SS Shouldas, 1st Summary

PaulKB8N at PaulKB8N at
Sat Nov 11 14:58:14 EST 1995

I've had a great response on the request for things folks "shoulda" done for
Sweepstakes.  I've received about 25 inputs that fall in the following seven

Computer Glitches

Physical Preparation (sleep, eating, etc)

Low Band Antennas

Interfaces and Cables

RFI Problems

Contest Strategy

Station Ergonomics

With the above categories to stimulate thinking, I'm hoping that there are
other valuable "shouldas" out there that folks may be willing to share.
Before I publish the final list,  I'm anxious to hear any additional
contributions. Once the list is complete, I'll turn it over to Gary, W9XT,
who may be able to use the info in a future CTT&T installment.
73, Paul, KB8N

>From barry at (Barry Kutner)  Sat Nov 11 18:57:08 1995
From: barry at (Barry Kutner) (Barry Kutner)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 95 18:57:08 GMT
Subject: QSLing
Message-ID: <X61eeD1w165w at>

I haven't been following the QSLing thread too closely, but figured I'd 
throw in my .02:

I am fairly certain that a lot of stations will only work guys in the 
contest they have gotten QSLs from. In the DX contests, there are some 
Europeans that I consistently work year after year on Sunday, and they 
give me a 1 or 2 digit serial number. I believe they actively look for
those that they have gotten a card from.

I reply to all buro cards received (for above reason + "guilt"). It's not 
very diffcult or time consuming to do it by importing all my CT logs into 
my DX logging program and spitting out the labels. I receive QSLs from 
buro in a box from UPS usually 4x/year. I arranged this with my 
letter-sorter at the 2-land buro (actually his suggestion).

I do NOT reply to stateside cards unless accompanied by SASE. Too tiume 
consuming and costs add up. Always amazes me how a guy brags about his 
781 and Alpha 87A, and just sends a card with 19 (oops 20 now) cent 
stamp, expecting a reply.

I do not understand the guys who don't answer the SASEs. Here's a perfect 
example: WHen I was a 15 year old kid, collecting counties, I sent a card 
to W7RM (with SASE) for a SS QSO. Never got a reply. Even ran across RM 
himself on 20 SSB, and he assured me he would "personally see to my card 
being sent." Needless to say, I never got it; and needless to say, I skip 
over W7RM in any contest I may hear him (and it's 23 years later!)
If FR5DX wasn't the only FR/zone 39 in the contest, I wouldn't work him e
either. I bet plenty of others hold the same type of grudge for a long
time. Think about it on Sunday afternoon in the contest...


Barry N. Kutner, W2UP       Internet: barry at
Newtown, PA                 Packet Radio: W2UP @ WB3JOE.#EPA.PA.USA.NA
                            Packet Cluster: W2UP >WB2R (FRC)

>From Roger G3SXW <100260.342 at>  Sat Nov 11 20:30:17 1995
From: Roger G3SXW <100260.342 at> (Roger G3SXW)
Date: 11 Nov 95 15:30:17 EST
Subject: e-QSLs
Message-ID: <951111203016_100260.342_EHV47-1 at CompuServe.COM>

There's a vital element missing from the current discussion about QSLing
by contesters and confirmations by e-mail. . . . .
vast numbers of DXers simply      E  N  J  O  Y
receiving QSL cards.
Its not only about collecting points for awards.
73 de Roger/G3SXW.

>From n3rr at (Bill Hider)  Sat Nov 11 21:34:47 1995
From: n3rr at (Bill Hider) (Bill Hider)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 16:34:47 -0500
Subject: QRATE file ftp site
Message-ID: <199511112134.QAA23524 at>

The QRATE.EXE file can be found at the following ftp site:

It works fb!

