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Class: M/M HP
Operating Time (hrs): 48
|Summary: Compare Scores|
Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-27 15:40:53|
|What a fun-filled weekend with old and new companions on the radio. It never ceases to amaze me how we renew friendships with many individuals from around the world each year and the cheerleading of our operation is infectious. This year there are two local cheerleaders repeatedly spotting WX3B: Tim N3QE and Dave KE4S. This made a huge difference in our runs. Thank you both for your outstanding efforts! My daydream of having 15 meters spring back to life turned out to be a false fantasy. At the end of the contest the brutal truth was: we worked 23 Europeans. We did get spotted by a half-dozen EUs however that did not help much. The band was good to the Western USA, US, VK, ZL and the Pacific. On the subject of 10 meters, we gave up on that band after last season. We did manage to snare a few new prefixes, mostly from short South American openings. The good news was that 20, 40, 80 and 160 meters were FUN! Pete, W3GVX made his debut performance at WX3B, and he landed on 160 meters. I see Pete was successful in making QSOs and hearing Europeans. He and Ted WA3AER cranked out almost 200 QSOs and got spotted in Europe several times during the event. Gary, WR3R made his first Japanese QSO on 75m SSB. He was thrilled! Gary’s result on 75m may have been our best result to date. Here are Gary’s thoughts: First, thanks to Jim and Elizabeth for hosting all the old hams, new hams and non-hams, to their Taneytown, Maryland QTH. You know you are out a ways when you can step outside at night to get some fresh air, and you hear NOTHING. It is truly an amazing QTH, and the antennas are not too shabby either. And best of all were the food and drinks! Both were amazing. The only problem I now have is to go home and work off the goodies that you two serve. The food alone is worth the drive; the heck with operating! I mostly operated 80 mtrs this time. 80 was clearly open both nights, but the first night, the QRN made it a real challenge. Fortunately, the 2nd night the QRN subsided, and the signals coming from every direction were much more readable. I know I missed some EU some stations, but when I had a several coming back to my CQ and I could pick no one out, I used the K3AJ technique (at lease Tom is the first one who told me about this). I would just pick out a letter like an R, and ask for a station with Romeo in their call to come back. It often worked! One station with an R in their call would all of a sudden come back, and I would be able to make the exchange, and move on. This technique didn't work 100% (some cultures have their own rules), but it really helped. Anyone that is on 80 mtrs and does not have good listening antennas, should try and find out if you have any options that could work for you. Without the two beverages allowing good listening to the NE, NW, SW, and SE, I probably would have had half the contacts the 1st night with all the QRN. The second night the beverages were very helpful too, allowing me to pull out weaker stations. This included two JAs that I could hear quite well on the beverages, but not at all on the transmitting antennas. I managed to work one of these JAs, a first for me ever on 80 phone. Throughout both nights, I was constantly switching to listen on the various beverages. Some stations would go from either unreadable or Q3 to a strong Q5 with the right listening antenna. I appreciate all the stations who hung in with me and repeated their call while I switched these antennas, since it allowed me to find the right beverage for me to hear them with. Many, many thanks to all the many stations who took time to spot us. More often than not, when the band would change from slow to a pileup, it was clearly because I was spotted. I got better the 2nd night spotting others; in one case I spotted VK4KW who I think had just come on the band and was CQing with a very nice signal. I then continued listening briefly and could hear the pileup grow. Spotting is really is a great tool! Thanks again for allowing me the chance to get together and contest with this great group. One should never miss an opportunity like this with a great group of hams! 73s, Gary WR3R Dennis, N8IVN got some prime time operating time during his Saturday shift. Here are some of his thoughts: I was happy to be back and see the team. It (WX3B) is my contesting home. It's always great to spotted and see the rates run up to the mid-100! And, those contacts w/ the Philippines & Cyprus were the high point of my Qs. It's always fun (& good eating) while