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All Austrian 160-Meter Contest   2010   Nov 20   Comment Summary

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AA4LR   Single Op LP   109,8242010-12-05 13:28:10
15m tall shunt-fed tower with 30 ground-mounted radials from 40 to 100 feet

K2/100 w/ KAT100 tuner running 90-100 watts


Circumstances have intervened and I haven't had much chance to do any full-time
contesting lately. I was not happy with not operating Sweepstakes this year. I
asked my wife if I could put in a full effort on the ARRl 160m, and she agreed.

Last time I put in a big effort in this contest was in 2007. My claimed score
was just over 101,000, but after judging I lost a multiplier and it ended up
being about 95,000. Looking at the last four years of results, 100,000 ought to
be enough to capture the division title for low-power. In 2007, I lost out to

My goal was to surpass my previous effort, hopefully with enough buffer to keep
the results above 100,000. Previous effort best was 625 Qs 80 mults. With low
power, there's not a lot of opportunities to work a lot of DX, so this really
comes down to be a rate contest, with some searching for multipliers.

It really amazes me what this little station can do. The antenna isn't even
1/10 wavelength long, but it does play pretty well. I have already earned 160m,
so I didn't have any states to chase. Any DX would be welcome, but I couldn't
afford to sacrifice rate for DXing.

Got started a bit late. Sunset is about 2230z here, but I didn't get home until
nearly 2330z, and wasn't in the shack until 2345z. Don't think I missed terribly
much, since there appeared to be a lot of absorption at 2345, still. by 0000z, I
found a nice spot to CQ and the rate meter soon hit over 200 for a little bit. A
good start. kept alternating CQing and S & P as the rate dictated. I didn't
worry about multipliers too much as they came with the rate.

At 0600z, I discovered something. For several years, I've been dealing with an
S5 broadband noise about 15 kHz wide that moves around in the vicinity of
1820-1840 kHz. RIght in the sweet spot of the band. I hadn't heard it at all
that first night, until just after 1 am local. My youngest daughter had turned
off the XBox and all of a sudden the noise was back. I turned it back on and
found the noise went away. Later diagnoses showed that the noise is caused by
my wireless router, which the Xbox is directly connected to. Not sure what is
going on, but turning the Xbox on moves the noise out of the band. Since it now
know what causes this problem, I could avoid it.

Shut off for a few hours of sleep at 0815z with over 375 Qs. Back at it at
1100z, and it was tough going. I did manage to find a nice spot at 1135z a CQed
for the next hour. Rate meter touched 235/hr briefly Ended at 1300z (half an
hour after sunrise) with 475 Qs and 75 mults. My previous best effort had been
390s with 74 mults on the first night. I was ahead of pace. I had worked 47 of
50 states (missing only AK, HI, WY.

Missed sunset again and got started the second night at 2344z. This time, I
tried to be everywhere in the band that I wasn't the night before. Rate wasn't
quite so good, since I'd already worked bunch of people. CQing still brought
the best responses. I ran out of energy at 0520z and headed for some sleep, but
was back on the air at 1045z. It was funny that I wasn't hearing the west coast
as strongly Sunday morning as I had on Saturday. Unfortunately, this meant I
probably wasn't going to pick up a few of the CA mults.

Broke 100,000 points. Let's hope it holds up to the judging. Best DX was E77DX,
who came back to my second call. DX Worked: VP2M, VP5, C6A (there were three of
these guys, all very strong), P4, ZF2, XE, E7. Heard CT1, F, HI, 9A, CE but
they either could not hear me, or I couldn't break through the pile.

There were a handful of guys who had great signals but appeared to be deaf.
W1OP stands out. He had multiple callers, but kept calling CQ in their face. I
think I tried calling him on four different occasions, but never did get

Looking at DXsummt afterwards, it appears it was spotted eight times. Thanks
for that. It definitely added a few Qs to my log. At least once, I was thinking
of switching to S & P since the rate was so slow, but suddenly got a rash of
calls. Learned afterwards about the spot.

It would have been nice to try two radios. I have a venerable Kenwood TS-430S
that will tune up on an 80m Doublet for 160m. Unfortunately, my 30+ year old
homebrew CMOS keyer was't working, so I ended up just going with one radio.

Thanks for all the Q's everyone.