Bill, N3RR

At 11:19 PM 11/10/95 pst, ki3v at wrote:
>Where can I FTP or LL BBS the file QRATE????
>  Thanks!! 
>Richard Hallman               ki3v at
>11870 Heartpine St           
>Reno Nv  89506               ki3v at w7ta.#nonev.nv

>From aa6tt at (William H. Hein)  Sat Nov 11 21:52:13 1995
From: aa6tt at (William H. Hein) (William H. Hein)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 14:52:13 -0700
Message-ID: <v02110101acca42251957@[]>

A while back I remember seeing something on this reflector regarding
160m QRM which was traced to a TVRO satellite receiver, one of the RCA Ku
band units (the ones with the fixed position 18" dish antenna), as I
recall.  I forgot who posted the original message.

As I am considering getting one of the RCA satellite receivers, I'd like to
know what precisely the QRM problem was and if it was "fixable."

Bill AA6TT

William H. Hein, PO Bx 579, Ignacio, Colorado 81137-0579 USA
fone 970/883-2415  fax 970/883-2408  Internet aa6tt at
AA6TT is in Tiffany, Colorado, grid square DM67fb
*** To subscribe to the 160m DX Internet mailing list, email the message
"subscribe" to topband-request at ***

>From Richard Wilder <wilder at>  Sat Nov 11 22:20:31 1995
From: Richard Wilder <wilder at> (Richard Wilder)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 17:20:31 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Contest site on Grand Cayman?
Message-ID: <Pine.SV4.3.91.951111165118.9327A-100000 at>

My XYL (N3FZB) and  are planning our first trip to Grand Caymand for one 
week to include the ARRL-CW contest 15-17 February 1996.  Any hints on a
place to operate from?  I will carry a station with me but really need some
antennas such a as Yagi or two.  If antennas & conditions are good I will
use QRP (5W).  Otherwise, wires and 100W.

ZF1A and ZF8AA have been recommended.  I don't believe it is appropiate 
for me to ask about the club (ZF1A) as I assume locals would want to 
operate.  Little Cayman (ZF8AA site) is not desireable because the XYL will 
be dividing her time between shopping on Grand Cayman and  bringing me
meals.  (She IS a winner!)  Do you know of another site with tower?

Last night we looked at a travel video.  We didn't see 100 foot trees
to dangle wires from.  It appears that, if I use my wires, they may  
need to be between buildings.  Any experience on Grand Cayman?
Any recommendations of apartments that are friendly to the needs 
of contester?

73, Dick Wilder, K3DI    wilder at   (backup: wilder at
                         In Europe:  richard.wilder at

>From H. Ward Silver" <hwardsil at  Sat Nov 11 22:20:05 1995
From: H. Ward Silver" <hwardsil at (H. Ward Silver)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 14:20:05 -0800 (PST)
Subject: e-QSLs
Message-ID: <Pine.3.07.9511111404.B21874-b100000 at>

> vast numbers of DXers simply      E  N  J  O  Y
> receiving QSL cards.
> Its not only about collecting points for awards.
> 73 de Roger/G3SXW.

Amen, brother!  I really look forward to those envelopes from the bureau
because every one has some really interesting card in it.  The color photo
cards from JA are often showpieces.  How else would I get those amusing
cards like the one from Armenia with "earthquake" misspelled as
"fartquake'?  It's the same thing as the old album cover art vs.
CD's...there's nothing to hold and feel in your hands.

While I wouldn't mind getting electronic credit for band & mode...and I'm
sure the ARRL would rather not have to go through cards...the QSL itself
is worthy of retention.

We don't have to have all of one and none of the other, you know.  If
contesters and DXpeditioners put their encrypted electronic logs on
servers, most of the simple band-mode confirmations could be dealt with
easily, leaving those who enjoy the card for its own sake to go that
route.  I think having a hybrid approach would make it lots easier for the
QSL to be sent and received due to the lower workload on both ends. 

73, Ward N0AX

>From H. Ward Silver" <hwardsil at  Sat Nov 11 22:28:00 1995
From: H. Ward Silver" <hwardsil at (H. Ward Silver)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 14:28:00 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Rcvr Input Protection
Message-ID: <Pine.3.07.9511111400.A23071-9100000 at>

Looks like I toasted two filter switching diodes in the IC735 doing the
two-radio thingie.  I have replacements, but what was the technique of
using grain-of-wheat incandescent bulbs on the input?  Filters are in the
works, but the 80 and 40-meter antennas are REALLY close together here.

