[3830] SS SSB W1SJ SO Unlimited HP

webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Nov 21 10:54:36 EST 2017

ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, SSB

Call: W1SJ
Operator(s): W1SJ
Station: W1SJ

Class: SO Unlimited HP
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs
   80:  710
   40:  256
   20:  428
Total: 1394  Sections = 83  Total Score = 231,404

Club: Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont


Absolutely the suckiest conditions I have ever seen in close to 50 years of
doing this. Certainly the lowest score I've submitted in almost 40 years. It
was sad fact that for much of the contest, it just wasn't that much fun and I
was counting hours for it to be over. 

What happened? Can't say for sure, but it appears to be a combination of poor
conditions and a lot of folks just not getting on, or just getting on for a
short period of time. By 0400, I was already begging for contacts on 80m at a
time I should have been having sizeable runs. Sure, conditions were not great
and signals were weaker than usual, but there seemed to be a lack of people out
there. Even my own section of VT was tough to find - the usual suspects didn't
show up.

If this wasn't all bad enough, at 1442, just as I was finishing a QSO,
everything went dark and quiet. Oh crap, I blew the fuse. If only I was that
lucky. Resetting the main breaker did not fix the problem. Oh my God, Green
Mountain Flicker n' Flash decided to drop power right in the middle of the SS -
that's not allowed! In their defense, it was blowing up a storm, and it was more
likely a tree falling on the line. I started to get concerned that I might lose
an antenna or two, compounding the problem.  When I called them, they said that
they knew about the problem and would get around to it. Pictures of folks not
having power all last week were in my mind, and it wasn't pretty.  Was I going
to give up?  Hell no!  Instead, let's play Field Day!  So I hauled out the
Honda EB2000i out of the garage, got it running, and then had to rewire the
shack to use the SB-200 amp since the Honda would simply not power the big amp.
Within a 30 minute time off, I got everything done and was on the air on 20
meters actually having a run. After 20 minutes of "Field Day", the
power returned and then I had to slowly reconfigure the shack back to normal. I
probably didn't lose many Q's, but the morning fire drill did little to improve
my psyche.

Sunday was a long slog of CQing with lackluster rates. We either need to make
SS a shorter time period, or perhaps better coax, cajole or otherwise force
people to become hams and contest more. 

Well, at least I got a sweep!


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