ARRL Sweepstakes Contest, CW
Class: SO Unlimited HP
QTH: Mountain View, CA
Operating Time (hrs): 21
Total: 754 Sections = 83 Total Score = 125,164
Club: Northern California Contest Club
K3, KPA-500, Dipole @ 60ft, temporary 2-el triband wire yagi @ 35ft
This year was the first year since 2009 that I activated my home station. For the past few years in SS CW and Phone I've been a guest op at AD6Z's shack above Los Gatos, CA, but Kevin's moved, so it was time to find a new place to operate. Initially I'd thought about finding a new station host, but since this year is a focus year for NCCC in the November Sweepstakes, I felt like I could make the best contribution to the club effort by getting my own station on the air and putting as many QSOs in the log as possible. Also, I had a division win last year from Kevin's shack (Pacific Division SO/U/HP), so my need for a personal best was temporarily satisfied.
In my previous post, I laid out some overall goals for my CW effort this year. After the first weekend, I'm pretty pleased with my results, although my BIC* time was not as optimal as it should have been, On the plus side, I made the clean sweep, I'm close to my (slightly optimistic) target number of QSOs, and Murphy stayed away for the whole weekend.
I wasn't thinking clearly and committed to the club to make 800 QSOs, as I (erroneously) remembered making that many contacts in the past. What I was actually remembering was making 832 contacts from AD6Z during the second half of a split-site effort in 2009. Oops! Looking back, the best I've ever done from home was about 600 QSOs and an 80-section sweep (pre-Ontario split).
For the contest I raised my temporary 2-element wire Yagi, hanging diagonally from my big redwood tree. It's consistently about an s-unit better on receive than the multiband dipole at 60ft, which is what I would expect.
Because of my son's soccer match, I couldn't start on time, and ended up finally getting started at 2336 UTC. I was feeling fairly loud on 15, and even put together a one-hour run of 60 QSOs on 20 meters starting at 0140, which I found a little surprising given my simple antenna and 500W signal. I had a good S&P session on 40, found 80 very noisy, and conked out too early (0721Z). That was not good, as I ended up only spending 21 hours BIC.
Starting at 1340 the next morning, I started on 20 meters, and bounced back and forth between 20 and 15. 10 never seemed to be good when I listened. Sometime Sunday morning I found ONE for the sweep. Things were predictably slow on Sunday, although when I popped down to 40 for the NCCC rally I did find a few KBers there. I spent the last 2 hours on 40 meters, except for the 80-meter NCCC rally where I picked up 8 KBers.
I finished the contest with 754 QSOs and the sweep, which I am pretty pleased with. It's 30% lower than my score from last year, but then again I had 2 elements, not 5 on 20/15/10, 1/4 the power, and 3 fewer hours. It looks like I'll be able to make KB-1000 this year.
Thanks for the Qs!
* BIC == Butt In Chair