IOTA 2013: Ocracoke Bound W4O
This is an excellent opportunity to log many different IOTA groups. Ocracoke is included in the NA067 chain. This will be a repeat of last year, as I plan to use the special event call W4O and operate from the Beachcomber Campground in the heart of Ocracoke Village. Campground manager Sean and Laurie are fabulous hosts and are Ham Radio friendly. The Camground has good food and is very affordable for camping and for hosting an RV. The restrooms are clean and there is typically live musical entertainment. This is a very down home type of place.
Another special thanks goes to W4MPY QSL Card Service. The W4O Cards have been printed and it has been great working with W4MPY. I strongly recommend this company. The customer service is wonderful. You can visit the site by clicking here.
As far as operating goes, I'll be on 80-10 meters using a simple Butternut Vertical for SSB and CW with a marginal ground system. I may bring a small tribander and mount it on a 20 foot mast as well. Nearly 900 contacts were made with the setup last year in 18 hours of operation.
In addition to the W4O operation, good friend Jon, WB8YJF will be active from Ocracoke as WB8YJF/NA67.
This year's operation will be like last year as I travel with two non-ham friends. I'm hoping for breezy conditions so that the campground will be more comfortable. Last year's WX was great for summer camping.
I plan on arriving on the island via the Swan Quarter Ferry on July 25th around 20:00 UTC. I should be operational by 22:00 UTC. If you need NA067, contact me in advance at email@example.com. The contest begins July 27th at 12Z and ends July 28th at 12Z. Contest bands include 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10 meters using both SSB and CW. Visit the following website for complete rules:http://www.rsgbcc.org/hf/rules/2013/riota.shtml
I look forward to working as many as possible before and during the contest.
QSL Info: Direct only to N4YDU:
133 Madeline Court
Youngsville, NC 27596
NAQP CW January 2012 - 10 Hours of Intensity
2011 CQWW - Goals Met
Band QSOS ZONES DX
160: 32 10 18
80: 138 21 63
40: 452 26 96
20: 377 26 93
15: 441 28 100
10: 618 28 101
2058 139 471
Total Score = 3,533,730
What a blast! This is a personal best for me in CQWW by more than 1.2 million points. I had plenty of rest heading in and I was excited about potentially great conditions â€" the propagation gods didn't let us down! I spent 39 hours in the chair this time around and I would have done more if I could have stayed awake. 10 meters was a little disappointing for me on Saturday morning, but it just kept giving on Sunday. 15M was great as were 20 and 40. 80M was sluggish from here but the highlight was working a JA on Sunday morning at sunrise. That is only the second time I have done that with 100 watts. I heard a JA on 160 but I was unable to work the station. 160 was more of a wasteland for me this year. Things were shaky before the contest began. I did a quick check of antennas on Friday morning and noticed the SWR was high on the 80M vertical. I went to the check it and one section of the T was on the ground. Not a big deal and it was fixed within 30 minutes. All was well â€" so I thought. I went out for some food in the afternoon and returned to the shack about four hours before start time. The computer was toast. No worries though, my laptop already had Wintest loaded on it and I had a few USB to serial adapters. After about 20 minutes I was ready to go again. I sure am thankful the original computer crashed before the contest! The only other issue during the contest was my 10 meter antenna oriented NE/SW broke (my fault). I took 20 minutes to throw up a dipole for 10M on Saturday and I had a backup antenna that worked fine. So thatâ€™s it â€" a grand CQWW CW is now history. In 22 years as a ham, it just keeps getting better. 73, Nate/N4YDU Station: ICOM 781 and ICOM 765 Antennas: 160M: Inverted L 80M Inverted V, T vertical 40M Dipole at 70 feet 20M 2 Loops at right angles â€" one at 60 feet, another at 80 feet 15M 2 Dipoles at right angles one at 80 feet, another at 50 feet 10M 2 dipoles, one at 80 feet, one at 40 feet Two 46 foot center fed zepps (open wire line) for all bands and second radio use (very useful antennas) K9AY RX array.
2.29 Million in CQWW CW for 2010
As it turns out, conditions were super on the low bands and good enough on the higher bands to produce strong qsos totals across the hf spectrum. In the end, I finished with a little more than 1,500 qsos and a new personal best of 2.29 million points. I was particularly happy with the performance of the new W8JK wire beams. I held a nice run to Europe on 15M Sunday morning with the NE W8JK. I was hoping for some good JA activity/openings on 15M, but that never materialized for me. However, the low bands produced so well I was actually able to run Europeans the second night on 160M. That is very rare for me so it made for a nice treat and good shot in the arm when my interest wasn't the highest.
