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Stew Perry Topband Challenge   2017   Pre-Stew   Comment Summary

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Click on a call below to see the score rumor detail. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the comment.

W6TN   Single Op LP   622017-10-21 22:23:48
Thanks for the Qs! I scored manually so the score could be off a zero. My log
program didn't work tonight. 73, Trung W6TN

Rig: TS-590SG
Ant: OCF @ 30ft, Sigma 40m, Folding Hex Beam 6-20m @ 24ft, K6MM 160m vertical
Pwr: 100w
TM6M(F1AKK)   Single Op LP   3912017-10-22 00:07:48
Poor activity , poor propagation ! Hight noise !
Tryed to call some more W3/1 ...
Did hand of NA.
Tks for qso


Rig TS850 , 27M Top loaded vertical (heavy noise without beverage !!)
LY7Z(@LY2TA)   Single Op LP   12017-10-22 02:45:10

73! Andy
AA4XX   Single Op QRP   2822017-10-22 04:53:58
QRN levels were S9 most of the contest, but I still had a lot of fun.

Rig: Argonaut VI at 5W
Ant: Vertical loop with elevated counterpoise

Thanks to all the good ears out there!

73, Paul AA4XX
N4DU   Single Op HP   2382017-10-22 05:02:49
Inv-L up 60 ft over 40 radials and KD9SV BOG with 500w
VE3CV   Single Op LP   882017-10-22 05:08:18
Had to volunteer at Rotary Oktoberfest Dance from 7-11PM, so missed most of the
Pre Stew, but spent the day installing my NE Beverage, so got on for a bit
late. Heard one German station, but the thunder storms in the US Midwest
really made it tough. Gess I didn't miss much as not much activity noticed.
Still the temporary NE Beverage worked well and we got VO1HP in the log for an
8 pointer. W0DLE for 6 on Sunday at dawn, but not much else to the West. Now
to put up the 330 and 90 deg Beverages! Hope for better conditions in the real
73 Jeff VE3CV
N3HEE   Single Op HP   3632017-10-22 05:12:30
Made a serous attempt even though K9AY loop was not up yet. I had to contend
with enormous local noise source most of the night. I was testing a 66 foot
loop on ground. It worked out very well and helped me work many west coast
stations and one UK station. Did not hear any other EU stations or HI. Best DX
was G3OLB right at his sunrise. That was fun ! K3 @ 1500W, Inverted L over K2AV
FCP and a wire loop on the ground. See you in the BIG Stew ! Score posted is
per N1MM. -Joe N3HEE
VO1HP   Single Op HP   9142017-10-22 05:17:16
Dame 160 the old up with great expectations and then the big
let down!. Worked first Qso OL5W at 20:00Z 33 mins before local SS....12 Q's
in the log before SS and I thought this is would be a great night! By 22Z 53
Q's in the log including RY9C at 20:59. I had to go out for the evening at
and upon returning at 0100...what happened to the band....?
Very few signals- hardly anyone CQing . 60 Q's over next three hours and
finally gave up at 0430. Strangely very few signals but those that called
Eu were all strong. Also quite a few non-contesters that called didn't send
their grid square and had to prod over and over for the correct response.
a handfull of stateside heard and worked and all signals were well down.

The big non-contest thrill was hearing FR4NT at 0118z calling D1DX. he had a
good signal and now have set up a sched for tonight!!

K3 Remote with K3 mini + KPA500 + KAT500
TX: Invl L (Bend at 56ft over K2AV FCP see
Rx: 200ft long unterminated BOG NE/SW 22ga magnet wire and 200ft
satellite grade RG6.
N1LN   Single Op HP   4982017-10-22 05:34:28
Tried to get to 500 points this morning but that was not to be.

The band was very open to EU but due to the high noise level by the storm to
our west copy was VERY difficult. If the signals were not strong then the Q
did not get in the log.

Looking forward to a good 160 meter winter!

Bruce N1LN
K7CW   Single Op HP   3622017-10-22 05:41:43
Lousy conditions. Managed to get OX and VK for big points. Hope conditions are
better for the CQWW. 1.5kW and Inverted-L w/5 radials in the brush. 73, Paul
KIØI   Single Op HP   1992017-10-22 05:51:52
Once again thunderstorms take over. We had terrible QRN until the sky sparks got
too close , forcing shutdown at 10pm local. Relit the wick at 5am local
Made a few more despite the QRN still being bad.
Thanks for the QSO's and the repeats to make them .
Icom PRO3 Icom PW-1 1kw to coaxial Inv L up 55'. K9AY loop NE , 200' wire on
ground to NW. N1MM+ log
See you in Dec. for the Big Stew, hope the storms are gone !
73 Mark KI0I
K8AJS   Single Op LP   1292017-10-22 06:31:22
Thanks for the QSOs!

