P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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We had a lot of fun again this year and are very pleased to have exceeded our 2010 results by approximately 1000 QSOs. Conditions on the 10, 15 and 40m bands were particularly good and contributed greatly to the overall QSO and multiplier counts.

An innovation in how we configured our run station also contributed significantly to the improved results. The new configuration allows two operators, each with their own computer and logging capability, to share access to a single run transmit radio while listening on separate radios and, if desired, different listening antennas. The two operators then work together to maximize rate, dynamically adjusting how they go about doing so depending on conditions. Among other approaches, at times it was very effective to have one operator listen slightly low, while the other listened slightly high. Another effective approach was having one operator listen on an antenna pointed at USA and JA, while the other listened on an antenna pointed to Europe, or having one listen on the transmitting antenna, while the other listened on the beverages. This new configuration turned out to be highly effective and lots of fun to boot. Thanks to Ed, W0YK, who spent many hours working out and assembling the required wiring and lock-out circuits.

Unfortunately, on this trip we were plagued by computer hardware and software problems, including computer and logging program crashes, delayed keyboard responses, inexplicable wandering cursor focus, loss of networking and loss of internet access. Our apologies to those who worked us while we were contending with any of the problems. A five second delay in the keyboard response seems like forever in the middle of a 250 Q per hour run. I assure you that any frustration you experienced was considerably higher on our side.

By Saturday evening (a time period that normally would be expected to be some our best rate and mult hours), our computer problems had escalated from mere nuisances and relatively short disruptions to a major continuous problem that could not be solved by rebooting programs or computers. we were very fortunate to be able to reach out to one of our local ham radio friends, Lisandro, P43L, who on short notice, dropped everything and came to the rescue. Lisandro managed to troubleshoot the problems and bring us up on a new network, all while minimizing disruption to the our run station. We are very grateful.

Nevertheless, computer problems did depress our QSO rates for approximately 3.5 hours of the contest. The good news is this means that a 9000 QSO total, a goal we thought was unattainable from this station and location as recently as last year, is clearly possible in the future.

Outside the contest, we enjoyed multiple dinners and visits with John, W2GD (operating with his usual call, P40W), Valerie, R5AG (operating as P40F), as well as Jean-Pierre, P43A, and his wife, Christine, P43C.

Our congratulations to the many fine efforts in this contest, especially the extraordinary results by the D4C and P33W multi-single teams.

Rigs: Elecraft K3s (3), P3s (2)
Amps: Alpha 86, Alpha 87A

C31XR at 43 feet
2 elements 10 meter at 55 feet
5 elements 15 meter at 55 feet
4 elements 20 meter at 68 feet
2 elements 40 meter at 76 feet
1 element 80 meter Sigma 80 at 64 feet
160 meter vertical at 67 feet
Receiving Antennas: three 500 foot beverages and 12AVQ vertical using K9AY switchbox/preamp
Logging software: Writelog on four networked computers
DSL Internet for Packet

As always, thanks for all the contacts!

73, John, W6LD/P40L