Tue Nov 19 20:41:58 EST 1996

Forwarded message:
Subj:    Re: SS CW K1ZX Multiop REALLY LONG
Date:    96-11-19 19:11:53 EST
From:    K1to
To:      BK1ZX70SFL

Back 2u, OM!  Stupid me.  I thought this was the general posting already!!!

In a message dated 96-11-10 13:01:33 EST, you write:

<< Subj:	SS CW K1ZX Multiop REALLY LONG
 Date:	96-11-10 13:01:33 EST
 From:	BK1ZX70SFL
 To:	K1to
 CC:	W1CW, W1YL, wc4e at
 Since this effort was a multiop with Dan K1TO I will first will comment
(something I do too much of, eh?) and then forward the message to Dan to edit
and append to...then, onto the contest Reflector.
 It is a week since SS CW.  It was a great time...activity was down compared
to last year, I say this since all the bigger scores are down.  Several
others have pointed out that there were more newer hams with recent checks in
their logs - I hope so, and still don't understand why everyone doesn't
contest...its SO much fun!  Also mentioned was a higher degree of civility
amongst ops...I still had run ins but there were definately fewer than last
 A month ago I talked with K1TO about his SS plans...Dan has been a mainstay
in New England and used to consistantly kick my butt when we were both 2X3
WA1s years ago.  He still was in the process of unpacking things and an
antennas were NOT up, fer sure.  We talked about two options...since the
W1CW/W1YL/K1ZX station has enough antennas to almost support two simultaneous
operations we could do two operations from the same shack...or...I suggested
we do a multiop.
 Dan had quite the Summer as a co-winner of the WRTC competion, and needless
to say I had no problem being on a team with someone of his calibre, hi!
 While I had never done SS CW as a multi, it seemed like a great way to renew
an old friendship as well as potentially kick some butt.
 The perenial SS CW multiop winner AA5B set a record last year and I felt
that based on my score as a single op last year we could have a shot at it.
 With a goal of the same number of QSOs as Bruce's Bunch had had last year I
based goal/rate sheets for us - after all there was one more multiplier this
year than last so we should get the benefit of a spread from that.  Danb
insisted we not even think about multiplier strategy,with two of us on for
the 24 hours we would Sweep easily...I tentatively agreed.
 Relying heavily on my last years performance as a basis for us I added in
for the greater number of QSOs Bruce had had, and I scheduled more off times
on Sunday - I had overslept last year and took most of my off time in one
shot.  More 1/2 hour off times on Sunday would hopefully keep us "fresher
meat".  It is funny how we could see that when we would come back on the air
and have a great first coupla minutes...then it would be slow.
 Hardware/antenna wise the only change to the station was the addition of a
NW beverage to aide with the Florida noise on 80. I should probably mention
this on the antenna reflector but in the process of putting up the beverage I
found a great support method for the LONG wire.  W1CW and I "snuck" onto the
flooded muck filled fields next door to erect the 600 ft beverage.  It was
pulled taught between two trees and five intermediary supports made a pretty
installation.  After wandering the aisles at Home Depot I got the idea for
the support posts...and they work great.  
 Go to the plumbing department and get a PVC t-Fitting for use with
installaing a sprinkler is threaded on the sprinkler side.  Make
a hacksaw cut the length of the fitting along the side of the fitting that is
the "top" of the letter "T".  Go to the electrical department and get some
plain old 1/2" EMT electrical tubing, it is in 10 ft lengths.  The threaded
pvc fitting is a tight push on fit onto the EMT.  Just in case, W1CW drilled
some holes and put some 8-32 machine screws to hold them together fer sure.
 With the beverage pulled taught, raise the pole and allow the wire fall into
the pvc fitting through the slot.  Put the EMT into the ground, I pushed it
into the ground about 2 foot so the beverage is at about an 8 foot height.
 It looks great, and each of those posts is under two bucks a piece...making
for a very inexpensive installation.
 But I digress...
 With the beverage in place, and the other existing antennae all checked out
all that was left to do was indoors.  With propagation the way it has been I
knew that it would be almost exclusively a two band contest from Florida.
 The 20 and 40 meter beams were run into coax switches so that they could be
"given" to either of the two operating positions set up.  The first (day to
day) station is an Omni VI and Ten Tec linear. This position was given the 80
meter dipole, and 10 and15 meter beams. The second position was Dan's TS930
and my ole Alpha 374...the 374 has the boradband tuining position which is
great for as fast as possible manually performed band changes.  The antennas
at position two were the KT34A tribander at 65 feet, and the low SS/NAQP 40
meter dipole.  Plus, remember, both stations would have access to the most
important antennae - the 20 and 40 monobanders.
 Other than the typical computer software problems on the day of a
contest...what am I doing wrong...the packet network should be running FASTER
to work, huh????? things went together well.  WC4E had loaned me his two ICE
419 multiband bandpass filters in exchange for an invite over Sunday
afternoon.  Everything went well til we hooked up the keying line to Dan's
930.  For some reason the monitor circuit in the 930 (sidetone) was
constantly key down no matter which keying interface we tried. If you have
experienced this please let us know what the fix is!  
 we "fixed " the problem by turing off the monitor.  We operated the entire
contest without knowing what NA was about trusting that you
hit the correct Function # key!
 By Sunday we had moved the 15 meter monobander onto the second position
antenna switch and despite frequent checks we found 15 wasn't worth
squat.....only about 30 QSOs were made on suspected, yes - 20 and 40
were the workhorses.
 We had Sweeped/Swept Saturday evening by 7 1/2 hours into the contest...Dan
had said not to even think about the sweep - he was right, it was a
breeze...although the new NNY was one of the last, and of all things EWA was
the final final.
 On Saturday afternoon Jeff, WC4E came by to join us in the effort...Jeff is
in the process of building a new home (and antenna farm) and had made 500
QSOs from the cab of his pickup truck earlier.   Jeff said the setting Sun
was a real bare on the laptop about a club asset, a guy who
not only makes QSOs form his car but then comes over to the multiop to lend a
hand.  Ironman!
 Last year I had had a terrible start and was sucessful due to a great
consistant Sunday.  This year we had called it a night when the rate went
down to 40 on Saturday night...I "knew" we could do better than that on
Sunday since last years log was so strong on Sunday.  We had just under 12
hours in when we quit Saturday night (Sun AM) and the remaining 12 hours plus
produced less than 500 QSOs - far less than the rates I had seen last year.
 Two entirely different contest it seemed...what did we do wrong on
Sunday....had we worked everyone too soon on Saturday?
 I don't know for sure but I think we had the high QSO number when we
quit...Sunday was a "contest from hell feeling" for me as I saw the
incredible lead we started with whittled away by repeated slow hours.
 The bottom line looks very favorable however and while we did not reach my
goal of breaking AA5B's record score from last year the fact that so many
others' claimed scores are way down and the fact that ours is above Bruce's
makes up for it!
 I don't know what we did wrong on Sunday - other than I think I tried harder
to make daylight 40 meter QSOs on the second radio last year, and we kept
trying to get mileage out of a dead 15 meters this year....on Saturday night
when I started hearing other guys who normally are way ahead of me suddenly
the ones behind me it was very exciting....kinda like looking in your rear
view mirror when you are in pole position I guess!
 Congratulations to the AA5B team on a great showing - if it wasn't for them
we wouldn't have had the Saturday night elation...or the Sunday night
desperation of hearing them closing in!
 OVER TO DAN...I certainly have babbled enough, bk >>

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