M6T CQ 160 CW 09 by G4TSH

on Saturday 31 January 2009 - 09:12:19 | by mrsadmin
Contest : CQ World Wide 160-meter Contest
Callsign : M6T
Mode : CW
Category : Single Operator (SO)
Overlay : ---
Band(s) : Single band (SB) 160 m
Class : High Power (HP)
Zone/State/... : 14
Locator : JO02
Operating time : 29h27

160 2006 52 82 55 13368 6.66
TOTAL 2006 52 82 55 13368 6.66
TOTAL SCORE : 1 831 416

Well what can I say? Wow! seems to be an over used word to describe this years event, but it is a good one.

There was quite a lot of work to do on Friday to get the station operational and I am very grateful to Dave, G4BUO for taking the trouble to come along to site to help me set up on Friday. I could not have managed without as it took 2 of us to get the tower for the vertical cranked up in freezing cold rain and strong winds on Friday. Thankfully it was a dead calm on Monday morning when I had to get it cranked down again on my own. We also got the NA beverage fixed this time to complement the 80m 4sq and K9AY for receiving.

By the time I was due to start the contest I was dog tired and ready for Bed! However I had to get on with it.

Started out with a bit of search and pounce as I had not managed to locate a clear frequency before the kick off. However it was only 10 minutes or so of very good S&P rate before I managed to stumble across a clearish slot fairly low in the band and the fun began.

Conditions were the best I have ever experienced on 160, with very low absorption on the path to NA. However, the path to Asia and JA was not so good. How this can be is a mystery to me still. On the flip side QRM was horrendous at times and despite the NA beverage being in service, it was not as good as I had hoped at rejecting the EU QRM and I had to throw away an unknown number of potential callers or loose my run frequency. In retrospect I may probably have been better off higher up the band and not been so concerned about running low in the band.

GM3POI was usually operating around 1830-1840 and did not work a single JA! He still beat me by a significant margin of NA QSO's. Operating practice from many EU stations was abysmal. I am beginning to think the idea of 160 being a "gentleman's band" is actually a sarcastic joke handed down through the generations! Key clicks were also much in evidence and one or two big signals from G were amongst them. I have moded my Mk5 to reduce/eliminated this problem and I think everyone has a responsibility to ensure a clean signal. That may have made my life worse in that others seemed to be able to rock up within 100-150 Hz of me with no problem!

I am told by G3BJ that he heard me CQ in the face of callers from NA, though he was not specific as to how much I did this and I hope he was just alluding to the situations I have already described where I gave up on piss weak callers as I was about to otherwise loose the QRG. I still worked an awful lot more NA QSO's than he did! That said, I think there is still plenty of room for improvement on the RX side of things.
Clearly, even with just the Alpha and single vertical I was being heard better than I could hear. Maybe the NA beverage needs to be longer?

I recorded most of the contest and it has been interesting to dip into some of it and listen to what really happened! Interesting to see that the contest organiser is requesting that people do this where ever possible. It was a shame to find out that Vic G4BYG who operates M2D from G3LZQ's place could not come on this year. I was looking forward to a good shoot out between us.

Setup was my much modified FT1kMk5, 87A, 33m top loaded vertical fed against swamp. RX NA beverage, 80m 4sq, K9AY Thanks to Bob, G4BAH for use of the station and Andrew for the chicken dinner!

73 Justin, G4TSH

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