I struggled with motivation the first night and went to bed about two hours earlier than I normally did. Saturaday morning was a mental struggle also, especially with a disappointing European opening on 15M and almost nothing on 10 meters. Saturday afternoon led to a new mental outlook. I took a one hour break for a nap. Follow that with a big cup of coffee and motivation was high. I worked both radios hard and the numbers began to climb. Sunday morning was another uplifiting time when I began working Europeans at a good clip on 15M and then there were several SA stations coming through on 10.
Click here for the final 3830 summary.
ARRL CW Contest 2010
After 41 hours of operating, the final tally was 1942 qsos and just over 1.92 million points. While 20M was solid and 15M finally opened to Europe for extended periods and produced decent rates, 40M proved to be a big bang as well. I tallied more than 500 qsos there for the first time in ARRL CW. Conditions were great and the new dipole aimed at Europe at 70 feet played very well. In the past, my 40M antennas have included verticals, half squares, delta loops and inverted vees. The current dipole is big improvement. I’m not sure why, but I strongly believe it is because of the reasonable height of 70 feet.
160M: 40 qsos and 30 countries – 160 was a little disappointing, I suspect the MUFs were a bit higher at night time with a few sunspots, but the band did come through for me at times. Not too many Europeans, but enough to be competitive with other low power scores from the US. Best DX was French Polynesia. I worked TX4T at sunrise Saturday morning. Antenna - Inverted L (55 feet vertical, 80 feet horizontal)
80M: 202 qsos and 52 countries – I grinded it out the second night on 80M. It was well worth the grind. The 80M ground plane worked well and addition of an inverted vee up 60 feet came in handy for the high angle Caribbean stations. I bagged one JA on Saturday morning for the mult. Europeans weren’t too hard to come by, but some of the qsos were challenging.
40M: 515 qsos, 77 countries – As mentioned before, this band was a blast. I was able to keep a decent run going while searching and pouncing on the other radio. I worked several JA stations on 40 this time around with very strong signals. JT1CO in Mongolia was a nice catch! Antenna – Dipole at 70 feet
20M: 691 qsos, 76 countries - This was the workhorse band. This was an all-time high for 20M for me in ARRL DX and probably any other contest. The rates were tremendous at times. The big treat came late in the day on Sunday. I found a clear spot around 14004 and decided to call CQ. I was instantly met with a handful of Europeans. An hour later I had bagged 105 stations. I was stunned to keep such a prime frequency for so long. Antenna – two rectangle loops (50, 60 feet high), doublet 70 feet high
15M: 444 qsos, 76 countries – Finally! A little propagation goes a long way. There were plenty of Jas to work starting about an hour before sunset and lasting about an hour after. The Europeans were plentiful the first and second morning, although I was only able to run them for about 90 minutes each day. Day 2 produced an hourly rate near 100 high in the band. Antenna – two rectangle loops at 60 feet.
10M: 50 qsos, 19 countires – A few days before the contest, I heard a few Europeans on 10, but the conditions weren’t quite that good during the weekend. Nonetheless, the band was useful for a change and a source of some decent DX (ZS, TX4T. KH6).
Bottom Line: 1942 qsos, 330 mults for 1,922,580 points.
More on the station: I got the itch to get some old Ten Tec gear a few weeks before the contest. Well, I wound up with a pair of Ten Tec Corsairs. While I did miss computer control at times, it really wasn’t that bad. The receivers were great and I had almost no problems with interference between the two radios (without bandpass filtering too!).
For once I had a decent assortment of RX antennas (two pennants, 250 foot beverage). The RX antennas worked well and were an asset on the lower bands.
14 hours yields CQ 160 CW FUN
With the noise, six inches of fresh snow on the ground and a pretty wife sitting in the house, I elected to leave the shack around 10:30 p.m. and call it quits. I made a handful of qsos on Sunday afternon and finished with a grand total of 634 QSOS, 51 sections (nabbed all states but AK, HI, ND, SD and MT) and 17 countries for 106,012 points.
I used a Ten Tec Corsair for the contest. Since the contest, another Corsair arrived in the mail. I sold both of my ICOM rigs (761 and 765). The Corsair performed well during the contest and I'm looking forward to using two of them for the ARRL DX CW contest.
