Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mar 5-7 ARRL International DX Contest

Boy did we have a great time as a club participating in the ARRL International DX Contest as a club entry this year.  We operated our very fine club station at the Southside Fire Department with the new addition of a Icom 756 ProIII transciever that once belonged to Mr. Ed Bigbie-W4MMQ.  I was honored to operate his radio.  At about 4:30, Kevin-KW4B, John-N2DRL, and I arrive at the station to put up dipoles for 80 and 40 meters.  We used Kevin's air powered line launcher "canon" to get the lines up in the tress and used the pulleys on our tower for the other ends.  Got the antennas up, feed line run, and tested with the analyzer before dark.  Jere-KT4ZB arrived about 5:30 and setup the logging program on the computer and made sure everything was good to go.  Steve-K4SDJ arrived and helped with the final touches.  When 7:00pm rolled around we were on the air.  Jere made the first run of contacts and Kevin, John, Steve, and I ran out to grab some some dinner.  Once we had our strength back, we began to take turns on the radio.  Several operators began to show up as the evening wore on and many got an opportunity to operate the station.  Ken-W4JKG showed up at about midnight and operated till about 0400 making quite a few contacts on 40 meters.  I decided to stay overnight and worked a seperate radio on 80 meters under my callsign.  I made about 30 contacts till Ken left at 0400.  Then I jumped on the club station till 0530 when Kevin came back in.  Kevin relieved me and I ran home to shower and change then went over and met the normal crownd for breakfast at SunnySide Up.  After breakfast we went back to the station and many more HAMs began to show up.  I had the opportunity to give some "new operator training" to one of our new HAMs, Fred Kuhn-KJ4PST.  Helped Fred setup his handheld for all of the local repeaters and tested it.  Fred got to make his first radio contact with his friend, Ra-N4RVM, and was quite thrilled.  Operateors came and went throughout the day and we have a total of 10 HAMs that made contacts in the contest.  Once dinner time came around, Ra-N4RVM had pizza delievered for us all.  Thanks Ra!  As the nght wore on we were really racking up the contacts.  The bands were in really good shape and our very nice rotatable beam antenna was doing a great job.  We even had a handful of contacts on 10 meters.  Going on 40 hours with no sleep I decided to stay as loong as I could Saturday night to keep the station in operation.  I finally called it quits at around 0200 and locked things up and headed home for a few hours of sleep.  Steve and Kevin were back at the station at around 0700 and things were rolling again.  We only had about 5 hours out of the 48 where the station was not in operation!  Nice feat!  Once again we operated with several HAMs throughout the day on Sunday.  Kevin really had some nice runs and had well over half of our total of 451 contacts.  Great job Kevin!  Kevin made contact number 451 with about 30 seconds left in the contest.  What great fun.  At about 1800, Steve and I started getting things ready to stow and took down the 40 and 80 meter antennas.  Byt he time Kevin and completed the final contact, we had things just about packed away.  What a sense of accomplishment when 1900 arrived and we looked at our final tally!  I want to personally thank Jere-KT4ZB for his idea and for his guidance and expertise in the contest.  What a tresure he is.  And to Steve for his logistics and coordination support.  To Ra for the pizza.  And of course to all of the HAMs who operated and assisted with this effort.  Here is a list of those who operated the station followed by an list of all who participated in some way.

- KT4ZB, Jere
- KW4B, Kevin
- N2DRL, John
- K4GTM, Guy
- KJ4EGZ, Ted
- W4JKG, Ken
- N4RVM, Ra
- KA4CID, Mark
- KG3Z, Tom
- K4WP, Bill

- K4SDJ, Steve
- KI4DZD, Edward
- KF4JBQ, Lester
- W4REQ, Ralph
- KJ4PTP, Kirk
- KJ4FAV, Paul
- KJ4PSU, Will
- KJ4HAI, Melissa
- KJ4PST, Fred
- KD4LUG, Andy
- KJ4SMW, Arthur
- KG4NKE, Matthew
- W4SWJ, Sue

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