[CQ-Contest]  CQ160 CW OO4UN Check Log
john.devoldere at pandora.be
Mon Jan 31 05:56:40 EST 2005
CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op, just checlkog
Operating Time (hrs): 24
Total: QSOs = 1100 State/Prov = 45 Countries = 83 Total Score = 880,000
This year I entered the 160m CW just for fun.. No competition.hence just a checklog. But in 24 hours I still ended up with about 1100Q's in the log at the end, 83 DXCC countries, 39 US states and 6 VE-provinces.. and nearly 300 US QSOs. What does that mean to me? That it was way better than what I had expected, especially the first night (to the US). Second night was way down except for a short "duct" with a spotlight exit right over Washington state when at 0455 UTC I worked 3 (S9!!!) WA stations (N7FU, N7RO and W7EKM). The wonders of top band propagation. Bad conditions, could not even hear N7JW the second night, and then, out of the blue these 3 stations.. amazing.
I had my phased Beverages up for the US, using the new feed systems described in my upcoming new book, and it really worked extremely well. It provides me with 30 dB F/B or (much) better over the entire back of the antenna (and that's where Eastern Europe is, and I am sure you understand what that means when I try to dig out the weaker ones from the States). YU's, OKs, UA3.s LY's drop from S9 plus to "in the noise"... incredible.
With the Ten-Tec ORION, the band now really sounds very quiet between strong and very close by stations, ..if it wasn't for the terrible key clicks that we still hear. In the old days I heard spurious signals (intermod) mixed with click, nit it is pure click I hear. I have the impression though that it is getting better (thanks to the many ORIONs used by experienced top banders), but some signals are really very bad. I think we should think about having an independent jury listening to signals and giving a quote for key-clicks, and then bring that into the score computation at CQ. One of the problems when you use an ORION, is that people come "too close for comfort" to your frequency, because with the ORION you have such a clean signal. Also sideband noise (synthesizer noise??) is still a problem with some signals.
Another thing that happened twice to me in this contest (Mark ON4WW had it happening to him as well), is that some people seem to think they "OWN" a frequency. They go away for a couple of minutes for a pee, or a drink or a snack, or to work a multiplier they saw on the DX cluster they should not be using, and when they come back they expect the frequency to still be there waiting for them..
Usually when I do Search and Pounce and I come across an especially quiet gap, it is likely that the last occupant when for one of the above described activities. Then I start with a "?" one more, a third one, still no answer, then two times "QRL?">If then still no answer, the frequency "is mine" (for a while at least, until I take a break for a p.. or something). One guy (OM8A) started an argument after finding "his frequency" occupied after an "escapade"came back and said "I can prove this is MY frequency, look in the DX-cluster I have been spotted here many times.." Not a very convincing argument. Yes it was "his" frequency, until he left! You cannot eat the candy and keep it as well! But these practices are not new. And the few occurrences could not spoil my weekend.
Thanks to the nearly 300 NA stations I could contact with this special OO prefix. I hope you all had fun, like I did (99.9 % of the time).
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