NAQP CW From N1LN as NC4KW (Jan 2010)
December 2009 Operating Summary
Highest Score Since 2003 in CQWW CW - N4YDU SOABLP
Murphy Strikes in SS...841 qsos still made
As far as Murphy goes...burned up a balun in a low power Ten Tec tuner (tuner cannot handle 80 meters well)...the tuner problem backlashed to the rig tuner and it is currently stuck (I think I can fix it on the IC 765)....a relay stuck in a remote antenna switch...problem went away and I hope it stays that way....resonance on 80M ground plane is too high in the band now (no idea how that happened!)....I think that is about it...time to focus on one of my favorite contests - CQWW CW...aiming for a return to the top 10 US all band LP this year...best ever finish is fourth...top five would be really nice, but top 10 would be satisfying....we'll see!
Time for CW SS
CQWW SSB M/2 at N1LN
Operating Summary From March 2009 Through July 2009
NC QSO Party: A week after going all out in the ARRL DX CW contest, I went ahead and gave the NC QSO Party a try. I spent the entire 10 hours at the desk and managed a second place in-state finish behind the talented AA4NC. Will lives about 30 miles to south of me near Apex, NC. Final qso total was 544. Of that total, 294 were on CW and the rest were one SSB. I was surprised at how steady the rates were. I'm hoping to do a similar operation next year.
ARRL DX SSB: I love operating SSB sometimes, but it can be painful with 100 watts, simple antennas and no sunspots. I managed 289 qsos in 8 hours of work during the ARRL DX SSB contest for 2009. Nothing exciting to report from it.
CQWW WPX CW: At the end of May, after celebrating my first year of marriage, I geared up for a serious SOABLP (Tribander, wires sub category) effort in WPX CW. I went the distance of 36 hours and posted a personal best of 2.1 million points. In that effort, I managed 1543 qsos. I logged more than 100 qsos on 10 meters, including several Europeans. I used club call NR3X during the test.
ARRL Field Day: Field Day is always a fun event, and this year was no different. I traveled West to meet up with my father (N4PY) and local pals K4CZ and W4KAZ. We set up shop from Stone Mountain Park, NC. Simple wires along with a K2 and a TT OMNI VII produced 1,948 qsos using 100 watts. Both rigs did not run the entire time, but it was a fun adventure with nice weather. There was a nice 10-meter opening late at night this year to the west coast. Signals weren't big, but very workable. The general store a few miles away provided some surprisingly great Pizza! As always, it was a great joy to operate with my father as well as K4CZ and W4KAZ.
IARU HF Championship: This is personal favorite of mine. The rates are usually pretty good for this one given you can operate both SSB and CW. This makes SO2R a lot of fun. Throw in the luxury of working domestic stations makes for a lot of fun. This year I went the full 24 hours, although it kind of burned me out a little bit. In the end, I compiled 1260 total qsos signing NR3X. Of that total, 833 were on CW and 422 were on SSB. 40M CW was the biggest vote getter with 323 contacts. My final score pushed a little more than 500K. Again, I operated Low Power, Single OP, All Bands from home using an IC 765 and an IC 761 with wire antennas. See station details for description.
RSGB IOTA Contest: For the third straight year, W4KAZ (KAZ) and I headed to the Core Banks of NC for another adventure in the RSGB IOTA Contest. This time we had hired guns W0UCE and N3ND along with us. First of note, I actually gained weight on what is typically a glorified camping trip. W0UCE treated us to fine food all weekend. Once we got the station up and running and the glitches worked out, we were ready to sign N4A for the 24-hour event. We managed 838 qsos during the contest and had a final score of 610K. Getting to the Great Island Camp is fun. We took the Davis Ferry over and navigated the land with my friend's 4WD truck. The living conditions are fine. We stayed in a decent sized cabin that included hot water (propane powered), a toilet, shower, stove and beds. Power is provided by Keith's generator. Simple antennas were the theme again. Rates were really wonderful at times, but conditions were sluggish most of the time. We entred the Island DxPedition Category again this year. In 2007, Keith and I were fornuate enough to take home the plaque in the same category for North America. While we were tops in the US last year, we were second in NA. This year were are hoping to climb back in front.
NAQP SSB: I'll try to post a report about NAQP SSB next week. I am headed to the fine station of N1LN to operate with W4KAZ, N1LN, N1YXU and others.
2009 ARRL DX CW Contest - Lots of fun!
This year's ARRL DX CW contest was a thrill. I had a much more enjoyable time than 2008 simply because I made 1,260 qsos as compared to 827 the previous year. My goal of finishing in the top 10 for Single Op All Band Low Power is in good shape. Currently, according to 3830, I'm ranked seventh.
