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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB   2006   Oct 28   Claimed Score

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Call: P4ØW
Operator(s): W2GD
Station: P4ØW

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Sta. Cruz, Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 41.8
Location: South America

Summary:   Compare Scores
BandQSOsZonesCountries
160:37820
80:4541974
40:8462074
20:178232101
15:209029106
10:11332257
Total:6342130432Total Score10,449,828

 

Club: Frankford Radio Club

Comments:     [email]     2006-11-01 19:01:50
Rig: IC756ProIII, Alpha 87A SO1R Antennas: 160: Vertical Dipole, Inverted V @ 70' 80: 3 ele wire yagi pointed EU @ 60', Inverted V @ 70' 40: 4 ele wire yagi pointed EU @ 60', 2 ele wire yagi to US/JA @ 70', F12 C4 20: F12 4 ele @ 72', F12 C4 15: Cushcraft 4 ele @ 82', F12 C4 10: F12 5 ele @ 76', F12 C4 800' beverage EU, 450' beverage US/JA, 500' bev N/S, 500' bev E/W A Story: Arrived on Aruba Tuesday afternoon knowing there would be plenty of work to do before the contest. Back in July while attending WRTC2006 in Brazil my Aruban host had emailed me that the 15M beam had broken in two at the mast during a bad wind storm and fallen into the street. Later a neighboring ham, P43W confirmed the damage with photos. So at a minimum I knew I would be doing major antenna surgery at the top of the 14 foot mast which after 15+ years of service is of questionable structural integrity. The game plan was to complete all other setup and repair chores before addressing the 15M yagi problem. I figured on using my C4 backup on 15M if things didn't work out as planned. P40W/P40R is not a plug and play station. To make it operational takes many many hours of laying cables and erecting or repairing wire antennas. Approximately 1600 feet of coax and control cables are deployed, beverages partially erected, and wire antennas re-strung from their inactive status. It is the equivalent of one person setting up a 4A Field Day station. Definitely not your normal 'vacation'. As I started laying out the beverage feedlines, P49Y/AE6Y stopped by to say hello and discuss the coming week. He reported problems at his station too and I promised to take a look, and help when I could. We agreed to meet for dinner that evening. Over the next 3.5 hours, until after dark, all of the feedlines and control cables were laid out and routed to the shack. The furthest 140 meters of the NE beverage re-erected (it crosses outside of the property line, but no one seems to mind much), and some preliminary SWR checks were run. Most everything looked about normal.....a plus. What I didn't expect were problems with the wall air conditioner unit in the shack. It was installed about 6 years ago and fortunately had previoiusly worked perfectly and never required service. I turned it on Tuesday afternoon and it was horrendously loud, the compressor was not happy. It initially blew cold air but by later in the evening when it was operating much more quietly it was no longer supplying the cool dry air needed to make the weekend a reality. Made arrangements the next day to have the A/C service person come and take it away for evaluation. Ultimately learned the compressor was shot. Fortunately my host had a used wall unit pulled from a rental property....it worked....and was installed Thursday evening. Wednesday morning I set out to complete beverage antenna installations. The locals had helped themselves to the #12 and #14 house wire I use for a counterpoise ground system at the far end (not the first time this has happened). Took an hour to cut new radials and make the repair. Then repaired the 160M vertical dipole. When I left the island last May after WPX CW, I knew it it needed a new center insulator and balun due to corrosion damage, and the feedline needed to be evaluated for damage