CQ WW CW contest fun

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CQ WW CW contest fun

Postby Jamie_WB4YDL » Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Hello RARC:

It's often hard to figure which forum to post to - DX or contesting ! :D However, I'll stick my post here this time. At this point in time, my station is still in the 'shakedown' stage to make sure every complex stage cooperates and talks to the next stage, such as computer and software. The phased yagis for the upper bands appear to work as advertised and with one mouse click, I can rotate the entire array to whatever heading I choose. The high 80M inverted vee (actually a 200 foot doublet with apex at 118 feet) heard and played very well. Of course the high MAG antenna for 20M and 40M played like a champ.

As usual, the contest for me was not about quantity but acquiring needed CQ Zones. I'm working on the follow-up award to WAZ Worked All Zones), which is 5BWAZ. http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cq_awards/cq_waz_awards/index_cq_waz_award.html The CQ WW contests are the premier "ironman" ham radio contests - they are 48 hours long ! If you look at the CQ WW Zone map (http://www.cq-amateur-radio.com/cq_awards/cq_waz_awards/cq_waz_map.jpg), you'll see that we live in Zone 4. Our Earth antipode has zone numbers in the upper teens and 20's. These are the toughest to put in the log and particularly so on the lower bands. So it is no surprise that I concentrated on low band CQ zones that I needed. I'm happy to report that I achieved some level of success. I managed to get Zone 21 in the log on 80M with both 4L and A7 stations. Zone 24 was logged on 40M with the addition of BV. Several Chinese stations were called, but they simply had a hard time dealing with the unbelievable pileups. You have to be LOUD to get these in the log. Despite pushing 1500 watts into the inverted vee, I was not able to get a BY station into the log. Zone 18 is in Siberia ! Extremely tough to log in the easiest of times. I actually stumbled on RC9O on 40M, a call that looks as if it should be in European Russia, not Asiatic. But he gave out 18 as his zone - I pounced and he was in the log. 8-) For whatever reason, zone 13 which includes Argentina and Uruguay is difficult on 80M. In fact there were hardly ANY S. American station working on 80M. I still need zone 13 on 80M. Zone 32 was active with the ZL8X DXpedition ongoing - I managed to log him on both 80M and 160M. Zone 29 is interesting because it only encompasses Western Australia and Christmas Island !! Nobody's on Christmas Island right now, but I did manage to put a couple of VK6 stations in the log - even on 160M. After that, the 500pf 10KV vacuum variable capacitor went belly up. :cry: A quick check over to the good hams in Ukraine snagged another Russian made KP1-4 vac. var. cap. It's on its way - for 1/4 the price as a Jennings.

All in all, it was nice to loose sleep over something I prefer to loose sleep over - and have fun ! ;) The station build-up project is going nicely. My next equipment addition may be an automatic tuner - the Alpha amp is very sensitive to SWR. I did not fire up the re-built TL-922 amp this time around. I need another wattmeter to determine precise output - it's on the Xmas list. I still may have output issues which may be cured by inserting the new tubes I have for it. We'll see.

73, Jamie
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:45 am
Location: Union City, TN

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