160 meters: - Inverted L 80 meters: - Three sloping dipoles from 120', fixed NE, NW, and S 40 meters: - two element Cuhscraft yagi at 120' fixed NE - two element Cushcraft yagi at 100' rotatable 20 meters: - six element 44' boom yagi at 90', rotatable - six element 44' boom yagi at 80' fixed NE - six element 44' boom yagi at 40', fixed NW - six element 44' boom yagi at 40', fixed NE - four element Cushcraft 32' boom yagi at 60', fixed SE 15 meters: - six element 36' boom yagi at 70', rotatable - six element 36' boom yagi at 35', fixed NE - four element Cushcraft yagi at 50', fixed SE 10 meters: - six element 24' boom yagi at 60', rotatable - six element 24' boom yagi at 30', fixed NE - four element Cushcraft yagi at 45', fixed SE - three element yagi at 20', fixed W Receiving antennas: - Four 500' long Beverages fixed NE, NW, SE, SW Radio 1: Kenwood TS-850SAT, Ameritron AL-1500 Radio 2: Kenwood TS-850SAT, Ameritron AL-1200 Headset: Heil Proset HC4 DVK: W9XT Contest Card Software: TR Log 6.78 Other: Ameritron RCS-8V antenna switches, ICE bandpass filters, Top Ten Devices Band Decoders, homebrew audio switchbox
George was kind enough to let me operate from his station while he was a competitor in the World Radiosport Team Championship in Brazil this year. I had maybe a half dozen inquiries, mostly in the first hour of the contest, from people confused about hearing the K5TR call sign in the contest.
This was by far the best score I've ever made in this contest. Normally, I like to have rate sheets and summary sheets of past years' contest efforts on hand to reference during a contest, but this time I forgot to print them out until it was too late. I knew I was doing well, but I never really knew how much better than my previous efforts I was doing, or how I was doing relative to George's effort last year.
I started out the contest on 20 meters, and two good hours there with the occasional second radio QSO on 15 meters. I switched to running on 15 meters in the 1400 UTC hour, and began seriously working 15 meter and 10 meters. I spent a lot of time during the 1500 UTC and 1600 UTC hours dueling CQs on 15 meter and 10 meters and whenever possible moving stations from one band to the other. I think that produced a much higher rate than simply CQing on one band or the other would have. I worked my first African station on 15 meters at 1632 UTC, and my first European at 1644 UTC.
In the 1700 UTC hour, I focused on 15 meters again and began making S&P passes through 20 meters. Around 1730 UTC, I picked up quite a few European and African HQ station multipliers on 15 meters on an S&P pass. I probably should have been tuning 15 meters and 20 meters for multipliers more often than I did. I hung onto 15 meters as long as I could, knowing that the band was closing, and I probably kept a run frequency there for too long, as I only made 78 QSOs in the 2000 UTC hour.
During the next four hours, I made almost all of my QSOs on 20 meters. I worked one and only one European on 10 meters, a French station at 2007 UTC. My last 15 meter QSO came right at 2200 UTC when I worked a station in Costa Rica.
At 0200 UTC, I began calling CQ on 40 meters for the first time somewhere between 7150 and 7200 kHz, and was pleasantly surprised to be called on simplex by several Europeans. Although I did have a couple of answers on a listening frequency below 7100 kHz, I had more simplex answers.
I felt really loud on 80 meters, but there were just so few stations on the band. I heard very few other stations calling CQ there. I wonder if most of the WRTC stations avoided 80 meters on phone, and that kept others away?
It was a real struggle keeping awake at several points during the night. I'd spent the entire day before the contest travelling from another time zone. The air conditioner at the station hadn't had much opportunity to cool the room down before I went to sleep Friday night, so I didn't really start with the best rest. I found SO2R really difficult with fatigue and low band summertime noise. During the last six hours of the contest, I often concentrated on just one radio.
I clearly need to learn how to work more multipliers in this contest. I could be more aggressive about moving multipliers to other bands, but mostly I need to learn to stop and make quick S&P passes, even when only one band is open. I find it a difficulty thing to do when the rate is good. According to TR Log, I made 377 band changes and 159 second radio QSOs.
I worked W1AW/4 and NU1AW/8 on all six bands. I never did find VA3RAC on 80 meters or 160 meters, and I never heard the FMRE HQ station on any band. I did work quite a few Mexican stations, though, which is a pleasant change from a few years ago when they were more rare.
Fortunately, the weather was pleasant all weekend, with no summer thunderstorms to worry about.
|Band||QSOs||Points||HQ Stations||ITU Zones|
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 1 August 2018