The station at K5TR:
A couple weeks before the contest, George K5TR invited me to come operate the WPX phone contest at his new station. The operating room is part of a new two-car garage that George and his wife began building a little over a year ago, with the help of their family and friends. While there is still some finish work remaining, the operating room is mostly complete. It features its own small bathroom with a shower, a walk-in closet, wall-to-wall carpeting, climate control, ceiling fan, lots of electrical outlets for both 110VAC and 220VAC, and is wired for ethernet and telephone.
Now that he has a shack, George has recently begun raising towers, of which there will initially be five, ranging from 30 feet to 120 feet high. To test the station out, he put a four-element Cushcraft 10M monobander on a 60' tower. One objective of the weekend was to smoke out any potential RFI problems in the house and new garage while operating high power.
I had some previous commitments, so I was unable to operate the entire contest. I basically missed all of Friday night and had to stop operating about five hours before the end of the contest on Sunday, so I was on for just about 23 hours of operating time. My favorite time in the contest was Saturday night local, running mostly Japanese stations. It was a very good opening, and I've always enjoyed running JAs more than Europeans. I thought the Saturday morning local opening to Europe wasn't as good as it was on Sunday morning local.
I tried to exercise the limits of my foreign language abilities when I thought it would be useful, and there were a few QSOs where using Spanish numerals helped to complete the exchange. There were two exceptions to this, one was an Argentine station, obviously not participating in the contest, who decided that I must speak Spanish and began to converse upon something, at great length. It took me a while to extricate myself from that one. Another time was when I was struggling to complete an exchange with a very weak low power Spanish station, and some uppity east coaster decided to inform me that his Spanish was much better than mine. Anyway, I'll probably try to brush up on both my Spanish and my Japanese before the next one...
Although not the point of the contest, I worked some interesting DX. An Botswana (A2) station called in (twice,) I worked multiple stations in Kyrgystan (EX,) and stations in Djibouti (J28,) Svalbard (JW,) Jordan (JY,) Egypt (SU,) Turkey (TA,) Central African Republic (TL,) and Kazakhstan (UP.) One U.S. station informed me that his serial number was "Seven hundred twenty dollars and fifty cents."
It was a lot of fun, and even as simple as it sounds, this station is a vast improvement over my usual "home" station, N5XU, the club station at the University of Texas. The location at K5TR is superb. When George puts up his stacks of monobanders, it will be even better.
Contest Logging was done with TR LOG contest logging software. The following reports and log were created using TR LOG's post-contest processor.
Last Updated 14 April 2016