Radio W4KAZ

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2010 NAQP CW – January

Nothing great, but not too shabby. 352 Qsos total.

Conditions and observations: Early in the contest conditions seemed poor to me, but perhaps I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. At the start, I tried to get a run going on 20m and use the second radio for S&P, but neither was working well. The run radio was slow on the 20m dipole. I guess all of those tri-banders out there have the advantage. 20m seemed long from the start, as I was called by a strong AL9A. Alaska is unusual so early in the afternoon on my dipole.

The S&P on 15m was none too productive either. There were a few stations there, but lots of QSB. Most seemed to give up calling on 15m pretty quickly[or vanished due to changes in propagation]. Nothing heard on 10m, but not a lot of time listening there either.

It is also obvious that I’ll need to become a much better operator before using the second radio during a run is practical. Even a slow run. But the NAQP’s are the perfect contests to use as a test platform for learning SO2R techniques.

On the other hand, S&P with two radios was a lot more productive than S&P with a single radio. Better than using a single radio and loading the band map. With two radios, the utility of the second band map also comes into effect. The rate went up as soon as I switched from running to all S&P. I didn’t hit my goal of 60/hr while S&Ping, but it is a goal within reason, and it was easy to keepa 40 to 50 rate with two radios without much stress.

Thats the first couple of hours. The late afternoon was broken up into S&P fragments, capped with a hour long 40m run from 2220z to2320z. Then another gap peppered with a handful of quick S&P Q’s and a break for a sandwich.

Shifting down to 80m, I S&P’d my way to a mostly clear frequency at 3563.75, and thenheld a two hour run there from 0100z to 0300z. While the rates were meager for somebody like Bigg Gunn Kontester over at the Fi-Ni Report, both those hours on 80m were over 60/hr. I gave it up soon after W4HSA called me, and I just could not get his call correct, even when he resorted to sending his call suffix at about 5wpm. Such is life in LidVille. Duh-OH!

Still short of 300 Q’s. Tuning around 40m was discouraging, as the band sounded really long and there were not a lot of stations calling. 80m seemed like mostly dupes, so on a whim it seemed time to check conditions down on 160m.

The 160m antenna was playing well again. There were only three stations that were called with no answer. Soon enough stations were S&P’d to get to 340 Q’s in the log.

A few more passes on 80m and 160m, and the plug was pulled at around 0400z withjust over 350 logged. The total time on the clock was about 9 hours, but a lot of that was spent away from the radio in increments more than 5 minutes, but less than 30.

The Good:

  • Just over two consecutive hours with rates over 60/hr. First time I’ve had two such hours back-to-back.
  • 160m antenna continues to function well

The Bad:

  • A moment of Murphy when switching to 80m. The kludged-together band pass filter switching resulted in a few moments of angst filled debugging when it appeared the 80m antenna was showing a high SWR. [Operator Error.]
  • No productivity early in the contest.
  • 20m slow.

The Ugly:

  • Total mental shutdown trying to copy W4HSA. Too bad it can’t be blamed on being exhausted or a weak signal. Nope. Just a lid moment here in the KazShack.


Band QSOs Mults
 160:  40  19
  80: 167  36
  40:  89  31
  20:  45  19
  15:  11   3
Total: 352  108 Total Score = 38,016


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