W6ph at aol.com W6ph at aol.com
Mon Oct 29 15:18:35 EDT 2012

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

Call: W6PH
Operator(s):  W6PH
Station: W6PH

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Lone Pine CA  (Inyo)
Operating Time (hrs): 38.2

Band QSOs Zones  Countries
160: 7 4 4
80: 61 17 29
40:  277 28 65
20: 367 34 96
15: 893 34 102
10: 471 28  98
Total: 2076 145 394 Total Score =  3,112,186


Equipment: IC781 - AL1200
160m  Inv L (sort of)
80m Slopers below 3L 20 and 2L 40
40m 40-2CD at 60 feet  (AB-577 mast #1)
20m 3L yagi at 60 feet (AB-577 mast #2)
15m 5L yagi at 55  feet (AB-577 mast #3)
10m A3S at 45 feet (secondary antenna on 20 and  15)

My score is 15 per cent higher than last year despite band conditions  that
seemed worse than last year. Activity level is probably at an all time  
Conditions on 160m were non-existent. I checked the band often and  almost
nothing there. 80m reminded me of 160m in past years with weak signals  and 
reminded me of 80m in past years with lots of repeats on European  
contacts. I
concentrated on 10m on Saturday in case the propagation  deteriorated there 
Sunday. My impression is that this occurred as the  atmospheric background
noise was higher and signals seemed weaker on Sunday.  Fifteen meters was 
productive band with lots of Asian contacts as well as  lots of 
For the first time in my memory I had some very good  sustained runs to 
on 15m and it was hard to decide whether to run or  look for multipliers. If
someone moved in close to the frequency I was using  making it difficult to 
out callers, I would abandon running and tune  across the band for new 
as well as multipliers. (I refrain from  using the term "my frequency" as no
one owns a frequency.)

I had put  up my antennas for the Cal QSO Party and left them up for this
contest. All  my antennas are temporary except for the A3S. I usually take
them down after  a contest but I was traveling and didn't have a chance. 
AB-577 masts  are perfect for my level of contesting and I don't have to 
and they are  easy to erect and raise.

It was easy to decide when to sleep as the low  bands became non-productive 
limited propagation and very few new  stations showing up.

I had two Murphy's that were minimal. On Saturday my  15m yagi rotator brake
wouldn't disengage despite trying to rock it. So I  left it pointing on 
until the afternoon when I was able to move it  manually from the base to 
for that opening. The A3S was used for the  other directions. For some 
it started working on Sunday. That was one  reason that I concentrated on 
on Saturday. That yagi is significantly  better than my A3S for getting 
to calls.

The other issue is  the T/R relay in my AL1200 which is leaving the 
bias on during  receive causing noise in the receiver intermittently. The
solution was to  rock the OP-STBY switch until the green LED extinguished. 
AL1200 is an  original one with a two digit serial number and has been 
reliable  over the years.

My location is in the high desert of California and I  have Mt Whitney 
feet) directly six miles west of my QTH (4,600 feet)  and I have a tough 
time to
the Pacific. However my takeoff angle from  northwest clockwise to south is 
low across the Owens Valley and I have  no local noise. It is a great 

I have been through five sunspot  cycles. This one seems to be the lowest 
propagation. Hopefully the next  one will be better as it will be my last 
I am noticing advancing age as  I do a lot more duplicate checking before 
when I was previously able  to remember calls and mults. I switched to N1MM 
CT this year to be able  to comply with the five day submission limit due to
floppy drive problems  with my DOS computer. I am not comfortable with N1MM
yet. Notwithstanding all  these issues I had a ton of fun. I have no idea 
you can explain the rush  we get to people who are not competitive.
A lot more information than you wanted!! 

73, Kurt,  W6PH

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