[3830] RAC Day K3KU SOAB LP

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Sun Jul 3 22:06:17 EDT 2016

RAC Canada Day Contest

Call: K3KU
Operator(s): K3KU
Station: K3KU

Class: SOAB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 19

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  CW Mults  Ph Mults
  160:    3      1       1         1
   80:   29     17       7         5
   40:  111     18       7         7
   20:   96     38       9        10
   15:   18      5       5         4
Total:  257     78      29        27  Total Score = 136,192

Club: Radiosport Manitoba


After two rewarding multi-op efforts in Winnipeg (VE4EA in 2014; VE4VTR in
2015), I could not make the trip this year. I compensated myself by making a
full effort with my 100W and a dipole from home.  For weeks ahead of the
contest I kept reminding my wife, and she agreed to take on all the Friday
chores.  She knows how much fun I have in the contests, and how RAC Canada Day
has become my favorite, except for SS.

The numbers tell the story. Nice activity from the RAC stations.  I did get at
least one QSO with 10 of them, including this year's surprise rarity, VY2RAC,
on 20M phone.  (I asked if they would be on CW, and they said they had no CW
operators.)  No surprise to hear nothing from NT, YU, or NU.

Special thanks to the YL op at VY7RAC for spending several minutes digging me
out on 20M phone for the last mult for which I had any hope.  That was a tough

Special thanks also to VE9CB.  When I worked him around 1600Z on 15M CW he
asked if I wanted him to QSY to SSB.  You bet!  Then he asked if I needed him
on any other bands/modes.  OK!  Three more 10-point QSOs.

And fellow-RSMer VE4RAC answered my CQ on 15CW, and then suggested that we QSY
to SSB!

Going into the contest I had two concerns. First, conditions sounded pretty bad
the day or two before. I had alerted my wife that if activity was slow enough
she could have me back for Friday chores.  Fortunately, things were fast enough
to keep me interested, though I don't think I lost anything by taking a 3-hr
break at 0630Z, nor by ending at 2200Z, an hour or so earlier than needed, for
my Friday evening shutdown.  (At 2200Z there seemed to be no chance for more
multipliers, and the QSO-points-per-hour had gotten way down.)

There was a lot of noise on the bands, both thunderstorms and, locally, TV
sets, computers, hair dryers, and what not.  I developed new skills for copying
SSB through noise.

I seemed to be down in readability in Canada on 15M and 20M, and I was a little
surprised not to have more QSOs on 80M, as I usually do well there into the
eastern provinces.  Maybe I'm confusing Winter and Summer conditions.  And I
guess that 160M doesn't pay for the Canadians -- seems that they do just a few
QSYs or skeds to get multipliers.  I asked VE3CX if he would be on 160M, and he
tipped me to a sked he had with VE4RAC.  I went there and got CX both modes, but
did not hear VE4RAC.

The second concern leading up to the contest was that I was still in the middle
of transitioning from CT-DOS to N1MM+ -- finishing the hardware interfaces to my
TS-850 and (scariest of all) setting up voice message record/playback.  It's a
longer story than should be told here, but by late Thursday afternoon
everything was working well except the voice record/playback.  Bad situation; I
had expected that SSB would be more productive than CW in this contest.  I
managed to set up a clunky workaround that would let me call a somewhat
distorted CQ, and CQing is the only critical message for this 'Test.

During the contest I managed to try enough tricks to get the record/playback
working OK (though the audio did not sound so good on the TS-850's monitor
function).  Then, in the middle of a 40M SSB QSO, a problem developed: no
transmitter audio!  Arrgh!!!  Some VE is waiting for my report, and nothing is

I somehow got "in the flow" for troubleshooting and figured out a
bypass quickly enough to make the QSO.  The problem occurred only on 40M,
suggesting that it was RF getting into the mic.  Indeed, in a later QSO another
Canadian told me my audio was distorted, sounding like RF in the mic.  Pretty
good diagnosis from 400 mile away, eh?  I used the in-the-flow bypass and
struggled on, not knowing how good/bad my audio was.  More investigation is

All in all, a satisfying experience ... for not being in Manitoba.

Next year's Canada Day Contest comes Friday evening and Saturday.  K3KU will be

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