49 M at W3LPL

johnp at pc16.idcg.com johnp at pc16.idcg.com
Tue Feb 21 11:40:55 EST 1995

Chameleon software sucks.

Eric K3NA and I operated 40 M at W3LPL for this past weekend's CW contest. Eric and 
I have worked various bands together at Frank's before, and we seem to work pretty well 
together. This teamwork aspect, on bands and between bands, is often overlooked, but 
I think it explains how the K1AR and N2RM multi efforts often overcome hardware 

The 40 M station at LPL had a TS 950 as the station that was generally used as the run 
station and a 940 at the multiplier position. Each position had a PC running CT 9.19, an 
LPL homebrew keyer, and the ability to select listening antennas independently of the 
other operator or of the transmit antenna. The antennas are a humongous 3 element 
deal at 200 feet and one at about 120 feet that is fixed on Europe. There is a patch 
panel that lets operators steal beverage antennas from 160 and 80, to use as listening 
antennas - this lets you listen through the run station's CQs.

Eric started the contest, running EU like mad on 7.007. I didn't get to Frank's until about 
0040, and Eric and I swapped run/mult operating every 1.5 hours or so. When I got there 
I sat down and worked every mult put out on packet, and picked up many more not on 

The PVRC/FRC cluster was full of the usual busted calls: 5H2PK, S52PK, BV6U, etc. 
This made the CT band map window very annoying. I haven't operated much on HF in 
the past year or so, and that really hurt my performance - especially with all these new 
callsigns from the former USSR. I really missed all those UB5s that I had memorized. I 
never did get in the habit of using the check partial window very effectively, although Eric 
was really good at it. I was a big drag on the rate, as I asked for many, many repeats.

About 0520 or so the path to EU disappeared, very suddenly. There were scatterings of 
JA's but nothing that I would call a legitimate run.  We closed up shop at about 1330 or 
so with about 700 Qs and 100 or so  multipliers in the log. I only had one frequency fight 
that night, with some W9 who knew I was there and had to hear my QRL, QSY etc. but 
obviously wanted to tell his buddys that with his new 402BA he could steal LPL's 40 M 
frequency. I guess I'm getting older - in the ARRL it is too easy to get another run freq to 
waste time in those battles. In the old days I would have pointed the 200 footer at him 
and listened to EU on the 120 footer.

The KC8C rule said we should end up with about 1050 QSOs and 120 multipliers. Mike 
was generally right about working 50% as many Qs on the second day, and about 30% 
multipliers. I cost us a multiplier the first day by ignoring the puny weak ND3 who kept 
calling in the middle of a hot EU run - I forgot that Rob ND3A was over there. Luckily Eric 
worked him the second night.

The second day Eric and I swapped about every hour - the pickings in the ARRL are 
much slimmer than in the CQ for a single band operation. The 2300 hour brought 
fantastic rates into EU and Africa. We managed to keep running EU until well after 
0830Z, hours longer than usual. There were more JAs, odd for the second day, and the 
5 watters sounded just as loud as the 100 watters and the 500 watters. JA started out 
better on the skew path, but was generally louder direct. I never heard the long path 
louder but we probably didn't point that way enough. We ended that morning with 1150 
QSOs and 113 countries. We were able to scratch off most of the previous years scores 
from the motivational lists Franks posts over each station - the 10 and 15 meter guys 
had to really be depressed looking at all those 2000+ QSO efforts.

I had a few periods where I "owned the board" which is when the CT log showed nothing 
but 40 M QSOs. There was one time where I was off the board, as 40 was slow and 80 
was hot. 40 did get slow enough that I could power up K3NA's laptop PC that all kinds of 
neat propagation and Geoclock software on it. Unfortunately, it was all hardcoded to be 
centered on YK0A so it wasn't very useful.

I had one big frequency fight with KY1H, who just refused to acknowledge me. It is a lot 
easier to hear thru W1s than W9s beaming over your shoulder, so I just slogged on 
working 2-3 stations for his one and eventually KY1H moved.

I never made it back Sunday night, as we had tickets to "How to Succeed in Business 
Without Really Trying" (not worth  $50 each.) Eric and WR3Z really hummed at the end, 
and I think the final total was something like 1390 by 125 or so.

There were no equipment problems, outside of the odd CT crash or two. The that 
annoying ALT J window kept flickering various run and mult frequencies, driving me crazy 
until I realized I could put the ALT G window up and hide it. 

John Pescatore WB2EKK
IDC Government
Falls Church, VA  
pescatore at idcg.com

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