[CQ-Contest] From the cheap seats

Dan Weisenburger kw4t at erols.com
Sun Nov 2 13:53:02 EST 1997

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Weird,  thetas the only word to describe 40 meters last weekend.

As a Low Power type with wires in the trees (inspired by Phil, KT3Y) the
operation here is almost exclusively S & P.

The TS-940 gave out again with a display that shows ". . . . . . . ."
(sorry Yuri, still having trouble) less than two hours into the test.  I
grabbed a TS-690 and dropped it into the hole but the DVP made a
clicking sound with that rig so I went to radio #3, the old TR7/RV75 and
demoted the 690 to "second receiver" status.  Band Mapping by hand is a
real pain.

Things went slow for most of the first night until about 0800 UTC,
suddenly the pileups were down, I guess this is a combination of the
migration to 75, Europe's casual operators getting out of bed, and all
of the big guns having worked all the multipliers.  I hung in there
until about 1200 U.T.C. and got to hear P29AS working JA's but no JA's
were heard here.  I had new wires I had put up just to hopefully work
JA, turned out to be an improvement into the Southwest Pacific and
resulted in a couple of all-time new band countries.  When I first heard
KH7R he said I was a dupe!  All can figure is that he had heard me
calling a European on his RX frequency and worked me in error!  I told
the operator this and I hope he understood.  He had already given me the
5931 so he went into my log and I hope I went into his again...The op
didn't seem happy with me...hmmmmm.

I called 9Y4VU about a thousand times.  When we finally did work I was
so excited I forgot to log him.  Several hours later I noticed the
missing QSO when looking at my mults screen (on 40 LP you have time for
such trivial pursuits) so I made myself a big note and when I found him
again I had to call for another 100 or so times to check the time of our
previous QSO!  I hope that's legal and would appreciate comments as I
really try to do things right.

The next night went slow as usual but there was one improvement!  before
going to bed I had turned on the 940 again and when I returned to the
air after the Notre Dame/BC game the 940 performed flawlessly the rest
of the weekend.  I was able to work most stations on less then 10 calls
the second evening but there were still many multipliers I could hear
but could not work.  One of the more disappointing was never being able
to work the ZF2 inspite of a great signal from the Caymans all weekend.
A lot of other "common" countries didn't find there way into the log,
but not for a lack of trying.  A few times I heard the DX working
WA4QDM, who as far as I know is my primary competition for 40 meter LP
honors.  QDM seemed to always beat me in the pile.

There were two notable stations which were using some sort of "frequency
hopping"  V26B and 9A1A.  These guys were always on a different
frequency with every sweep of the band.  This just adds to the challenge
by having to remap these guys.

A propagation observation,  Northern Europe was much better for me than
in previous contests but Southern Europe seemed  "weaker" and I never
found any of the usual African stations other than 5N and EA9.  I heard
ZD8Z but not as strong as usual and was unable to work him.   The other
strange note was Sunday morning!  I could hear Northern Europe still
working each other and I thought I heard them working JA.  This was at
1200 U.T.C, when the entire path should have been in daylight.  I wonder
if I was hallucinating or enjoying some of the best gray-line I've ever
heard on 40 meters.

Overall, I did better than last year but I was a lot more work.  I'd be
interested in hearing from other 40 meter Single band stations (high or
low power).

That's it from High Atop the Compost Pile in Lake Moneysgone,

73,  Dan,  KW4T

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