2011 WPX CW a Bust!

I was soar­ing with excite­ment after spend­ing time at Con­test Uni­ver­si­ty and Day­ton Hamven­tion. I have since land­ed with a thud. I was excit­ed to play in the WPX CW con­test and typ­i­cal­ly make a real­ly good show­ing con­sid­er­ing. This year, how­ev­er, I have had noth­ing but dif­fi­cul­ties and the fun-fac­tor is very low as a result. I am pen­ning this as I CQ on 10M just for kicks to see if I show up on the RBN and as I pon­der my problem.

Lack of ener­gy: I have been burn­ing the can­dle at both ends due to pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al com­mit­ments. My mem­o­ry is shot, my focus is non-exis­tent, my ener­gy lev­el very low. I do best when I am rest­ed and relaxed.

Poor anten­nas: I am restrict­ed to wires and is not a prob­lem in itself. The prob­lem stems from my lame attempts to get a bet­ter sig­nal into EU on 20M. Attempt one, I repo­si­tioned one end of my trusty G5RV high­er into a tree to see if it would play bet­ter: It seems to. By doing so I have also brought it clos­er to the hor­i­zon­tal part of my Invert­ed L (my cur­rent 2nd anten­na for So2R). Radio does not like and RF is lock­ing up my transmit/​SO2R+ box on 20M. Damn.

Attempt two, built a quick and dirty 20M bi-square (U‑shaped) using my crap R5 anten­na. Yeah, it does­n’t work worth a crap. I did­n’t mod­el it but now I need to see what I did just to sat­is­fy my curiosity.

On one good note, my G5RV was func­tion­ing great on 40M for close in QSO and high-angle DX, and my 40M bi-square did pret­ty well early.

I have too many non-res­o­nant anten­nas. I real­ly need to do some­thing dif­fer­ent. Rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent. Ideas are bubbling.

Poor Sta­tion Engi­neer­ing: I have been assed/​2 about my sta­tion cabling and con­trol. I have a 2×6 switch but am only using one side. My oth­er piece of coax is run­ning to a based-tuned Inverted‑L (it just dawned on my I could take my auto­tuner DC from my remote coax switch). I also need to run anoth­er con­trol cable out to the switch to run the B side.

(10M is dead, I QSY to 15M to call CQ)

I have been work­ing slow­ly on a KK1L decoder/​switch box combo…it works well but I have not yet put it in the case. Some issues with the Icom decoder daugh­ter-card (I have been test­ing the pro­to­type) but all in all a great engi­neer­ing effort on KK1L’s part. I just need to fin­ish it and then I will be able to con­trol my fil­ter switch­ing as well and have one less thing to wor­ry about.

Anoth­er pos­i­tive note: Yes, SO2R did pro­vide me extra Qs, about 10/​hr more than sin­gle radio.

OK, enough whin­ing! What am I going to do about it?

  • Take bet­ter care of myself
  • Prac­tice, prac­tice, prac­tice CW since I seem to be get­ting worse not better
  • Fin­ish the projects I start­ed (KK1L boards)
  • Redo the cable entry point at house
  • Two fresh pieces of coax to the anten­na switch, and two fresh pieces of con­trol cable
  • Com­mon-mode chokes at sen­si­ble places
  • Rethink the entire anten­na sit­u­a­tion for 1520, which will include a small yagi on push-up mast
  • More and bet­ter 40M wires
  • 80M dipole
  • Con­sid­er if I want to con­tin­ue as a LP sta­tion or if an ampli­fi­er makes some sense. It would change things.

(CQing on 20M was fruit­less. What I have built does­n’t work. How disappointing.)

                    CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: WF7T
Operator(s): WF7T
Station: WF7T

Class: SOAB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 11
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs
  160:    2
   80:   41
   40:  170
   20:   77
   15:   33
   10:    3
Total:  326  Prefixes = 212  Total Score = 161,968

Club: Tennessee Contest Group


I was having so many station problems I decided to throw in the towel after the
first evening.  I called a few stations Saturday but my heart wasn't in this
one. Very disappointed but I am prompted toward action!  Time for a station

73 Brad WF7T
Nashville, TN


IC-7600, [email protected]
[email protected]', 40x50' Inv L.
N1MM 11.6.1, YCCC SO2R+

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