[CQ-Contest] SS newcomer

Randy Powell rmp at ix.netcom.com
Mon Nov 17 22:59:17 EST 1997

                        ARRL SWEEPSTAKES -- 1997
      Call: W6SW                     Section: LAX  
      Mode: SSB                      Category: Multioperator
      Exchange: NR B W6SW 66 LAX

      160        0        0        -
       80       52      104        -
       40       75      150        -
       20      207      414        -
       15       92      184        -
       10        0        0        -
     Totals    426      852       79
               Score:  67,308
Power Output: 1 kilowatt     Hours of operation: 10.2
Equipment Description: TS-930s, Swan Mk II amplifier,
                                                     KT-34A, 80m/40m half
Now this was fun.  My first SS was '95 sideband and I lucked into a sweep,
so thought it would be easy to do every time.  Not.  CW SS, as I found out
doesn't bring out the bodies from MS and other less populated sections and
as I said, I was lucky the first time out of the blocks so the sweep has
eluded me ever since that first effort.  With my family schedule I set
getting a sweep as my goal and go for it.  My wife is a rather
understanding lady, but her birthday is on November 15th and both of my
kids play soccer on Saturdays with me as cheerleader so I didn't really get
started until late Saturday night after the birthday party had wrapped. 
I've learned my lesson from the first year when I needed SDG to sweep and
had to find someone ragchewing on 80m at 6:39 PM Sunday so I stayed up
until I'd worked all the California sections and then hit the sack.  Got up
and 15m sounded great.  I live on a 30' x 90' city lot with lots of
friendly neighbors right on top of me, but I'd decided that to get K6LA's
attention up at VY1JA I might need some power so I'd decided to run a KW
with the old Swan.  I got on and started S&P-ing and then found a good spot
and ran 'em.  After 2 or 3 hours my 12-year old son comes in and says,
"Dad, did you know you're turning the sprinklers on every time you talk?" 
That was new one.  I opened the window blinds, hit F1 and sure enough, the
harder the amplifier was driven the higher the water spouted!  Anyone ever
bypassed a Rainmaster sprinkler controller?  Please send your cure to
rmp at ix.netcom.com and I'll summarize.

It was fun running and learning to use my brain as a better filter,  with
three hours left to go I'd worked all the sections except SK & YU at which
point we had to go out and paint birthday cups and plates for my kids'
godfather.  I live in California, remember?  At the studio my wife saw my
heart was not into the kids' artwork, so she said, "Why don't you go back
to the contest and then pick us up in an hour?"  The right woman.  I
married the right woman.  Back I zipped the ten blocks to the house and
found SK within  minutes and then I was called by 2 more SK's as I ran on
20m.  Earlier, I'd put out a call for VY1JA on our packetcluster and W3SE
had shot back with a 20m freq that I couldn't copy him on under the QRM.  
I went back to 14.227 and there was Ken calling for contacts, no power
needed to get through, he sounded a little frustrated without a pileup
under him, I made the QSO and thanked him for making the sweep possible for
me. Goal next year is to break 1000 QSO's.  This'll take some serious
Saturday scheduling 'cuz I haven't stayed on long enough to surpass 500 Q's

Thanks y'all for the great party!

Randy Powell W6SW

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