and the connectors replaced. One climb up the 2nd tower and an hour later the antenna was operational. Next came installing the 3 ele 80 and 4 ele 40M wire yagis that hang inverted V style from a catanary rope between the two towers. This is always a 'fun' job since it requires alot of walking around many obstacles, mostly of the cactus variety. Used a full 1000 foot roll of nylon string to get the ends of the elements in the air. Total installation time 3.5 hours. Then to finish off the day an old 4 ele Cushcraft 15M yagi that had resided in the weeds for at least 10 years was extricated. Cleaned off the accumulated dirt and salt and put the boom and elements together with liberal use of lubricants. It seemed to clean up nicely and I hoped it would be a viable replacement for the 5 ele F12 that had failed after 12 years of reliable service. Enough work for one day.....headed to Tony Romas for dinner. Thursday dawned sunny and hot. I prefer a cloudy day to do tower work....at least on Aruba....the sun and wind do a real number. Finished assembling the 15M beam and planned out how to remove the remains of the old 15M yagi, which is now a close spaced 3 element, all on one side of the mast - it looked very odd. Eventually got my nerve up and climbed the tower and then the mast. Installed an angle iron step between the 20 and 10 meter yagis and stood on the 10M boom. So far so good. The old mast seemed to be a bit wobbly but otherwise no obvious defects were evident. Installed another step and gingerly climbed up so the 15M boom/mast plate was a head level. Things are rocking and rolling a little more, but holding together. Rigged a pulley above my head with the pull rope. Loosened the U-bolts holding the 15M boom/mast assembly and worked the beam down the mast a few feet....the weight imbalance making it difficult. Eventually got it down far enough to unbolt the plates....the antenna came off the mast. Disassembled the elements from the half boom...and lowered everything to the ground. A major sigh of relief when that was done, it had taken 2 hours! As I climbed down, the 10M yagi was unbolted and dropped on top of the 4 ele 20, and I loosened the boom of the 20 to tilt the elements downward. The idea was to create enough clearance to tram up the replacement 15 up and above the lower antennas. Drank 2 qts of Gatorade when finally reaching the ground. By 3 p.m. had the tram rope rigged and nos needed assistance. Andy, AE6Y/P49Y answered the call and came over. We proceeded to get the antenna rigged on the tram...there wasn't alot of room to work, many thorny trees/bushes strategically located in the wrong places. Together we pulled the antenna up to the 55 foot level and I went back up the tower. With the luck of the Irish the tips of the new antenna just cleared the upper tower guys with the help of a wind gust or two. After that it was just routine work, bolted in the beam, hooked up the choke/feedline, and put the 10m and 20 meter antennas back in place.. Another 2 hours of tower time logged. Hooked up the coax to the rig and the SWR curve looked good. P40W was just about ready for CQWW PH 2006. I'd promised to help Andy with his antenna project later that day/evening. His F12 4 ele 20 with interlaced 40M elements had been repaired and was ready to be remounted on top of their 60' Rohn 45G tower. Ended up spending another 2 hours up on a tower in the dark as the P43 ground crew got the antenna properly positioned and rigged in the cunuca which is full of bushes and cactus. It was an exiting experience, the wind kept gusting as they trammed the antenna up to me and fortunately one of those gusts helped push the element tips over the guys. Got the antenna bolted in, coax cables connected and then off the tower to get cleaned up and have a late pasta dinner with P49Y. He offered to loan me his Alpha 87A for the contest for my part in helping with 20/40M antenna. THANK YOU ANDY! Each evening after dinner while I tried to diagnose the problem with my non-functioning Titan amplifier, I noted the noise level on 160 and 80 kept increasing. The T-storms in YV-land were clearly visible and becoming more numerous. Unfortunately this trend would continue through the contest weekend. Of course on the Monday night after the contest the noise level had dropped to a very tolerable S-5. