[SCCC] FW: IARU score - E51TAI

Wayne Overbeck overbeck6 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 16 17:32:01 PDT 2012

To: 3830 at contesting.com
cc: w6tai at hotmail.com
From: w6tai at hotmail.com

                    IARU HF World Championship

Call: E51TAI
Operator(s): W6TAI/E51TAI
Station: E51TAI

Class: SO SSB HP
QTH: Rarotonga, S. Cook
Operating Time (hrs): 15

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
   80:            1     1        
   40:           65    14       7
   20:          290    29       6
   15:          692    23      13
   10:          371    17      14
Total:   0     1419    84      40  Total Score = 839,356

Club: Southern California Contest Club


IARU 2012 was my first-ever DX contest.  Wayne, N6NB, and I came to Rarotonga in
the South Cook Islands in early March so Wayne could get on during the ARRL DX
Phone contest.  We enjoyed the Cook Islands so much that we decided to return
in July for IARU!  In preparation for the trip, we shipped a 15' mast, a
rotator and a TH-2 tribander ahead of time.  (Thank you to Victor, E51CG, for
storing them for us!)  We brought an IC-7000 and a small amplifier in our
luggage.  The tribander and a 40 meter dipole went on a second floor balcony at
our motel--not very high but with a clear shot out to sea.

The station seemed to work very well--after an initial scare.  Shortly after we
put up and tested the antennas, we had 12 hours of heavy rains and high winds. 
The SWR at resonance on 15 and 20 went from 1.2 to 1 during initial testing to
an intolerable 4 to 1.  We lowered and dismantled the TH-2.  The traps were
soaked even though the drain holes were all mounted downward.  Although the
antenna was brand new, one trap end cap slipped off the trap unit and others
became loose enough to allow water inside.  I took apart all eight traps and
dried them with a borrowed hair dryer.  Then I taped the end caps to try to
keep them in place and waterproof them. When the TH-2 went back up the
afternoon before the contest, the SWR again looked good, but then another
downpour began.  Fortunately, the taped end caps did their job and the traps
stayed dry enough that the SWR was okay throughout a weekend of heavy rain and
high winds.  Operating with thunder and lightning all around was frightening.

Since Wayne operated last time, this was my turn!  I operated IARU as a
single-op unassisted on SSB only.  The contest was fun and I had a chance to
manage some serious pile-ups.  I spent almost all of my 15 hours on the air
"running," not searching and pouncing.  The main disappointment was the
scarcity of European contacts (I heard very few signals from Europe).  It was
nice to hear friends from back home and hundreds of new calls from many
countries.  Altogether, I made more than 1,400 contacts during IARU plus
another 650 during a practice run the evening before the contest. Thanks to
everyone who stood by patiently to work me (sometimes for upwards of 30
minutes!).  It was definitely a memorable experience for me!

If you'd like a QSL, please send one via N6NB.  

Internet access is limited here.  I'm sending this from an internet cafe in

Carrie, E51TAI (W6TAI at home)
Rarotonga, South Cook Islands

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