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ARRL 160-Meter Contest   2017   Dec 1   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: K3ZM
Operator(s): K3ZM
Station: K3ZM

Class: Single Op HP
QTH: Virginia
Operating Time (hrs): 30
Location: USA

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:QSOs1543Sections80Countries49Total Score524,214


Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club

Comments:     [email]     2017-12-03 18:45:46
PREPARATIONS This year set a record for the number of different repairs that were required to my listening antennas. For me, it is very therapeutic to read the 3830 write-ups from W2GD, because they have to trudge through the same sort of landscape every year, fixing a wide variety of antenna and feedline problems. I spent about nine man days fixing and upgrading RX antenna systems, including building an 800 foot “fence” all the way to my outer RX Four Square near the tide pools of the Bay and enclosing 800 feet of feedline for that antenna in conduit. I taped each joint, but was not satisfied and ultimately raised the conduit about four feet off the ground going all the way out to the antenna. This involved miles and miles of walking on uneven terrain. No well-adjusted person does such a thing. It’s a fifth of a mile to get out near the antenna, and your reward for getting there is that you have to balance on a dead pine log to walk over a deep ditch and then force your way through 120 feet of very dense eight foot tall reeds. Fortunately, this year my contractor was able to bush hog a path almost to the ditch. I had to replace not only the feedline, but also the control cable. The new cable is attached to the conduit and is thus raised well above the ground. I have made a hobby out of banging new pieces of PVC into the ground to raise any sections that were sagging. I knew I was losing it when I considered putting a level on them to make sure they looked nice. A couple more three quarter inch ground pipes had disintegrated below the ground level. Chemistry can be so annoying. All the Beverages needed extensive repair. At each juncture, I tried to improve on the installation to make life easier in the future. THE COMPETITION Things got off to a really fast start with 139 QSOs and 25 EU countries logged in the first hour. The EU’s were like fireflies on a warm July evening. With no QRN, my QSO totals for the first several hours were as follows: 139 107 121 119 110 83 77 72 64 At bedtime Saturday morning, I had 1,095 QSOs, 43 countries, 78 sections, and 179 EUs in the log. My score was 332, 354. The score was higher than last year but the multipliers were down, especially the country total. Back on the air at 2010Z. The sunset opening on Saturday was as good as the day before. The first EU in the log was OH2XX at 2018Z. Northern EU poured in all weekend, with good signals from LA, SM and OH. Saturday night was slow for me, and I got a bit bogged down. Fewer Carib and South American mults seemed available to me this year. Countries worked last year but missed this year included HK1, OA4, PY, HP1, FY5, YV1, FS, PJ7, VP5, KP4 and KH6. For the weekend, I made a total of 317 EU contacts, but many of these were dupes. No JA or VK or ZL. By far the highlight of the whole weekend was working (and hearing!) C6ADM from his hotel room in the Bahamas with his antenna lying on the floor. Brother George was there working the Hero World Challenge golf tournament and got to witness the return of Tiger Woods. K8PO would have loved to be there! Paul was an excellent golfer and a big fan of Tiger. I think we should get back to respecting the DX window from 1830 to 1835. It is very hard for DX stations to have much fun in this contest and it represents a small thank you to all the stations who are kind enough to call us in “our” event. As in each of the last 11 years here at this QTH, all contacts were logged with CT, operating under Windows 98 on a Pentium II processor. The radio is keyed through the LPT1 port off a DB-25 with a diode and resistor fashioned for me in the K2DM workshop. I am lucky to have two older brothers who have helped me over the years. That reminds me of a funny story. Back in about 1980, at a meeting of the UVa ham radio club, we were having a debate regarding our continuing efforts to get more non-hams involved in amateur radio and signed up for the licensing classes we taught. The argument centered on whether a lay person could even imagine the thrill of making their first contact, even a DX contact, on the air. Our President, W4GKA, moderated the discussion. I took the position that they could imagine it. The debate continued. Finally, in frustration, Jim, AD4J stood up and exclaimed, “How would you know? You were born with a Vibroplex in your mouth instead of a silver spoon!” And so it goes. Merry Christmas and many thanks for all the QSOs. 73, Peter K3ZM