Kim Östman kim.ostman at abo.fi
Sun Oct 5 22:10:27 EDT 2014

Tämä kisa oli meikäläiselle tämän vuoden SAC:n korvike, hyvin samantyyppinen

Kiitos OH-kusoista OH2XX, OH4X, OH5BM, OH6ECM ja OH6NIO!


-----Original Message-----

                    California QSO Party

Call: NW6P
Operator(s): OH6KZP
Station: NW6P

Class: SOFixed HP
QTH: Cupertino, CA
Operating Time (hrs): 24

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs
  160:     0      0
   80:    97     88
   40:   180    180
   20:   307    345
   15:   332    410
   10:   158    103
Total:  1074   1126  Mults = 57  Total Score = 312,018

Club: Pizza Lovers 259


This was my first exposure to CQP ever, and it was great fun. The wine
bottle prize for the top-20 finishers is a nice touch and incentive by the
organizers. I don't drink, so I set my target on obtaining a bottle for my
host's wine collection for dinner guests!

Thankfully I received some pre-contest guidance from W6OAT, NW6P, WX5S,
N6TV, AE6Y, and K2RD, which was much appreciated. Even after a good "paper
exercise" I was a bit clueless during the first hours, which was to be
expected: not being quite sure which band to be on, what "normal" band
conditions at different hours are and sound like from W6, etc. I fell behind
during that time, but was happy to see that the serial number difference to
the top guys didn't grow too much after that.

I also had to take a second look at the rules to ensure that it really was
OK to be making contest QSOs without sending 5NN :) It is so engrained in me
as a type of synchronization sequence that it took a bit of brain
reprogramming when it wasn't there. But all the better without it, although
some seem to have taken
to sending "NR" before the serial number on CW instead, leading to a brief
moment of not knowing whether it will be followed by a question mark or not.

The station (SO1R with K3 + Alpha 87a, 80m dipole, 40m-10m yagis) worked
really well. Propagation-wise there was a lot of digging people out of the
noise, but
all in all conditions seemed pretty nice. I was positively surprised by
working a few European stations on 10m, and it was fun to make a few QSOs in
Finnish with OH guys on 15m. Indeed, 15m was quite good into EU on Sunday
morning, and it was interesting to notice the difference in signal types
from G (more stable) vs. DL/HA/OH/SM (fluttery polar path, stronger). On 80m
I was handicapped due to manmade S9+10 noise in the surroundings. It would
come on for 15 seconds or so, be silent for ~30 seconds, and then the cycle
repeated. Sorry to all I didn't hear due to that. Also had some noise on
10m, coming from around my main used direction of 60-70 degrees, but not
nearly as strong as on 80m.

Missed the VE5 multiplier, whereas I had all other 57 by the time I took my
6-hour break at 0730z. My hopes would always go up when I heard the first
letters "VE" in an answer to my CQ, but it was never followed by a 5. A lot
of VE4 guys, though, holding my hopes up all the way to the fourth dit of
the prefix digit on CW... And in another funny twist of fate, there was a
lot of good action from VE8, which I was originally anticipating to be the
most difficult mult. 

The 30-hour CQP is quite a bit like the 24-hour Scandinavian Activity
Contest (SAC), which is essentially the CQP of us Nordic people, the time of
the year when we are the "DX" everybody is looking for. So coming from a
similar geographic area of difficult radio propagation, I can appreciate the
excitement that goes with this contest in California! In the CQP, there
would appear to be plenty of opportunities to benefit from SO2R operation,
including dual-band CQ, just like in the SAC. Rates can be high, but there
are also slow hours. What I really like about the CQP in comparison is the
chance to sleep for 6 hours at a natural time :)

Thanks to Tom NW6P for his hospitality and for letting me use his fine
station. Thanks to the organizers, and to all for the QSOs!


P.S. Remember the Scandinavian Activity Contest on SSB next weekend (11-12
Oct, 12z-12z, http://www.sactest.net)

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