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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB   2015   Oct 24   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: EF8U
Operator(s): N6GQ
Station: EF8U

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 40.5
Location: Africa
Radios: SO2R  

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:5942130449Total Score10,224,561


Club: Northern California Contest Club

Comments:     [email]     2015-10-26 11:20:43
First, a huge thanks to Juan, EA8RM, for helping me to use the URE club station of EA8URL/EF8U for the contest. The station performed perfectly, and Juan is a wonderful person and great friend. My thanks also go out to all the other wonderrful EA8 hams that I met, there were many and they were all wonderful! This was my first CQWW from Africa, zone 33, and anywhere near the center of Europe. I must admit I was totally unprepared for the enormous QRM and signal levels, and my score reflects that. I had also just returned from a business trip through Western and Eastern Europe the week before, and also another trip to the US East coast which I returned home from the day before leaving for EA8, so I came into the contest week already very tired. I don't sleep well on airplanes, so the net effect was that I wasn't able to catch up on sleep, and while I tried to sleep a few hours before the contest, that didn't work either. The station sits atop a hill on Gran Canaria, with slopes in the immediate foreground of the shot to Europe and North America. 3 towers hold numerous 3/4 element monobanders for 10/15/20m, as well as a 3L SteppIR that I used for the 20M yagi. 40M has a pair of 2L yagis that I used in the same fashion as the high band antennas, and 80 and 160M are dipoles. Most of the time these were left fixed to EU/NA and I just switched to the needed antenna or combined for a spray pattern via the equivalent of a StackMatch. Sometimes I combined the yagis for a "stack" effect if I knew the next few hours were going to be run-rate to a given direction. For radios, I used the club station FT950s as a pair (SO2R) combined via a MK2R+, and EA8ZS was kind enough to share a spare Acom2000 for the run radio amplifier (Thank you!) and I used one of the club station ALS-600's for the 2nd radio amplifier. Pre-contest I got on the air with my neighbor and friend, Jim K9YC. He assisted me with on-air audio set up, as I had not used the FT950s before, or the Heil headset, so together we configured the mic audio equalization and speech processor. My goal was to be clean, punchy, and not splatter, as the large EF8R M/S effort was underway nearby - and there would be times when we'd be on the same band and likely S9+60 looking at each other - so I didn't want to be a wide signal in their path. This paid off, as I was told over and over both how loud I sounded, as well as how punchy the audio was. Thank you, Jim! Contest-wise, conditions were very good, and I was pleasantly surprised by a large 10m showing. 20M was fantastic the first night, and was open all night long. 40M is incredibly tiring - the enormous QRM and close spacing made it a band I basically avoided. Not good for score, but my skills here are lacking, and my CW preference takes hold! I also didn't have much success with moving multipliers, while some were successful (OH0X comes to mind, thank you Kim!), others didn't work so well, as the time from my finding a clear frequency on the target next band and the calling was met with someone jumping on the frequency, or the other end didn't show up, or whatever. Anyhow, an area for improvement - move more (always the case) and be better at picking better target spots. I never had any long sustained runs - QRM usually got in the way. About the time a good run would start, I'd be literally overwhelmed by a 30 over 9 CQer within 1khz, and my ability to copy calls goes out the window. 10M was great, I just get up at the top of the band and avoid the mess, but 15/20/40 didn't allow that.I guess everyone has the same problem but its an area of improvement for me, and I'm sure with more time on the radios/filters I could have been more effective. There were times I just took the headset off and went for a walk. Early on in the contest, my physical status was such that I knew I wasn't going to be able to do a full 48. I had slept for about 90 minutes the first night, about 4AM localtime I think, but by then I knew I wasn't going to make it on the same or less the 2nd night, and put any ideas of a lofty goal out of my head and focused on fun-factor and a casual effort. I came up with the 6000Q/10M point goal, which just happened to be about exactly what I ended up with (before dupes the QSO total was 6011). Previous goals were higher, but I had not taken into account my physical level of energy/stamina, nor had I accounted well for the enormous QRM levels. I ended up sleeping about 6 hours the second night, for a total on-time of about 40.5 hours. The last hours on 20M netted some great African multipliers (Thanks!), but noted was the lack of activity from zone 39. I appreciated numerous calls from SU9IG, as well as C5, 9H5, 7X, 6W, etc. It was great to get on and have quick chats with so many good friends around the world. Thanks for the QSOs, and see you from the next spot! Jeff N6GQ