was missing on other bands and losing my CQ frequency when things
got a bit slow.

Around 0145z, I made a small mistake. I abandoned a pretty good rate on 40m to
move to 80m. I reasoned that I had worked 40m pretty heavily, and I was likely
missing rate and new mults on 80m. In retrospect, I should have stayed put on
40m for at least another half hour. Even though I felt loud on 80m with the
second radio, the band was just too noisy in the summer to be an effective
place to run.

I had not taking any breaks early in the contest, and only 45 minutes off for
dinner, so the contest was going to end for me at 0445z.  Jumped to 160m at
0330z, which was just about the right timing. Noise level on 160m was
tremendous. Other than a couple of locals, I heard no strong signals on 160m,
and each contact was a struggle. However, they all brought needed multipliers.
Given the conditions, I'm pretty happy with the multiplier total.

Glad to work VP9/NM6E on three bands. Not too many SECCers on, since most of
the crew was at the Huntsville hamfest, where I'm sure they had a great time.

Lots of fun. Not a record score for me, but a record effort with the two

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