The club station was reserved for the weekend which meant that I needed to find a place to operate.  My plan was to operate directly on the water.  The only problem with this is it is time consuming and stressful to setup a temporary station on generator power while operating out of a van.  The opportunity came about for me to operate from Phil’s, ZF1PB’s, house.  Phil has a TH-11 at 75′ but did not have any antennas available to use for 40, 80, or 160.  Phil’s house is less than 1,000 feet from open water to the North and as a major bonus, there is a canal that runs north and south behind his house. On air tests before the contest confirmed that the TH-11 was loud on the high bands, but I was still left with the dilemma of putting together simple but effective antennas for the low bands.  A nearly full size quarter wave vertical was erected for 75 meters and a coil was used at the base to match the vertical on 160.  Instant pileups were generated on 75 meters into Europe before the contest so I felt good about this band.  However, RBN reports on 160 were puny.  I was hoping that I could get around 35 mults on 160.  Anything above that would be gravy.  So that just left 40 meters.  My choices were an inverted V at 60 feet, a sloper starting at 60 feet or a 1/4 wave vertical.  I opted with the vertical and was able to position it hanging over the side of the boat parked out in the canal.  However, this put the 40 meter vertical within 15 feet of the 80 meter vertical.  The SWR was all jacked up on 40 and it was clear that the big vertical was not going to let the little vertical play.  So we put up a sloper and RBN reports into the U.S. and Europe looked decent.  As in the CQWW SSB contest I believed that I was sacrificing some gain in order to have some comforts such as a roof over my head, a secure place to operate from, and a reliable power source.

Good conditions were expected for the weekend and Mr. Sun didn’t disappoint.  I decided to enter the SOAB low power category.  I could have brought out my AL 811-H amplifier but I just didn’t feel like I had the hardware to hang with the big boys.  In other words, I didn’t want to get my ass kicked by 8P5A.  It seems that the traditional wisdom is to start the contest on 20 meters but 15 sounded good and I was able to peel off a 300 hour on 15 to start things off.  The band was in good shape and open to all parts of the country simultaneously.  15 and 20 were so good that I didn’t hit 40 meters until about 4 hours into the contest.  40 seemed to be in good shape but this would turn out to be an illusion created by the mixture of packet and a rare prefix.  I was never able to have sustained runs on 40 meters and it would end up being my Achilles heel during the contest.   I even went to the length of changing the sloper into an inverted V during the contest in hopes of having a better signal but bad RF on the dipole prevented me from using it.  More time, including a free style trip 30 feet up on the tower was used to reconfigure the antenna back into a sloper for the second night of the contest.  Climbing a tower on no sleep is not a very good idea. I mentally kept telling myself to not let go as I was retrieving the coax off the side of the tower.

Signals on 80 and 160 were great throughout the contest.  The noise was also very low which made 160 usable even though I didn’t have a separate receive antenna.  However, changing the vertical from 80 to 160 required me to run out of the trailer and change an alligator clip in order to put the coil in line with the coax.  This made using two radios to instantly move mults between 80 and 160 was impossible.  I set up lots of skeds but most of them were busts.  Usually there ended up being someone on the set frequency by the time I got there.  If I ever do this again I need to make skeds at some odd ball frequency like 1876.  The east coast in particular (meaning the boys in  MA) were really loud on top band.  Great conditions into Europe and the Caribbean, are there any negatives of living on the East coast, besides snow?  I was having better success running on 80 than 40 so I kept the run radio on 80 during times when I should have been on 40 meters.

Just achieved 7,000 Qs and 7 Million points!

Just achieved 7,000 Qs and 7 Million points!

Going into the second morning I set a goal of 7,000 Qs and 7 million points.  It was doable, but I’d have to average around 140 Qs for the last 12 hours.  I started to get bummed out around 1700 Z when I was behind the 140 Q pace.   Ten meters opened late and all of my competitors were on 15 meters while I was still on 20 meters.  In fairness though, 20 meters was quite productive for me for several hours Sunday morning while most others seemed to be on 15.  I worked a ton of guys in FL, AL, GA, and TX during this time on 20 all with very good signals.  Around 1800  it seemed as though everyone got finished with church and lunch or whatever else they were doing and decided to turn the radio on.  Finally the rates picked up and sustained 175 + rates happened for the last five hours of the contest.  I QSYed to 20 meters for the last 15 minutes of the contest and was able to peel of 71 Qs during that time before the clock struck 0000  The last two minutes was spent trying to work a couple of VE5 stations that I made a sked with on 80 meters.  Unfortunately, that move was a bust.

