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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW   2013   Nov 23   Claimed Score

Click on a call below for a list of all the contests for which that call sign is listed as an operator. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the claimed score.

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

Class: SOAB(A) LP
QTH: Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 43
Location: South America

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:4756174610Total Score10,979,136


Club: Frankford Radio Club

Comments:     [email]     2013-11-27 13:10:33
Station: K3, 100w, Win-Test Software Antennas: 160 Vertical Dipole, 160/80 Inverted V, 3el 80m wire beam, 4el 40m wire beam, F12 Delta 240, F12 C31XR, F12 C3, Beverages NE, NW, E/W, N/S Not So Brief Comments: Had to cancel the planned trip for CQWW PH when my XYL broke her foot and needed surgery in mid-October....the first CQWW event I'd missed in over 35 years. Rebooked those October flights for ARRL DX CW 2014 in February - see you then! Arrived on Aruba on the Monday afternoon before the was notably less humid than normal and this would continue for the entire week, no rain at all. Also observed their was less growth of everything, it had been a dry fall, making access to beverage feedpoints much easier this time aournd. Low humidity is a godsend when you are need to do several days of time driven outdoor antenna and tower work. Quick assessment of resources upon arrival - beams are intact and all showing normal SWR readings. 160m vertical dipole is missing it's feedline. NW, N/S and E/W beverages are down, but just have broken wires in several places. 800 foot NE bev wire intact but termination resistor assembly needs repair. Dinner with old friends K6AW, W6LD, and W0YK Monday evening was quite enjoyable. By Tuesday afternoon at sundown (following an 11 hour workday), most of the important antenna work at P40W was done. 2200 feet of feedlines and control cabling had been unrolled and connected, all beverages repaired, and 700 feet of Yagi elements on the 4el 40m and 3el 80m wire beams aimed toward EU are deployed using 1500' of nylon string to support the element ends. K3 is set up, and TX and RX antenna switching systems (40+ year old B&W rotary coax switches) hooked up and tested. Some casual operating operating confirmed the antennas were in fact functioning normally. Low bands sound exceptionally quiet which will remain the case all week...several EU and AF contacts made on 160 and 80 low power. Part of the workplan is to paint both of the 60 foot towers...corrosion from the heavy salt air on Aruba is a never ending problem. On Wednesday the 60' tower rebuilt last fall was painted again and on Thursday the top 40 feet of the main tower supporting the C31XR and 2el 40 got a fresh coat. These are old Rohn 25G towers...which have seen at least 30+ years of service in the US and now P4....they continue to need plenty of TLC to survive. Dinner again Tuesday evening with the P40L team with Mike N7ML having joining the party that afternoon. These guys are setting up a serious M/2 station a mile down the road from my QTH. Tuesday evening after dinner hooked up my Titan amplifier. Enjoyed all of 30 minutes running stations on 160m before hearing something go 'pop' in the power supply and the amp would no longer work. Sigh....had planned a SOABHP (A) effort, so it was now time to rethink the available options. Tracked down the two other Titan power supplies on the island but discovered they both were also non-functional. One other issue ....the HamIII rotator which turns the C31XR/2el 40 is rotating very very slowly. Keep testing it over the next few days but it doesn't fail. Decide not to do a rotator swap....something that would turn out later to be a significant mistake on my part. Wednesday evening we had another group dinner, this time Valery, R5GA/P40F joined the party. He tells us about problems he is having with one of the Alpha amplifiers and the beverage at P49V which apparently has fallen into disrepair since CQWW PH. Friday morning of the contest, P43A and I rented the fire company ladder truck to repair an element on P43MR's Tennadyne T12 LPA and install a new truss cable. In the process we discovered a thrust bearing is ceased preventing rotation....the Aruban envirnment is so demanding and unforgiving. Afterward a quick trip to the food store to purchase the weekend's compliment of 'contest food' (microwave pasta dinners, malta drinks, mango juice, coffee, cereral, milk, and a variety of yummy cookies) I took a final walk of the beverages before retiring to take a pre-contest 3 hour nap. At the start of the contest, after observing fairly good reliability of the DSL connection all week, decided a SOAB LP(A) entry would be the most fun, allow a broader observation of the contest 'action' and propagation by watching the cluster spots, and there was the prospect of a new world record in the class. Thanks go to N3RD for some very last minute help installing filters so I would only see NA and SA callouts on