QSL N6A via:
Don Mc Dougal, W6OA
The 2002 Crew (left to right)
Don, W6OA; Doug, KO6PW; Larry, NF6S; Jim, W6GPM; and me (Fred, K6DGW). Obviously, by October, 2002, I had figured out the shutter timer on my digital camera. Again, John, WB6ETY, had not yet arrived when the picture was taken (but see photo below), and this year we were joined for part of Saturday by Kaz and Jun from JA-land (also below).
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How it Went
Very well, despite the weather, which was interesting. Larry, Don, and Arnold arrived on Wednesday as usual, and were promptly snowed on. Thursday was fairly cold and cloudy, as was Friday when I arrived. The site was completely IFR in the clouds on Friday afternoon, and we had about an inch of frost on Saturday morning. The barometer (as measured by my aircraft altimeter) then began to rise and the rest of the weekend was warm in the daytime and tolerably cool in the evening. For some reason, very few of the aspen groves had started turning their usual bright yellow.
Since we had more operators this year (including Kaz and Jun from JA-land who are currently employed at Apple in Silicon Valley), we were able to run mostly 1 and 2 hour shifts. General conditions seemed pretty good. The "surge" of new stations on Saturday afternoon (we assume coming home from work or whatever) and on Sunday morning seemed more pronounced than in 2001. As a result, our score was up from last year.
As far as the results, we outdid all previous scores. It seemed as if there were possibly more stations on the air in the contest, and possibly conditions were better too, although 10 was less productive than last year. Then again, it may just have been totally superior operating skills!
Click on the photo at the left for a readable picture of the TR-Log screen 24 seconds after the end of the contest. The preliminary, unaudited summary sheet submitted by Don are in the table below.
(On CW when in CQ mode, we keep the dupe QSO feature in TR-Log turned off and just go ahead and log dupes since it takes less time to just work a dupe than to advise him and maybe get an argument over it. The difference between the "Raw QSO" and "Valid QSO" columns is removal of those dupes.
|Band/Mode||Raw QSOs||Valid QSOs||Points||Mults|
Our unaudited final score is 229,332 points, up 31,146 over 2001. All of this is subject to the NCCC log checking. As usual, we managed a clean sweep of all 58 multipliers. It looked (again) like there were no hams on the air from VE4-land, but we finally snagged one late Saturday night. This year, we used an almost-full-size 80m vertical which really worked well. We did not operate 160 since productivity was so low last year.
New Things for 2002
It's really hard to get one photo of the complete crew because not everyone arrives at the same time, and during the contest, someone is always operating. So this year, I took enough photos to include everyone. John, WB6ETY arrived on Saturday (left picture above), and Kaz, JA1IST[WR6M] (middle photo), and Jun, K6KF and his wife Kiyo came up for the day. Unfortunately for us, Arnold, KQ6DI, was attending a wedding and had to leave after helping with the set-up. Arnold is our first-class SSB operator so some of us CW-only types got pressed into phone duty as well.
This year, in addition to the normal HF ham bands, we also operated KU-band (receive only, of course). Since the Raiders were playing, Jim brought a satellite TV along to see the game. Fortunately, the spot beam from DirecTV to the SF Bay Area is big enough to cover our campsite so he was able to get the local channels. Since the weather warmed up on Saturday and Sunday, it was quite comfortable watching the TV on the tailgate of his truck.
The operating position was nearly identical to 2001. Don's rig, the linear, the computer, and the computer controlled antenna switch all performed flawlessly. Larry brought a second rig and antenna which we intended to use to spot multipliers, however as it turned out, we had our 58 with plenty of time to spare this year, so the second receiver didn't get a lot of use.
As always, it was a great experience. Our campsite is used by a number of others during the summer, however it is always clean and litter-free. And again, many thanks to WW7E and his repeater on Leviathan Peak.
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