Many thanks to Richard K5NA and Susan K5DU for letting me come over to their little farm for Sweepstakes this year. It was interesting to operate the contest from a different station than I have been operating from in recent years. I operated at the K5NA multi-op for the CQ World Wide, Phone and I came out to the station the weekend before the Sweepstakes to get familiar with the single operator arrangements. Unfortunately, the morning of the Sweepstakes, Richard discovered that the microHAM MK2R+ controller wasn't routing the microphone audio correctly. He tried building a workaround, but it didn't work.
I got off to a rocky start this year. I listened to the siren song of 15 meters and really wanted it to work out, but the band was just too long for it to work out and I had to bail to 20 meters after half an hour. 20 meters was also long, and I wasn't able to stay there as long as I wanted. I then had possibly the two worst hours on 40 meters I've had in the contest in many years. I started pulling it together in the 0200 UTC hour, but the damage was done by then.
Sunday was a long slog with only one radio. I could listen on the second radio, but to QSY to make a QSO, I had to plug in one cable and unplug another cable, make the contact, and then plug and unplug to go back to the run radio. And of course if I got beaten out in the pileup, or the timing broke down because someone called in on the run radio, I had to try it all again. I only did that for four 15 meter contacts for needed multipliers I found on Sunday morning while running on 20 meters.
Sweepstakes was the contest that got me into HF contesting. It draws you in and seduces you, but it is very unforgiving. There's no time to recover when you make mistakes.
10 Meters 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 152', rotatable 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 115', fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 78', fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 100', fixed NW 15 Meters 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 170', rotatable 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 128' fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 86' fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 44', rotatable from 315 to 140 degrees 20 Meters 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 190', rotatable 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 128' fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 70' fixed NE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 45' fixed SE 5 element Cushcraft monobander @ 104' fixed NW 40 Meters 2 element Cushcraft XM240 @ 200', rotatable 2 element Cushcraft XM240 @ 128' fixed NE 2 element Cushcraft XM240 @ 70' fixed NW Inverted Vee @ 35'. 80 Meters NE - Two element phased vertical array NW - Two element phased vertical array SW - Sloping dipole @ 170' 160 Meters Full sized Rohn 25G vertical with insulator at 30' and raised radials Receiving Antennas Nine Beverages: SW, W, NW, NNW, N, NNE, E, SE Radios: ====== Radio 1: Elecraft K3, Acom 2000A Radio 2: Elecraft K3, Acom 2000A SO2R Controller: microHAM MK2R+ Headset: Heil Proset HC4 Software: WriteLog V10.80F
Contest Logging was done with Writelog contest logging software. The following reports and log were created using K5KA (SK)'s CBS post-contest processor.
Last Updated 1 August 2018