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Stew Perry Topband Challenge   2012   Warmup   Comment Summary

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OL1A(OK1CW)   Single Op QRP   2492012-10-20 23:14:19
My first entry with QRP,
few stations, bad condx, but lot of funny ....

CUAGN in December!!

73, Vlada
VE9HF   Single Op HP   4342012-10-21 03:43:47
Saturday night there were quite a few loud Europeans, but I was only able to get
3 or so to hear me. The highlight was Sunday morning getting called by KH7Y and
then KH6AT, both of whom were S9. Thanks gray line.

Equipment used was an Yaesu FT-1000MP, an Alpha 87A, Inverted L with the base
elevated 8 feet off the ground and 4 elevated radials each around 129 feet
long. For receive I used a DX Engineering 500 foot reversible Beverage oriented
East and West.
N1EN   Single Op LP   1022012-10-21 03:46:51
As the days have grown shorter, I've been looking forward to giving the new 160m
antenna (which is admittedly a cloud-warmer zig-zagging through trees at the
back of the lot) a bit of a workout. The Summer Stew provided hints that it
might DX might be workable, a vast improvement over the makeshift L I had been

This warmup, sadly, did not satisfy those expectations. Best "DX" worked was
New Mexico. Never heard Europe or California. Heard loud signals from KV4FZ
and FM5CD, but sadly they didn't hear me.

Ah well, at least 10m has been fun recently. :)

Station K3, 160m Carolina Windom @ ~12m
UA5C(@RD3A)   Single Op HP   1502012-10-21 04:04:00
Evening walk on TopBand.
EU1AA   Single Op QRP   8682012-10-21 04:32:52
Poor condx. Good signal KV4FZ, W3DGN. Longest distance - TF4M. Ant - rombic
82m x 4 up, 35 meters, direction NW. Hope meet in December! View ant. plane on
Google picture
N3QE   Single Op LP   6512012-10-21 04:51:22
An excellent warm-up with my new K9AY loop. Supplemented the transmit antenna
(Marconi T) with about 600 feet of copper put down on the ground Thursday after
work and Saturday afternoon! Rig was Ten-Tec Eagle at 100W.

In the 0400 to 0500 hour, I heard several EU's and several California's
(especially N6RO, who was peaking for a while at "really loud") but they didn't
hear me. Best distance with an actual QSO was K7RAT, who was also at "really
loud" for a while. I feel less like an alligator, at least! And feel like I got
a nice mix of QSO's too. Looking forward to the other 160 events.
K2RD   Single Op HP   2752012-10-21 04:59:07
Best DX W2RU. Missed KV4FZ and FM5CD. Thanks for the qsos.
N1LN   Single Op HP   5642012-10-21 05:03:47
Level of activity seemed pretty good as were the conditions. Heard a few EU but
only (3) in the log - G, F, UR5. Shut down about 03:40 UTC satisfied that the
station was working fine.

See you for the ARRL and CQ 160s.

NT8Z   Single Op LP   1782012-10-21 05:16:48
First time for me to work SP event. Wanted to test out new Inverted L and K9AY
antenna using Flex 5000 with 100 watts. Band Conditions seemed excellent.
KU8E   Single Op LP   4422012-10-21 06:42:03
Nice top band conditions for early Fall. Worked several west coast but a few
other loud ones CQ'ed in my face.. DX worked - KV4FZ, FM5CD and XE2S. Heard no
EU except for a weak DF2PY calling KV4FZ. CU in December SP.

Jeff KU8E

IC756PROII , Inverted L with 4 elevated radials
WØDLE   Single Op LP   7352012-10-21 06:56:31
On to test new phased verticles with raised radial system. All went as planned.
Band condx. not too bad and not much noise. I did not hear DX from CO, but did
not look that hard either. Alan KO7X was loud here, I did not work many other
VE3KI   Single Op HP   5382012-10-21 07:15:13
K3, KPA500, inverted L, K9AY loops
Best DX: KH6LC
N5UL   Single Op HP   6832012-10-21 07:29:17
Better showing this year and perhaps better conditions than last year's Warmup?
Thanks for the QSO's; I had fun.
WJ9B   Single Op LP   5412012-10-21 07:45:25
...worked all that I heard except fm5cd and kv4fz. Worked rc0f @ 1155z with a
good signal but no ja stations heard.

