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Sweeps CW 2007

This was both my best ever CW Sweeps and best number of CW Q’s in any contest from the home QTH.

A !Big Thanks! to all of the ops who take the time to slow down to match my 20 wpm rate for the exchange. This is a tremendous help, and I really appreciate the extra effort and consideration. (and it seldom happens in any DX contest!.) You guys are great.

It was hard. It was a challenge. I had to force myself. But despite
the pain, I did it.

No, not the CW SS contest…..I forced myself to watch the entire
LSU-Alabama football game before I operated. I’m just getting too old
to be an LSU football fan, all of these last minute wins are
gonna kill me yet. But despite the SIXTEEN sloppy LSU penalties, and blowing an initial 17 point lead, the Tigas won. Final: LSU 41, ‘Bama 34. Geaux Tigas!

By contrast CW SS was easy and I didn’t lose anything by missing the first few hours of SS. I can’t keep up with you guys right out of the starting gates!

Once I did finally infiltrate the Continuous Wave, I followed my normal
SS CW strategy of sweeping through the bands S&P. I picked a few
cherries on 20, then a few more on 40 where I was working the NCCC guys
in the mid afternoon(unusual for this station). I spent most of Saturday night on 80 meters.

The K9AY and generally pleasant low noise conditions here made working
80m similar to working 10 meters. Even the QRP guys were in the clear and booming. I operated with the pre-amp off and the RF gain control way back. It was easier to ride the RF gain than have the headphones blow off my head every second station.

Things are much better on 80m now that I’ve filtered the 50kw from
WPTF(one mile away) out of my front end. I have a homebrew “K4VX” bandpass filter in line to the folded dipole. That dropped the broadcast QRM from S7+ to almost nothing on the transmit antenna. But I mostly used the K9AY on 80m. It was really nice being able to switch the K9AY loop from SW/NW/NE to tone down the adjacent QRM.

Sunday was mostly 40 meters, with some cherry picking on 20 and 80.
Unusual for me, I actually set up shop and ran stations Sunday afternoon
for about 2 hours at a very low speed 18-20wpm. That was fun, but I’ll bet
my error rate on those Q’s will be higher, even after asking for fills. I’m still a big lid.

The new dipoles all seem to be working well.

But the kicker is that my modest 382 QSO’s is my best result so far in
any CW contest. This is fast becoming a favorite contest, as the delta between my LP and the B.U.M.S. is smaller than in a DX contest.(B.U.M.S.-B=High Power, U=Unlimited, M=Multi-op, S=School)

The Good:

  • 1) All three dipole changes are improvements. The 80m antenna seemed to play very well into the NE and Midwest, and both the 40m and 20m dipoles seem to be putting my meager 100w to good use.
  • 2) The K9AY earned its keep.
  • 3) My brain appeared to be somewhat more CW compatible this weekend.

The Bad:

  • 1) I really need to improve the ergonomics in the shack. The chair in particular. Also the antenna switch is not in easy reach.
  • 2) I should have operated the earlier hours of the contest. I expected to have more difficulty copying, but it looks like I missed Q’s due to deferring. (but no way would I have missed the LSU game!).
  • 3) Paddle proficiency – low.
  • 4) This goes with #2. I should try to run more often. My run rate was not stellar, but it was better than S&P.
Band  QSOs
80:  143
40:  176
20:   59
15:    4
Total:  382  Sections = 72  Total Score = 55,008

1 comment to Sweeps CW 2007

  • Scot, KA3DRR

    Nice work Keith! Good to hear the extra hours spent on the antennas paid dividend -Qs during Sweeps. Thanks for the great postings as well. All the best to the Single-Op, Low-Power, No-Tower (SOLP-nT) operators.

    73 de Scot, KA3DRR

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