[CQ-Contest] SteppIR and results

K7LXC at aol.com K7LXC at aol.com
Tue Dec 17 14:52:13 EST 2002

Hello, all --

    I don't normally cross-post things but this one is of interest to all of 
us who are interested in antennas and their competitive performance. 

Steve      K7LXC

>>  -------- Original Message --------
Subject: N6XI / Truckee CQWW CW 2002 SOABHP Preliminary
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2002 20:52:14 -0800
From: Rick Tavan <tavan at tibco.com>
Organization: TIBCO Software Inc.
To: nccc at contesting.com

I still have a few calls to check for actual location, but here is a 
preliminary summary of my first DX contest with the new antennas in 
Truckee. Bottom line was 1521/306/131 = 1.8M in about 31 hours. I got 6+ 
hours of sleep each night but managed to catch some fun pre-dawn 
openings on 80 and 40.

The rest of this is commentary and a summary sheet for those who enjoy 
that kind of stuff.

Antenna Comments

In September I put up a 72' crankup at my North-facing ridge QTH. I had 
some interaction problems that prompted me to rearrange it from 
(top-to-bottom) 40-Tri-80 to 40-80-Tri. I also turned the 80m dipole 
ninety degrees from the beams. It works much better now.

The Force 12 80m "Sigma" style rotary dipole was awesome (to me, 
anyway), easily capturing such goodies as JT, D4 and C5. The Force 12 
Mag 240N looked for a while like it would make more mults than any other 
band, but a Sunday morning EU opening on 15 finally put 40 into second 
place. I was breaking most pileups quickly on the low bands. The 3el 
SteppIR worked very well on the high bands, especially when I lowered it 
to about 40 feet. I often broke pileups on the first call on the high 

That SteppIR is an incredible little antenna. With a 16' boom and an 
extra element, I expected it to have maybe a couple of dB on the C3S 
and, subjectively speaking, it probably does. Having reasonable SWR 
across all six bands (17m, 12m and 6m included) is a nice luxury. The 
vendor claims their big advantage is pattern. They say their antenna 
maintains its pattern across the bands, unlike most tribanders that 
allegedly deliver specified F/B, F/R and F/S only near their resonant 
frequencies. Limited, ad hoc testing seems to confirm this. What really 
blew me away were the Reverse and Bi-Direction features. I could switch 
between JA and Carib in three seconds or spray RF in both directions. 
This is REALLY useful in the real world of CA contesting.

SO2R Comments

I finally got the SO2R setup to the point where I could use trlog and DX 
Doubler together for smooth S&P on Rig 2 while sending silent CQ's and 
exchanges on Rig 1. This hardware/software/mode combination is so much 
better than manually switching the transmit rig that I wonder why I 
hadn't tried it before. SO2R isn't exactly easy but it is possible. With 
only 100w and a vertical on Rig 2, I didn't make very many Rig 2 QSOs, 
but it was a great learning experience. I think I'm going to have to put 
the AB-577 and C4S back up somewhere to form a real second antenna! And 
get the Rig 2 amp hooked up and bandpass filter repaired.

It was good to hear you all in the pileups and to work our intrepid 
expeditioners. Great fun for a guy who hasn't done much DX contesting 
from CA in a long time!


/Rick N6XI

                               CQ WW SUMMARY SHEET

    Contest Dates : 23-Nov-02, 24-Nov-02

    Callsign Used : N6XI
         Operator : N6XI

         Category : SOABHP

 Default Exchange : 599 3

             Name : RICK TAVAN
     Mail Address : 20297 HICKORY HILL WAY
   City/State/Zip : SARATOGA, CA  95070
          Country : United States
 Station Location : Truckee, CA (Nevada County)
   Operating Time : 30:32

   BAND   Raw QSOs   Valid QSOs   Points   Countries   Zones

   80CW      141         140        374        30        19
   40CW      242         240        677        70        28
   20CW      312         311        859        64        26
   15CW      455         455       1258        89        31
   10CW      378         375       1055        53        27

 Totals     1528        1521       4223       306       131

    Final Score = 1,845,451 points.


Richard M. Tavan

TIBCO Software Inc.
3307 Hillview Drive
Palo Alto, CA  94304-1213
tavan at tibco.com   >>

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