[CQ-Contest] Stew Perry Topband Challenge (long)

Jim Cain cainjim at mindspring.com
Sun Jan 2 11:13:22 EST 2005

I don't get out very well on 160 Meters but was determined to make a few QSOs in the Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge a couple of weeks ago. The trials and tribulations were so monumental that when I submitted my log I decided to attach comments that might make me eligible for an award, sponsored by Larry Tyree, N6TR, for best whining and excuses. Here they are:

2004 Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge (Whining, excuses, etc.)


It was a dark and stormy Friday night before the 2004 Stew Perry Topband

Distance Challenge when, despite a severe case of indisposition which is not so

unusual when you are so old you can remember when a DX-20 was an upgrade, I

pulled the  back door closed and locked behind me before realizing that I'd left

the door key inside the house, to see if my 14-year-old Subaru Legacy L wagon

with the original battery, air conditioning, and some but not objectionable rust

but it's paid for and for which I had the key would deign to start, so I could

drive to Home Depot for a 500-foot spool of wire to erect a last-minute Beverage

receiving antenna for the impending "Stew" contest that inexplicably begins and

ends in broad daylight at this location nestled among the barren, dormant

soybean fields of east central Indiana and the Ninth Call Area which, despite

being in Indiana, is on Eastern Time, which suggests I should be able to work

lots of European DX but I can't, and which still does not explain why the Stew

begins in broad daylight but as I always say when I hoist a Guinness at 9 in the

morning although I usually can't afford Guinness "It's after noon in England."


The Subaru ground to a start but failed to roll away smoothly as it sometimes

does perhaps because the left rear tire was flat and could not be changed due to

the spare tire being flat as well or at least too low on air for safe motoring,

my automobile club membership having been revoked for too many calls to them

that never resulted in anything except my being routed around their phone system

and maybe I said a bad word to their computer, and all the neighbors being

gathered at a holiday party and way too inebriated even to answer the telephone

much less drive up here on one of their tractors or other farm vehicles which

didn't matter anyway because the phone company had disconnected me after I fried

one of their connectors trying to load up the phone line on 160 Meters two weeks

before in the ARRL 160 Meter Contest, which I lost, but it wasn't even close,

and I didn't feel like changing a tire anyway and I'd even used a counterpoise

on the phone line which just proves that RF engineers (which I am not) aren't

always right.


Then in a roaring white-hot blaze of neural activity I realized that what is

phone cable but wire? So I yanked it down from the house to the pole being

careful not to make any sudden twisting motions related to my lower back and

scored several insulators in the process, then peeled away the jacket only to

find that the tiny wires inside were massively corroded which may explain why it

was taking about five minutes to load a single web page on my dial-up internet

connection but I could always send my official N6TR plaque entry (for whining

and excuses) from a computer at the library except that by now it was Sunday and

the library was closed. The Challenge would be over in a couple of hours and it

was nearly daylight and I hardly worked anybody, so when for what turned out to be

the last time I grasped the MFJ paddle which generates extraneous dits but I use

it because my original FYO paddle is too valuable to use and a spring came loose

from the mechanism and launched itself into my forehead and I didn't even have a

spare Guinness to apply to the wound, I quit. But it was fun.


Jim Cain, K1TN/Indiana 



With respect to Edward George Bulwer-Lytton


FT100D, 100 watts

End-fed wire



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