Timothy Coker n6win73 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 13 17:34:21 PST 2012

That's a cool contest story.


Tim / N6WIN.

On Mon, Feb 13, 2012 at 6:01 AM, Michael Tope <W4EF at dellroy.com> wrote:

>                    NA Sprint CW Contest - February
> Call: W4EF/VE3
> Operator(s): W4EF
> Station: VE3OI
> Class: Single Op HP
> Operating Time (hrs): 4
> Summary:
>  Band  QSOs  Op Time
> ---------------------
>   80:   83    1:07
>   40:   93    1:41
>   20:   77    1:12
> ---------------------
> Total:  253    Mults = 41  Total Score = 10,373
> Club: Southern California Contest Club
> Team: SCCC #2
> Comments:
> Rig: Elecraft K3, Ameritron AL-82, Win-Test
> Antennas> 20M: TA34 Tribander
>          40M: 2 El Yagi
>          80M: Delta Loop
> As it would happen, my employer scheduled me for a week long business trip
> to Toronto, Canada for the week which happened to straddle two of my most
> favorite contests of the year:  the CQ 160 CW Contest and the CW Sprint. As
> a result, I was either going to be in the air flying back to California
> during the CW Sprint if I flew back to Los Angeles on Saturday or I’d be
> stuck in the Toronto area if I opted to come home Sunday. Since coming back
> Sunday actually left open the possibility of doing the Sprint, I opted to
> go that way. All I needed to do was find a host.
> In hopes of finding someplace to operate while in Toronto, I had posted a
> "CQ Toronto" message to CQ-Contest about a week prior to my trip, but as of
> the Saturday morning of the Sprint nobody had responded. I posted another
> identical message to CQ-Contest that Saturday morning, but still nothing.
> That's when old friend Pat N8VW steered me towards the Contest Club of
> Ontario's (CCO) Yahoo group. I emailed the moderator and shortly thereafter
> I received a message back from Don VE3XD with a copy of the solicitation he
> posted for me on the CCO list. Later that afternoon while I was getting
> ready to walk around the Ontario Science Center, I got a phone call from
> Dave Dudley VE3OI inviting me to come to his QTH in rural Rockwood west of
> Toronto that evening to operate the Sprint. Wow, this was amazing; I was
> actually going to get to operate! I was even able to email Tim N6WIM back
> in Los Angeles so that I could get on an SCCC Team.
> I left the Science Center when it closed at 5PM and headed for Dave’s QTH.
> I arrived around 6:30PM. It was after sunset, but there was still enough
> residual light left to make out the outline of a big tower sitting next to
> the house. Dave and I hadn’t discussed antennas on the phone, so I was
> thrilled to see the tower. I would have been happy just to get on and make
> a few QSOs with a G5RV and a straight key, but now all of a sudden I was
> looking at the possibility of a competitive effort. That feeling was
> further reinforced when Dave led me into his well-appointed shack where I
> found an Elecraft K3 sitting next to an Ameritron AL-82 amplifier. Dave
> uses the Win-Test logging program and had set it up for the Sprint with my
> call already loaded in.
> Since I was unfamiliar with Win-Test and there wasn’t time to really get
> to know its idiosyncrasies with respect to the variability of the Sprint
> exchange, I decided to send all the exchanges by hand (my experience coming
> up to speed with N1MM in the Sprint was pretty painful, so I decided to
> spare the contest participants that side-effects of that sort of agony).
> The hand sending worked out for the most part. It forced me to keep my
> speed down (after all these years I still can’t send CW worth a d%mn), but
> otherwise it wasn’t an impediment.
> In short I got what I was hoping for. For 4 hours, I was totally
> engrossed. Dave's station worked beautifully. He has band decoders
> connected to the K3, so I didn’t have to worry about changing antennas. The
> only manual step required for band changing was adjusting the AL-82, but
> Dave has preset labels so even that was a snap.
> While VE3 isn’t exactly rare DX, this was my first time doing ham radio
> from a foreign entity, so I really have to hand it to Dave for his generous
> hospitality, especially on such short notice. It was literally only a few
> hours between the time when we first talked and the time when I was sitting
> in front of his rig making QSOs.
> Great fun!
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