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Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 48
|Summary: Compare Scores|
Club: Frankford Radio Club
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-29 08:13:38|
|Lets do WPX. It’s hard to believe that its been close to 3 years since WRTC 2014 and that was the last time myself and W2RE have operated a contest together. Like all contests, there is a fury of activity just before the start to make sure everything is in order for the test. The big issue this time around was locating the 4O3A lockout box which was found less than 24 hours before the contest that was buried in a box and collecting dust. After wiring up the foot switches, testing the station for full operation we were ready to make a go at it. This is the first time we have tried a full remote M/S event. The location of the actual operators was at our RHR office in Pawling, NY. The office space is new, warm and walking distance to most anything we need. W2RE posted on Facebook Thursday looking for any ops who would like to join our team. Luckily Noah K2NG and Dave NA2AA both replied and said they could join us! The setup. We had two K3/0’s setup in the office, one was the run radio and other was for chasing mults. Unfortunately, the station in Eastport has been initially built for DXing so there are no filters installed at the station yet. This caused a lot of hash on the 2nd radio and removed the ability to use the 2nd radio on the same band so we were limited to about 5 mults per hour to keep in with the 10 band change rule. We also had some sort of audio issue on the mult radio which we ended up solving by replacing the wall wart power supply. During the battle. The first night is always a grind. We used the built in score reporting tool in N1MM+ to post our real time score to cqcontest.net which worked flawlessly. The first night it was clear everyone was dealing with the same conditions and slow rates. At 4:45am EST the game changed for us, this is when the first EU contact was logged on 20m. After that point we were off to the races and rate kept climbing and we clearly watched our score start to pull away from the rest of the pack. Miraculously we were able to keep this lead for most of the remainder of the contest but more on that a little later. Saturday night we had a great opening to Asia on 20m, really loud JA’s and another nice run of BY’s, HL’s and YB’s. What a rush it is to see just about every qso logged show up red in the entry window! Although a nice run to Asia we logged very little VK/ZL during this time, we even spent some time becoming directly to the VK/ZL but could not stir up any takers. The only station problem we had all weekend happened around 2am Sunday morning the tower would not rotate CW. We could move CCW and we did a few times in short increments to see if we could get it to swing back CW but no deal. After trying everything we could being over 500 miles away we just had to deal with it. The stacks were pointing to 29deg and we were nervous come the 20m opening. We feared being that far north and the narrow beam width of the stack would surely kill our advantage during the 20m opening, we were wrong. We ended up getting a huge run of asiatic russians with all kinds of unique prefixes which we would never have worked with the wall of central and southern EU! I guess a blessing in desguise which worked out for us and we were able to sustain our lead. Without any explanation we tried the CW direction later in the morning and things were working as expected. Gremlins. We ended up spending more time on 80m since the band was not as crowded as 40m while still being able to sustain a EU run. Another nice advantage of being that far north and east. Station performance. Operating this station for the past year and it never ceases to impress. You can listen to EU around the clock on 40m. https://vimeo.com/210285170 We recently had fiber installed at the site and you would simply never know you were operating 500 miles away from the transmitters with perfect and flawless connections, still seems like magic. Sure beats the 18 hour round trip drive! Some pics of the station and the operators. https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0h5ejO17cdIVb This is going to be close. Wow, what a rush it was watching the scoreboard! To be honest I thought the half a million lead was going to be easy to sustain, well it wasn’t. Truth be told, one of the big advantages we had was 15 meters never really opened. If 15m opened the numbers would have been much different. The first 45 hours of the contest everyone was basically on 1 or 2 bands but the last 3 hours more bands were open and that's when our lead was quickly closing directly in front of us, every 5 minutes of the refresh the gap was getting closed. The WX3B team did tremendous job hammering away at the last 3 hours of the test. I bet if we listened really hard we could hear Jim cracking that whip! Within the last 10 minutes the WX3B team had just edged ahead and we were in adrenaline mode, I think W2RE lost his voice from the last hour of the contest! It was also great to see a young M/M team at K1TTT (NE1C) who did a great job! Finishing up. Thanks to Noah and Dave for joining us last minute, we enjoyed their company and their operating skills! Congratulations to all the other operators who toughed it out over the weekend. I’m proud of all the hams who through the decades have pushed the envelope further and further in technology. We had four guys sitting in a warm office in NY playing radio with absolutely no issues operating a station over 500 miles away just like we were sitting at the station. Exciting times for the hobby. 73 Lee WW2DX W1/Eastport K3’s + Expert 1/1.3K Amps 10m - 8/8/8 15m - 4/4/4 20m - 4/4/4 40m - 3 elements 80m - 4 Square 160 - Inverted L|