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Sun May 29 22:28:29 EDT 2016

CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: VP5M
Operator(s): K4QPL
Station: VP5M

Class: SOAB(TS) LP
Operating Time (hrs): 26

 Band  QSOs
  160:    0
   80:    9
   40:  394
   20:  834
   15:  381
   10:    4
Total: 1622  Prefixes = 688  Total Score = 3,284,512

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


Wow! Getting on the air from Turks & Caicos Islands after more than a year
of planning and construction work was an unforgettable experience. This was my
first time operating a major contest from anywhere besides home and the NC
multi stations. It won't be my last!
Arrived on Tuesday to get the 3 element SteppIR 6-20M yagi assembled on an
AB-577 mast. Only went to 30' above terrain as the site is about 100' ASL
steeply sloping North to the ocean about 1500' away. Hung a Unadilla 80-40 trap
dipole as an inverted vee as there are no trees of sufficient height for
anything. Preliminary QSO's proved everything was working and playing well.

Started the contest on 20M. I'm not great with pileups and operating multi I
always let the top ops open. But this was showtime, I was on and totally
unprepared for the wall of callers. Hung in there peeling them off one at a
time and got my best rate in the first hour. 20 held up well throughout the
contest and was the "money band" for me. Distant lightning flashes
Friday and Saturday nights proved my ears were not creating the QRN. 80M was
pretty much unworkable without an RX antenna. 40 was slow with QRN but
propagation OK. Don't have the stamina for long hours BIC so slept from about
0430 to 0830. 40M was quieter in the morning with good propagation to far East
until 20 came up about 1000Z.Stayed on 20 with lots of breaks as 15M was a
disaster and there was no other choice during the day on Saturday. QRN Saturday
night so called it a day early. Sunday started with a steady stream of JA's on
20 which boded well if only 15 would open. After a mid-day break 15M opened
with a vengeance for me at about 1800. The pileups were heavy and I finally
began to see the possibilities. A final 6 hours of world-wide runs would
salvage a decent score. That was not to be. All went well until 2142 when a
humongous thunderstorm  arrived with lightning, pounding rain and 50mph wind
gusts. I just had time to say sorry and QRT, throw the cables out the door and
watch to see if the newly erected antennas would stay up. They did. The
lightning only died down, cables reconnected and QRV at about 2350 so I only
got another 20 Q's in the log of CQ-WPX CW 2016 @ VP5M.

Thanks to everyone for all the Q's, your patience in pileups, and bearing with
the QRN induced need for fills. I'll be putting a blog and station related pix
up soon on our station website vp5vacationdotcom.

QSL's direct via K4QPL. Address OK on QRZ.com I will also do LOTW but have to
set up an account for VP5M. No bureau.

Jim, K4QPL

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