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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW   2017   Nov 25   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: VE2IM
Operator(s): VE3DZ
Station: VE2CSI

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Sept-Iles, QC
Operating Time (hrs): 42:45
Location: Canada
Radios: SO2R  

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:5710118426Total Score7,615,456


Club: Contest Club Ontario

Comments:     [email]     2017-11-30 17:53:22
My 19th year of travels to Zone 2 for CQ WW Contests. This time I didn't have high expectations regarding my possible score considering poor high bands conditions and the status of the station. I knew for sure that the 40 m Beam which we acquired about 8 years ago with Alex VE2XAA (now S.K.) was still broken, and instead of fixing it the guys from Sept-Iles Radio Club decided to purchase a brand new one, but it couldn't make it in time for the contest. Knowing that, I borrowed 2 phased vertical array for 40meters from Igor, VE3ZF as a possible temporary replacement for the beam. So, the goal was actually to assess the condition of all antennas, perform some repairs (if possible) and improve them, activate rare Zone 2 multiplier, test newly acquired High Power triplexer and filters (made by VA6AM) and … maybe get the best out of it. I planned to leave on Sunday, however, as usual, work and other commitments kept me home for another day, so I left for Montreal around noon on Monday and after driving almost 700 km I stopped for the night art Victor's (VA2WA) place. Victor is an old and good friend of mine and he is known as a very keen contester and CW operator and a creator of “” Online Scoreboard. He is less known for being an excellent cook and for making great jam from his very own apples and pears that he grows in his backyard! After jam tasting and spending a night in Montreal I continued to drive North East in the morning and after almost non-eventful 970 km ride I arrived in Sept-Iles in the evening of Tuesday. After unloading all my stuff from the car and putting on the desk one set of radio + amp, I prepared all the necessary parts for the phased verticals to be installed the next day and literally fell asleep on a spot, that's how tired I was. Wednesday morning was cold (-4 C), but sunny, with about 3 cm of snow on the ground " perfect weather to work outside. It took me almost 4 hours to put verticals, guy them, lay out radials and connect all the phase lines, coaxes and control cables. While taking short breaks inside to warm myself up, I continued to install and connect all my equipment " band decoders, filters, switches, 2nd radio and amp. I also tried to check 15 and 10 m band conditions, and they didn't impress me at all. After finishing with verticals, I decided to test them later and spent the rest of the daylight time adjusting 160/80 m dipole legs to CW portion of the band (they were tuned to CW). I managed to do that after few tries and raised the ends to almost 40 feet. That was actually it for outside work because the days are pretty short there up North at this time of the year. I finished installing most of my equipment on the table in the radio room and checked the bands. 20 was already closed and there were very few stations on 40, though it was like 5 o'clock in the afternoon... However, I managed to find few weak Europeans and test verticals. The performance exceeded my expectations. The F/B difference sometimes was reaching 40 db! Then I tested 160 and 80 m antenna and after having light dinner I went to the nearby hotel for sleep. Next morning the plan was to roll out the beverage and maybe put up inverted L for 160 m. However, it took me almost the rest of the day to crawl through the bushes and fallen trees to install a 600-feet beverage. The trick was to avoid the path of snow mobiles because there are usually a lot of crazy ones racing in those woods on a weekend. I remember last time I put a beverage there it didn't last even to Saturday night. After few hours of hard work and 2 breakages, the beverage was finally in place, and when I connected it the radio, I was really impressed with the performance. 80 m sounded like 20, with a lot of Europeans working each other and practically no noise. I also connected and tested a Triplexer and I was happy with how it worked. There was absolutely no interaction between 15 and 10 and very little or no interaction between 15 and 20. What really bothered me is that even with 2 sets of automatic band pass filters, the 40 m transmitter interfered on the whole 20 band. No matter what I tried, it didn't go away. Next morning when I woke up at the hotel, I realized that I need to forget about doing anything outside today " there was another 3 or 4 cm of snow on the ground and -9 degrees Celcius. It's good I put a yellow tape around verticals and the beverage wire because when I returned to the station I found snow plowing tractor doing his job pretty actively... I did some final assembly of my gear and of course there was some bug in one of the band decoders. Another couple of hours were spent for troubleshooting and fixing the problem. By 2 P.M. everything was up and running and had fully automated SO2R except I couldn't transmit on 80 and 160 at the same time (same TX antenna was used for both bands) and I couldn't do dual CQ on 40 and 20 because of the interference. On the bright side I had 3 different antennas for 40 meters and the beverage which works perfectly towards EU. I went to the local grocery store to buy some food for the contest and that was actually it for Friday. I started contest on 80 and 40, however 40 was not very productive because Europe was almost gone so I could work mostly 2-point U.S. and rare African and South American stations. But 80 was pretty good, I could hear almost everybody, however at times I felt like I was not loud enough... 20 meters were closed good 2 hours before the contest. Usually I operate with no breaks until Sunday morning, but this time around 3 A.M. Saturday local fatigue started to take over and I decided to take a 2-hour nap in order to be fresh before the traditional morning pile-up on higher bands. When 20 meters opened in the morning, the pile-up was huge, and I made biggest strategical mistake " I overstayed on 40 and 20 and went to 15 meters too late. I only caught one hour of good opening to EU before most Europeans were gone... 10 was also dead most of the day, I just caught short opening to South America and I also managed to work lonely W3LPL who was CQ'ing endlessly but with decent signal here up North. I managed only 9 QSO on 10. The day light is pretty short here at this time of the year and 20 meters closed pretty early. However, 40 was wide open to EU already at around 13:30 local time which was quite a surprise to me. I had high hopes for Sunday morning in regards to 15, but it never really opened to EU the way it was open on Saturday. Few random Europeans called me here and there, but nothing close to a pile-up. Ended up with ZERO QSO on 10 (Sunday) and 15 m overall multiplier is less than even multiplier on 80. I knew I couldn't really count on something better than that, so I am pretty happy with my score and especially low band performance. I don't recollect when it was the last time I worked 50 countries on 160 and when my 80 m multiplier was higher than the 15 m one. Happy to read all these e-mails from the guys thanking me for the “last zone” on 160 and 80. The performance of 2 element phased verticals for 40 meters also exceeded my expectations. This is something I would probably consider for my future travels. I usually pack everything and leave on Monday, but this time I stayed until Tuesday morning because digging out all these wires from underneath the snow was a real challenge and took much longer than usual plus I decided to take this opportunity and work more guys who needed Zone 2 on 80 and 160. Even managed to make few JA's happy with new Zone on 80... I rolled out beverage early Tuesday morning (I packed most of my equipment and loaded into my car on Monday) and left for home. After another leg of driving 1670 km and stop-over in Montreal here I am in sunny and warm Niagara on Wednesday afternoon. I'd like to thank all who managed to move for me and especially Chris VO2AC (VE3FU) for rare Zone 2 on 5 bands. I am also impressed with story of Dave VE9CB of how he operated 6W1SU... Big thank you to VE3ZF, VE3MM and VA2RDK who helped me with preparations for this trip and special thanks go to Victor VA2WA, who not only hosted me for 2 nights in Montreal but also gave me 2 jars of apple jam with me which I am going to enjoy in the next few weeks. Thanks to all the travelers who definitely make this contest a special one and to all of you who called me and made me feel that this difficult trip was not for nothing. See you all next year hopefully with better conditions!