Thanks to all who offered assistance with the serial interface...turned
out to be a bad serial card...talks, but doesn't hear...

73, Ward N0AX

>From [user unknown]" <cmschonewaldcox at  Sat Nov 11 22:49:39 1995
From: [user unknown]" <cmschonewaldcox at (user unknown)
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 1995 14:49:39 -0800 (PST)
Subject: JA's from PJ9B
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.3.91.951111144606.11239A at>

Some comments on 20 meter JA from PJ9B:
     The JA's on 20 at PJ9B were not unruly at all. The reason that
they continued to call, in an out of synch manner, in the PJ9B
pile-up during the last CQWW SSB, was that our signals from the
Caribbean (PJ9B etc ) were not very strong in JA and they could not
hear PJ9B through each other and the W's/VEs/Euros calling to know
when we were transmitting. The same problem exists to a much
greater degree on 40 and 80 at PJ. During the peak of the band
opening to JA on 40 this year there were so many JA's calling that
it really sounded like a bee hive. Only occasionally did a JA stand
out above the crowd. Our signal was about S4-5 on 40 and less on 80
in JA, so that with hundreds of JA's calling, most of which were S9
to each other, it is not surprising that they may not hear when
PJ9B came back to a station! I am sure you can figure out how to
solve this problem. To appreciate the problem, W's should imagine
trying to run VS6's (a dream!) through W's from an east coast
station in the ARRL field day. You would occasionally hear a loud
VS6 but most would be just a buzz below the loud W's all around or
on your frequency. 
     As for verticals and low power, such is not the case in JA on
20 meters. JA's on 20 have the highest class license. They have
equipment at least equal to most W-20 meter stations. JH4RHF has a
nice setup with a high tribander and the legal limit. Still he
could not break through on 20 to work PJ9B. As Jun pointed out, it
is a LONG way from JA to the Caribbean. Even under the best
conditions it is tough; however, JA's can be easy to work on 20 if
propagation allows. We did not hear a peep from JT1Z or the XZ-XY
guys in the whole contest. Propagation is everything! If the band
is marginal then QSO's are tough, if the band is open OK, then
QSO's with distant stations are no problem.
     Going below 14150 makes it easier to work JA's from the
Caribbean. The real problem is that the JA'a are 1 skip further
away from PJ than they are from east coast of the USA so they are
weak enough to not be able to maintain a high rate compared to W's
or Europeans. The reason for any lowered rate from any population
area is almost always due to interference on one end of the circuit
or marginal propagation. If a Caribbean station wants to maintain
the QSO rate, he should stay above 14150 to run W's and not JA's.
They are louder and result in fewer partial call signs on the first
      Most of the callers from JA result in a partial copy of the
call sign by the Caribbean operator. So that each QSO is really "2
QSO's or more". The first attempt, and a second or third attempt
which fills in the blanks. Operating in the W band makes it
difficult to get the full call of weak stations on the first call
due to enormous W QRM. For that reason most runners in the
Caribbean who are not caught up in "working the opening" but are
trying to maximize their QSO's still maintain a W- pile-up during
the JA opening. The stronger JA's can compete with the average W
station while other JA's make it through with their timing
     In addition, if you take JA's by call area, the first call
area is huge. Taking 5 guys from each call area skews the pile-up
away from the most QSO's (1st, 2nd and 3rd areas) in an effort by
the operator to control his callers. Sometimes when you get to the
4th, 5th or 9th area only two guys are there. As you say,"Any more
9's", and no one comes back, you have lost a QSO that would have
been sure from the 1st or 3rd areas.
     It is interesting that the opening to JA is really quite long
at PJ. You can work occasional JA's either over the US or scatter
path over ZL for many hours. However, the number of QSO's is very
small. Only the big club stations etc make it through. There is
generally only one JA peak-just before Caribbean sunset (around
2100z). That is usually when you can run JA's if the conditions

aka 7J7AAU PJ1B/PJ9B 20 meter op

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