Well another Beru passes, always my favourite contest.
It gets a bit tedious early morning on Sunday, rates are low while I
waited for the higher bands to wake up to the east again, constantly
shuffling from 80 to 40 in the early hours. At least I was able to make
more coffee as the rig happily CQ’s on repeat on 80M.
No midnight opening to VK on 20m this time, (that I noticed) but worked
several ZL from 2-3am onwards on that band. 10M seemed a bit quieter
than last year.
The highlight was hearing Nigel TXF give the ‘Beru is NOT Italy’ message
several times, pile-up control at its best.
Last 2 hours were a struggle due to lack of sleep, as I stayed up the
whole 24hrs this time instead of grabbing a few Zeds from 2am to 5am
which is my normal strategy.
Still not sure whether it was worth the extra 15 or 20 QSO’s, some good
multis in there though.
Had some issues at first early on with my new Winkey (ZLP version) on
N1mm+, seemed to hang if I had the paddle plugged into it and used it as
well as the N1MM keying. Must be software related, works fine with
Logger32. Cured that it plugging the paddle into the K3 for manual
keying. Its amazing the difference in the key sounds though, N1MM+ via
Winkey is very ‘abrubt’, with a slight ‘stocato’ sound while in
comparison the K3 keyer sounds almost ‘drunk’ and relaxed, a little
sloppy even. Suits me perfectly. hi.
I also had an issue also with feeding my local skimmer AND a RBN cluster
into VE7CC(localhost) and then into N1MM+. For some reason if both were
on together the Skimmer reports did not appear on the bandmap (although
they could be seen on the telnet window) unless I did a regular SH/DX
command. They all have their own port numbers, no filters applied, odd.
In the end I had to feed the skimmer into NaP3 for visual spots and
N1MM+ had the RBN spots via the VE7CC program. Suggestions welcomed.
The best result for me was my neighbours total lack of interest in my
Scam12 and cobweb that was put up in the garden for the few days before
the contest, which bodes well for the future.
My plan is for a slow neighbourly acclimatisation program, once they are
used to it going up a few times each year for contests, I swap the
cobweb for for an opti-beam 7 bander or even a nested Quad! The beauty
of the cobweb is that if you hang some underwear on it you could
convince them its just a really high rotary clothes line..
Its a single element antenna and therefore suitable for the restricted
section as its basically just a bunch of nested dipoles bent in a
square. SO much better than my Windom for the higher bands though.
73 Iain G4SGX
(SOA 24hrs Restricted)
Band QSOs Pts Cty Sec
3.5 24 480 16 2
7 53 945 32 2
14 100 1855 65 4
21 79 1555 55 3
28 39 755 26 2
Total 295 5590 194 13
There’s definitely a few errors in there though, until the coffee kicked
in at about 3am I did suffer from a lazy brain for a while and combine
that with a lack of writing implements to scribble down info at one
point, caused great panic, a couple of times. Yes I know there’s a
notes window on N1MM but nothing beats paper and pen for immediacy.