Radio W4KAZ

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NAQP SSB 2012 @N1LN as NC4KW

DAMN that was a GOOD contest.

N1LN hosted the M/2 operation as NC4KW for both CW and SSB.  This years SSB team was N1LN, N4GU, N4YDU, and W4KAZ.

N4YDU led off on the right hand station on 10m.  W4KAZ squatted on 20m a few minutes before contest kick off, and worked a few before the start of the contest.  When the contest started, it was off to the races.  The end of the first hour showed a nice total of around 170 Q’s.  10m was slower than 20m, but N4YDU scrounged a nice group of multipliers before dropping down to 15m.  Rates for the second hour took off, and stayed good for the next eight hours. Just lots of fun.

20m conditions seemed very good, and that’s where I did the bulk of my operating.  The rates on 15m and 40m were also very steady – N4YDU and N4GU made the most of it.  They did a lot of the heavy lifting with band changes and mult hunting on the right hand station.  N1LN and I swapped off shifts on the left station, and spent the first six hours on 20m.  At the start of his second shift, 20m was really drying up.  N1LN dropped down to 80m.  80m was noisy, and the rates were slow at the beginning.  It warmed up towards the end of N1LN’s shift, and the rates soon were very good there.  N4GU and N4YDU had 40m smoking by then, and were keeping the rate meter busy.

Towards the middle of the last shift, N4YDU on 40m and me on 80m, the 60 minute rate got close to 200.  Almost, but not quite there.

Damn – THAT was a GOOD contest!

The 80m results were good, but conditions there were fairly difficult.  There were loud static crashes to the south of our QTH.  It was difficult copy doing RX on the TX antenna.  Using the beverages, stations were calling from all directions, so it was difficult to copy the calls on the first try.  Towards the end of my last shift, it seemed the best compromise for my ears was to use the beverages for RX with the K3’s pre-amp on and the RF gain turned back, and a hand constantly riding the beverage selection knob and sometimes the RF gain.   Static crashes still made copy difficult on stations to the west. The west beverage was needed for copy on stations from TX to IA and all points beyond and between, but it was also getting a lot of the storm static from the south.   VE stations were solid copy as long as the correct beverage was selected – which was seldom the case.

Damn – that was a GOOOOOD contest!

The two shifts I pulled on 20m were very good, and probably the best I have had as an op at N1LN.  Signals were generally solid copy.  QRN was relatively low.  The QRM was manageable, probably because activity was spread out up to 10m.  Rates were very steady.  I did find that the occasional nudge to the antenna direction often produced a new flurry of Q’s to pop in for a visit to our log.  Swinging back and forth from TX to NNW was the plan of action.  The occasional NE station was often loud enough to copy easily off the edges, but pointing either of the antennas directly NE produced little.  20m did not seem to “go short” as it did for me when operating  NAQP CW from home.  It just seemed to die.

The final tally shows a good spread of Q’s across the bands.

The Good
  • great team
  • great station
  • good high band conditions
  • K3 Protective circuit works!(see “the ugly”)
  • N1LN 10 minute repair service – Priceless!
The Bad
  • low band noise was high
  • Hardware issue cut into N4YDU 15m rate
The Ugly
  • The left station K3 folded back to 5w during the second hour in the middle of N4YDU 15m run.  Cooling fans not running, so heat sensor cut amp off.  Loose fan cable.  Repair by N1LN.
The Score 🙂
Call: NC4KW             Class: M/2 LP
Operator(s): N1LN, N4YDU, W4KAZ, N4GU
Station: N1LN           QTH: NC

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:  107    33
   80:  307    47
   40:  528    58
   20:  556    50
   15:  260    41
   10:  129    30
Total: 1887   259  Total Score = 488,733


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