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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW   2004   Nov 27   Claimed Score

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

Class: SOAB(A) HP
QTH: Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 40
Location: South America

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:5130172543Total Score10,810,085


Club: Frankford Radio Club

Comments:     [email]     2004-12-07 18:52:24
Station: SO1R - IC756ProII, TenTec Titan, 1KW Antennas (two towers): 160M Vertical Dipole - K2KQ design (55' vertical) 160/80 Inverted V @ 70' 3 ele 80M wire beam toward EU @ 60' 2 ele 40M wire beam (DE + Director) toward US/JA @ 65' 4 ele 40M wire beam toward EU @ 60' Force 12 4 ele 20M yagi @ 72' Force 12 5 ele 10M yagi @ 77' Force 12 5 ele 15M yagi @ 82' Force 12 C4 @ 62' 800' beverage toward EU 450' beverage toward US/JA 2M Packet courtesy of P43L-8 running DX Spider A Short Story: Arrived on Aruba the Sunday afternoon before CQWW CW. With a full week available I was all ready to do some major repair work on the 2 ele F12 40M yagi, replace the upper guys on the 60' tower, and paint both towers. Unfortunately Murphy was there waiting for me once again. This fall Aruba has had more rain than anyone there can remember - truely record amounts. In just three weeks, I could see how things had changed vegetation had sprouted everywhere. Out in the field between the towers, this new plant growth was masking the location of the cactus...making any antenna work very difficult...and dangerous, unless of course you are in need of accupuncture treatments. It rained on and off every day all week, and not much sunshine in between storms either. If I were a regular tourist I'd have been upset with these circumstances. But as a station owner I was more concerned about not having enough slots of rain free time to get the planned work done. Complicating matters I discovered Tuesday the 10M beam was broken. A year earlier there had been some coax damage due to a freewheeling rotor. Apparently the temporary repair made at the time had failed, or maybe I just didn't notice how bad it was during the PH weekend since the SWR curve was 'acceptable' in the phone band. The fix was replacement of the choke/coax jumper. Unfortunately this required releasing the beam from the mast and tilting the boom to reach the feedpoint. To make a long story short, it took three tower climbs over a 5 hour span to get this job done due to sudden heavy rain squalls...220 feet of climbing for a relatively simple repair...not to mention the discomfort of wet shoes all day long. Got lucky on Thursday. We had a relatively long 5 hour window of no rain from 1 to 6 p.m. - managed to hussle and paint both towers. Not exactly perfect conditions for painting, it even sprinkled rain at one point, but you can't always choose the ideal times to do things when the time budget is so limited. At least I left Aruba with two towers that had no visible rust. The trick now will be to do the needed touch-up painting on every future trip. Once the cancer (rust) starts, it spreads quickly in this harsh environment. Salt and wind are relentlessly distructive here. With the constant rain, I quickly gave up any hope of having sufficient time to replace the guy wires...or repair of the 40M beam. Maybe in Feb/March during a trip for ARRL DX. Its the social opportunities on these trips to P40 that make them so enjoyable. On Monday and Tuesday evenings I had dinner with Bob, WX4G/P40J. We've known each other a long time, but hadn't been on the island together for 2 years. Then on Wednesday John, W6LD/P40L, arrived. We'd never met and decided to get acquainted over dinner that evening, and discuss station preparations, M/S strategy, propagation, etc. His other two operators would be arriving Thursday and Friday.....just in time for what ended up being a very successful M/S operation. Thanksgiving dinner was also shared with W6LD and new arrival KX7M....a meal of baby back ribs and steak at Tony Roma's. Not exactly your traditional Thanksgiving menu, but it seemed to fit the surroundings quite nicely. A pina collata or two were perfect too! Friday afternoon before the contest went to town with P40J to have lunch and do some souvineer shopping. We searched for the best t-shirt buys...and went home happy. How do other operators manage to sleep soundly before a contest like this? I'm so excited it seems impossible to fall asleep. I think out of three hours lying on the bed, I might have doozed off for less than 2 of those hours. Started the contest on 20M. That lasted just 30 minutes. Although conditions seemed OK, there was no real volume. Did manage to log some nice SA, AF and PAC mults before moving down to 40M. The rate on 40 was up over 200/hour ....mostly EU and US but some AF/SA. The turning point of the contest for me was 0240Z when I went to 160M. I made a conscious transition from contester to DXer. No doubt this eliminated any real chance to be competitive in my entry class, but I was having such a great time working DX on Top Band. Conditions were exceptional, the QRN level was elevated by tolerable with narrow filter settings. Over the next 1.5 hours I ran 227 stations in 10 zones and 30 countries. It was a very special thrill to work good friend Willie, UA9BA/UA9AYA...for my first Zone 17 contact ever on 160 during a contest from P40 over the last 18 years. Later in the evening added 3D2XA to the growing list of 'firsts' on 160. From that point on I didn't feel the need to push real hard, decided to just have fun, run when the opportunities presented themselves, and work as many mults as I could muster. Other firsts were breaking the 30 zone and 100 country marks on 40M, and exceeding 20 zones and 70 countries on 80M. The packet system worked almost flawlessly. A filter was installed to only receive spots from Zones 4 thru 13. Got caught by the CT glitch which impeded prevented identification of new mults in the Announce window - fortunately I realized there was a problem early, but it still cost me some easy ones. The best run of the weekend was another personal record and a real adrenalin rush. On 15M, between 2006 and 2105 UTC, 278 stations were put in the log in 60 minutes. It was the perfect setup. I hadn't worked many W's on 15M up to this point in the contest, signals were very loud, and it was relatively easy to get at least one complete call on every over. The run was almost exclusively W's.... it was like working the rosters of the FRC, YCCC, PVRC, SMC, and NCCC combined. The Last 10 rate meter on CT was above 300 almost continually. And I sent the entire run by hand on my 40 year old vibroplex single lever paddle using a 35+ year old FRC keyer. For me, this was one of those great moments in contesting - to be remembered for many years to come. Things seemed to fall apart somewhat the second day. Overslept through sunrise, and conditions were not as good on any of the higher bands. 10M was noticably down, and the EU opening was shorter than the first day. So I spent more time than I should have chasing new mults instead of running. The highlight of the day was working A61AJ on 80M a full 2.5 hours before local sunset. After the contest we had our traditional post-contest dinner. Its always great to swap stories and results. Attending were P40J/WX4G, P40L (W6LD, N6XI, KX7M), P40Q/K0DQ + XYL, and P43P + XYL. I think it might be true to say more points were generated from Aruba per square mile than any other country in the world. Congratulations to Ben, DL6FBL for his record setting effort from 9Y4ZC. WELL DONE OM! Monday was teardown day. Its like taking apart a 4A FD station single-handed, rolling up over 2500 feet of cables, wire and rope. Nearly missed the plane home. Special thanks to NO2R, W2NO and W2RQ for their assistance getting my xcvr, amplifier and other station equipment repaired and ready for CQWW CW. 73, John W2GD