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Sun Jul 15 12:52:56 EDT 2018

                    IARU HF World Championship

Call: N3BB
Operator(s): N3BB
Station: N3BB

Operating Time (hrs): 24
Radios: SO2R

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
  160:    38    0       5       1
   80:   201    0      12      10
   40:   640    0      28      27
   20:   850    0      26      34
   15:   454    0      20      15
   10:    77    0      10       3
Total:  2266    0     101      90  Total Score = 1,282,183

Club: Central Texas DX and Contest Club


What an amazing twenty-four hours! The local weather was perfect for the second
straight year, with hot and dry and fairly windless conditions. I went into this
with one of my 40 meter yagis and one of the new Optibeam tri-banders on the
ground since the Cushcraft 40 yagi suffered a break in the feed area to the
Driven element several weeks before the IARU, and it was impossible to repair it
in time. The process required both antennas on the crank-up tower to be brought
down to reach the 40 meter yagi. To be honest, in this contest, I didn't miss it
much,and found that in a DX-oriented contest like this the big old Telrex
three-element 40 meter yagi, which was rebuilt in the last year with great help
from K5AND, carried the weight very well. However, having the other tribander on
the ground did hurt the strategy to some extent, since the two large Optibeam
triband yagis (on separate towers) can be very helpful since they can be aimed
at different parts of the world, and lacking that capability probably resulted
in some possible multipliers on fifteen and even ten meters not getting into the

You only get one "propagation shot" in the a twenty-four hour contest
like the IARU, and I was surprised that fifteen meters was pretty strong
compared to the total washout predicted, at least from here to central Europe. A
small JA run even materialized Saturday afternoon! Wow. I tried to get the best
possible from each band, and from the results, it seemed to work out. 

The "cherry on top of the cream," on Wimbledon weekend, was a good 40
meter opening to EU Saturday night, and a totally fabulous  Sunday opening to JA
and deep Asia and Oceania. Eighty meters here was not as good, but that last
three hours from 09Z to 12Z on 40 was truly memorable for me. As usual, I'll
probably find that others did even better, but the way the contest ended for me
was really special. I never look at the 3830 report before writing my summary,
and right now I feel really good about the contest from here.

One last comment on the WRTC stations heard and worked here in Central Texas.
Nearly all were about the same .... pee weak in general, and it was clear that
the operators were top notch (Duh!). I don't think that I got a single contact
without repeats from the ops ... maybe one or two, and only had to "give
up" on a single caller who was just too weak. Some were a notch or two
stronger than others but that could have been antenna direction, etc. I was
amazed that a handful of the Y8 stations actually had found the ability to run
on 20 (and on 40 from memory) meters Saturday night. I was really careful NOT to
edge in of their tenuous run frequencies when S%Ping and calling them.
Hopefully, their experience was better than the difficult conditions that seemed
to exist. From my own experiences in the Slovenian WRTC, we could run North
Americans on several bands, but that would have been VERY hard this year from
what I observed. 

Sorry this is so long. This contest has it all, and it was a (difficult at
times) pleasure to take part in the IARU again this year. I'm totally satisfied
that the operator and the hardware did as well as could be expected. 

Thanks for the great operators and another wonderful experience. 

73, Jim N3BB

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