73, wj9b
K5OAI   Single Op QRP   1112012-10-21 07:56:13
5w into 7' tall Hi-Q 6/160 @ 20' w/16 radials ea 13' long
5w x 6% efficiency = 300mw ERP
Band was great Sat night 2355-0330z, then local QRN hit 9+20
Sun morning only 2 Q's, the R2 radio blackout took it's toll
K1LT @ 1859km was longest Q
WD5R(N5ECT)   Single Op QRP   1,0802012-10-21 07:57:26
Conditions were great
No power line issues
QRP has some advantages
The big guns do all the work.

Heard several EU stations including
F6KHM several times with good signal
and no one answering, of course I tried.

Was late Friday evening before I realized
SP was next day. Talk about incentives for
checking beverages. Spent most of Saturday
replacing six blown matching transformers.

For ve3kp, Yah I was in the mud,
but Marlene hosed me off. We will
do better in the real SP.

dedicated quarter wave vertical
lot of beverages,
K3 adjusted for 4.7w out
Oh, Ah could hv run it up to
5w out , but being on SS,
we cut corners any time we can.

Doug, n5ect
2nd in command at WD5R
N3ZZ   Single Op HP   3932012-10-21 07:58:18
Good conditions. DX was KL7RA, KV4FZ,FM5CD and XE2S.
WU6W   Single Op HP   1452012-10-21 08:00:11
Another Fun Contest. More relaxed CW Send-Receive rates
31 foot Inverted L with two above ground radials
K7RAT(N6TR)   Single Op HP   5652012-10-21 08:08:53
Nice to see good activity for the warm-up event. Conditions were okay - but no
Europe heard (which is what I expected with where we are in the solar cycle).
Worked one each JA, UA0, KH6, KL7, FM5, KV4 and XE.

Most of my QSOs were made using a complicated setup simulating the remote
configuration I will be using in the SS CW. Turns out I will be on a business
trip in Bangalore during the SS CW - and will be remoting into my home station.
Other than sounding like a lid due to the latency - it looks like everything is
N7IR   Single Op LP   4372012-10-21 08:15:28
Farthest DX east FM5CD and KV4FZ (both very loud), west KH6LC and KL7RA. Not
much else heard DX-wise from here in Arizona but there were some good signals
from the right coast in the early evening.
Thanks for the contacts and your patience.
Gary, N7IR
N6TR   Single Op QRP   3962012-10-21 08:17:12
Spent about an hour with the radio turned down to five watts giving out points.
Congrats to NO3M, KL7RA and KH6LC who all pulled me out of the noise.
VE3TA   Single Op HP   8662012-10-21 08:27:13
Best DX UY0 7988 km
Also worked KH6, ON5, G4, OK7, F5, F6, KV4, FM5
No Beverages yet, still farming.
VE3OSZ   Single Op LP   3812012-10-21 08:30:06
Condx OK to west - K7RAT was loud here, but not good to EU. F6KHM was loud
briefly but he couldn't hear me. Only DX worked was KV4FZ. Consequently, score
is down compared with last year.

Drake TR7 @ 100 watts
Inverted L
One Beverage
Home-brew autotuner
TR Log
WB8JUI   Single Op LP   6672012-10-21 08:38:06
Great to finally get some 160 meter RF flowing to clear out the coax. 8-)

Conditions were up and down here. Quiet at times, lots of QRN at other times
(rain). Also very heavy QSB.

No DX worked other than KV4FZ and FM5CD. I did hear G4AMT (got at least a
QRZ?) and KH6AT (who was in S&P mode). More west coast stations logged than
usual in a warmup, but couldn't get K7RAT's attention.

Looking forward to a great 160 season.

73 - Rick WB8JUI

Elecraft K3
160 meter inverted L @ 50'
N6ZFO   Single Op LP   100,0002012-10-21 09:17:17
FT1000MPMkV; Inv L; Beverage

The latest WL version doesn't report the score although even w/o mults it would
be a good estimate. So I'll guess at 100,000. Don't know why power info isn't
part of the exchange for L and Q. So doubly important to submit your log if you
are LP. or QRP.