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Friday was a planned day of rest. I actually listened to the bands to get a feel for conditions, and did some human engineering of the operating position. One final trip was made to the store to buy ‘contest food’ and then an afternoon nap. Unfortunately when I awakened after just 1.5 hours, my back was killing me with muscle spasms. Counted myself very lucky I had gotten through 3 days of intense station preparation without health problems. Couldn’t go back to sleep so took a walk to try to loosen up. Unfortunately its now 5 days later and my back is still a problem. Decide to start on 20M, for no other reason than I really dislike operating 40 SSB. Conditions to the US are fading, signals are generally weak with QSB. But it was the least of all evils and stuck with 20M for 1.5 hours, a slow start, just 184 the first hour. Decided to try 80M at 0130, found it noisy, S&Ped for multipliers. Moved to 160 at 02Z, again finding it very noisy so again S&P for mults. Worked EA8 and many Carrib, but I would never manage to work a single European on 160M all weekend, a major disappointment this time in the solar cycle. Finally made it to 40M at 0207Z, S&P’d for 20 minutes, picked up 20 quick mults, then found a nice run frequency on 7144, reasonably quiet. Ran off another 143 qsos before going back down to 80 and 160 for what turned out to be fairly non-productive op time. Around 06Z hour managed to grab 3794 and had a relatively good run of EU and USA for 1.5 hours. The 3 ele 80 wire beam is working as I had hoped, at least well enough to hold a busy frequency. A few more round trips to 160 and 40 rounded out the first evening. With my back hurting, decided on a 1.25 hour nap from 0930 to 1045. Woke up to a nice run of post-sunrise W’s on 40M for 45 minutes. Then on to 20M for my first taste of EU below the US band before S&Ping up the band to knock off the loud multipliers prior to taking a listen to 15M at 1200Z. Didn’t feel conditions were quite right yet so quickly back to 20 for another hour of mostly EU/US. Back to 15M again at 13Z for a nice run of EU below the US band. Took a listen on 10M at 14Z and found a few workable EU stations but it was not runable. Returned to 15M for nearly 2 more hours alternating between 21134 and 21447. At 16Z found Al, 6W1RY on 10M and moved him to 15M and soon thereafter Olli, OA4WW for a 3 bander double multiplier move. From this point on began to move double multipliers whenever possible (e.g. C52T, D44BS, 9J2BO, etc.) At 1830 had a mini-EU run on 10M, 17 stations in 14 countries. Then some weak W’s made it into the log before the flood gates opened and it was off to the races with the best rate hours of the weekend. Put 725 qsos in the log over the next 3 hours on 10M….mostly N.A. but a smattering of EU. Got me pumped. Spent the 22Z hour on 15 and 20 (222Q) before finishing out the first day on 20M (206 hour). Stuck with 20 for another hour of mostly US before taking a needed 30 minute ‘power’ nap. My ability to process data was too compromised to continue. Awoke refreshed and back to the grind, this time on 40M for nearly 2 hours of 100/hour rate. Made my way back down to 80M at 0145 for an hour of EU/US running. Its noisier than the first night but stuck with it since the mults kept calling in. Went to 160M at 0500Z but the noise was terrible and only managed a few Carrib mults. By chance I checked 20M at 0515 and