Rig: Elecraft K3 w/P3 100 watts
Antennas: Inverted L, BOG
Software: N1MM Logger+ version 1.0.6846.0
WJ9B   Single Op LP   3822017-10-22 06:35:25
73, wj9b
N9LQ   Single Op LP   1602017-10-22 06:56:00
Got a late start for this one. When I did get on, the static crashes made for
challenging conditions here in the midwest. Thanks for the Q's and 73! --Joel,
K7QA   Single Op LP   4532017-10-22 07:00:58
Band seemed very short out here in MT. Midwest and east coast sigs much weaker
than expected. Only DX was VK3IO at grayline. No JAs heard. New H-pol 160m fw
loop made listening much easier.
K4LY   Single Op LP   1022017-10-22 07:13:48
Configured my 160M Inv L for 630M over 2 years ago and could not operate 160M
with it. Yesterday removed one of the 630M top hat wires and added 70' of
slopping vertical wire to create new 160M Inv L, transmitting with about 80
watts. Used TX antenna for RX. Conditions very noisy. Need to evaluate if
this antenna is going to work so very close of my 66' tower, house and all
those other 630M wires! Heard just a couple of EU and west coast in the QRN,
and worked nothing very far away. I may be one of the few left who worked W1BB
and met him! Thanks for the Qs.
KE8M   Single Op HP   2102017-10-22 07:31:41
STEWPERRY Summary Sheet

Start Date : 2017-10-21

CallSign Used : KE8M
Operator(s) : KE8M

Operator Category : SINGLE-OP
Band : 160M
Power : HIGH
Mode : CW
Default Exchange : EN81
Gridsquare : EN81RG
ARRL Section : OH
Club/Team : None
Software : N1MM Logger+ 1.0.6830.0

Band QSOs Pts Pt/Q
1.8 95 210 2.2
Total 95 210 2.2

Score : 210

Rig : Elecraft K3s + Ameritron ALS 1300 @ 1kw
Antennas : shunt coil/coil loaded 60 ft tower 175 various sized radials
600 ft bi directional beverage NE SW
W1NN   Single Op LP   912017-10-22 07:33:08
This month marks the 60th anniversary of getting my ticket back in October of
1957. My call then was KN8HVT. To commemorate the occasion, last week I hauled
out my old Viking Ranger (a crain would be helpful for this) and Hammarlund
HQ-110C and set them up on my operating desk. They take a lot of space!

Amazingly they still work after years of just sitting there. The RX is the
original radio I purchased in 1958 while still a Novice and has been in its box
for most of the last 50 years. I bought the Ranger about 10 years ago from
another ham but it is identical to the one I bought in kit form right after I
upgraded to a General in 1958. Last week was the first time I plugged the
Ranger in and I am so happy that it works. Boy, does that radio get warm! After
it's been on for a while, you can't keep your hand on top of the cabinet for
more than a few seconds. It could almost provide enough heat for the whole
second floor of my house. The consumed electricity per QSO with this station
must be about 100 times what the K3 uses.

I worked about a hundred stations in the PAQP last weekend and decided to use
these old radios in the Pre-Stew this time and see if I could work some
stations further away than PA. No problem. I had lots of practice zero
beating last weekend so I was ready to go this week. I was pretty much able to
work anything I could hear, with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately the
receiver, which never was all that good, has deteriorated in performance and
there are sections of the band that have some weird noise and blips and were
basically unusuable. There is no bandwidth adjustment so you hear a slice of
the band about 3 khz wide, making it tough to hear the weak stations, but the
challenge was fun and I enjoyed watching the Q total increase. I still have my
original Vibroplex bug but I couldn't make the CW sound very good and I can't
monitor my CW, so I sent everything with a straight key at about 12 wpm. I
even had a few answere to my QRS CQs.

The only stations that I could hear but couldn't hear me were K7RAT and N3BB.
I think I got a couple of ?? from Tree, but quite a few stations were calling
him and then he left, so no luck this time. I have had trouble working him
with my barefoot K3 previously, so its probably not the fault of the old

Lots of fun plaing with the old boat anchors, but I won't be selling my K3.

