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ARRL DX Contest, SSB   2015   Mar 7   Claimed Score

Click on a call below for a list of all the contests for which that call sign is listed as an operator. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the claimed score.

Call: YN2AA
Operator(s): N6GQ
Station: YN2AA

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Nicaragua
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Location: Other North America

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:7484313Total Score7,026,537


Club: Northern California Contest Club

Comments:     [email]     2015-03-08 17:36:53
First, thanks to my gracious hosts Octavio (YN2N) and his wonderful XYL Martha for their wonderful hospitality! This was the first time I've done ARRL DX from YN, and it was very much a last minute thing. I missed CW due to some other work/family/travel issues and had planned to be traveling around or during the SSB weekend, but that cleared up mid/late-February, so I checked to see if Octavio had room for me, and sure enough he did - so I decided to give it a go. Having done numerous CQWW contests from there, I was familiar with the station and propagation, so it was almost like being at home. Arrival mid-week gave me time to get acclimated to the heat and drink a LOT of water before the contest. This is the warm, dry season in Central America, warm like 30C+, and while dry for YN, still 50%+ humidity. For a guy born and raised in W6, that takes some time to get used to. So I just made sure I was drinking as much water as I possibly could stand and went with it. My goals for this contest were to just have fun. It was a casual, last minute thing and as such I didn't really have a lot of time to strategize or prepare, just show up and sit in the chair and play. With the declining solar cycle, my expectations were appropriately set for it being relatively average to maybe a bit below average in terms of conditions, and a flare or CME wouldn't be out of the question. When I arrived on Wednesday and passed through customs without my K3 being confiscated, I thought this was a good omen (long story). Getting on the air by early Wednesday afternoon shortly after arrival was a nice bonus - and conditions sounded awesome. European pileups were ferocious and deep, and signals VERY strong. I thought that if conditions held like this, the contest would be especially fun. Going through and getting antennas checked out worked pretty well with one exception - the 160M antenna had been damaged in the extreme winds that had been going through the area, and had a very high SWR. I'm using Octavio's L4 amplifier (10-80m) so I'd be at low power on 160 to begin with, but the high SWR would cause my K3 to cut back power as well. It turned out that the wind had caused the shield side of the dipole to touch the tower. So after that was fixed, I figured I'd be done. Well, then winds continued and it turned out that our fix didn't work - so I ended up signal-challenged on 160 for the contest. Station is Elecraft K3 (SO1R), early Drake L4 amp (~500W out on 10-80), A3 tribander at 20mH, and wires for the rest of the bands (dipoles for 40/80/160, and wire quad and wire yagi for 40M fixed to EU and W6/JA). As a low-tech old school casual SO1R operation, I ended up not moving any more mults than one on Sunday afternoon for a 1-band mult. I did move as a request to a few others though, and am usually very happy to do so. 160 was particularly tough this year, not only was I somewhat hampered with only having 100w on 160, but the 160 antenna wasn't cooperating due to high winds - and as such I imagine I was only getting 50W out to the low dipole. None the less, I moved to 160 for someone, and as someone heard us QSO, they called in. Given my weak sig on 160, people were very kind and called one at a time until I had 30 or 40 new Q's in the log and like 15 or 20 new mults - truly gentlemen - thank you. On Sunday, just about the time things were really moving along on 10M during the peak rate period (1900z) the winds finally killed the power. What should have been a quick cutover to generator power (albeit low power - 100w rather than 500w) wasn't easy - the generator had developed an issue that required hardwiring around a faulty plug inside the generator. This ended up adding about an hour to my already long offtime. When I came back an hour or so later at 100w out, I was able to pick up the rate, but not up to what it was like with higher power. The rest of the day power was out. I always enjoy the last hour frenzy on 20M, but attempted moves to 20M resulted in pretty epic FAILs due to crowded conditions and unable to generate a run or hold a frequency, so I headed back to 15 and 10 after a few attempts where I ended up spending the rest of the day. Here's a few stats: The best 60 minute rate was 347/hour from 1943 to 2042 The best 30 minute rate was 372/hour from 2003 to 2032 The best 10 minute rate was 396/hour from 0218 to 0227 The following stations were worked on 6 bands (congrats - you all must have fantastic RX arrays): K3LR W3LPL WE3C N0NI W1GD K1VR K6ND K9CT W3GQ NN1SS WK1Q NN3W N4KG AA3B NZ1U W4RM K1LT N2IC N5AW NU5B W6WB A few challenges along the way: * Seemingly endless Europeans calling, often times much louder than NA callers, prompting me to change my CQ messages to include "CQ NA" often * SO MANY DUPES on Sunday. At times, about 30% of the callers were dupes. And a few things that worked well: * Compression socks! * Drinking tons of water Thanks again for the QSOs, see you from the next spot... 73 de N6GQ/YN2AA, 4K9Z, 9H3ZZ, etc., etc.