A huge thanks to Phil, ZF1PB, and his family for allowing me to invade their back yard and do basically whatever I wanted to with the space.  His land is on reclaimed swamp and I have no doubt that he has above average ground.  I also believe that he is seeing some big time benefit from his canal and proximity to the bay to the north.  In other words, Phil has a great radio location.   My only regret is not being able to put out a decent signal on 40 meters.  Oh wait, I lied I have two regrets.  The exchange I used was  a horrible decision.  After saying it three hundred times in the first hour I literally was unable to say it intelligibly.  The high power ops just say K.  My dad suggested that I say C, which is a great idea except for all of the blank stares I would have received.  However if it was promoted then people would catch on quite quickly.  I received a lot of comments on my choice of exchange.  The last couple of hours (by this time I’m feeling a little loopy from the lack of sleep) I pondered the idea of making a comment about needing a speech therapist.  Then I reminded myself that I was a speech therapist.  I tried some techniques for producing my exchange more intelligibly which may have made some small difference.  I ended up using the voice keyer for many of the contacts for both the exchange and the TU message.

Thanks for all of the moves and contacts.

73,

Kevin ZF2DX

CALLSIGN: ZF2DX
CONTEST: ARRL-DX-SSB
CATEGORY-OPERATOR: SINGLE-OP
CATEGORY-TRANSMITTER: ONE
OPERATORS: ZF2DX

————– Q S O R a t e S u m m a r y ———————
Hour 160 80 40 20 15 10 Rate Total Pct
——————————————————————–
0000 0 0 0 0 298 0 298 298 4.2
0100 0 0 1 96 175 0 272 570 8.0
0200 0 0 0 272 0 0 272 842 11.7
0300 0 0 0 261 0 0 261 1103 15.4
0400 0 0 121 102 0 0 223 1326 18.5
0500 46 110 2 0 0 0 158 1484 20.7
0600 28 61 72 0 0 0 161 1645 22.9
0700 4 51 9 0 0 0 64 1709 23.8
0800 8 18 10 0 0 0 36 1745 24.3
0900 5 45 34 0 0 0 84 1829 25.5
1000 6 46 16 0 0 0 68 1897 26.5
1100 1 17 40 27 0 0 85 1982 27.6
1200 0 0 0 99 1 0 100 2082 29.0
1300 0 0 0 53 2 50 105 2187 30.5
1400 0 0 0 0 3 202 205 2392 33.4
1500 0 0 0 0 28 152 180 2572 35.9
1600 0 0 0 0 58 126 184 2756 38.4
1700 0 0 0 0 98 78 176 2932 40.9
1800 0 0 0 0 46 179 225 3157 44.0
1900 0 0 0 0 23 211 234 3391 47.3
2000 0 0 0 0 241 8 249 3640 50.8
2100 0 0 0 2 3 199 204 3844 53.6
2200 0 0 0 0 125 92 217 4061 56.6
2300 0 0 0 1 202 1 204 4265 59.5
0000 0 0 1 0 161 0 162 4427 61.8
0100 0 0 2 158 13 0 173 4600 64.2
0200 7 0 1 124 0 0 132 4732 66.0
0300 22 1 0 126 0 0 149 4881 68.1
0400 0 42 13 57 0 0 112 4993 69.6
0500 21 0 48 54 0 0 123 5116 71.4
0600 17 48 0 5 0 0 70 5186 72.3
0700 7 3 0 2 0 0 12 5198 72.5
0800 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5198 72.5
0900 13 10 7 0 0 0 30 5228 72.9
1000 0 67 18 0 0 0 85 5313 74.1
1100 21 3 42 4 0 0 70 5383 75.1
1200 0 0 3 95 1 0 99 5482 76.5
1300 0 0 0 116 2 0 118 5600 78.1
1400 0 0 0 126 0 0 126 5726 79.9
1500 0 0 0 46 23 67 136 5862 81.8
1600 0 0 0 0 0 177 177 6039 84.2
1700 0 0 0 0 0 90 90 6129 85.5
1800 0 0 0 0 19 134 153 6282 87.6
1900 0 0 0 0 15 163 178 6460 90.1
2000 0 0 0 0 51 128 179 6639 92.6
2100 0 0 0 0 58 119 177 6816 95.1
2200 0 0 0 0 139 11 150 6966 97.2
2300 0 2 1 69 131 0 203 7169 100.0
——————————————————
Total 206 524 441 1895 1916 2187 7169

