Radio W4KAZ

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2008 IARU

The IARU is always a contest I enjoy, because I like the mixed mode work everybody format. I had more time available than expected to operate, and I did better than expected.

The morning was slow, but things picked up in the evening. I was able to hold a run frequency on 20m, something that is unusual. I operated almost entirely CW, so I expect to take a well deserved beating in log checking, as my CW accuracy needs a lot more elbow grease than I have applied.

This was the first real try out in a contest for my Elecraft K2, and I am very pleased with the radio. I was trying to practice running, but found myself fascinated by how much nicer S&P is on the K2 with the filters crunched down. Every 200 hz another workable station popped up. I found that I needed to tune slowly just to keep from missing stations in the crowd. I still was able to find a hole now and then, and when I did I parked and gave a shout. Some of these runs were short but productive. But the Big Dawgs will have no reason to fear the upstart pups this year. 😮

Most of my contacts were domestic, and a large part of that was one-pointers. Given the relatively low dipoles I have, that’s not a big surprise. I was surprised at how close-in the 80m propagation seemed to be. 80m just did not seem to be giving me many contacts into the mid-west, and very little in the southeast. Curious.

I also probably did not hit 40m as hard as I should have. There did seem to be more DX moving up into their new allocations between 7.100mc and 7.200mc., and that is a good thing. It will really be a fun band once the broadcast stations exit stage right. As it stands now, the broadcasters make a lot of the upper parts of the band mostly useless. I could hear the Eu ops well enough on 40m, but its a little like pulling onto the freeway with a moped. Big Dawg territory. So the pup soon departed, tail between his legs.

Leaving 40m turned up a real plum on 20m, AL1G. Its been two or three years since any AK stations have been able to hear me, so that was a nice surprise.

Overall, propagation was not terrible domestically, but the low dipoles were not getting into EU. 20m was my best band, 80m didn’t pay off, and 40m was too intimidating. Picked a very few cherries on the high bands, but completely FORGOT to check 160. Duh-OH!

Hopefully we will have better luck with DX during IOTA in two weeks.

Station: W4KAZ
Class: SO Mixed LP
Operating Time (hrs): 13.5
 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  Zones  HQ Mults
  160:    0      0      0       0
   80:   57     24      5       3
   40:   82     14     10      15
   20:  156      9     11      13
   15:   14      9      5       5
   10:    9      5      5       1
Total:  318     60     36      39  Total Score = 58,950

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