Radio W4KAZ

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2009 IOTA as N4A

Another season of field operation bites the dust with the completion of the IOTA contest. This year we operated again from the South Core Banks location near the Cape Lookout lighthouse as part of our N4A activation of the Core Banks. Our team for 2009 was N4YDU, W0UCE, N3ND, and W4KAZ.

Radio conditions were quite horrid during the first eight hours of the contest. Very high levels of QRN(noise) on 40m and even on 20m. We were seeing storms pass to either our west or our east for much of Saturday morning and afternoon. We were fortunate none developed directly overhead, but the surrounding static crashes made copy difficult. 20m also had a lot of QSB(signal fading), adding to the copy problem. 10m and 15m were completely unproductive both before and during the contest.

Our cabin was different from 2008, and the amount of space around it was less. That resulted in our antennas being a bit closer to the ground than they might have been otherwise, but we worked within the space available. The run station had an 80m dipole and a 40m dipole, with the 40m dipole oriented to favor europe. The dipoles were at about 33 feet.

The mult station sported a half sized G5RV, and its apex was at about 24 feet.

While radio conditions were less than optimal, or even less than the past year, the creature comfort level improved quite a bit. W0UCE provided food fit for royalty, and “Chef Archie” gave us several quite enjoyable meal creations.

Despite poor conditions, we managed to log approximately the same number of QSO’s as our official score from 2008, and possibly a few additional multipliers. I would expect to lose some in log checking, so no guess about final score.


2 comments to 2009 IOTA as N4A

  • daryl wd4ac

    keith, you were busy contesting when i stopped by. was glad to see you guys and your set up. the visit has inspired me to set up a hf station in our camper on the island, which i visit often. hope i see you guys again next year!

    • Hi Daryl,

      Glad you stopped by, both the expedition and the web site. I think you will have a lot of luck working DX from the location, even with simple antennas. Especially in the fall when radio conditions are better. Even a simple antenna, or even just a hamstick works. But its always true – the better the antenna, the better the signal.

      I apologize for not taking a break to chat. You stopped by right at the beginning of one of our best stretches for decent rates, as the 20m and 40m bands both opened to Europe. I was hunting contest multipliers on the 40m station, Nate was “running” on the 20m station.

      If we make it out there again next year, feel free to stop by. We can find a time to let you work a few if you would like to.

      73 de w4kaz

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