Sunday, March 04, 2007

ARRL DX in the bag

I drove out to the K1TTT contest station on Friday afternoon to help out with the ARRL DX contest effort and put some points in the log for the Yankee Clipper Contest Club. If you've not had a chance to operate at a really big station, take my advice and do it the very first opportunity you have!
In one sense, this is about as far afield from the minimalistic equipment one of my 100 Pound DXpeditions might get. Dave Robbins has built an antenna farm that is extremely impressive. The towers are immediately visible when you pull into the property, of course, but there are also beverage antennas extending deep into the woods and four square antennas tucked away out of sight that really pack a wallop. Just learning to run all the equipment, antenna switching, logging software, and radios at each position was an interesting challenge. Then, there was the operating.
Dave and I exchanged email messages last week and he asked me what level of experience I'd had in contesting. Not wanting to get in over my head, I told him that I should probably be assigned roles where I can learn, help, but not jeopardize our score. I also told him I'd need to leave some time Sunday long before the contest was over as I need to drive back home, pack, and make my early flight out of Logan on Monday.
I operated 18 hours out of the roughly 33 hours I was there (I bailed out at 1 AM Sunday morning). In all, I worked all bands during one shift or another except 10m. Of course missing 10m at this point in the sunspot cycle was no great loss!
There were a number of high-points in those 18 hours including working Hawaii on 160m and some QRP stations from very remote places.
Here are the preliminary and unofficial scores for K1TTT:

Band QSOs Pts Cty
1.8 68 168 41
3.5 471 1341 82
7 404 1173 83
14 1885 5607 117
21 541 1593 93
28 31 81 12
Total 3400 9963 428
Score : 4,264,164

Now that I've seen some of these antennas in action, I'm going back to all my antenna books and start reading about them again. And, now that I've had a chance to try some of this equipment in a contest situation, I've got some new items on my wish list. The Heil Pro Set Quite Phone headset is tops. It was comfortable, well-built, and of course had that great Heil sound on both transmit and receive. I'll be ordering in that this week. Recommended.
Tomorrow's blog entry will be back on-topic. I also hope to catch up on the rest of the email in my inbox.


Post a Comment

<< Home