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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB   2017   Oct 28   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: P4ØT
Operator(s): VE3DZ
Station: P4ØT

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 44
Location: South America
Radios: SO2R  

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:6577132436Total Score10,942,520


Club: Contest Club Ontario

Comments:     [email]     2017-11-02 13:28:32
I was trying to rent a shack in Aruba for years with no success, that's why I took an offer to rent legendary P49V station almost with no hesitation. Of course, I realized that taking this on such a short notice would put me in the situation where I might be facing numerous challenges starting from Licensing and air tickets and finishing with station equipment planning. I started with searching for flights, because timing was the main issue, and after a lot shopping around I managed to book 2 different one-way non-refundable tickets at relatively affordable cost. By the time I booked my flights I received rather disappointing news from Ben DL6RAI who is now the new owner of the station that one the 2 radios on site is not working. Unfortunately my only small radio (K3) that I could take is under repairs now, so it bought me to the point where I had to look for the radio to borrow. Also, though I applied for a P4 license the same moment I booked my flight, I was told that I might not get it in time for the contest because the DTZ (local radio licensing authority) strictly requires to apply at least 2 months in advance. The solution with borrowed radio came unexpected when Andy AE6Y offered me his spare FT1000 which was sitting at P49Y station for years. As for the license I was in touch with DTZ and the person who was taking care of my license locally all week prior to my trip, however no promises have been made. I arrived in Aruba on Sunday night having 5 full days for preparation and had a nice dinner with Ulf DL5AXX of the WRTC-2018 committee and his wife at the nearby bar. They were on vacation and were supposed to leave for Germany the next day. The next Monday I finally got verbal approval to use P40T (actual license was received on Tuesday) so I could concentrate on station setup. Major disappointment was S7 line noise which peaked from the NW (U.S. direction) and actually was affecting all bands. There were no receiving antennas on site and I didn't have time to prepare anything at home... I did what everything possible to set up one radio, interfaces and laptops and had some time to play on a radio for a bit, waiting for Andy AE6Y to arrive on the island and lend me a 2nd radio. I mostly operated CW before the contest and it looked to me that I could probably tolerate that noise ... On Thursday I came to visit Andy and collect a FT1000 from him. He mentioned the radio hasn't been used in years. When I brought it to station and started to hook up, I realized that radio produces very little output power, around 10-15 watts on lower bands which could only drive ACOM amp up to around 250-300 watts on peaks. 20 meters and higher seemed to be Okay. Probably, some LPF board problem (known for old FT1000's). Oh well, 300 watts is much better than no radio at all! Friday was mostly spent figuring out how to do recording and setting up voice keyer since all the interfaces on the spot were relatively new to me. Anyway, I started the Contest fully equipped with SO2R on 2 laptops with voice keyers. Two radios were on 20 and 40 and though feeling a bit rusty I was still doing 200+ an hour. Shortly after 0200 Z I switched to low bands and just started to run 80 when all of a sudden terrible noise appeared and wiped out all bands for me. Old timers should remember how an old vacuum cleaner or old hair dryer would sound on the old TV set. :-) So it sounded exactly like that, being S9+ on the meter! I listen to it now on the recording and it still amazes me how strong it was and it still upsets me big time! 160 and 80 were not usable at all. Since 20 meters band was already closed, my only option was 40, so I tried to run, pointing antenna to the segment where the noise was the weakest (still up to S9) which allowed me to work the most strongest stations and still maintain 100+ rate for another 4 or 5 hours using single radio... At this point I want to apologize for being an alligator and not being able to copy good half of the stations in the pileup. The noise disappeared about 4 or 5 hours later, but EU was long gone on 160 and even 80 by then... All day Saturday I was trying to reach what I've lost at night and I was moving a lot of mults here and there - too many to mention, but I'm grateful to all the guys - some of them never believed that contact was possible on other band at that particular time. I caught a bit of EU opening on 10 around 18-19 Z or so, though I was still struggling pulling weak signals out of that (power line?) noise... I had a lot of expectations to catch up with 80 and 160 later on Saturday, but that other noise popped up in the evening with exactly same strength, and it lasted longer this time which resulted for me in about only 50 Q's on 80 and ZERO QSO on 160... :(( But all in all I am pretty happy with my score under these circumstances. It was my first visit to Aruba and I really like the island. The station has great potential, if the noise issue is solved. The trip just needed better planning. I thank once again those who were involved in making this operation possible, especially Andy AE6Y for lending me his radio, and John W2GD who came on Wednesday to fix the 40 m beam. John and Alex KU1CW were really helpful giving me a lot of tips and information about Aruba. Thanks to all who moved for me and who had patient to call me! :-) Now back to cold one for the CQ WW CW (Zone 2). Hope to work you all from VE2IM next month!. 73 Yuri VE3DZ / P40T