contesting w/ Team WX3B! My only regret was not having an exchange w/ GW4BLE. (Author’s note: Steve GW4BLE was a great radio friend that recently became a silent key). John, AK3Z was welcomed back to our team and he operated Friday night to dig for Pacific stations on 15 meters. John says it was the first time he has actually operated in a long time! For those that don’t know, John actually put his antenna back in the air and is HF ready. Sid, NH7C was pleased to have company on the low bands this year. Sid also brought two first time visitors to WX3B: his brother Ted, KC9QJS and nephew Ethan, KC9QJR, hopefully they were left with a good impression about contesting. They enjoyed taking turns on the open bands. Sid commented that he enjoyed having a full house Saturday night, usually he has to hop-scotch around the low bands by himself. I had my first ever walk-in visitor during this contest. Bob, KC3GUA is a neighbor who has known about WX3B for some time, and is friends with KC3BWA and KC3EMA (other neighbors). Bob just received his license and wanted to see what WX3B is all about, and he should be building his first station soon. Ted WA3AER arrived Saturday afternoon and stayed until the end of the contest, gaining both low band and high band experience. Ted enjoyed operating on 160 meters and has the following comments on the operation: Tnx for another great contest adventure, Jim. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work 160M when 20M went to bed Saturday night. There was a short opening to EU with easily readable signals in spite of them not being all that strong. I kept hoping for more! Stateside offered a number of contacts that boosted our Saturday evening start from about 70-75 to our finishing total of 186. 10M late Sunday afternoon around our grey line only yielded 2 contacts to Central America. There was nothing we could hear from SA. And there were but 3 or 4 total spots, those from southern US. Big surprise Sunday afternoon was when EU started booming in on 20M: LZ7Y and I were on the EXACT same frequency, forcing yet another move up band. That worked fine because the new CQ Freq. was cleaner and we had many calls from the mid- and western- US. Unlike Saturday evening, the luck working JAs was not in evidence. I believe I managed only 1 on Sunday in comparison to at about a dozen on Saturday. The Indonesian stations spotted Sunday evening were either not hearable or did not hear us, and the one was loud here (he must had had either a very high noise floor or much QRM). Team WX3B's best kept secret is our food! As Tom and I opined last year, we had best not let that secret out. Kudos to Elizabeth again and again. Evan KC3BWA has been busy at school and this was his first radio event in some time. He was one of the souls that got stuck on a fairly quiet 15 meter band. Jay KC3EMA (Evan’s Dad) is very excited about contesting and getting his feet wet. He as observed twice at the WPX contest this year. Credible rumor suggests that the KC3EMA/KC3BWA Father/Son team may be getting a tower installed soon! Rob K1RH was on duty for the high bands Sunday. Rob took turns running 20, and babysitting a quiet 15-meter band hoping it would open. Ted and Ethan, KC9QJS and KC9QRJ are Father and Son (and Sid’s brother) visiting Sid. Their experience was a good one and I hope they continue their pursuit of contesting. Ed K3DNE made his return to team WX3B after a very long absence. Ed’s last contest with the team was at the old Manchester, MD QTH where we had to use the Armstrong method of rotating the 10 & 15 meter directional quads. Ed wished there were more sunspots and noted that 20 & 40 meters were crowded! Ed pulled the first shift on 40 and did an excellent job keeping the rate up. Tom K3AJ was our fresh relief operator on Sunday mid-day. He immediately sat down and enjoyed a sustained run on 20 meters giving the station host a chance to do some much-needed clean-up from the weekend activities. Tom also dug every last QSO possible out of 15 meters, until the very end of the contest. Tom was fresh off the plane from his vacation in TF land, and I heard him tell that to a TF that called in. A hearty congratulation go out to Ray W2RE, Lee WW2DX, Noah K2NG and David NA2AA for their stellar multi/single performance using the newest remote ham radio site in Eastport, Maine. This multi-single team beat our multi/multi team!! I want to thank my wife Elizabeth again this year for preparing most of the meals and serving them, and supporting us throughout the weekend. She also ran 120 US stations at the beginning of the contest to get us started out on 20 meters on the right foot! 73, Jim Nitzberg WX3B|