Trials and Tribs. of KP4XS M/M Text Version
ramirezk at emi.com
ramirezk at emi.com
Wed Apr 3 18:13:02 EST 1996
I finally figured out how to insert text from a .txt file into
the body of the message. Please excuse the way it wound up here.
I typed it in a DOS editor and it didn't get transferred the way
I had hoped it would. 73 Ken KP4XS
What a week! This certainly was NOT a repeat of last years WPX
SSB endeavor. While the days prior to the contest went without a
hitch,the first day of the contest was full of
anxiety,despair,and sheer panic.Senor Murphy is alive and well.
The first wave of operators for the KP4XS M/M WPX SSB
Operation arrived a full week before the contest.This allowed us
plenty of time to set the station up at a casual pace,enjoy the
local cuisine, get in a few days at the beach and do a little
I met Bruce,AA6KX, in Miami and both of us met
Terry,K3JT, and Goran, S55OO in San Juan early Friday evening.
This was an event in itself since neither one of us had ever met
the other and had no idea what to look for. The only clue I had
was on Goran who had sent me a scanned photo over the Internet a
few days before the trip.We all managed to find each other with
The "minivan" we rented wasn't really a minivan at all but
turned out to be a cross between a small station wagon and a
Mini-Mini van. Somehow we managed to fit a Clipperton L, an
Alpha 87 plus transformer, an FT990, an Ic-740,and 4 or 5
suitcases loaded with clothes and other goodies into the back of
this thing and we were off on our cross island drive to Cabo
Rojo.We got most of the station assembled inside and got the
elevated 40m ground plane,a 40m inverted vee,and an 80m USA
dipole up in the air on Saturday. On Sunday we raised the 15m
yagi,another 80m dipole for Europe and the 160m dipole up and
tested. We kept in touch with Tyler,KF3P, on 80 meters SSB at
night justin case we needed some forgotten items and to see if
the Force-12 3 element yagi had arrived. We had assembled the
tribander for 20m but didn't want to get it up in the air since
we would have preferred a monobander on 20. All three of the
others kept themselves quite busy on the bands throughout the
weeknights on 40,80, and 160m CW.We were getting great signal
reports from all over and were quite happy with the setup at
that time. The only problem that popped up was the
Alpha 87 amp.It kept faulting out due to low line voltage. The
QTH only has a 100 amp service panel and is fed by a 220 vac
main that extends over the valley below us and feeds 5-10 houses
before it dead ends at the site.Bruce restrapped the amp for 220
vac instead of 240vac and did not have a reocurrence of the
problem the rest of the trip.
The local power company is in the process of upgrading
the A/C lines and installing the stepdown transformer at the
QTH. Due to the Present A/C problem it was impossible to take
hot showers,run legal power on all bands at once,turn on all the
station lights,or even use the TV set upstairs during the
contest. It was a challenge for sure.
Tyler,KF3P, arrived on Wednesday with his
Titan,Ft1000MP,and the Force 12 20m, 3 element yagi!We were
ready for Thursday!
Thursday was not a good day. While raising the 20m yagi
on its 30 foot pushup mast something went awry and we wound up
with numerous bends in the mast. It took a good amount of
tension on the guy ropes to get the yagi parallel to the ground
but we finally managed to get it done. While testing the yagi
and Titan amp we cooked the most important piece of equipment in
the shack;the 20m band pass filter! Panic set in as I envisioned
massive interstation interference from the band that would be
open the most. I quickly set off to Mayaguez in search of the
correct value caps which turned out to be an effort in
futility.We only had 30 hours to go before the
start of the contest and desperately needed parts to fix the
filter. I decided to call I.C.E. to explain our predicament and
was extremely pleased when the I.C.E. sales guy said,"no
problem". Not only did they Overnight us the 4 caps. via U.P.S.
but they sent them to us only for the cost of shipping. Now
that's GREAT customer service.The 5 of us were very impressed
with I.C.E's responsiveness and will do businness with them in
Friday was a better day but not by much. Terry,WD8ISK, and
Brian,ND3F,arrived and so did the replacement caps. ISK replaced
the caps.,rewound a new coil and used the MFJ antenna analyzer
to tune the thingthe best he could for use on 20 meters.