Most distant Q: VE9 at 4645 Km.

There were "holes" in the coverage . . e.g. K4TD, who usually has a huge
signal, was just audible. However NO3M was very strong at times, and Ty
commented that I was strong there. KC0W had a huge signal early in the evening.
VE9 also worked easily on first call . .. but FM5CD, who was pounding in,
couldn't seem to hear most stations who called, and no luck w/ KV4FZ, who was
very weak here. Didn't hear any JA or UA0 this morning, although I was a bit
N5RZ   Single Op HP   4072012-10-21 09:24:34
Due to an evening social obligation, was only QRV from 0405Z - 0637Z. Testing
out the new HI-Z 8 circle RX array that I got hooked up earlier in the
afternoon. Some tweaking still to be done, but in general seems to work quite
well. Took a couple of breaks to listen some on 80M & 40M on the array & work
5W1SA on 80M CW.

Thanks to all for QSO's - see y'all in the December event.

Elecraft K3 + Alpha 87 @ 1 KW and Inverted vee @ 70'

73, Gator
WF7T   Single Op LP   4172012-10-21 10:09:11
Cobbled together an RX loop before the contest. I didn't have high expectations
but MAN what a difference! I should have done this a long time ago...

Did not hear EU. West Coast was very strong from 10PM local on. Pooped out
around midnight and didn't make it back up before sunrise so I missed elusive
HI and AK (the two entities left needed for WAS.) See you in the next one!

73 Brad WF7T
Nashville, TN


Inv. U @ 40', RX loop (pointed NE/SW, used preamp in rig)
N1MM v12.10.2, YCCC SO2R+
W1NN   Single Op LP   2602012-10-21 11:09:07
A nice bit of fun. Band was pretty quiet here. I heard a lot of sixes and
sevens who couldn't hear me but with a dipole at 45 feet and low power that's
not surprising. Never heard any EU. It's fun watching grids in the Win-Test
grid map get filled in. See you in the real thing in December.
WQ5L   Single Op LP   2812012-10-21 11:14:23
TS-2000 / 100W / inv-L with 3 elevated radials

Quiet band, conditions good but not great. Best DX FM5CD. Heard nothing outside
N America. Heard several out in the CM/CN grids but none heard me. 73,

-- Ray WQ5L
K1LT   Single Op HP   1,0422012-10-21 12:02:41
Since the Stew Perry Topband Distance Challenge "Warm-Up" is the first
160 meter contest of the season, I have to catch up with my logging of
my 160 meter station developments.

I've decided to abandon the 8-circle array project for the time being.
The array works, but it doesn't have sufficient output to drive
Softrock style SDR receivers, and one can't do beam steering with a
circular array anyway. You can electronically rotate the pattern, but
steering the beam between the preferred directions causes the pattern
to very rapidly deteriorate. I started to build an electromechanical
steering box (using K7TJR's schematic) but I just didn't get it

The 8 element broadside/end-fire phased array works very well, so I
decided to repeat that success and build another array broadside to
Japan, to fill in one of the "holes" of the existing array. The
existing array is broadside to North Africa, and as the beam is
steered north, the pattern degenerates to a bidirectional pattern with
directivity about the same as a short Beverage.

The easiest way to build the new array was to put it closer to the
house so I can reuse some of the feedlines from the 8-circle. The new
array is (so far) a 4 element broadside/end-fire array, with
sufficient room to add another pair of verticals to make each
broadside element a three element end-fire array. So the ultimate 6
element configuration has almost as much directivity as the existing 8
element array. In the 4 element configuration, the beam can be
steered to any heading without using relays, which means software can
examine signals from all directions simultaneously. If only the
operator could do the same.

I finished the outdoor part of the construction exercise 2 days before
the contest. However, I found that both of my spare Delta-1010LT
cards had developed some deafness on some channels. It turns out that
some of the very numerous electrolytic capacitors on these cards had
dried up and gone to very low values. Since I don't need very low
baseband frequency response, I was able to use some junk-box tantalum
capacitors to replace the worst of the electrolytic caps. All three
1010LTs are now working adequately, although I should order a complete
set of replacement caps. By the way, I found a schematic of this
board online. If you need it, email me.