73, Hal W1NN
N8UM   Single Op HP   662017-10-22 08:03:18
Horrible thunderstorm QRM. Could not null it out with the SAL-20...
K4FTO   Single Op LP   1202017-10-22 08:14:52
K3 + short vertical (31')
N8EA   Single Op QRP   3572017-10-22 08:17:52
amps broken - went qrp for a change - TS590, 1/4 wave vertical and Beverages
working well, 73 joe n8ea
NQ6N   Single Op LP   2652017-10-22 08:18:29
Very noisy, tons of thunder storms all through the Midwest. Thanks for the Qs.
KU8E   Single Op HP   1082017-10-22 08:41:21
Didn't seem to be much activity. People north of me didn't seem to be very
strong except for K1LT. Maybe I need to go out and check my antenna.
NG7M   Multi-Op HP   2562017-10-22 08:45:59
I was assisted... makes me Julti-op. Thanks for digging me out! First contest
attempt with my compromise sloper. Max NG7M
ND9G   Single Op LP   592017-10-22 09:01:58
My first ever time operating on 160.
K8MR   Single Op LP   1232017-10-22 09:43:20
Nothing too exciting, but this was my last contest of the year from EN91 before
heading for EL87 for the winter next week.

73 - Jim K8MR
W7WHY   Single Op HP   462017-10-22 09:44:37
Not very good conditions here. Farthest east I dot ws Colorado. Moatly just
6's and 7's.

This is still a fun contest, though! Always fun working guys on 160. 73
K1LT   Single Op HP   1,4042017-10-22 09:55:59
Just after the summer Stew the hard drive (actually an SSD) in my
phased array computer began to show errors. So I got another SSD and
rather than copy the old OS (Ubuntu 12.04) and data, I installed a new
OS (Ubuntu 14.04) and copied the data. However, the new OS was 64-bit
and also did not support version 3 of Qt, the framework upon which GUI
(graphic user interface) part of my SDR software depends.

I spent most of the summer fretting about whether or not converting
from 32-bit to 64-bit would break anything and whether to try to adapt
to the newest version of the SDR software or try to build Qt 3 from
scratch. A week ago I finally got busy. First, using the 64-bit
environment merely requires recompiling all of the affected software.
Second, the easiest approach to upgrading to Qt 4 was to back-port the
relevant changes in the SDR GUI software from the latest version to
the version that contains all of my local modifications. Now my 160
meter receiving system is much less obsolescent.

The 160 meter antennas also needed a fair amount of maintenance. In
July, 2 different short verticals broke in different ways. Since both
of these used 2x4s as supports they both got upgraded to PVC conduit
which seems to last much longer. The top of the tree that supports
one of the top-hat wires for the transmit vertical broke off and
tangled itself with the support rope. I climbed the tree and managed
to disentangle the rope and the debris and managed not to injure
myself. The top-hat wire is not as high, but at least it is in the

Over the years, the top-hat wires have gradually gotten lower because
the particular trees I chose to support the wires are becoming less
effective for various reasons. Also, these trees were chosen because
of their location so choosing other trees does not work very well. As
the wires have gotten lower, the resonant frequency has drifted up the
band by about 25 kHz. If I operate low in the band, I see lots of red
LEDs on the amplifier. I'm going to have to accelerate the transmit
antenna replacement project. I'm hoping I can put up enough Rohn 25
to make a full-sized vertical and perhaps enough to support catenary
lines for extra elements.

I had a few frustrating moments just before commencing operations
because I forgot how to configure WriteLog for SO2V operation. The
step I could not remember was to disable only the CW keying part of
the homebrew SO2R box while retaining the audio routing functionality.
Before I do anything else, I need to make a snapshot of the proper
SO2V configuration. My memory is just not what it used to be.

Friday before the content, I heard DK1NO CQing about an hour before my
sunset. I haven't heard that phenomenon since around 2008 or 2009.
Friday evening I worked several Europeans who had very nice signals so
I has hopeful that conditions would be good for the contest.

Conditions did indeed seem to be good, at least until darkness to the
west allowed static from a storm front extending from Canada to Texas
to interfere. Despite the static, the first DX was LZ7A (new call to
me) with a decent signal from 8500 kilometers away (17 points per the
logging program). As usual, the near sunset burst (word used loosely)
dissipated until near European sunrise time. However, the rate got so
slow and I got so sleepy I stopped just after 0600Z for a snooze.

