Radio W4KAZ

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ARRL DX CW 2008 – Steeeeee-Rike 3!

This would have been a good year to be at some else’s station. Ick.

This contest was an interesting test of the new dipoles. The 20m dipole is now officially deemed functional. (Time for an antenna experiment!) This is the first time I’ve worked Hawaii on three different bands in the same ‘test. No joy on 80m. But I worked HI on 15m, 20m and 40m. No other pacific stations were heard, but the KH’s seemed pretty loud in here on Saturday.

Also on 20m, the 20m vertical did help with many SA QSO’s. Since the dipole is now favoring EU, South America is down a couple of S-units on the dipole. The vertical seems to be better for some of the EU’s too, but I didn’t make any notes to look for the pattern.
The 40m dipole is definitely in a better orientation for working EU. Mostly one call got a QSO, or at least a “?”.

After trying a few feeble attempts at establishing runs, I went back to S&P. I know there were a few stations that tried to call me that were washed out by a frequency poachers. The bane of low power operating. But thats all part of the game, aina? So apologies to US5?? or US3?. The poacher was timing his CQ’s to mine, and I just couldn’t pull out the US??? that was calling me. My apologies to anyone who called during the jamming.

Conditions were very interesting. It seemed like 40m opened to EU earlier than I recall, around 22:00z. Hawaii was loud around 04:00z. Maybe it is because of the antenna move. But I had my best hour on Saturday from 2030 to 2130, when I first moved down to 40m. “Best” is relative – my 27/hr is small potatoes for a good station. But my station is not so good. 😉

Although I’m sure my CW accuracy rate is still embarrassingly bad, the machine guns did not seem as fast. Perhaps the practice is working. The next step there is improving my accuracy. Yes, I’m sure many would argue it should have been emphasized first, but I’m not that serious about it yet. Also, LOtW doesn’t care if I blow the exchange. As long as I get the callsign correct, its a QSO for WAS and DXCC in LOTW.

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    0     0
   80:   38    23
   40:   84    40
   20:  140    50
   15:   35    16
   10:    0     0
Total:  298   129  Total Score = 114,939

So, in a nutshell – The Good : The new antenna layouts for the 20m and the 40m dipoles seem to be keepers. They are good compromises for working EU during DX contests, and USA for domestic. CW copy is getting easier. 20m was actually fun.

The BAD: Low power into crappy antennas with no sunspots by a mediocre operator is, well, NOT IDEAL. But that ain’t exactly news, now is it? I missed Friday night entirely, which probably cost me some 40m and 80m QSO’s. I understand KH6** was 10 over on 40m here inside the W4KAZ/NT4D 500m circle – but I went to bed anyway, too tired to nab HI on 40m. (I wonder if I would have jumped out of bed for JA’s? hmm-good question…)

The Ugly: Murphy, bless his soul, was out causing trouble elsewhere. No unusual happenings to record this time.


2 comments to ARRL DX CW 2008 – Steeeeee-Rike 3!

  • Scot, KA3DRR

    Nice work and great posting. Looks like the extra antenna work paid dividends for the International as well. On the other hand, I did not hear a single Euro station throughout the contest and 80-Meters seemed all but out-of-business for this low-power op. I tried calling CQ and managed a few 2-minute runs on 40-Meters in Japan.

    Thanks again Keith for bringing in the smile.

    73, Scot KA3DRR

  • Heh. JA’s? Who dat?

    Low power is bad enough on this side, I guess its really tough out west. I’m just glad I don’t live in the Black Hole. No EU’s or JA’s.

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