Radio W4KAZ

Thanks for stopping by the virtual KazShack. Feel free to comment - I often approve them.

2010 ARRL 160m

That was fun.  Got a chance to really test drive the 160m inverted-L with the new series capacitance matching installed.  The capacitor switching is not yet wired, but the match is best at about 1845.  The KAT100 tuner for the K2 is easily able to match the antenna across the CW areas.  Without the switching in place, the area above 1900 is not usable, but that’s not a problem for ARRL 160m.

Operating low power into a vertical is a challenge on any band but has always seemed a larger hurdle on 160m.  It seems like the Inverted-L is playing very well – certainly better than before the matching at the antenna feed point was improved.  There were a few stations that struggled to hear the peeps from the KazShack, but the percentage of good QSO’s versus “no cpy pse ltr” definitely seems to have improved.

Operating was limited mostly to early evening.  Not a lot of DX worked, just a couple of Caribbean stations and an F2 that must have really good ears.  The Caribbean stations were booming, so they probably had less trouble copying the 100w. Didn’t hang in the shack until the EU sunrise, but the F2 was early.

Darting in and out of the KazShack Saturday afternoon, low-and-behold, those three or four intrepid operators cq’ing into the teeth of a mostly dead daytime 160m band have pretty darn good signals.  Short distance regional Q’s, but with low noise conditions a few hundred more stations on the air would make the afternoon on 160m interesting.  Very easy copy.

The Good:

  • Got a light dusting of snow Saturday afternoon while helping the XYL with trimming the Christmas tree.  Nice afternoon!
  • Worked most of the S&P contacts on the first call.  A few required hearing the call more than once.  A handful were still deaf to my every attempt.
  • Two really nice runs where the 15 minute rates hit 120/hr.  Must have been spotted.  The first was Friday evening.  The second was around 6:00am local Saturday morning.
  • Gotta love the wintertime.  Conditions very quiet on Saturday evening after about 7:00pm local.  Listened mostly on the xmit antenna Saturday.  Good conditions at other times too.  Used the K9AY rx antenna for some of the tougher Q’s.
  • Great booming signals from the couple of Caribbean stations.
  • E77, HI, were good easy copy but didn’t fight their pileups.  Worked F2.  Probably would have had better luck picking up a few new countries if the butt had stayed in chair.

The Bad:

  • Would like for folks to allow the DX stations the chance to call CQ in the DX window.  It’s not really that difficult to find a run frequency on 160m outside the DX window.    Maybe SantaClawz, the TeethFerry, and the EasterWabbit can hold a bi-partisan beer summit,have a group hug, sing Kumbaya, and a collegial atmosphere of good will and peace on earth will break out.  Even then it probably won’t trickle down to the amateur radio community.
  • Not enough rest going into the weekend – no operating after midnight local.  Only about 9 hours total Butt-In-Chair time.

The Ugly:

  • None!  Murphy was busy elsewhere.

The Outcome:

Station: W4KAZ

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 9

Total:  QSOs = 329  Sections = 51  Countries = 5  Total Score = 37,856


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