I set the alarm for 0945Z but my motivation didn't kick in until about
1130Z. At first I was just going to make a sweep of the band and work
any new stations and then quit. But I heard a station working VK3IO
and I could sort of hear VK3IO's signal. So I picked a spot and
started CQing. I worked several lurkers and then VK3IO called with a
barely copiable signal. Shortly after that contact, VK3CWB called
with an even better signal several minutes past my sunrise. I worked
just a few more 7s and 0s that were very difficult to hear the night

Unsurprisingly, I heard no Caribbean stations. My heart goes out to
all of the people affected by the hurricanes. Also I'm sure the long
line of persistent, slow moving thunderstorms kept many Midwest
stations off the air and made the west coast very difficult to hear.
The end result has less than half the QSOs made last year: 222 versus
448. But the bright spot is perhaps the return of conditions
reminiscent of 2009.

Equipment: Elecraft K3/100, P3, Alpha 8410 at 1kw; 2 arrays of short
verticals, computer and SDR software; Elecraft K3/10 for RX while
transmitting; 65-foot "tee" antenna with very droopy top-hat wires
over 75 120-foot radials (some no longer connected); audio routing
K1SX   Single Op QRP   1562017-10-22 11:29:37
Tnx for the extra patience! Nothing worked beyond 600 miles. WD5R heard once
also NQ6N. Genesis G11, inv-L 70' 16 radials
NO3M   Multi-Op LP   2752017-10-22 11:44:02
In-and-out operation. High QRN to SW/W. Fired up the PP814 rack transmitter
dialed back to 100W:

DX included F6AGM, G3OLB, and TM6M after 0600z while I was CQing and 4SQ NE.
None worked S/P. Just a few stns from out west.

73 Eric NO3M
KØEJ   Single Op HP   1752017-10-22 12:20:43
Score very approximate. Just played 2 hours before sunset Saturday afternoon and
a few minutes before church on Sunday. VY2ZM was best "dx"!
73, Mark K0EJ
K1GU   Single Op HP   1272017-10-22 13:00:05
Noise at summer levels.
K7RL   Single Op HP   1422017-10-22 13:32:54
Best DX was OX/OZ1LXJ. K1LT was loud as was N3DXX and VE3KP, except N3DXX
couldn't here me. Same with KG4USN.

Thanks to all for the Q's. Wish conditions were better.

73, Mitch, K7RL
N6RO   Single Op HP   502017-10-22 14:19:40
Nothing heard east of the Rockies during my short time on near 04Z. Checked a
few times later, just a few west coasters.
KM6JD   Single Op HP   812017-10-22 16:30:08
Propagation was not nearly as good during this Stew Perry contest than the last
one. Rig was a Kenwood TS-590SG into an Ameritron AL-80B at about 450 Watts
output. Antenna was 60 feet of Rohn 25 tower with a large yagi on top (31 foot
KØPK   Single Op LP   2012017-10-22 17:07:20
Too much QRN/QSB to stay with it for long. Got on in the morning and ran a
little. Nice surprise was when VK3IO called in to my 100w CQ. Looking forward
to the main event in December.

73 - Paul, K0PK
VE7JKZ   Single Op HP   1292017-10-22 17:33:04
Very disappointing condx. I thought things would get better as the solar flux
continues to drop but no such luck. Or perhaps not many participated. Or maybe
it's just my rotten receiving setup on a small suburban lot....
N9NA   Single Op HP   592017-10-22 17:36:07
Ten Tec Omni 7, Ten Tec Centurion 160 mtr inv L 55 ft twr, N1MM+.
W6SX   Single Op HP   1092017-10-22 18:37:32
CHECKLOG. Was jumping back and forth between contests and forgot to turn telenet

K3, ACOM 2000A, wire antenna at 46 feet with Matchboxes and MB-V-A, N1MM+
AEØEE   Single Op LP   1722017-10-22 19:00:44
100 W, dipole up 30', all keyed on a Vibroplex bug.

Planned to operate Saturday late afternoon/evening and early Sunday morning.
Unfortunately, some storms rolled through late in the day on Saturday, so the
bands started noisy and I called it a night pretty early. It's hard to pick
the signals out of frequent +20 dB lighting.

Sunday morning was still pretty noisy, but enough less so that contacts were
possible. I had a nice run as fresh meat. When the sun came up, the noise
died down, which is consistent with the storms being to my east and having
their signals absorbed when the D-layer was established.

Hopefully the bands will be in better shape for the Big Stew!
KG3V   Single Op LP   1902017-10-22 19:08:37
Had a couple hours available to enjoy this contest. The Band sounded fairly good
but I never heard anything from the West Coast and no DX. I was using a Very
Lame Dipole antenna (260' antenna on a 200' long lot). That antenna was not
helping much, but it was better than the 80m dipole I used previously to try

Thanks for the Contacts,

73, Tom
AF6SA   Single Op HP   992017-10-22 19:39:33
TS-2000, PA 500W
ANT: 60ft Helically wound vertical - K6MM style.
N3QE   Single Op HP   842017-10-22 19:42:31
Just a little bit of time Saturday night to test out the station.

