[CCF] Fw: [3830] CQWW CW VY2ZM (Long...)

Timo Klimoff timo.klimoff at dnainternet.net
Fri Nov 30 17:58:51 EST 2007

Jeff on lanseerannut uuden termin meille niin tutusta "ilmiöistä" - "OH 

73 Timo OH1NOA

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <K1ZM at aol.com>
To: <3830 at contesting.com>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2007 11:57 AM
Subject: [3830] CQWW CW VY2ZM (Long...)

> CQWW CW  2007
> Here's my score:
> 160   879/19/74
> 80   1075/26/90
> 40 1071/25/96
> 20   1462/23/96
> 15     273/23/86 (PAINFUL ON THIS BAND!)
> 10       17/9/11 (I heard several stations who did not copy me)
> Totals  4777/124/453     7,346,941 points
> This contest presented absorbed conditions impacting the higher 
> latitudes -
> (often experienced by the OH contesters in Finland) - where a kind of 
> auroral
> "blanket" absorbs RF on the higher bands (rendering them highly disturbed 
> with
> marginal openings) - and even impacting lowband signals - (yielding lower
> signal levels on 80 and 160M).
> When this happens, the following is experienced at VY2ZM:
> 1) 20 opens LATER than NORMAL - (this time it opened AFTER my sunrise by 
> 15
> mins) - usually 20 opens to EU about 45 mins BEFORE my sunrise -even with 
> low
> sunspot levels - but NOT THIS TIME
> 2) 15 hardly opens at all here in the Maritimes - but is RUNNABLE in
> Massachusetts and places further South
> 3) 10M is all but unusable!
> As a result, total contacts and multipliers TAKE a BEATING!
> New Wrinkle:  Low power stations in the Caribbean make unusual RELATIVELY
> HIGHER SCORES than their Hi Power rivals in the high latitude locales - 
> and they
> manage to make it into the TOP 10 Box - even against their HI Power
> competitors - and they deserve SPECIAL PRAISE for their achievements.
> My hat is off to the three low power SOAB stations I am aware of so far:
> V26K, P40A and HK3AR - all of whom look like they will place in the top 10 
> world
> - they deserve to be recognized for this result - irrespective of 
> conditions -
> they earned it!
> The VY2ZM story:
> What a difference 30 days makes between SSB and CW modes of CQWW!
> Hurricane Noel came through between the two contest weekends (it was a 
> 75MPH
> storm here & about 110MPH when it reached Newfoundland) causing damage to
> K1ZM/1 and VY2ZM requiring some repairs at both locations.  On Cape Cod, 
> my lower
> 40 went vertical from the storm and my back tower mast was pin-wheeling in 
> the
> rotor when I got there.  I did temporary repairs to both systems - more 
> work
> will be done in better weather.
> Arriving at VY2ZM one week later wasn't great either:
> 1) Both my two new 3el 40M yagis took a hit - the upper one has a bent
> reflector but is still usable.  The lower 40 has a reflector that spun on 
> the boom a
> bit - and is askew - but they both are usable - that's a major summer 
> project
> to repair!  Not now in this weather.
> 2) Two of my 160M system Rx verticals had broken guy ropes - they snapped 
> in
> the storm - too much tension on the ropes I guess.  I fixed this the 
> Friday
> before SS phone.
> 3) All the supports on my NE beverage snapped off at ground level and 
> these
> required new poles and temporary lash-ups to get the wires back up in the 
> air.
> This too was done on the Friday prior to SS phone.
> Hidden damages:
> During CQWW CW on Friday night, I happened to see something out of the 
> corner
> of my eye - the 20/40m rotor was incrementing ON ITS OWN slightly and, 
> since
> I had not triggered any rotation myself, this meant TROUBLE!  Real 
> trouble!
> It was about 3AM local when this was observed and I had to wait until
> daylight on Saturday morning to go outside to see what happened.  Just 
> before 20M
> opened, I did so and the rotor (which was SUPPOSED to be AIMED at 55 
> degrees was
> aimed at 18 degrees.  (This meant I was probably CQ'ing some of the time 
> on
> Friday night into Svalbard (JW5 land) instead of into the heart of 
> Europe - NOT
> GOOD!)
> Just before I started on 20M on Saturday morning, I interpolated to 55
> degrees, rotated the yagi towards Europe and continued mentally adjusting 
> the
> correction needed - in order to have the upper 20 and 40 aim where I 
> wanted the RF
> to go - as I could no longer rely on the indicator box. This worked 
> reasonably
> well....
> The rest of the contest was uneventful from a failure
> standpoint....everything else worked - except for conditions being wierd 
> up North.  I thought I
> operated as well as I could - I ran Europe whenever possible and delayed 
> running
> the USA until Sunday afternoon basically. Of course USA stations were 
> calling in
> much of the time, the point here is that I did not intentionally attempt 
> to
> AIM my antenna towards the states and RUN THEM - but they did of course 
> call in.
> It is pretty easy to see how the "OH effect" impacts scores to the North -
