[3830] CQ160 CW N7AT(@K8IA) Multi-Op HP

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Sun Jan 31 11:19:37 PST 2010

                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW

Call: N7AT
Operator(s): K8IA KC7V N7RQ
Station: K8IA

Class: Multi-Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 31

Total:  QSOs = 1172  State/Prov = 59  Countries = 60  Total Score = 473,382

Club: Arizona Outlaws Contest Club


TT Orion II, Alpha 91B
Xmit Antenna: 78' Shunt(Omega match)Fed Tower with 60 radials
RX Antennae: 
1. Pair K9AY Loops 
2. N6RK Loop (from NCJ)
3. 550' temporary Beverage (BOG) east-west - unterminated

This was a wonderful opportunity for N7RQ (xyl Sandy) and I to team with one of
the long-time 160 meter contesters in the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club, our good
friend Mike, KC7V. We had a blast!

The first night brought the lowest noise level and best first night conditions
I can recall in any 160 contest, even last years record breaking event. In
2009, CQ Magazine called that event "The Contest For the Ages", as conditions
were that good! 

This year, the first evening's propagation to Europe was intense  and signals
stable. I kind of knew something special was happening when I began hearing
western and central Europe just BEFORE my sunset. Very unusual for us in
Arizona to experience hearing Europe that early.  Especially for our semi-rural
QTH, which can be noisy. Once Eu became workable for us, both an effective S&P
and some Running became possible.

Later in the evening's propagation cycle, we experienced similar propagation to
Japan. Before the sun rose, we had 90 JA stations in the log. Contrast that to
the best years either Mike and I had before, about 40 JA's and that was for the
entire weekend!. This was a special night.830 q's, 56 states/provinces and 49
countries in the log the first night.

Tnx to all those folks who gave us those big 10 point QSO's!

Mike once said to me, "Work things when you can on Topband, as it can turn on a
dime". Well I cant say the "dime" fully turned on Saturday night, but it sure
was rotating a bit. ;-)

The 160 Gods didn't smile on us Saturday night. It was more like an evil grin.

Saturday brought 3 dB more noise.That's killer on a band where you are already
capturing signals at ESP levels. In addition, DX propagation wasn't nearly as
good ad some deep QSB often present. Eu wasn't fully workable until nearly
their sunrise and what was taking one quick call on Friday night was taking me
3-4 calls this night. 

Also, we experienced a computer glitch that kept shutting us down for about 90
minutes Saturday evening. At first glance, it looked like some hardware
compatibility problem. I had never seen that before. Restarts cost us time,
qso's and run frequencies. Not good. Later it corrected itself and was OK for
the last 7 hours. This certainly hampered us for about 90 minutes though, in
the height of US/VE openings Saturday night .I still have to fully investigate
this happening.

Even with the propagation and other problems with Saturday night, we still
finished well. I had expected more after the first night, but more often than
not, it just doesn't happen to plan. ;-) We did end up with a solid effort and
decent numbers and I am happy with that.The sun rose Sunday and we have 1172
q's, 59 states/provinces and 60 countries. I like it!

It's a solid contribution to the Arizona Outlaws Contest Club score too, our
original goal! Hats off to the other two (or maybe there's more?) multiop
groups in the club. Both the band presence of the guys at NI5T and N7DD assure
more club points!

73, Bob K8IA
Arizona Outlaws Contest Club

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