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CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW   2018   Jan 26   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: OT6M
Operator(s): ON9CC PA5MW PC5A
Station: OT6M

Class: Multi-Op HP
QTH: JO20ws
Operating Time (hrs): 37:16
Location: Northern Europe

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:QSOs1382State/Prov41Countries78Total Score943,789

 

Club: Bavarian Contest Club

Comments:     [email]     2018-02-01 18:29:58
Fun at Ham Radio contesting is about sharing joy and learning from incremental upgrades. This season we exchanged the previous 18m(60ft) Spiderpole TX vertical for the 26m(88ft) version. About 2mtrs(7ft) from the top we strung a wire horizontal to the main 10-40m tower, thus creating an Inverted L. Some chicken wire was added to the existing ground radials. The previously used 18m Spiderpole(60ft) was moved to a different location, set up for future 80m use. The second upgrade was adding a Hi-Z 4-8 Pro 8-Circle RX array. It was setup in the 34m(113ft) diameter layout, serving also 40 and 80m. As with every top performing product you need to provide a top environment to enable its full merits. From others we already learned that any such system does not work well in a backyard, it needs space to deliver its full merits. At OT6M there is several acres of field few months (only) available to install it remote from the houses to guarantee a low noise operation. A setup of 4 times 7m50 (25ft) thick fiber poles created a stretched out rectangular top-wire from which all 8 RX vertical wires were hung. The positions are the typical 45degree intervals starting at QTF 0 deg. Due to the recent extreme storm in Europe and probably some initial wire stretching, the bottom part of the vertical wires were touching the grass for the first meter or so but that did not seem to matter all too much. From the 6 beverages from previous years, only two reversible beverages where installed to cover QTF 35/215 and QTF 315/135. Additionally a K9AY dual loop antenna and a separate small High-Angle RX antenna were used. All antennas were operated via the comfortable RAS-x2 desktop switch boxes from AY-Solutions. So how did they perform? The 8-C shack operation box at first seemed just 'an ugly black little box' with no text printed on it anywhere. A very light rotation knob and 8 amber colored leds next to the obligatory on/off switch and that was it. During the next 48hrs this proved to be just perfect; minimal visual/manual stress vs maximal operational comfort. On-air it was immediate apparent that the 8-C would deliver about 6-8 dB less gain vs the long beverages but was much more quiet, offering a clear signal to noise advantage. Directing it towards the 150-200m distant houses some 2-4dB extra noise was noticed. On loud signals one can rotate through 3 directions to work the other, with one clear maximum. At very weak signals only one direction can be found. The long beverages delivered a much louder output in every of their 4 directions. Very distant DX would be delivered with a typical punch along with a different sounding, more lively constantly changing sky noise. In a direct comparison between the 8-C and the long beverages both offered the same result at decoding & making that QSO with remote DX. Occasionally the one or the other was clearly better, probably due to the incoming sky wave angle rotation. However, since the 8-C was quieter, one would often prefer its offered listening comfort. On CQ (RUN-mode) the beverage, offering less F/B and having several small vertical lobes, would allow you to hear the nearby European callers. The almost surgical pattern of the 8-C provided a clear risk by not hearing any of those at all. Only by rotating the knob an 90deg to 180deg offset caller would suddenly appear at S7 - 9. At weak distant signals the beverages sometimes would offer a quick QSB vs a slower QSB at the 8-C. At weak local European QRP signals the sharp&clean 8-C pattern offered the best option for a quicker reliable QSO. Short conclusion; both antenna systems are a perfect combo for the station, next to now being able to hear in different directions with two operators. Prior to the contest we were offered some nice racks of spare ribs form a slow cooking BBQ, served by the station owner Frank ON9CC. In the past our group-Multi-Single contest weekends were often preceded by a mutual dinner at a local restaurant or such. In the contest it was clear to us that the new and longer TX vertical (Inv-L) would better punch through the pile-ups. The first night offered great propagation towards the USA. Westcoast was also pretty loud and we could hear many CA working Mid and East-USA, but ...never work them. At our sun-rise we caught the first AZ and NM, ending the first stint at 651/38/70. The Athena statistics option to N1MM showed we were on an advantage track! The second evening went OK, till about 21:00 UTC where the band slowly folded and things turned worse. The absence of openings to the USA during this second night affected our accumulated score such that at 05:00 on Sunday we were already break-even with the 2017 result. FM5, PY and YE1K could not be worked through the pile-up mess. CO and LU were heard all night and early morning but our 1K5 was never ever rewarded with a single "?". At sun-rise some appearing W1/W2's were difficult to work but we finally caught OR, MO and UT. And again there was AZ and NM to be worked but no CA. Strap in for a final evening where again the absence of condx made all contesters go havoc on new appearing CQ'ers. The 8-C proved its merits here as it offered several of those QRP's much quicker. The 7Z took several hours to work as did the only heard JA that evening (JH4UYB). At the closing hour, while making the best out of all new thingies at the station, we still managed an all-time high score. Already thinking about any future upgrades, 2018 showed again that simply Try-Do-Learn-Enjoy-Together is what this is all about. Thanks for the QSO and cu next year! Station: IC7800 and Orion (interlocked), ACOM2000 @ 1k5W Antennas: TRX: inverted-L on 26m Spiderpole, full-size dipole. RX: Hi-Z 4-8 Pro 8-Circle, 300m reversible beverage 315°-135°, 240m reversible beverage 35°-215°, K9AY. Mark, PA5MW Aurelio, PC5A Frank, ON9CC/OT6M