[CQ-Contest] CT3EE, low power SOAB in CQWW CW -- short story

corneliuspaul at gmx.net corneliuspaul at gmx.net
Wed Dec 4 15:03:57 EST 2002


just returned from CT3, but am still in an internet cafe in Spain, 
so here is the short story...

The good news were that we found a very nice little QTH 
on the north side of the Island with a good takeoff to US, 
EU and OC (Sorry, hill sloping a little bit upwards to Carib and SA). 

The good news were that I had the spider beam and low band 
wire verticals were all running on Wednesday before the Contest.
Had to be careful not to ruin the flowers around the house, but
succeeded in that... :-)

The good news were that with the on the air help of the BCC boyz
I could even manage to cut a 3ele wire beam for 40m and put it up
on Thursday. At first it did not work, but after changing from 300Ohm
twinlead to balun and 50Ohm RG58 on Friday it worked pretty well
and I was REALLY ready to go.

The Contest starts
The high bands were closed during the night, everybody seemed to be
on 40m and that wire beam immediately helped.
Still, the real fun began as the high bands opened and the 10min-rates
climbed over 300! Best I ever had, and that with 100w! I was feeling 

The bad news was that a storm started to hit the Island during the
Night from Saturday to Sunday. 

The good news were that all antennas stayed up till the end. I felt
very proud on that one. Most of all, to see how the new version of 
the spider beam EASILY took the heavy wind gusts, that made the trees
around bending like h*ll...
(On this new version I have traded some extra weight for improved 
stability and this was a NICE TEST that it was really worth it...:-) )

The REALLY bad news was that on Sunday 15h UTC the electrical power 
went down and never came up again until after the contest.. :-(
A few hours later my YL came back with the car and I tried to run off
the car battery for a while. Did not dare to take the 36Ah battery out 
of the car (one never knows with these "modern plastic cars"), but 
instead used the rest of my wire to connect the battery to the station,
and left the engine running. Still, the wire I had left was just not heavy 
enough for transmitting 100W without a bank of capacitors right at the 
TX and I had to turn the power down to 5W.
Even with 5W I managed to get some pileups going on 15m but after a
while the notebook started to loose on its battery, too... 
It is a 12V notebook, but with a built in power supply. I have always 
wanted to install a plug for a direct 12V feed, but you know... 

What really drove me mad was that CT9M and CT9L still were on the air,
obviously doing fine... I thought we had all been hit equally :-)

So I should have gone to hand logging, 5W, and the high bands closing..
Well thats when I lost the ambition and just went to bed...

Now, after the dust has settled, I am ready to smile at the experience
Thanks to all who called in, it really was a lot of fun. Also on the
this contest / expedition was a real pleasure. 

Also many thanks to everybody who helped, especially Luis CT3EE!!
And Luis CT4NH, who made for a very pleasant take-off and landing in

CU next time with a small generator !!  :-)

73 Con DF4SA 

df4sa at contesting.com

Call:      CT3EE
Category:  Single Operator Low Power All Band
Mode:      CW 
Country:   Madeira Is.
Zone:      33
Club Affiliation: BCC

Operating Time: 35hrs
Rig: IC-735
ANTs: 20-15-10m spider beam tribander on 10m telescopic aluminum pole
        40-80-160m wire verticals / inverted Ls
        40m 3ele inv vee to EU


      160       47      128     2.72      8      32
       80      278      818     2.94     13      57
       40      610     1817     2.98     20      75
       20      718     2126     2.96     27      88
       15     1103     3288     2.98     33     105
       10     1452     4332     2.98     29      98

     Totals   4208    12509     2.97    130     455  =>  7,317,765

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