Radio W4KAZ

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2006 ARRL Sweepstakes SSB

 Band  QSOs
  160:    0
   80:  206
   40:  221
   20:   41
   15:   40
   10:    0
Total:  508  Sections = 72  Total Score = 73,152

Woo-boy. Now I KNOW why CW remains popular. Can somebody please turn the sunspots back on?

This contest was the second half of PVRC’s big 2006 push to take back the gavel for the club. There was a lot of good chatter prior to the contest to help motivate club members. Then there was also the infamous ‘MyCrowFone’ series of articles–Butt in Chair, Butt In Chair, Butt In Chair!….ahem.

It was hardly worth trying to work anybody on 15 or 20 meters. Nobody heard at all on 10 meters. It seemed that nobody could hear my tin-whistle on high bands this week. I spent time both days trying to work stations on both bands, but besides a few in the mid-west and Texas, it was really tough. The only LAX I heard all weekend couldn’t hear me. Only one SF heard, but he couldn’t hear me either. I guess I was lucky to get the western states I did manage to find. I really tried to bolster the log with the expected bumper crop of NCCC, but I guess they were on early thanksgiving vacation. On the other hand, NH6P was 20 over 9. I was able to work him after the pile up of 6’s and 7’s he was working settled down. I could hear NH6P just fine, but his pileup was down in the noise. Propagation is an interesting phenomena, aina? My cruddy antennas sure don’t help.

The Good:
Best news: My best ever score in Sweeps, and best ever QSO total(508) in any contest, even if only by 5 Q’s. Its not much compared to the Big Dawgs, but I’m happy with the result, especially since it was mostly done on 40 and 80 meters.

Also good–The bad cough and head cold my oldest son caught and brought home on Monday did not survive the ‘high bleach environment’, so no on else has caught it yet, and I didn’t need to operate the contest with a head cold. Yippeeee!
Moral: wash your hands–and everything else too!

The other good news was being able to run for short periods on both 40 and 80 meters. I probably overstayed my welcome on 80 meters Saturday night, and overslept on Sunday. That made me too late to find a spot on 40 to set up shop Sunday morning. I was able to find a clear freq in the afternoon, and was able to sustain a really good run for about 90 minutes, before I got chased off by an inventive Shepherd of Swine. Thanks to all the folks who checked in to W4KAZ’s log, and the I guess the spots must have helped folks find my tin whistle in the din. (Does anybody beside me really still use the tuning knob? How QUAINT! ) I also racked up lots of points for my WAMDC(Worked All MarylandDC) and WAPVRC(Worked All PVRC). Thanks guys!

The Bad:
I found a new RFI problem that I need to trouble shoot on 20 meters. Feedback is playing havoc with the laptop computer, causing the external keyboard in the laptop to shut off, and requiring a re-boot. Interesting. Turns out it was a moot point, because nobody could hear me on the high bands anyway…..which was worse news for me. Also–no more oversleeping!

The Ugly:
An inventive Shepherd of Swine temporarily left his 80 meter home to joust with me on my 40 meter run. I’m glad dinner was being served, it gave me an excuse to depart and collect my wits(all fifty percent of them).

The Plan:
Fix the 20 meter feedback. Fix the 160 antenna before December. Learn CW! and

Buy a farm where I can grow some REAL ANTENNAS! 🙂

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