Comments on the 2012 RAC Canada Day Contest

I was looking forward to this contest as a great way to test out a couple of new antennas — my 160m inv-L and a 50′ 80m vertical both using K2AV FCPs. They seemed to play quite well, though there really wasn’t enough traffic on those bands to give them a real go.

I mean, wow, those conditions were truly amazing. Terrible, that is. 15m opened up for a few, quick spotlights and 20m was mostly just weak — like someone stuffed the ionosphere with cotton. No point in mentioning 10m.

40m was pretty solid, but didn’t get really strong until too late — the east coasters had mostly moved to 80m or gone to bed. Unfortunately, 80m didn’t ever open up long the way I was hoping, so most of the QSOs there were within 1000 miles.

160m was quiet and sounded really good for <1000 mile signals, but very few seemed to try it. When all the other bands have gone down the sh***er, why not give 160m a try? It can surprise you.

I was using a new 40m wire moxon this weekend. It’s strung up inv-V style, with the apex at about 50′. It worked great and now that I figured out how to model insulation in 4nec2, I was able to cut the wires only once! No trimming. Perfect target resonance on the first try. Gotta love technology.

Oh, if you’ve read this far, I might as well also let you know that I was trying out a Pixel loop receiving antenna on 80m and 160m. It worked very well — performing roughly the same as my psuedo-ewe but with a smidge less noise. The only problem with it is that my 80m tx signal totally overloads its pre-amp (even though it’s furthest from my 80m tx antenna) so it’s useless for rx on 160m while actively transmitting on 80m. So now I have to work out a good way to switch between the pixel and my ewe… No end to the projects, eh?

I have another antenna to build and a bunch of micro-controller programming and soldering to do in order to get my antenna switching under control. I’ve got my fingers crossed, I’m knocking on wood, and I’m throwing salt over my shoulder in a desperate attempt to ensure condx are better for NAQP. I hope to see you all in that one.

Call: KK7S
Operator(s): KK7S
Station: KK7S

Operating Time (hrs): 10
Radios: SO2R

 Band  CW Qs  Ph Qs  CW Mults  Ph Mults
  160:    5              2          
   80:   22              4          
   40:  128              8          
   20:  150             11          
   15:   15              3          
Total:  320     0       28         0  Total Score = 49,000

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