Radio W4KAZ

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2007 Iota as N4A from Cape Lookout

As always, working N4A with N4YDU was a lot of fun. On arrival at the docks, we were both very eager to get going, and got a little impatient waiting for the boat across to the island. The wait was somewhat broken up by the boat pilot’s dog, who seemed to be torn between playing ball with N4YDU and jumping in the water to cool off.

Arriving at the cabin by about 2:00pm local, the WX was very hot and humid, with only a light breeze and crystal clear blue skies. We first set up the generator and climate control, then spent a couple of hours putting up antennas.
We chose to try two 40 meter dipoles at right angles to each other, each fed with a separate ladder line, expecting to be able to switch between the two depending upon propagation. We also set up a quarter wave vertical , initially tuned for 20 meters and a random wire approximately 130 feet long for 80.

The afternoon heat took its toll, and we experienced some frustrations loading up the dipoles on 20 meters. N4YDU decided to remove the US facing dipole, hoping the problem was interaction between the two dipoles. That seemed to help the situation somewhat. At that point we declared our days antenna work done, and left well enough alone. We had intentions to operate on Friday evening, but we were both tired and dehydrated. After a few test contacts we were both ready to call it a day, hoping to be better rested and re-hydrated before the start of the IOTA contest.

W4KAZ spent the early morning Saturday re-tuning the quarter wave vertical for 15 meters, and setting up the Hygain 18AVT vertical, intending to use those antennas for the multiplier station. The start of the contest brought in a steady flow of QSO’s, which declined as the day wore on. By 1600z the rates had plummeted, with no decent propagation to Europe, not even on 20m, and few US stations operating the contest. 10 and 15 meters never offered up much in the way of Q’s nor mults.

20 meters did not really begin to show life to Europe until nearly 1800z. N4YDU had a couple of hours of decent rate from EU on CW then, with most 20m signals very strong. Nate switched over to 40m CW fairly early, as 40m was showing signs of good conditions also. He had a really strong run there on 40CW, with the 10 minute rate meter showing over 200/hr several times. Not much SSB action on 40m SSB. 80m was really tough sledding, as the random wire was showing high noise, and was causing the main run station problems, allowing us to operate with only about 40 watts output. We really could have done better there.

Run Station: Ten Tec Delta into tuner and ladder line 40m dipole
Mult Station: Yaesu F-100D into 15m quarter wave vertical and Hy-gain 18AVT Vertical
Entry Class: Multi-op, Mixed mode, all band low power, Iota Island Expedition

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