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Sun Sep 26 19:19:48 PDT 2010

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

Call: K7IA
Operator(s): K7IA
Station: K7IA

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: SW New Mexico
Operating Time (hrs): 27:37

 Band  QSOs  Pts   State/Prov  DX   Zones
   80:   49    55       26       4     5
   40:  201   319       44      37    18
   20:  556   935       53      65    22
   15:  107   219       26      35    15
   10:    7    19        1       4     4
Total:  920  1547      150     145    64  Total Score = 555,373



Raw scores submitted:

Year      QSOs     Points     Mults      Tot. Score     Op Time
2009      924      1683       302        508,266        26:38
2010      920      1547       359        555,373        27:37

Numerically this outing was nearly a carbon copy of last year's, but it doesn't
reflect changes in the recent equipment lineup:  Three weeks before this year's
outing, the 4 el SteppIR Yagi's driven element went on the blink (for the third
time in 2.5 years), and sometime during the weekend, the linear amp decided not
to make more than 400-500 watts.  No matter what the exciter power was, the max
grid current I saw was 25 ma.  Output power could have been much lower, so no
complaints here.

A week ago, my neighbor and tower guru, N2IC, and his bride Kathy, supervised
lowering the SteppIR to the ground for inspection and possible repair.  Alas,
the 30/40 "trombone" motor had failed mechanically and required replacement.  I
elected to simplify the antenna and reduce antenna "down" time by removing the
trombone and replacing the 30/40 motor with a standard 20 meter motor. 
SteppIR's support was again superb, and they shipped the needed parts to me via
2nd day air, all at no cost.  But parts didn't arrive in time for pre-contest
installation (and local WX was no help, either!), so Steve loaned me a small
three element trapped tribander to get me through the weekend.  I've the mods
to the SteppIR, and the next antenna party is--tomorrow!

The little tribander did a nice job, but it wasn't a 4 el SteppIR.  I didn't
feel very loud, especially on 15m, which had more activity (sustained both
afternoons, too!) than I've seen in years.  I kept thinking about why I don't
have a backup linear amp, because a few extra dB would have helped in the
intense 15m activity.  But as I said, it could have been worse--I could have
been barefoot.

I was stunned that I did as well as last year, considering the net equipment
losses.  Propagation was certainly better this year on the high bands--I had no
Q's on either 15 or 10 last year.  Last year, 40 was more productive, probably
because the SteppIR's 40m rotatable dipole was installed and working (this
year's 40m antenna is the SteppIR vertical).  80m was more productive last
year, with more than twice the Qs.  I recall much less noise and far more
activity on 80 last year.

It was a nice surprise to come out so well this year.  Wonder what the
equipment lineup will be next year...

Thanks to CQ Magazine for supporting and orgainzing the WW events.  Thanks also
to the fine digi ops who filled the bands with activity and who showed up in the
final two hours to hand out some points.  And special thanks to those who didn't
give up on my sometimes peanut whistle signal on 15m!

dan k7ia

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