found it wide open to VK/ZL, a very pleasant surprise. Ran 40 OC stations (including 2 E51s) before returning to 40M. Alternated between 40 and 80 a few more hours….the rates are not great. Decided to take another 1.5 hour nap at 0745Z and be up at 0915 to be up for the sunrise opening. Unfortunately this was not to be since I slept through 2 alarm clocks blaring until 1100Z. (I need to find a better system for waking up.) Spent the first 1.5 hours after sunrise on 20M since I was still missing many easy EU multipliers. Found 14.141 particularly productive. Went to 21445 for the first time at 1245z and found the band about to open but kept going back to 20M where the rate seemed the same. Between 1310 and 1338 did some CQing on 10 and was rewarded with 6 additional EU/AF multipliers. Then it was back to 15M for the next 3 hours to run both EU and US at ~ 200/hour. Moved a dozen multipliers to 20M. At 1800Z ten meters opened to the states once again. Signals were loud and the rate was a respectable 195/hour, not bad for a Sunday afternoon. After putting 293 q’s in the log over 1.5 hours, it was back to 15M where the rate was slightly higher and added another 206 contacts that hour. The next hour I had two short power failures of 10 minutes each which killed the rate but some mult hunting was productive. Decided to close out the contest on 20M. This turned out to be a productive decision, with 225 and 227 hours back to back. This is my 20th year competing from Aruba in CQWW. Every contest has been an adventure. Special thanks to NO2R for helping get my equipment ready, AE6Y/P49Y for providing assistance replacing the 15M yagi, and P43E for paving the way with the DTZ. CU again during CQWW CW from P40W – SOAB HP. 73, John W2GD BREAKDOWN QSO/mults P40W CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST Single Operator HOUR 160 80 40 20 15 10 HR TOT CUM TOT 0 ..... ..... ..... 184/21 ..... ..... 184/21 184/21 1 5/9 21/24 . 106/4 . . 132/37 316/58 2 3/3 . 100/45 . . . 103/48 419/106 3 3/3 26/20 63/3 . . . 92/26 511/132 4 3/1 15/6 67/1 3/0 . . 88/8 599/140 5 4/3 74/10 1/0 . . . 79/13 678/153 6 3/1 114/10 . . . . 117/11 795/164 7 . 48/4 61/7 . . . 109/11 904/175 8 4/3 22/5 33/5 1/0 ..... ..... 60/13 964/188 9 4/2 13/0 15/0 . . . 32/2 996/190 10 . 5/1 2/1 . . . 7/2 1003/192 11 1/1 . 96/8 31/24 1/2 . 129/35 1132/227 12 . . . 177/21 4/4 . 181/25 1313/252 13 . . . . 199/49 . 199/49 1512/301 14 . . . . 221/4 4/7 225/11 1737/312 15 1/0 . 1/1 . 176/21 3/5 181/27 1918/339 16 ..... ..... ..... 4/6 54/9 24/25 82/40 2000/379 17 . . . 45/5 86/3 6/2 137/10 2137/389 18 . . . 2/1 107/4 35/14 144/19 2281/408 19 . . . . . 299/7 299/7 2580/415 20 . . . . . 310/1 310/1 2890/416 21 . . . 9/3 4/0 124/4 137/7 3027/423 22 . . . 48/1 174/6 . 222/7 3249/430 23 . . . 206/6 . . 206/6 3455/436 0 ..... ..... ..... 184/2 1/1 1/1 186/4 3641/440 1 . . 2/2 28/0 . . 30/2 3671/442 2 . . 108/7 . . . 108/7 3779/449 3 . 2/0 122/4 . . . 124/4 3903/453 4 . 88/9 . . . . 88/9 3991/462 5 5/2 2/0 20/2 40/6 . . 67/10 4058/472 6 1/0 20/1 63/5 . . . 84/6 4142/478 7 . 1/1 88/1 . . . 89/2 4231/480 8 ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... ..... 4231/480 9 . . . . . . . 4231/480 10 . . . . . . . 4231/480 11 . . 1/0 104/9 . . 105/9 4336/489 12 . . . 61/4 30/1 . 91/5 4427/494 13 . . . 10/3 57/5 11/6 78/14 4505/508 14 . . . 11/7 159/5 . 170/12 4675/520 15 . . . 1/1 188/5 . 189/6 4864/526 16 ..... ..... ..... ..... 236/5 ..... 236/5 5100/531 17 . . . 29/1 107/1 3/0 139/2 5239/533 18 . . . 1/0 2/3 187/3 190/6 5429/539 19 . . . . 85/1 106/1 191/2 5620/541 20 . . . . 187/1 19/2 206/3 5826/544 21 . 1/1 1/1 49/2 11/4 1/1 63/9 5889/553 22 . . . 224/3 1/1 . 225/4 6114/557 23 . 2/1 2/1 223/3 . . 227/5 6341/562 DAY1 31/26 338/80 439/71 816/92 1026/102 805/65 ..... 3455/436 DAY2 6/2 116/13 407/23 965/41 1064/33 328/14 . 2886/126 TOT 37/28 454/93 846/94 1781/133 2090/135 1133/79 . 6341/562