Monday, March 7, 2011

2011 ARRL DX Contest - Phone Results

Sonovista, my friends! I know what you've been thinking: a new ham radio blog post? I thought she was dead! Well, neither dead nor forgotten, I AM still licensed and still manage to fire up the old coal powered spark gap transmitter, every now and then, and do my best to annoy the ionosphere. And this past weekend was an annoyance-fest!

Just by accident (well, maybe I heard someone mention something about it at the last Northern California DX Club Meeting) I happened to turn on my radio on Friday night and heard the sweet cacophony of well mannered Hams stomping all over each others signal - and that could only mean one thing: CONTEST!

Now the antenna situation at the Casa Del Schnauzer is close to non-existent, the Buddipole having come down last year for Field Day, and the G5RV Jr having come down last year because some fool (me) decided that having an antenna 40ft up in the air took all the fun out of it (groan) and maybe a yank on the end connected to the orange tree would clear up some of the QRM (it didn't). But as you'll remember, once down I did discover that the antenna had started to rust badly at multiple points and was broken clean through at a few more. So with some high temperature solder, silicon and gorilla tape, i managed to get something approaching a G5RV back together - trouble was, getting it back up in the tree wasn't going to happen until the spring, so i slapped together some PVC pipe and rigged up an ugly configuration (parallel to the power lines) in the backyard, about 20ft off the ground.

Less than optimal, for sure, but the Sun she is our mother and all the little sunspots are our brothers and with just 100watts, the electrical equivalent of a backyard clothesline and a dream, I set about twiddling and tuning and drinking and driving (the final amplifier) and by Sunday I managed to log about 30 stations across 40m, 20m, 15m and 10m and put 11 new countries in my log including Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, the US Virgin Islands, Argentina, Curacao, Brazil, Surinam, St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla and Venezuela.

So thanks to all who were kind enough to dig out my little signal and properly lie to me with a "please repeat, please repeat, please repeat - ok, you're 59 1k". (And shame on the knob heads who used their automagic devices to call 'CQ Contest' 20 times in a row, pausing less then a second before calling 'CQ Contest' again. I've heard that listening was a lost art, but this was ridiculous! Oh, and if at any time during the contest you told someone, on the air, to "learn how to use their equipment", you're a dick [cf. 'knob head'])

And that's all I got - I know I'm not winning any awards for points or style, but it's still a whole lot of fun to talk around the world with 100 watts and a little piece of wire strung up between two painter poles in my urban back yard.

Excelsior and 73!
de Robin (W6RDG)

8P5A Barbados

AA1K Deleware MD
CE4CT Santiago Chile
J7Y Dominica
J88DR St. Vincent
JA1YPA Tochigi Japan
JA2IVK Shizuoka Japan
JA3USA Nara Japan
JA9PPC Toyama Japan
JF2QNM Aichi Japan
JH4UYB Hiroshima Japan
JH8JWF Hokkaido Japan
JN1NDY Tokyo Japan
JO3DDD Shiga Japan
K5TR Austin TX
KP2M US Virgin Islands
LP1H Cordoba Argentina
LR2F Rosario Argentina
LR4E Chacabuco Argentina
LS1D Buenos Aires Argentina
NH7A Keaau HI
PJ2T Bonaire Curacao
PR2B São Paulo Brazil
PZ5P Surinam
V48M St Kitts and Nevis
VP2E Anguilla
WE3C Fleetwood PA
WH7Z Aiea HI
YV5AM Caracas Venezuela