I started out with the main rig on 40 and the second rig on 20. My first hour was rather slow, but things began to pick up. After about two hours I switched to 80 meters and found I could run Europeans. This is a first for me with Low Power and a simple quarter wave ground plane. 160M was in good shape too, I made the majority of my contacts on 80 and 160 the first night. Signals to Europe were very strong.
Sunrise brought a strong opening to Europe on 20 meters. Calling CQ on 20 produced an hourly rate of above 80 followed by two hours near 60. 15 meters was showing signs of life as well. I managed to take advantage of the weak opening to Europe and pocket some common European multipliers. Many of these contacts were made with the second radio which was a Kenwood 450s and a simple Hustler 4btv vertical. If the vertical failed, I would switch to the 65 foot high dipole to get the job done right. The only problem with that was switching the main rig from the 20 meter run frequency. I was fortunate enough to maintain my run frequency for a long time on 20 meters.
As the sun began to get low in the horizon on day 1, 20 meters opened very well to JA. I worked 31 Japan stations on 20, which is the most for me in several years. I manged two JA stations on 40 meters as well.
The noisy low bands made the second night tough, as did my lack of sleep. I wanted to keep pressing, by I went to sleep around 1 a.m. local and got back up just before sunrise after a good 5-hour nap. The second morning wasn't as good on 20 meters to Europe, but 15 peaked around 1500 zulu. I was able to run 40 European stations on 15 in about 50 minutes. This was a nice treat. Signals were weak, but my 100 watts was grabbing the attention of a few stations at least.
10 meters was silent for me until 1900 zulu on day two. I worked a few quick mults and the band faded out for good.
I wrapped the event up with a pass through 40 to grab a few more mults and then a final sweep of 80, 160 and then back to 20 for a few more JAs.
Click here for the final score.
ARRL CW Contest on Tap
I'm pretty tired as I type this the night before the ARRL CW contest, but hopefully I'll have a little more energy when the contest starts. I'm hoping for to be on for at least 35 hours during the contest. Last year's result was rather disappointing, so I'm hoping to topple the 2008 score in 2009. ARRL CW is one of my all time favorites. I'll be on from home signing N4YDU as a single op, all band, low power entry. Should be fun!
2009 CQ 160 CW Contest - WOW!
After falling victim to a tough week, I went to bed after three hours during the first night. I managed a little more than 225 qsos, a handful of sections on just 10 countries. I got on just before 3 p.m. local time Saturday afternoon and began with a decent rate. I managed to pick up some easy sections during the daylight hours that were missed the first night. The rate meter was nice and steady. Around 10 p.m. it was beginning ot look like my country total would remain low, the score as well. at 0314Z, UA3TCJ answered my CQ. That was a nice surprise. An SP Club station followed shortly after as the east coast USA continued to come in. Things began to slow down and I was thinking the wall was here. The Europeans that called in had good signals, had to to hear my 100 watts and inverted L! I tuned around and picked off several decent mults, mostly in Europe. After about an hour of search and pounce, things were drying up. I found a nice clear spot on 1884 and rattled of a CQ- The result? OH8X called me. The 3 element monster yagi there is working! Over the next hour, 28 more Europeans called me from all over the European map. S5, YL, LY, UA3, ER0, ES, DL, F, G, ON, OK, OM, GM. In addition, a KP2 called for a new mult. The rate was still OK as the sun was rising in Europe, but I decided to go back to search and pounce in hopes of a few more mults. GM3POI was logged, as was CT9M and a pair of KL7 stations. GREAT STUFF! For the next two hours, I kept searching for a KH6. During that time I picked up North Dakota and Kansas to round out my domestic mults (missed WY, and ID). A VE7 called in as well. Finally, I heard KH6CC calling CQ and got him on the third try. That was it for the night for me. Although I wonder if I missed a possible JA opening by not waiting until sunrise. Regardless, it was a great time and a new best for me in the CQWW 160CW contest. I stopped with 779 qsos, but got on for a frantic finish on Sunday afternoon. With five minutes to go, I worked EI/W5GN for my last mult. Great fun chasing other stations on the getscores.org scoreboard!
Bottom Line: 823 QSOS, 55 sections, 49 countries for 262,392
Station: Icom 765, Inverted L, 40 meter halfsquares for receive, writelog. (Picture of the operating position below)