I was able to update the software sufficiently to run either receiving
array on the same computer one at a time, but not both simultaneously.
I might need a motherboard upgrade to handle 2 instances of my phasing
program running at the same time. Alternately, maybe some software
optimization is more appropriate. But its more fun to buy new

Finally, I discovered that the much lamented northwest noise is
actually two separate noises. One noise actually comes from a set of
poles about 1000 feet southeast of the southern end of the 8 element
phased array. This noise also makes a racket in the 150/300 degree
2-wire Beverage in either direction. Apparently, the noise source is
sufficiently close that it just couples directly with the affected
antennas. All of my 2-wire Beverages are center fed and use the
cheap-and-easy "one end open and the other end grounded" method of
converting the common mode received signal into a differential mode
signal that makes use of the 2 wires as a transmission line to get the
signal to the feed point. Anyway, grounding the open wire at the
Southeast end makes the noise coupling go away, but also makes the
received signal from the northwest go away. I wound a reflection
transformer which seems to reduce the noise coupling, but there is
less received signal than with the open/grounded scheme. More
experimentation is needed here.

The other northwest noise is apparently some very strong but very
short range noise emanating from my neighbor's property. This noise
is just noticeable on all of the Beverages, but mostly on the 300
degree Beverage and second most on the 270 degree Beverage. This
noise gives me great grief trying to receive the Pacific Northwest,
Alaska, and Japan. The noise is apparent on the 8 element phased
array, with greater pick-up on the northern verticals as compared to
the southern elements. On the new phased array, there is a dramatic
difference in output, even between the 2 verticals that are only 60
feet apart. In fact, the output from the most affected vertical is
almost to the point of overloading the ADC.

This noise also sounds a little different than all of the other
power-line noise. It is impulse noise, but the timing of the impulses
is not stable like regular power-line noise. The noise cycles on and
off like a heater might, although the transition is not abrupt. The
noise must be related to some appliance. The noise also has a
spectrum that rolls off very quickly with icreasing frequency. I
can't hear the noise above 80 meters. Perhaps a small DF style loop
and a portable 160 meter receiver will be necessary to go hunting for
this source.

So for actually operating the contest, I didn't use the new phased
array to make any contacts because the neighbor noise was on most of
the time and because I couldn't quickly switch from one array to the

I found that conditions seemed to be "short". The west coast was very
audible and DM grid stations started showing up well before their
sunset. Europe was weak, although occasionally some stations were
moderately strong. I didn't hear anything east of grid KN although I
heard N1LN work a Ukrainian station that I could hear but not copy.
DX worked: DL, E7, F (2), FM, G (4), GM, I, KV4, KH6 (2), PA (3), SM,
VE (many, of course) and XE (2). Much less DX this year than last

After the contest I observed that one OK1 requested that I "listen for
Eu" at a time when I was, in fact, listening for Europe. Also, I was
spotted by a VK, so maybe there was some propagation that I missed. I
didn't hear anything west of KH6. Both of these spots make me think
that I wasn't hearing normally.

I find sitting still in front of the radio at night makes me very
sleepy. So I pushed the office chair out of the way and dragged over
the lounge chair and arranged things so I could just push keys and
flip the audio routing switch while reclining and CQing. This
arrangement kept the sleepiness from being overpowering and allowed me
to stay by the radio longer than otherwise. Of course, when a weak
signal showed up, I'd have to sit up to try different antennas or
adjust the filters. But when such signals appear only once every 10
minutes or so, then the lounge chair might be a decent trade off.
More experimentation needed.

The amplifier needs new tubes. I have a spare set that have been
sitting on the shelf for 8 years but I need to get another set so that
when I return this borrowed amplifier, it has unused tubes.

