Radio W4KAZ

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2012 CQ 160m CW – Sunday Coffee

Grinding out Saturday night with low rates…Yuck.   Worked more stations from the western US, but not a lot.  The path down into TX was much better Friday night, but  N/S up and down the east coast was decent on Saturday.  New England(ME,VT,NH) probably was not as strong as Saturday, but most were workable.  Although I guess I didn’t hear the ones that were not. 😮

Can’t remember working so many NY stations.  Condx to NY/PA were really good both nights, and lots of NY stations active.

DX was mostly non-existent at the KazShack.  The stations that could be heard had large pile-ups – not really worth the effort.  With that as a baseline, I did get 11 DX mults.  A couple of DL’s could hear me, a loud EI with no pile-up, and a few from the Caribbean.

At some point early on I had set 500 Q’s as a mental goal, despite being determined to not really set goals.  Half way there  600 seem like a loftier perch to shoot for.  So I was shooting for 500 by midnight.  The rate was steady, so it seemed possible.  Came up only 6 short, 593 logged by midnight.  So hitting 600 seemed possible too.

“Missed it by THAT much”

Well, did not get to 600 Q’s.  Took a 2 hour nap and got up for a bit of Butt-In-Chair pre-sunrise.  Picked up a few more, but just not enough. West coast never really showed up for me.   Decided to end the effort when I had 20 hours Butt-In-Chair according to the logging program.  That happened at QSO#593 an hour after sunrise, with the rate down in the mid teens.  Grasp Plug Firmly….Pull.  Have other stuff to do late Sunday afternoon/evening, needed some rest.

The Good:
  • Quick and dirty switch cable hack for the antenna matching network worked well, especially since I spent a lot of time in the 1840-1850’s running.  Perfect 1:1 match at either 1818 or 1844 and the K2 Tuner handles about 25 kc on either side of either spot easily.  The end game there is probably three positions, with the third match tuned for 1870 to 1880.
  • Not much S&P, but very few stations asked for repeats and fills.  Most could hear me on first call.
  • The K2AV counterpoise system is a definite winner.  More on that later.  W0UCE has some info on that idea here.
  • Run Forrest, run!
  • Opportunity for a decent amount of Butt In Chair.
  • First four hours were great
  • N4YDU not operating, but encouraging me to grind it out.  tnx!
  • Kept right on logging Q’s through the LIDS.  {“Gentleman’s Band”? – my hairy fat ass.}  More evidence the TX antenna mods are working.  Had trouble holding 160m runs in CQ160 before. 🙂
  • Both nights RX here was much better on the K9AY, a 4 S-unit difference in noise levels
The Bad:
  • Murphy arrived in prankster mode.
  • Condx not as good as last year.  Saturday night better than Friday- less storm static/QRN on Saturday.
  • Those last 93 Q’s were work.
  • Muffed my Q with K4BAI again.  Its like a tradition now. 🙁
  • 75m spam lids now on TopBand too.
The Ugly:
  • The K2 blew two fuses, but it appears to be related to rx antenna switching while the K2 is in xmit.  Need to run down the wiring and power supply connections.  Solution: Stop Switching While CQing!!  (K2 is drawing only 15 amps on xmit, something must be causing it to spike.)
Call: W4KAZ
Class: Single Op LP             QTH: NC
Operating Time (hrs): 20

Total:  QSOs = 593  State/Prov = 50  Countries = 11  Total Score = 82,960


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