TopBand: 160M de Colorado

Tue, 9 Dec 1997 12:30:44 EST

Glad our east coast brethern got a good JA opening this morning.  Last night
we were in on the EU opening.  It was not one of those great openings where
the feast was ours alone.  We were sorta on the edge of the table.  It sure
would have been nice, though, to have had a EU opening during the contest.
Conditions to EU over the weekend for W0AH (KF7MD and W0AH multi) were what
I'd call poor-normal.  We could just barely copy a few EU big guns on the NE
beverage. We called SM4CAN, SL4ZV, and F5IN and worked them.  Thanks to EI7M
and GW3YDX for calling us.  We called SP7GIQ unsuccessfully.  I've been told
that a lot od east coast and some DX called us, but we could not hear them.
Sorry, we tried and hope to have a 2nd beverage up next year which will have
to be stretched out over neighbor's property. The only above average
conditions for us during the contest was a good JA opening Saturday morning.
We worked 37 JA's.  Sunday morning I could barely hear JA!  As Jeff says in
his excellent book, DXING ON THE EDGE, 160M propagation conditions remain
pretty much a mystery with the A/K index only one factor.  If conditions were
completely predictable, the subheading of his book might have to be changed
from "the Thrill of 160 Meters" to "the Science of 160 Meters" or something
like that.
I operated the first 28 hours of the contest.   Paul, KH7MD, opeated most of
the second 28 hours except for 4 - 7:30 AM local time when I confidently told
Paul I would work some more JA's!  Nada.  If we had had  another JA run, we
would have exclipsed the Colorado record set by AA6TT multi in 1994.  No cigar
this time, but challenges lie ahead!  We ended up with 1081 Q's and 86 mults
and 198K.  My most embarassing moment by far was shortly after working P40P
split.  I went upstairs to get a bite to eat and brought downstairs a bowl of
soup.  While drinking the soup. I put the keyer on, calling CQ every 7 seconds
on 1819.  No responses whereas before I was getting mini-pileups. Well it was
nice to drink the soup in peace- AND THEN I REALIZED:  I WAS STILL ON SPLIT
AND CALLING CQ ON 1834, P40P's LISTENING FREQUENCY!  Well, now I know that not
all the CQing in the DX window is an intentional violation of sacred space,
just, well, you know...
Eight weeks ago I was singing the tune- "Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to tests we
go."  Now after six contest weekends (must of you probably don't know about
the EME Tests?) and 7 contests "all-nighters," my tune has changed to "No more
contests, no more mults, no more sunspots dirty tricks."
I'll be out of town for the Stew Perry Challenge which really sounds like a
great contest format.
Doug  W0AH

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