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
Falls Church, VA
pescatore at idcg.com
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