Radio W4KAZ

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2006 ARRL 160

Total:  QSOs = 199  Sections = 42  Countries = 4  Total Score = 18,860

Only my second foray onto 160. It could be that I’m going to get hooked.

No great rate, no cause for panic amoungst the Big Dawgs, but great fun. I really only got on to experiment on 160 and have a little fun while practicing my CW. I really enjoyed finding and working stations every 300 to 400 hz or so. S&P was a lot of fun that way. My ability to copy CW was not nearly so taxed as during Sweeps, but I still need a lot of work. I spent a lot of time ‘reading the mail’ on run stations on both nights, both to get an idea how well I could hear and as practice copying folks calling into the run.

The good:
The fourteen short radials hastily installed for the inverted-ell made a big improvement over the four I used last year. Too bad I didn’t get the K9AY repaired in time–it got toasted during SSCW. It would appear that terminating resistors do not appreciate even my meager 100 watts. (yeah, go ahead, yuck it up…. :o) The ell seemed to work just fine, and most seemed to be able to hear my exchange on the first pass. CW ear is improving. Worked PJ2, P40, C6 and HI, but I was really more excited about the VE7.

The bad:
I didn’t stay up late or get up early. Lost opportunity. Radials are a pain in the posterior. Tune the matching network BEFORE the week of the contest. I didn’t hear much from 6 or 7 land. No NNY or RI on the east coast.

The Ugly:
The small antenna tuner with the teeny capacitors just was not up to the challenge of a hastily tuned antenna. “What’s that sound….Is that ARCING?”

zzt zzzzzzzzzt zzzzzzzzzzt zzt zzt zzt zzt zzzzzzzzzzzt zzzzzzzzzt zzt zzzzzzzzt ……. MOAHT(Mother of All Homebrew Tuners) to the rescue! I replaced the smaller tuner with the buch beefier homebrew and MOAHT got the job done.


  • radio: FT-920
  • antenna: inverted-ell–60′ vertical, about 90′ horizontal, with fourteen elevated radials of various sizes from 20 to 37 feet long, all at about 7 feet height.

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