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IOTA 2008 – Final Damage

Update, Aug 1st 2008: New photos added to N4A website

The N4A trip with N4YDU and K4CZ was great. (Check out the N4A website for more photos, more to come soon.) Having K4CZ along made the set up a snap, and we had good weather too. Outstanding. The calm weather had the ocean calmed, and the water at the beach was postcard perfect all weekend. While checking in for our room, the ranger noted that the previous week’s tropical depression had washed lots of shells ashore. The conch shells near the campground had already been gathered, but the tide line was covered with all sizes of clam shells, some of which were five or six inches across. Hugh.

A shot of the shells on the beach at Cape Lookout A sunset shot of the N4A operations HQ,

“Good” weather is relative. It was still hot, pushing 90ц, but the humidity was somewhat less than normal because of a cool front in the area. We were able to set up in relative comfort for July at the NC coast.Instead of suffering from near heat stroke, we were merely hot and sweaty.

The station set up went well enough. Propagation conditions did not really open to Europe very well, so most of our QSO’s were with domestic stations. The noise levels on 80m were high, and 80m wound up being almost entirely useless. 40m was similarly disappointing, with high noise to signal ratio’s.

K4CZ and I had a chuckle about Saturday evening. After a long day, with little sleep the previous evening, and then running stations for nearly four hours, rates slowed Saturday evening and N4YDU hit the relatively early sack for some well earned sleep. The cabin is small, basically one room. K4CZ and I had the audio on speaker, and were sometimes not sure of some of the faster exchanges. N4YDU was answering our exchange questions in his sleep! The man really is a CW machine.

Our final score was significantly better than last year, but it looks as though we may have been outdone this year. We wound up with 635000+ points on 882 total QSO’s and 134 mults. That’s almost 300 more QSO’s than 2007. My own personal goal was for the group to reach 750 QSO’s, and we made that. So I’m pretty happy with the operation, even if another team has done better.

It was a great weekend.

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