> just take a look at the breakdowns of K3CR and K5ZD - and that's all you 
> need to
> know.  Both are, of course, great operators - and even under ideal
> conditions, it is always a challenge to stay anywhere NEAR THEM in the 
> multiplier count
> - HI.  Both guys are very good at this stuff - and always wind up near the
> top.
> A little humility now and then (eg: getting your hat HANDED TO YOU!) - 
> goes a
> long way to shock you into reality.  (It's always 5 o'clock somewhere - 
> and
> this time it was not in VY2 - HI HI!)
> I said before the contest that CW weekend usually presents less than ideal
> conditions when compared to those of SSB mode (especially at this time of 
> the
> sunspot cycle) - but I did not expect it to be this BAD!
> Contest Epilogue:  I happen to use ORION 2800 rotors and I highly 
> recommend
> them for up to 36 foot boom 20m and 40m yagis.  They are rugged in their
> mechanical design and will not "stall" during the windy conditions I 
> experience here
> on PEI.
> They (like most rotors) do have their weak points, however - and in this
> case, it is the digital "pulsing system"  that is used to keep the motor 
> and the
> controller inside the shack "in sync."
> Over many years in talking with M2, I have learned that rotor cable 
> lengths
> of up to about 225 feet will work okay with all 4 wires in the cable 
> bundle.
> At lengths GREATER than this amount, there is an increasing likelihood 
> that at
> SOME POINT, the pulsing mechanism will get "confused" and start to drop 
> pulses
> - causing misalignment problems - especially after long rotation runs - 
> like
> from 010 degrees all the way through South over to 336 degrees to JA, for
> example.  In that my rotor cable runs are all 400 feet or more - one is 
> 600
> feet!), this requires unusual measures to compensate for this anomaly.
> At VY2ZM most rotor runs are SPLIT up using two cables as a result - one
> cable to work the motor and a separate cable for the pulsing switch.  On 
> my 20/40m
> tower - which has a run of just about 400 feet I had been barely "getting 
> by"
> with a single cable - but finally Murphy struck on Friday night during the
> contest and created the "out of synch" condition I described earlier in 
> this
> report.  Dropping pulses were the issue - caused by a single cable bundle 
> that
> was right at the critical length where problems eventually show up - in my 
> case
> it was after 5 YEARS!
> This required an ALL DAY JOB on the Monday after the contest - I had to 
> run a
> second line up the tower and swap out the connections at the motor for the
> pulsing switch - and also do a rewiring inside the house - wiring in the 
> new
> cable along with the old at the rotor controller box.
> This was done in cold (but not FRIGID) weather with ALOT OF WIND (greater
> than 45 MPH most of the time.)  On the second trip up the tower I thought 
> I
> needed to reset the mast in the rotor and did so.
> BIG MISTAKE!  When I had completed the inside wiring and re-aligned the 
> rotor
> and the controller, I found I had misaligned the mast by 25 degrees and on
> Tuesday IN THE RAIN and a howling wind, I climbed the big tower to reset 
> the
> mast in the motor (yet again!)  This time I got it nearly dead-on - and 
> with the
> separate cable on the pulsing switch, I think my problems with this system 
> are
> probably over.
> By the way - I happen to use twin runs of ROMEX to do this stuff - it is 
> not
> too expensive and holds up pretty well.
> Tuesday in the rain with a howling wind may sound NUTS, but getting a 
> little
> WET was far preferable to what came in here on Wednesday!  It sleeted, 
> snowed
> and then froze a sheet of ice here all over the tower and WED and Thurs 
> would
> have been impossible conditions in which to do this work.  I knew what was
> coming and took a chance doing it in the wind and rain on Mon/Tues in 
> advance of
> the bitter weather.  It was a GOOD GAMBLE and I suspected it at the 
> time.....
> So that's the VY2ZM story - probably not a top 10 finish - but I feel I
> operated as well as I could and probably did not lose all that much due to 
> the
> misalinged rotor on Friday night. 20M was DEAD at the time and I had other 
> 40M
> systems in play as well that night - so I have nothing to complain about - 
> no
> excuses.
> What hurt me more was almost a total wipeout on 21Mhz - I could not hear 
> much
> most of the time and CQ'ing was all but impossible.
> Let's hear it for SOME SUNSPOTS going forward!!!
> Congrats to P40W, K5ZD and to all the low power guys who look like they 
> will
> make the top 10 box this year - richly deserved kudos to all of these fine 
> ops!
> CU this weekend I hope - I will be operating in the ARRL 160M contest 
> tonight
> and hope to find many old friends in the log along the way.
> K1ZM at aol.com
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