Articles written and submitted by Wes Jennings, WL7F
Submitted: Sat, Nov 14, 2015 10:54 am
2015 CQ WW SSB Contest
Hello there I am Wes WL7F and was asked to put down in words how the contest went for myself. Background, I was originally licensed in Hawaii as WH6BKU in 1985 while in the service. Went to Korea and was licensed as HL8CWN as still a novice. I received the call N8ISA after I got out of the service in 1987 in Michigan. Back in service and stationed in Korea with call sign HL9WJ and operated the CQWPX on 80 M CW they have me listed as High Power but only had a IC-735 so only 100W.Got out of hobby when they went to no code and was re-licensed as KL3WY May of 2014 and got AL5F when I upgraded in Jan 2015 to extra and applied for WL7F as was constantly asked if I was in Alaska .. Figured I needed the L7 to help out .
About 2 weeks before the contest I had 1 inch of ice on the TH-6 I had just got up on a 50ft Rohn 25 and finished with a intermittent problem I had with it. Luckily the next day the ice melted off and the swr was once again where it should be. The other antenna is phased verticals on 40M ground mounted pointed in roughly lower 48 and over to Asia.
The antenna’s were the major upgrade from last year where I was running a Butternut Vertical 10- 80 metters ground mounted. The Rig is a Yaesu FT 857 with a Logikey K-3, Micro Ham USB interface III, and a Laptop with N1MM loaded on it. Last years score was 107,520 on Low Power All Band which had gotten me 1st Place in Alaska with 416 QSO’s. Now on the CQWW CW same setup as the SSB came away with 2nd place in Alaska with 653 QSO’s.
Now to add a bit more of my operating conditions, I am totally off grid running off solar and generator when sun is not there. My house is 12ft x 20ft, no plumbing, wood heat. When the generator is running the charger I had would wipe out the bands and only the very strong signals would get thru. This year I got a different battery charger and it did not seem to effect the bands much at all. There is a difference between running just the batteries and the charger but most bands are still a s-0 noise level. I do not have internet nor a cell phone so unassisted is what I run here .
Now this year I was planning on having some other new hams over and one of them had backed out 2 days prior the other had said he would still be here. Friday prior to the contest starting I got ahold of the ham and he said not on Friday but would be out latter Saturday so I started operating on 15M and worked a few lower 48 and a couple of Japan stations off the back of beam so figured I would climb the tower (25 ft up was frost about ½ inch thick) to turn the beam toward Japan and boom Japan went away but got China, Philippines and Asia Russia then the lower 48 coming back in so up the tower I go again to turn the beam 180 deg and pin it. Worked quite a few of North America and Japan came back. It started slowing down so went over to 20M and started working over the pole into Europe. Now my reasoning for this was I am going multi and need to get other multipliers.
Saturday came up and talked again to the ham and he said he would be out late but he would be out. I worked more of 20M and checking 15M .. Walla 15M opened up and jumped over there and ran most of the day on 15M waiting for the other operator but busy so not able to check. After the band died down I checked with him and he said would not be able to make it on Sat but on Sun he would be there. That night I jumped from 20 to 40 to get some more multipliers still thinking I was going to be multi. 15M was open but slow so did not work on it but went between 20m and 40m. Still thinking I needed to get multipliers on other bands that were easy to get.
Sunday . again same as Saturday .. morning he said he would still be here so later in afternoon went up on 10 from 15 (which was still open to lower 48 and some Africa) got a few more multipliers and it slowed down so went back to 15M about this time I figured he was not going to show up so just worked 15M.
Right in the middle of the contest I decided to use N1MM as a voice keyer now to do this while using the USB interface I had to have the radio in Digital mode which disconnects the microphone. Now a bit of scratching head and thinking I figured I would set both VFO’s to the same frequency and set one to correct SSB the other on Digital. Walla I could use the voice keyer but I had to hit the A/B button when someone came back to my call and hit stop in N1MM, it was a little awkward at first but one can get used to about anything when the voice is being saved.
Some of the runs I had on 15M were so long my fire went out and had to take a break and start the fire once again as it was getting chilly in the shack. Not even counting the breaks to get food. I did let the coffee pot boil down once to … oh well a bit more water and some stirring and walla more coffee. If you can not tell I had so much fun it did not matter much with the bands being open as well as they were and the runs I was getting. Some of the runs
2015-10-24 1832 – 1906Z, 21303 kHz, 59 Qs, 104.3/hr WL7F
2015-10-24 1911 – 2115Z, 21305 kHz, 292 Qs, 140.9/hr WL7F
2015-10-25 2019 – 2057Z, 21304 kHz, 68 Qs, 106.9/hr WL7F
2015-10-25 2101Z – 2359, 21269 kHz, 267 Qs, 89.6/hr
The one I was quite shocked at getting was Montserrat as I was calling him earlier and could not break the pileup and later on he shows up calling me while I was running a pileup.