TopBand: Sentimental tale of a baby and the CQ WW CW

Steve Ireland
Tue, 2 Dec 1997 17:58:53 +0800

It was a funny kind of contest for me - and the 160m conditions in VK6 were
even stranger. 

My wife Deb gave birth to our second child, Samuel Joseph, on the Thursday
before CQ WW.  This meant that any serious contesting efforts were out of
the question, as the main endeavour had to be to look after our two year old
daughter, Hannah.  Mind you, I was so elated about the sucessful birth, the
contest didn't seem to matter much.

Looking after Hannah meant that my first look on the band on the first night
came some four hours after sunset. The band was very noisy, with QRN to S7+.
First station in the log was DX1S at 1518 for a new country, followed by
KH6CC, N7UA, EK6GC and at 1606, E22AAA.  At this point, I had been up for
around 18 hours and decided to go to bed to get up at sunrise.

Unfortunately, I forgot to set the alarm and slept past sunrise, only to
find Mike VK6HD had managed to work 5V7A.  He felt really bad for me, but it
didn't seem to hurt at all - wow, this fatherhood is pretty good stuff!

The next day, I managed to finish the chores and get on the band at around
an hour after sunset. After a few calls, I made my first QSO, with signals
seeming to be coming right along the grey line, in a  southerly direction to
my QTH. First W station into the log was W3LPL at 1206.  Then I think an
HI8/DL called me, but I could not pull him through - maybe it was a HS/DL -
over here in the Golden West we just don't hear Central America! Also worked
down the grey line was UN5J, UN7JID and RS0F.

Most of my USA QSOs that evening (only 7) were in W3/W4.  I also worked
W6AJJ and W0AIH, for my last two USA QSOs at 1235 and 1247.  The conditions
were OK, but not good, again with an S7+  noise level.  After 1250Z, the
band seemed to die and I was dead on my feet again, but I made a brief
return at 1419Z after finishing the chores to work UA0JQ.

This time, I set the alarm for 1900Z and hoped my daughter would stay asleep
- luckily she did.  The first European in the log was SL3ZV at 1933, with
'search and pounce' then yielding OZ, OH, JA, SP, JA, GW, HA, YU, and DL
over the next 90 minutes.

At 2101Z, a few minutes before sunrise, like a miracle, 5V7A appeared, CQing
on 1827 and was in the log with the first call.  It was almost as good a
feeling as when young Sam made an appearance. On queue, as the band closed,
I heard my daughter Hannah over the baby intercom, waking up.   

What a great contest- and what a lucky Dad.

73 to all,

Steve, VK6VZ

FAQ on WWW:     
Administrative requests: