[CQ-Contest] IARU Comments-N3BB M/S

Jim George, N3BB N3BB at easy.com
Thu Jul 16 19:47:41 EDT 1998

The IARU is a great contest, with what may be the best rules of all.  This
is a rival of the great CQWW.  The HQ stations, IARU zones, and the new
administrative councils along with the points for every QSO level out the
playing field and make this a very enjoyable contest.  You can work
everyone for point credit, and it never gets boring.  24 hours is a great
length.  The starting time here in the central USA is the best as we can
get the station set up Friday night, go to sleep, get up at 6AM Saturday,
and be ready to rumble for the 7AM start.  For a morning person like me,
it's sooooo good to be able to wake up and start the contest, rather than
having to start at 7PM and go on through the night on top of a 12 hour day
up to that time.

The team was a repeat of last year, with the exception of N5ZC, who flew
down from Amrillo to take the SSB run seat replacing N5LT who was very QRL
with business.  Rich was a super addition in all ways and fit in well.  Oh
to have a voice like that.  He sounded like Dick Biondi (Remember him, you
WKBW and WLS fans from the sixties?).  All we needed were the top 40 rock
songs and we would have been solid gold!  K5NA and I were the CW runners,
and AB5EB and WD5N were the key utility players/mult gang extraordinary.

We started the contest on 40 CW to JA, as it was just after SRT here.  We
thought our 52 QSOs in about 30 minutes were pretty good, but upon review,
the 20 meter runrates of others in this area were better.  I get sucked in
with the great results from the big Telrex on the hilltop.  We went to 20
for a while, and then went to 15 SSB where it was white hot to Europe.
>From Texas, 142-146-106 (ten minutes on ten meters)-144-130 are not a bad
five hour stretch to Europe at all!  The European opening on 15 meters was
the highlight of the contest here.

We then alternated 15 and 20, with excursions to 10 until 40 opened to
Europe at 0100.  Then it was 40 (and some 80) until SRT in most of Europe
at 0330.  We then ran 20 over the pole until 08Z when it was SST in Japan.
The long night time run on 20 is CW territory as there are five to ten
stations calling all the time and 90% of them are 429 RST.  This is where
those "layers" come in with more gain and so forth.  We could use more
"oompf" on 20, but we got the job done.

We went to 80 and 160 (ugh) during the night, and then when JA SST started,
it was 40 CW to Asia at 65 an hour until the bell rang.

This is such an interesting contest.  CW is the better mode for rate at
night. In most of the day, SSB excells as the HF band signals are fairly
good.  Marginal conditions favor CW.  The summertime conditions on the
three LF bands make it almost impossible to work any Europeans on 80 or
160.  We didn't even work a single JA here on 80-very very unusual.

A few final obversations:

1.  Working in the Texas heat to get the antennas and feedlines QRV was
brutal.  You had to be here to believe it (setting up the PJ9B station is
good practice however!).

2.  We used the internet connection to WU3V for the first time.  It was
helpful as the local packet cluster ran 45 minutes behind a lot of the
time, so was not useful.

3.  I enjoyed going back to CT-felt at home with the look and feel.

4.  We worked only one of the new admin mults-W4RA (AC).

5.  Worked TM8CUP-congrats and Viva la French!

6.  The support from the local contest community was great.  Lots of fun as
two stations, K5DU and N5TW, earned the coveted "Chateau N3BB 98" vino for
twelve band-mode QSOs.

See you next year!

73, Jim, N3BB/5 in Austin-the live music capital of the world.

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