Ahhh,those MFJ and Autek SWR analyzers;the greatest thing since
sliced bread! Don't leave home without em'! We now had the 10m
yagi, a pair of receiving EWES, and all the station grounds done
and we were ready to contest.
Guess what happens next? Yep. We lost all A/C power as
did all the surrounding area in Cabo Rojo. The winds had kicked
up and downed a few power lines. My Mother told me they hadn't
lost power in months.It figures that we would lose power 5 hours
before the test.I set off again for town to find out how long we
would be without power but never got a straight answer. The time
was now 3PM local and the contest started at 8PM. Five hours for
them to get it fixed. At 6 PM AA6KX pointed out towards the
window and Said excitedly,"Hey Look!" I looked but couldn't
figure out what he wanted me to look at. I thought he was
pointing at a Buzzard or a U.F.O. or something
until the rest of the ops chimed in,"at the light dummy!" Power
had been restored! What else could go wrong I wondered?
20 meters was the place to be at the start. Tyler had
a 206 hour that first hour on 20. Fifteen was dead an hour into
the contest as was ten. WD8ISK and me decided to get a little
shuteye and left around 10:30 pm. Little did we know what
awaited us on Saturday morning. When we arrived the next
morning at 6am the TS-830 was sitting on a bed and we were
informed that it had quit transmitting.A rig swap was done
during the night which cost about an
hours time on 80 meters. WD8ISK wasted no time in isolating an
open power supply filter cap(100pf 500WVDC). I sat down at my
15m position waiting for the band to spring to life resigned to
the fact that I would have to go to Mayaguez again during prime
15m time to search for a filter cap. I decided to let S55OO take
over so I could get to Mayaguez again and hopefully find the
We got lucky! Very lucky! I found two German made caps
with an almost identical footprint as the originals and got them
back to ISK who installed them in the 830 and Bingo,power out!
I got back to 15 and still listened to a near dead band. Finally
at 1800 it sprang to life with strong USA Signals. 15 was good
for about the next 4 hours and then died a slow agonizing death.
The worst part of my 15m stint was listening to LU4FM and other
LU's,ZW0Y,and HC8A running Europe in the morning,and USA/ JApan
in the evening and into the night while I couldn't hear a thing.
It was that kind of contest on 10 and 15 meters. The
Argentinians had it made on those bands. All I could do was
listen as they quickly increased their numbers on those bands
and cross my fingers that something would happen for us on 10
and 15. It never did.
At some point during the USA run the Icom 740
got a little too hot and the thermal shutdown protection circuit
kicked in. Instead of waiting for the rig to cool down I grabbed
the TS-830 and did another rig swap. In the process of tuning up
the 830 we managed to burn up the 15m bandpass filter! Next time
I'll make sure to remove the BPF before tuning up a tube type
rig.Another plus for solid state rigs. S55OO had another stint
on 15m while I got the 740 ready to go on 80 meters.
The low band guys had their share of problems with
inter-station interference and RF problems with the receive
antennas due to their proximity to the transmit antennas. I had
my share of RF burns this contest from picking up the ends of
coax while someone was transmitting on another antenna. Tyler
and ND3F spent a few hours on early Sunday morning moving the
ewes to a "safer" location.
Now I want to tell to you about S55OO. This young
man of 21 from Slovenia did yeoman's duty throughout the
contest.This guy knows the ropes better than many that I have
known. He is persistent,has a good command of the English
language,and knows the Ins and outs of each band. Best of all,
he had lots of Multi Multi experience from S50C.He is the kind
of op that you can leave alone knowing full well that the band
he is on is in good hands. He already knows that he has an open
invitation to return each year to operate from KP4XS M/M.