Equipment: K3, homebrew panadapter (a work in progress), 8 element SDR
receiving system (still need a name for this concept), ETO 91B (thanks
K8ND), 6 2-wire Beverages for coverage every 30 degrees, 65 foot Tee
antenna with 75 125 foot radials under the grass.
K5KC(W5TM)   Single Op HP   8032012-10-21 13:01:56
Thanks to Ken for letting me operate his fine station.
Alpha 87a
4 square
N6RO   Single Op HP   4252012-10-21 13:08:53
Band condx not great, but got FM, KV4, KH6, KL7, XE.
K4LY   Single Op LP   2862012-10-21 13:40:58
Gave my new Tec Tec 418 amp its first workout driven by a Flex 1500. Put my 60'
inv L back up this past week and 12 of the 24 radials that I remove in spring.
I'll add the other 12 after mowing the lawn one last time. I also have a low
(50' in center and 15' on ends) 160M dipole fed with ladder line that is better
in close. Conditions seemed good to the Carribean, but I didn't hear any
Europeans. Best DX were 9 and 10-pointers KV4FZ and FM5CD, and to the west 8-
pointers W0DLE and N2IC. Others in the west didn't come back to my calls.
W9RE   Single Op LP   1,1042012-10-21 14:27:59
Very quiet conditions and a pick up of activity from last year.

I called F6KHM several times with not even a question mark.

Best DX was G4AMT.
SEØX(SMØMDG)   Single Op HP   3802012-10-21 15:15:27
Topband was weak, not many DX logged. Longest distances were RC0F in the East
(7183 km) and FM5CD in the West (8062 km). Three or four NA was heard in my
sunset, but none heard my calls.
KV4FZ   Single Op HP   1,3422012-10-21 15:19:36
Very heavy QRN made limited contacts especially with Europe. Spent afternoon
repairing Beverages right up till sunset which was poor planing. Surprised not
to work any Africa, South America, or even a single Pacific station. But I did
not S&P and stated the whole contest on 1824.5 for the whole time I was active.
Best DX was RL3A and UR5IFB which were 19 pointers.
K7ABV   Single Op HP   942012-10-21 16:32:56
just had fun back up on top band for a few hours...s and p only...thanks for the
qso's..had my usual qrn s9...
K7IA   Single Op HP   2012012-10-21 19:37:02
160m was pretty noisy (S6) in New Mexico, but must signals heard were quite
loud. My apologies to the few whose callsigns I could copy but whose grid
squares remained elusive.

My antenna was a vee at 85 feet, and my hope is this is the last event for
which that antenna will be used. I never finished last season's project to
shunt feed that tower for 160m before the 160 season closed. Instead, I
converted the shunt feed to 80m, and it has worked superbly. Currently, I am
shunt feeding the second tower for 80, and when that is finished (to quote the
movie "The Money Pit," two weeks!), I'll reshunt the first tower for 160m. My
hope is that the 160 shunt fed tower will transmit better than it will receive
so that I can learn something about Beverages of the non-liquid sort. All this
before the ARRL 160...

See you then!

73, dan k7ia
K9MMS   Single Op LP   3422012-10-21 21:06:00
K3 at 100 watts and Win-Test logging. Just a very part-time, short effort. Did
not operate at my sunset or sunrise. The noise level was low, so that made it
nice. Various modest RX antennas, and the 1-year old Hi-Z triangular RX array
worked well.

The activity seemed a bit low, and very little DX was heard. DX worked: KV4FZ,
FM5CD (longest distance QSO), and XE2S. Not a lot of west coast stations heard
this time.

Thanks for the Qs. Hope to CU in the various top band contests this winter.

NN6T   Single Op LP   352012-10-21 21:06:12
W6SX   Single Op HP   2872012-10-21 21:13:24
K3, ACOM 2000A, wire antenna at 46 feet with MB-V-A, N1MM.
K6CSL   Single Op LP   722012-10-22 02:34:47
Rough, but fun. Stew Perry with 100W and an "invisible" 40M Delta Loop, 1/8th
wave on 160. It was especially nice to say hello to Steve, N2IC, over in
NM.(DM52). My most distant QSO was with N7DF in DM72, near Alamagordo, NM. I
hope distances will be a little better in the next Stew, in the depth of
Winter. Bert, K6CSL
VE4EAR   Single Op LP   712012-10-22 05:03:04
Just got on for a few minutes. The band actually seemed in good shape. Noise was
lower than normal (only S7 this time). Best DX was FM5CD for a new DXCC on TB
for me plus 15 points. The rest were all stateside. I was happy with my 100W
and frozen noodle.
W1FJ   Single Op HP   2642012-10-22 05:47:12
Not great condx. EU was a whisper at least when i anyway
OU2I(OZ1BII)   Single Op LP   2,3552012-10-22 10:39:47
RRig: Ten Tec Eagle 599AT SDR - 100 Watt and bad SWR
Ant: 20 meter Long Wire as Inverted-L up 12 meter

QSO with TF4M in HP85 gave 16 points. RL3A in KO85 gave 15p. UT8IA in KN87 gave
14p. F5VLY in JN04 gave 11p.
A lot of counting on the Grid-Map.
Did not hear any DX stations at all. QRN around s7-8 so a bit noisy.