Gross QSOs=7368 Dupes=199 Net QSOs=7169

Unique callsigns worked = 4376

The best 60 minute rate was 298/hour from 0000 to 0059
The best 30 minute rate was 322/hour from 0234 to 0303
The best 10 minute rate was 342/hour from 0143 to 0152

The best 1 minute rates were:
8 QSOs/minute 6 times.
7 QSOs/minute 24 times.
6 QSOs/minute 122 times.
5 QSOs/minute 278 times.
4 QSOs/minute 414 times.
3 QSOs/minute 539 times.
2 QSOs/minute 543 times.
1 QSOs/minute 472 times.

There were 278 bandchanges and 91 (1.3%) probable 2nd radio QSOs.

—————– C o n t i n e n t S u m m a r y —————–
160 80 40 20 15 10 Total Pct
———————————————————————
North America 206 522 440 1894 1915 2186 7163 99.9
South America 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Europe 0 2 1 0 0 1 4 0.1
Asia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Oceania 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0.0
————————————————————–
Total 206 524 441 1895 1916 2187 7169

Number of letters in callsigns
Letters # worked
—————–
3 1
4 2683
5 2875
6 1589
7 12
8 4
9 5

—————— C o u n t r y S u m m a r y ——————
Country 160 80 40 20 15 10 Total Pct
——————————————————————-
F 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
GI 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.0
I 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.0
J6 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.0
K 197 492 410 1787 1809 2075 6770 94.4
KG4 0 1 2 6 4 7 20 0.3
KH6 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.0
KL 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.0
OE 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
VE 9 29 27 101 101 104 371 5.2
YB 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0.0
——————————————————————-
Total 206 524 441 1895 1916 2187 7169

———— M u l t i p l i e r S u m m a r y ————
Mult 160 80 40 20 15 10 Total Pct
————————————————————-
K 197 492 410 1787 1809 2075 6770 94.4
VE 9 29 27 101 101 104 371 5.2
KG4 0 1 2 6 4 7 20 0.3
OE 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
I 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.0
F 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.0
J6 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.0
YB 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0.0
GI 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0.0
KL 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.0
KH6 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0.0
——————————————————
Total 206 524 441 1895 1916 2187 7169

Multi-band QSOs
—————
1 bands 2857
2 bands 784
3 bands 414
4 bands 160
5 bands 104
6 bands 57

The following stations were worked on 6 bands:

W3MF K3LR W2CG W3LPL K3ZO K3ZU
WK1Q WE3C AA3B NN1SS K3WW N4KG
K9CT N4TZ N8BI K1LT KB3WD AA9A
W1TJL W0UO NV9L N0NI K3IE VE3CX
N6RO NA4K AB4B K8AZ K6ND K3UL
KG0US K4VV W6WB N3RS W1UE W1GD
N2IC NW3Y W4RM NS3T NU5B K3IPK
W9RE NA8V N2GZ AA1K WC2L W2YC
VY2ZM W1CTN VE3PN KM2O K5EK N2WKS
W1NT K8CX K5GO

——- S i n g l e B a n d Q S O s ——
Band 160 80 40 20 15 10
———————————————-
QSOs 51 110 74 801 764 1057

2 thoughts on “ARRL DX SSB

  • March 11, 2015 at 1:02 am
    Permalink

    It’s always great to hear you on Pat. I’m very greatful for the mult on 160. You had a nice signal on top band.

    73-Kevin

  • March 11, 2015 at 12:58 am
    Permalink

    Great summary, enjoyed your recollections. fun with single band effort, but 700 Q’s first 24 hours then 250 the second 24. Sorry I didn’t work you on 6 bands, I wasn’t thinking properly. Haven’t seem the WP4 score, but surely you won your class. Good Going Pat

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