The rest of the test went by uneventful except for the
persistent low A/C line voltage which,at times, would dip to
90 Volts A/C.
Here are some interesting notes from our M/M
1- AA4S was the only station in the world to work us on all 6
bands. I knew it would be hard to do it especially on 10 and
160. 10 meters was difficult for us due to the interstation
crud. This made it hard to hear the weak scatter signals. I
have gotten many reports of being heard on 10 but not hearing.
Things will be better next year!
2-The Force 12 3 element 20m yagi was a snap to assemble and
performed great! KF3P Loved the way it performed. It will
be a great addition to the KP4XS M/M WPX SSB effort.
3-My Mom always was,still is,and always will be, a good sport
and a GREAT cook! Just ask the guys about the Octopus in Garlic
she whips up.
4- If you ever get to Boqueron,Puerto Rico please stop by the
"Le Bistro" bar. It is owned by a German expat. named Hans. Tell
him Ken sent you and order the margarita! You won't be sorry.
5- Conditions sucked for most of the contest. The QSO total was
down over 1k compare to last year and the score was 7 meg less.
6- Apparently the place to be was anywhere South of the Equator.
7-We had to all stop transmitting when the photosensor that
turns the street light kicked in and tried to jump start the
light. When that thing came on every band had about 10 minutes
of 20 over s9 noise.With all the stations transmitting at the
same time the voltage was low enough that there wasn't enough to
turn on the light. At that rate the noise could have stayed
forever.The only remedy was to all stop transmitting and let the
streetlight get the juice it needed to fully light.
8-Our antennas,supports,and feedlines had to be strung up high
enough to keep the roaming cattle from pulling it down with
their horns.We spent much time shooing away those pains in a
9- Don't ever invite me over to operate after I have eaten Rice
and Beans! Nuff Said!
Here is our operator and equipment list followed by
the score and breakdown.
10m-WD8ISK FT990/IC736 Homebrew 3cx800 600 watts, 3 el yagi at
15m-KP4XS IC740/TS830 SB220 800watts 3 el yagi at 30 feet
20m-KF3P FT1000mp,Titan 700 watts, 3 element Force 12 Yagiat 30
40m-AA6KX FT990,Alpha 87A 1kw, Ground plane,inv vee to
EU.antennas at 30 feet.
80m-K3JT IC740/TS830 Clipperton L at 800 watts, dipole to USA
and EU antennas at 30 feet.
160m-ND3F FT990,AL811A Amp at 450 watts and dipole at 70 feet to
Operating On all bands ,all rigs,and all amps, Goran,S55OO to
whom I cannot express enough thanks and appreciation for an
Band QSOS MULTS
10 181 48
15 1638 215
20 2644 464
40 1039 225
80 541 101
160 125 31
325 6168 1084
Claimed score- 19,611,728
Continent- North America
QTH Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Thanks for the QSO Points and prefixes and see you all
next year! 73 Ken and the gang at KP4XS M/M WPX SSB 96
>From Bruce Lallathin <aa8u at voyager.net> Wed Apr 3 23:23:49 1996
From: Bruce Lallathin <aa8u at voyager.net> (Bruce Lallathin)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 18:23:49 -0500 (EST)
Subject: No subject
Message-ID: <199604032323.SAA12487 at vixa.voyager.net>
Hello Fellow Contesters,
Here is the final results of the 1996 KT8X (at AA8U) WPX SSB Contest as
submitted this date. I am posting this on the reflector partly out of pride,
and partly because I see an incorrect version has made its way to the 3830
reflector. Judging by what I have seen so far, this score might be a
"top-ten-USA" score for Multi-Single. That would be COOL!
(KT8X finished 2nd USA in '95)
Band QSO's Prefixes
160 8 2 (probably should have spent more time here)
80 489 169 (The 4-sq., 6el delta array, & 8 new Bev'gs. are FB!)
40 158 69 (Sat. nite ran EU split, with some success, 40M Quad)
20 1250 545 (multiple 3 & 4 & 5 el triband quads, no stacks, YET!)
