P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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When Scott, K0DQ, inquired about the availability of the P40L/P49Y station for the ARRL DX SSB contest, we let him know that I was planning on operating myself that weekend, but I was not that excited about a 48 hour single op effort. We quickly settled on a plan for him and Ed, N4OC, to team up with me in for a multi-single effort to attempt to reprise their first place finish from 2010.

In the end, we achieved approximately 1250 more contacts (great to have healthy openings on both 10 and 15 meters) but were beaten by the guys at PJ2T on the neighboring island who bested us by approximately 30 QSOs and 5 mults (all 160 meters). Congrats to the PJ2T crew on a great job!

The first night was difficult. The low bands were very noisy and we probably made some poor band changes. Also, we were hampered by tuning issues and repeated faults (both soft and hard) by the back-up Alpha 87A which we had to use (despite its flakiness) for the contest due to a blown electrolytic capacitor in the Alpha 91b power supply shortly before the contest.

Five hours into the contest, we were over 200 QSOs behind Andy’s (P49Y/AE6Y) single-op pace from the prior year. Despite lots of hard work throughout the slow early morning hours, when 10 meters suddenly “switched” on at around 1230z, we were still about 130 Qs behind Andy’s prior year pace. Fortunately, with the high rates possible throughout the day due to very good conditions on 10 and 15 meters, we were able to recover and finish the contest about 950 Qs ahead of his single-op effort.

In the process, we had a lot of fun and learned a great deal about the equipment and the ins and outs of operating this contest from the southern Caribbean. Scott and I handled most of the high rate daytime hours, while Ed slugged it out during many of tough, but key, early morning hours. During most of the contest, we had a "partner" op using the Win-Test partner mode to support the primary run "op", helping to copy calls and make sure we got them into log correctly. The rates were exhilarating at times with several hours exceeding 300 Qs, including a 341 and 343 hour.

Outside of the contest, we enjoyed the island and the social aspects being there, including a dinner with all our xyls during which we made an effort (with limited success) to curtail discussion of contesting related matters, and the customary post-contest dinner that included Carl and Sue (AI6V/P49V and AI6YL/P40YL), Randy (P43W, the President of the Aruba Amateur Radio Club) and Bob (W5AJ/P40P, who had operated the contest single-op from Carl’s place using Carl’s P40V call).

As always, thanks for all the contacts.
QSL via LoTW or WA3FRP

73, John W6LD/P40L

Rigs: Elecraft K3s (2), with 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 C vertical at 67 feet
Four 500 foot beverages using K9AY switching box/preamp

Logging software: Win-Test operating in "partner" mode on three networked computers