K9AY working very well after I cleared brush and branches off it in the
backyard, and patched together a destroyed switch box in the shack. Really have
to rebuild the switch box from scratch.

Best DX worked: S53O.

Also heard a F station (F4DX?) coming back S&P to NA CQ'ers.
KG4USN(@WA3EKL)   Multi-Op HP   2192017-10-22 23:09:49



K2AV   Single Op HP   3892017-10-23 00:23:29
Inverted L over FCP

No RX antenna available.

Tough going with huge lightning storm on front from Manitoba to the Texas Pan
Handle. According to Blitzortung, 3 strikes PER SECOND at its worst hours.

Worked 5 Eu, one West coast, and just a handful west of the Mississippi.

Hope to have the RX situation fixed for ARRL 160 and Big Stew.
WA6URY   Single Op LP   752017-10-23 01:24:06
Not much time over the weekend to operate. 100w to a rotary 40m dipole at 63 ft
with a SG 230 antenna coupler at the feedpoint. Tnx for the Qs! 73, Dan -
remote in Tokyo
K4BAI   Single Op HP   1752017-10-23 05:56:58
FT11000MP, Alpha 78, 1 KW, tee vertical. Signals pretty good, but QRN very high
from cold front that arrived here early Monday. No DX heard, only USA and
Canada. Very few signals from our west...mostly from the north and north east.
Thanks for all QSOs. 73, John, K4BAI.
WA8WZG   Single Op HP   1582017-10-23 08:40:26
Great warm up for the BIG stew, lots of qrn and dx stations were not existent at
my location in Arizona
WA4JUK   Single Op HP   2342017-10-23 09:23:11
Heavy QRN a lot of waiting!

WO9J   Multi-Op LP   912017-10-23 13:39:02
A warm-up practice session for remote operation of an IC-7300.
Antenna: Loaded vertical with parasitic element
N3BB   Single Op HP   452017-10-23 18:13:05
The score is a total SWAG.

High noise floor with a front approaching. Most of the signals were right at
the noise level on my SAL30 RX antenna, and would come in and out. Only a few
were easy copy or loud. The new shunt-fed tower worked well. Would have spent
more time but for my addiction to college football games. I can see how so many
fall in love with this band, a cruel mistress!
W8WTS   Single Op HP   3812017-10-23 18:46:36
For a change of pace, I ran one of my rickety old amplifiers to see what 500 W
would do. It is not clear that I did much better than had I just run 100 W.
Conditions were quiet here and I could hear well. Hearing makes the difference
on top band.
K6NV   Single Op HP   1092017-10-23 20:03:03
Clearly a challenge. Could not get east of the rockies, north and south seemed
to be pretty good. Got the ant fixed and untaggled from some branches and now
ready for the season.
VE1/K7SJ   Single Op LP   1502017-10-24 01:45:26
First contest with IC 7300 and inverted L up in the trees utilizing the radial
network from my SteppIR vertical. Tnx all for the Q's!! 73, Roger VE1/K7SJ
8SØDX(SMØDSG)   Single Op HP   6802017-10-24 04:41:31
Thanks’ to all (although not so many participators this time) of you
struggling for QSOs during quite normal conds. The Aurora Borealis was almost
reaching down to my latitude.

Strange enough VK6VZ was the DX that moved the S-meter most (=S7) around his
SR. From west VY2ZM and VO1HP where strongest as usual moving the S-meter up to

TX-antenna = top-loaded vertical with around 90 radials floating on top of sea
water in the Baltic sea (yet another month or so to be QRV here, before the ice
gets frozen)
RX-antennas = 4 beverages crossing the small island
Power = 1 kW = ACOM 1000
VE7XF   Single Op HP   852017-10-30 13:27:05
Best DX was EM89. I only entered this contest to make VE7JKZ look good!

K3, Acom-1000, 260' doublet at 75' (Inv L was down for maintenance).
LZ3SF   Single Op HP   1862017-11-04 08:38:04
Inverted L ~14-15m vertical part, 16 "elevated" 3m above ground
radials. No single radial for 160m, only 2 of them for 80m, the rest for 40m.

Rx - Unterminated BOG ~70m NE/SW and Flag for West

~500w - hence only 2 NA in bad band conditions for USA - VO1HP and VA2WA. Best
DX - VA2WA, heard JA calling OX, but no luck with JA during the contest.

First ever contest with my antennas on 160m.

Thanks for all QSOs.