Look forward to meet you on TOP Band in November as XP2I and in the contest in
December as OU2I.

Best 73 de Henning
N4XD   Single Op HP   7282012-10-22 11:07:51
Band seemed noisy to start but then quieted down. Good time for test as I found
at least 2 beverages were not working correctly.

Also participation from Europe was either down or conditions weren't good. That
said, G4AMT was quite loud! Worked a couple other G stations, and a couple other
Europeans but not many.

Hopefully participation will be much higher for the true contest!

Thanks all for the contacts.

N6VR   Single Op HP   1402012-10-22 11:15:25
Got on to see what could be worked on 160m. DX - 2 JA's, RC0 and of course,

N7GP(N5IA)   Single Op QRP   902012-10-22 15:17:32

I was testing a new TX antenna and new Beverage antennas at a new station
location. I started this for the IARU in July, to be able to put W1AW/7 on the
air in Arizona.

I am slowly ramping up the antennas for the winter 160 season. After working
on the Beverages (comparing parallel antennas with different matching
transformers, etc., for f/b and gain) on Saturday, I called a few stations in
the Pre-Stew.

The band sounded good from out west with FM and FN grids very copiable at

I had the K3 sitting on the dash of the Suburban. I was also testing the
effectiveness of the TX vertical.

I worked N1LN and VE3KI with 100 Watts.

I worked KC0W with 5 Watts.

I worked KO7X, K0HA, N2IC and KI0I with 100 milliWatts into the 420 foot long
feed line, which is paralleled 75 Ohm, 1/2", CATV hardline.

I called NO3M at 100 mW. He came right back with the call. But he could not
get the 52 in the DM52 exchange, so NIL for Eric and me on that one.

I will be making a full test of the antennas, both TX and RX, this coming
weekend with a single band, 160 M effort in the CQ WW SSB.

Look for my signal, give me a call, and give me a report vs other signals from
out west. It should not be real busy and there should be an opportunity to
exchange signal reports.

Thanks for the few Qs.

73 de Milt, N5IA from N7GP near Safford, AZ
RCØF   Single Op HP   5352012-10-22 21:58:54
Best DX N5UL - 9029 km.
Also worked KH6, VE, KL7, UA3, UA9, 9M2, VK5, SM, LY, JT and few JAs.
E71A   Single Op HP   3562012-10-23 08:15:34
Nice contest...
VY strong sigs: KV4FZ S-9, KK3AN S-9, FM5CD S-7, N8OO S7, K1LT S7, NO3M S7...
TNX ALL for contact,
JA1XMS   Single Op HP   1032012-10-25 03:51:12
This was my first contest with High Power license.
I only worked 8 QSO's, but even with them, I really enjoyed.
UA0 x 2, LY7, UY0, W/N x 2, JT5, KL7

1030Z - 1100Z seems really good with West Coast, during this
time window, a K6 station drove my S-meter to 5-6, but I did
not get the call back.
Hours / Continent Matrix follows:
(1.8) 21 | |
0 1 | 5 | 21 22 23 TOT
------ |--- |---------
AS 1 1 | | 1 3
EU | 2 | 2
NA | | 2 1 3
Total 1 1 | 2 | 2 1 1 8
TS-590S + Alpha 87A (1kW)
(Almost) Inverted Vee
N1MM Logger
Winkey USB
K9NW(@K9UWA)   Single Op HP   7772012-10-25 05:34:22
Not enough activity to keep me glued to the band so lots of 10-15 minute
sessions mixed in with DXing on the higher bands. Blew off sunrise, opting to
work the long path opening to Asia on 10m, 12m, & 15m.

See y'all in the fully cooked version in December.

73, Mike K9NW