15 99 29 (Lots of LU's etc., worth the band changes)
10 20 4 (This is the bottom of this sunspot cycle after
Totals 2024 X 819 = 3,881,241
Dennis KT8X, Ken AA8AV, Stan K8MJZ, Matt KF8QE, Eric KF8DF, Brian KG8CO,
Mark NU8Z, Mike AA8FE, Dave KB8ECG, Bruce AA8U
Station 1 (usually RUN) : FT-1000D / DSP-59+ / Alpha 87A
Station 2 (usually Mult) : TS-870S / Ten Tec Titan
Station 3 (spotting only): TS-830S / Datong FL-3
(station 1 & 2 manned 48 hrs.)
160M Full size vertical w/30k ft. of radials (66' & 150') on ground surface
Inverted Vee apex at 120'
Droopy dipole apex at 83'
80M 4 Square array w/ 4 elevated radials per element (per. ON4UN)
5 el. delta loop at 45 deg. az., apex at 115', 145' boom (per. AA8U hi)
2 el delta loop at 240 deg az, apex at 115'
Inverted Vee apex at 83'
40M 2 el. full size quad at 130'
2 el. phased verticals w/ 26 elevated 1/4 w. radials per element NW/SE
2 el. Delta loop SE apex at 80'
3/4 wave Inverted Vee apex at 65'
1 el. delta loop apex at 80'
Inverted Vee apex at 30'
20M 4el Quad at 130' 40' boom
4el Quad at 95' 30' boom
3el Quad at 130' 16' boom
15M 5el Quad at 130' 40' boom
4el Quad at 95' 30' boom
3el Quad at 130' 16' boom
10M 6el Quagi at 130' 40' boom
5el Quad at 95' 30' boom
2el Quad at 130' 6' boom
10-15-20 TH7DXS 45 deg. at 83'
TH7DXS 135 deg. at 83'
Six two-wire 1200' Beverages at NE, E, SE, SW, W, NW
Two single-wire 800' & 540' Beverages 55 deg and 180 deg
2 X 486 PC W/K1EA DVP (it wasn't us!!!) CT 9.27
386 PC for Grayline (this is usefull)
This is the fourth WPX contest we have "seriously" competed with the NE8T
crew at K8CC. They have been very tough local competition. I think this year
the scores are closer than the previous postings, felt! closer anyway. We
will see where we end up when the final results are published, too bad we
have to wait so long.
Oh well, we had FUN regardless of the published results, "win or lose", in
spite of the "DVP-CLONE-QRM'er", and the sunspot (activity...HI) cycle. All
the operators were SUPERB! The station equipment and antennas survived yet
another battle intact...no small feat. In spite of severe sleep deprivation
I endured with my sense of humor intact and look forward to yet another
chapter in the "NE8T vs. KT8X" local competition next year. (both Mad River
Contest Club members)
Special thanks to all the Sys-gods out there that kept the PacketCluster up
and running all weekend. Their tireless efforts are to be commended. Well done!
73 to all,
aa8u at voyager.net
-see you next contest and at Dayton!-
>From Dick Dievendorff" <dieven at almaden.ibm.com Wed Apr 3 23:29:41 1996
From: Dick Dievendorff" <dieven at almaden.ibm.com (Dick Dievendorff)
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 1996 15:29:41 -0800
Subject: Third party rules
Message-ID: <9604031529.ZM22557 at penguin.almaden.ibm.com>
Several have cited FCC rules for definitions of "third party traffic". Each
country has its own set of rules, and those rules don't always agree with the
For example, in the UK the licensing authority is the Department of Trade and
Industry. They pass out a booklet with the rules with your license. It's
nothing like part 97 of the FCC rules.
Although I don't have that booklet in front of me, I did read it closely when I
was in the UK. When US hams asked me to make telephone calls on their behalf to
UK hams and I protested that I couldn't under my understanding of third party
rules, they invariably would cite some FCC regulation and say that I didn't
understand the rule.
My point is that the definition of "third party traffic" needs to take into
account the rules at both ends. I think the FCC's position of not counting a
third party a third party if that third party is also licensed is reasonable,
but the FCC is not the licensing authority worldwide.
73 de Dick, AA6MC, G0MFO
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