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Class: SO(A)AB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 7.3
|Summary: Compare Scores|
Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club
|Comments: [email] 2017-03-27 12:36:50|
|Very limited effort, but had good fun. Conditions were non-existent on 10. 15 was South only. As usual, 20 and 40 were loaded. 80 sounded pretty good on the first night, but had some static on the second night. Didn't spend much time on 80 either night and only did S&P. Didn't try 160 because my antenna is out of whack in the Phone portion of the band. It was really a practice run. Doing RDXC last week convinced me that I need more practice in Phone contests before trying a full effort in a major one. I think it's been about four years since I've been behind the mic. I used to operate Phone at multi-op stations in CQ WW and ARRL DX, but those stations are gone or much reduced in size, and the 2+ hour drive each way getting old anyway. I started doing Phone at multis because it wasn't a good mode for me at home. When the kids were younger there was too much ambient noise in the house. Before I built the big tower I didn't have the antenna power to consistently hold a frequency on a crowded band. And I never really got reliable and good audio out of soundcards. Well, the kids are older or out of the house, my antennas are better, and now I'm using DVKs in the K3s. I still don't like Phone all that much. The QRM is maddening and way too many stations over-modulate to the point of being unintelligible. But it can be fun at times -- especially when running at really high rate. When I did my first run this weekend, it was evident that I've lost some mojo on Phone. But after an hour or two of running I got used to talking fast and handling a phone pileup. My 10-minute rate never got above 204, so not sure I can handle really high numbers yet. That rate was the result of turning the beam west and running USA stations when the EU rate dropped way down on Sunday afternoon. Not even close to running USA at 350+/hr from the Caribbean in CQ WW SSB! Went Assisted because it made the few hours I could spend more relaxing, and this is one contest where it wouldn't make much difference if SO and SOA were merged. Spots can make a rate difference when you do dedicated S&P, but that's a losing strategy in WPX -- you should never stop running. So the S&P rate is very limited by the run rate, and because at least 1/3 of the QSOs are new mults, you just work everything you hear on the second radio -- when and if you can. It doesn't take the same kind of tune-and-listen skills, knowledge of propagation and strategy that you need in true mult-based contests like CQ WW, ARRL DX, IARU, etc. In other words, you don't find mults -- they come to you. It's almost as mindless as clicking on spots. Perhaps there would be a slight overall rate and mult percentage advantage for Assisted, but not that much. The winners will still be the ones with the best run skills, best knowledge of propagation, best antennas and most stamina/endurance. I've done very well in CQ WPX CW operating unassisted over the years, but it wouldn't bother me at all if the categories were merged. I'd appreciate the lower fatigue level so I can keep doing serious efforts as I get older. I hope no one take this as heresy! Hope to get on for a full effort in WPX CW. If so, see you then. 73, Dick WC1M|