Radio W4KAZ

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2008 NAQP SSB – M/2 as NC4KW @ N1LN

Many thanks to Bruce and Laurie for hosting the group. I know I had a great time operating their station.

For NAQP SSB I was part of that group, including N1LN, N1YXU, NT4D, KA1ARB and myself, W4KAZ. We operated Multi-2 from the N1LN station under the NC4KW call sign. Final score 195,880 with 1180 QSO’s and 166 mults before log checking.

Bruce let us show up a bit early to give us a few quick lessons on the station. This was the first time any of the group has guest op’ed at their location, so its going to take a few stabs to get all of the ducks in a row. Despite the new situations, everything seemed to go pretty well. Murphy refused to put in an appearance, despite the green ops. The easy station layout helped.

The equipment was all functioning as expected, and the antennas seem to play as well as I expected, i.e., much, much better than my few simple wire antennas strung out from the KazShack. We didn’t do a lot of jockeying the antennas, but it didn’t really seem necessary. Conditions were the least cooperative aspect of the weekend, as 10m and 15m did not open as we had hoped they might. The low band noise levels were high, as the storms seemed to be plopped right in our

At the outset, we started on 20m and 15m but the lack of any signs of life on 15m made that seem a futile waste of time. So the 15m station moved down to 40m. But even 40m was slow. 20m was the best band at the outset but rates there were not very high either. 40m began showing signs of life as folks seemed to begin migrating down due to conditions. When NT4D turned the 40m station over to me, I noticed the rate had been creeping up there. At some point after I turned it over to KA1ARB, the 40m station got out ahead of the 20m station.

Closing in on the 400 QSO point before dinner time, I was over on the 20m station and N1LN was on the 40m station. Bruce had hit a lull, and 20m activity picked up a bit. I finally got the 20m station caught up at 190 Q’s each, but N1LN soon had a flurry of QSO’s on 40m, and didn’t look back. When Bruce and I gave up the chairs to catch a bite to eat, we could hear NT4D and KA1ARB tearing into the after-dinner pileups. Rob was having good rates on 40m, and we had our best rates of the contest then.

As the evening progressed 40m mostly kept delivering a slow but steady trickle of QSO’s. Later in the evening I moved the 20m station down to 80m, and still later down to 160m as rates on 20m slowed.

Overall I probably operated about six hours total. Without a formal plan, I think the team was good at giving up the chair for the other ops to participate. At the end, I was begging someone to pull teeth on 160m. That was a bit too much of a grind.

I think the N1LN station is going to become well known in the Multi op and M/2 classes, and Bruce is going to have a blast operating SO2R. Their station plays well on 40m and 20m. I’ll need to reserve opinion on 15m and 10m. The K3 is a damn strong radio, and it seems to be a S&P op’s dream rig, given the filtering.

It seems like the propagation favored the Gulf coast, based on the huge score reported to the 3830 reflector by NX5M and by W5KFT. Those guys really kicked butt on 20m. I suspect W5WMU will also turn in a good score. But I think for a maiden voyage shakedown cruise, we probably did pretty well as NC4KW. The propagation for NAQP from our NC QTH sure didn’t deliver that extra 1300 Q’s we would have needed to win, but I think we will be competitive with the regional stations.

We shall see, as I expect to be ready to grab the mike and make some noise as often as I am welcome to join the fun.

I hope that coincides with good propagation soon!

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