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Mon Sep 27 11:55:43 PDT 2010

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

Call: AC0C
Operator(s): AC0C
Station: AC0C

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Kansas
Operating Time (hrs): 

 Band  QSOs  Pts   State/Prov  DX  Zones
   80:   11    13        2      4     9
   40:  503   795       51     22    51
   20:  348   614       46     18    37
   15:  118   253       37     17    10
   10:    9    26        5      5     0
Total:  989  1701      141     66   107  Total Score = 534,114

Club: Kansas City DX Club


Contest conditions were good on Friday/Saturday generally except for some
electrical noise from rain on Friday night which limited 80m operation. 
Sunday’s propagation was not very good by comparison although 15m had a very
good opening Sunday afternoon.

Lot of stronger signals on the band this contest vs. what I remembered from the
RTTY WPX.  Ran the FT-2000 with the NS 3 khz roofing filter mod for the entire
contest session.  Encountered zero issues of interference that the rig could
not handle even working in some pretty tight spaces against some top name
multi-multi guys.  What a difference that made...  

The real unknown this year’s run was to test the new interior antenna which
had not seen actual contest activity and was being adjusted up to the day
before the contest started…  It's a multi-band 160-6m arrangement with 19
elements in total - providing switch-reversible mono-band beam service on 40m
and up.

Despite the system's complexity, the only failure encountered was a broken
bungee on the 20m DE giving rise to the single venture into the attic during
the contest.  

The standout surprise of the array was great performance of the 40m beam.  I
ran pointed east for most of the contest.  The DX total was very satisfactory
with 51 countries in the log on 40m alone.  About 50% of the op time was spent
on 40m as a result.  That’s a real big satisfying improvement because the one
“primary” goal of the new antenna array was to give a reasonable contest
capability on 40m.  

Very nice opening on 15m.  No attempts were made this last week to further trim
the antenna beyond that of the initial VNA-based setup some months past - and
the antenna was totally untried even for casual work.  A broken coil at a relay
was fixed earlier this week but the SWR swing from direction to direction was
huge so I had no idea of what the performance would be.  

Fortunately the 15m band cooperated, and the antenna behaved well enough to get
37 countries into the log.  In retrospect I wish I had spent more time on this
beam given what turned out to be a very nice band opening.

20m was generally good and the antenna performance there felt about like the
old 3-element tri-band trapped arrangement.  

And gone from the new design are the old coax-based traps which just never
could be built strong enough to withstand the variations in temp and RTTY
contest abuse with power.

The SB200 Sleeper was not run as there was just no time to get the band-switch
and needed tank circuit redux done.  Instead, an old Alpha 76pa was pressed
into service and performed perfectly.  Minimal work was done on the 76pa to get
it into contest shape although it’s sporting a new faceplate and external
black paint – the new paint was cured by the circulated transformer heat and
added external muffin fan – handy!  

Thanks to everyone who replied my calls.


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