[CQ-Contest] QRX SS CW DE K3KU

Art Boyars aboyars at erols.com
Mon Mar 31 21:04:40 EST 2003

After last SS CW I kept my rig set up for a while, hoping that I could find some time and space for Ham Radio.  'Tis not to be.  Gotta put it back in the boxes, under the workbench.  I thought I'd offer a few thoughts and observations here on the Reflector, then go back to reading the summaries on the WWW (who needs all that e-mail!!).  Sort of the Radio Club of the Internet.  Is a sign of dotage when swapping the stories is as much fun as operating?  So, with your permission....

I did a little rag chewing on 40 CW, meeting some of the SS regulars.  I did a little DXing, mostly on 40 CW; signal not as good as it was at the other house 20 years ago; and Packet (which I do not have) takes most of the fun -- and all of the skill -- out of hunting for DX.  I did a little non-SSCW contesting from home, in addition to continuing my recent last-22-hours of the CW DX Tests at W3LPL.  I even became a regular on the MDD Section Net; I was Net Manager for a few years, back around 1967.
Re: "Call Sign Advantages" thread -- Of course it can make a difference!  Most of the technical points have been over-discussed here.  (I will mention that the best call I heard in SS CW was K8KU.)  Note also all the name-optimizing for Sprint, etc.  And here's an Old Timer's story: One year, back when the SS exchange included your birthday, I thought "Why should I have to send NOV 30; it's too long?"  Apparently, K3EST had a similar thought.  Independently, we both picked FEB 7.  Worked great.  (I think that was the year I operated SSCW at W3AZD, and Bob operated nearby at now-N4RV.  He beat me soundly, as I recall, but you should have heard the names he sputtered at me when he thought I was too close to his frequency.  Bob wasn't so fluid with the code back then.)

Other recent Contest experiences:

SS Phone (making some points for the Club) -- some of those guys are GOOD; they heard me! N4XS comes to mind, but there were a few others.  I've mentioned in my SS CW write-ups the difficulty of having to manually zero beat for CW.  Well, you ought to try it on SSB -- Heelllooo, hellloo.  Most fun in the contest was K3ZO's reaction when I called him: "You're not a phone man!!", as he picked himself up off the floor.  (That might have been the ONLY fun in the contest. Phone sucks.)

REF (CW) and 10 Meter Contests -- Got in mostly to see if I could make any contacts on 10 (and 15), to judge whether I should put any effort into looking for NWT and AK there in SS CW.  I recall F6BEE running about 100/hr on 10 CW while I struggled to make a handful of QSOs.  Not looking too hopeful.  (And phone STILL sucks, even on 10, with some sunspots.)

ARRL CW at W3LPL -- I'm still learning, and not to be trusted with any strategy decisions.  But I do show up well-rested Saturday evening, and I do know the code (if not the prefixes).  Still, those 3 pre-dawn hours with zero QSOs on 20 prompted me to ask on the chat loop: "Remind me again how SS CW is slow on Sunday afternoon."  Two more stories:  First, I had heard the WX forecast, and I arrived Saturday night wearing my big galoshes.  The other op's laughed, until I told them the snow prediction.  After a lot of digging we got out Monday afternoon, thanks mostly to Frank's neighbor, who cleared the driveway with his front loader.  Second, when the OD5 finally showed up on 20 late Sunday afternoon, he was working split, about 2 KHz.  No problem; lots of room.  But one of the Caribbean expeditions was running a pile up right between the OD5 and his listening freq.  Seemed to be OK.  QRL?

CW Sprint -- I stumbled onto it Saturday evening, about 40 minutes before it ended.  I wrote a big Soap Box to go with with my 13-QSO entry.  I guess you can find it if you want to read about how I tried to dupe N6TR, himself.

That's all for now.  As I said, I'll be following you guys on the Reflector WWW summary, and I expect/hope to be QRV for SSCW.  I might even have talked my neighbor into letting me stretch the drooping end of my dipole out to her tree.  Maybe I can set a modern-day record for the Low Power, Paper Logs class.  (Hmm.  I wonder who did have the highest LPPL score in SS CW.  Does it count if I win my own plaque, or is that like self-spotting?)

73, and thanks for the QSOs.

Art K3KU

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