the NC7J cluster. Had learned earlier in the day my good friend and fellow K5D DXpedition team member NP4Z would also be entering SOABLP(A) so I knew beforehand there would be very real competition in the class. Hope Felipe did well. The actual contest is now a blur. The week before the contest I'd been developing a progressively worse case of broncitis and would manage to 'hack' my way through the event. Sure glad this wasn't a phone weekend. A few observations about the actual operating part of CQWW CW 2013: Conditions were exceptionally quiet for South America in November. I could actually listen on the 40, 80 and 160 TX antennas effectively. Most years the QRN level is S7 to S9+ on these this was a welcome turn of events and contributed to decent runs on 80. But the beverages worked the best they have in years. No local line noise or plasma TVs this time. Likewise, the enhanced sunspot numbers and low A/K index values supported middle of the night Long Path openings on 15 and 10 to SEA. Its been a decade since this occured reliably. 160m seemed to suffer from either absorption or spotlight propagation both nights, particularly the first night, when compared to pre-contest observations. Openings to EU were weak and not particularly fun for a low power entrant. Overall, a disappintment, but not completely unexpected. 80m seemed strong both nights. Felt loud with the 3el 80 wire beam to EU. Was pleasantly surprised when seemingly weak unworkable multipliers would come back to my calls...perhaps there are just so many ops out there with great ears! In retrospect I should have run more on 40m both nights but being assisted this time, finding and working mults turned out to be effective using the cluster spots. Lost connectivity about a half dozen times over the course of the contest....which required I get out of the chair and climb two stories in the house to reset the modem each time. Call that a big PITA. LOST the rotator on the C31/2el 40 tower about five hours into the contest. The brake released OK but it would not turn. Control box checked out OK too. This impacted my running and mult chasing the rest of the way since the C31XR and 40m beam were stuck at about 15 degrees. It added an element of disappointment in my thinking of course. Ended up doing too much DXing and not enough running as evidenced by a relatively low QSO total for the entire weekend. The smaller rotating C3S at 60' did an OK job the rest of the weekend, but it isn't nearly as effective as the larger C31XR. The higher bands were what you would expect in a high sunspot event. Activity was spreadout for nearly 200 Khz on 15 and 10 both days. Running high in the band seemed to be the norm for the big stations....which made finding spots to CQ low in the band relatively easy this time (advantageous for LP and QRP stations in my opinion). After the rotator stopped working I made the decision to maximize mults in lieu of rate. Not a good strategy to maximize one's score, but it was very high on the operator fun scale. At the half way point, had 5 million points in the log. Using the X2+10% formula, it looked like the final score would be 11 meg. Came very close to that goal. Finished out the contest working TF3SG at 2359 for a double mult on 40m. NICE! Thanks to all of the stations that were willing to move through several bands for new multipliers over the weekend. This is critcal for SO1R guys like me. On Monday morning enjoyed a post-contest breakfast at P40L....cooked up by W0YK. We compared results and events of the weekend. That evening another group dinner including R5GA/P40F completed the social activities of the week. Went through the obligatory K3 learning curve this past week. Still haven't quite mastered all of the 'buttons' and features, and need to find more effective AGC settings. Found myself fiddling with the RF gain control far to much. But overall, the radio is a keeper and provided what I'll call 'clear channel' reception all weekend. But next time I'll bring the companion P3 unit....I missed the visual display previously enjoyed on my IC756Pro2. Monday and Tuesday were again days of labor taking down the wire beams, and rolling up the two thousand feed of feedlines and control cables that help make P40W perform so well. This is not a plug and play more like a 4A FD. Changed out the broken HamIII rotator preparation for ARRL DX CW in February. When United Airlines told me they wanted $265 in luggage fees to transport my overweight amplifier back to the states, I upgraded to Business Class for only and additional $218, which included allowance for two 70 lb bags at no additional charge....a real deal! I want to thank W0YK and K6AW for their suggestions regarding K3 settings and operation, N3RD for cluster setup assistance, and of course my host family on Aruba who for nearly 20 years now have tolerated my presence and blanketing their yard with so many cables, and have been so supportive in many ways. Happy Holidays Everyone ... and look forward to working many of you this winter on 160 meters during the ARRL160, TBDC, and CQ160 CW contests. 73, John W2GD/P40W