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Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Location: Other North America
|Summary: Compare Scores|
Club: Northern California Contest Club
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-28 16:57:54|
|Been a busy contest season but still wanted to make time for WPX SSB as it is one of my favorites. As reported, conditions were challenging. With little propagation to participation-rich Europe on 15, and none on 10, my QSO count was down about 1100 from last year. Managed about 250 more lowband Q's this year to help the score, despite 80 and 40 being much noisier than usual. Also, serious line noise toward Europe has developed, impacting all bands. The K3 noise blanker did a good job blocking the pulses, but distorted the receive audio in the process, especially on crowded bands like 20. Despite it all, there were some memorable moments where the QRM parted and there was a great opening behind it. Some fun runs on 80, 40 and even a brief one on 10 are what keeps me coming back. Had to replace a rotor before the contest that had an indicator problem. Also the usual intermittent connections needed to be sorted out. A few hours before the contest I was doing a final audio check when I noticed interstation interference on 80 when transmitting on 40. It did not happen when transmitting with the other radio/amp. I had been operating with the Solid State amp cover off since I had repaired a part at home and when I went to install it, I was missing a cable. I made a replacement but it interfered with the cover and I did not want to stress the cable. Believing that the absent cover might be the issue, I decided to put it on. In the process, I shorted the 50V to ground. A spark and a bang resulted. Usually it takes 30 hours awake to display such bad judgement, but this proves I can do dumb stuff fully rested as well. Fortunately, the power supply had overcurrent protection and came right back with a power cycle. The amp, and the rest of the station worked well the rest of the weekend. Found the interference problem after the contest, replaced a coax cable but may have just been a loose connection A fun weekend, but hard work Thanks for all the Q's and again to my wife Kathleen whose help remains indispensable 73, Tom W2SC QSL via LoTW or NN1N|