P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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Our first priority this past week was completion of the station tower and antenna rebuild project started last November. We were also hoping we might have an opportunity to try out the new the new antennas, etc. in a M/S or M/2 ARRL DX CW effort, but only to the extent time and energy levels permitted.

Ed, W0YK/P49X, had agreed to stay on another week after the CQ WW RTTY contest to complete the rebuild project. John, W6LD/P40L, and Andy, AE6Y/P49Y, joined him Sunday evening after the contest eager to get started first thing Monday. Remaining projects included: (1) erection of the third tower (a 46’ Rohn 25 tower) and installation of the new tri-bander (JK Mid-Tri); (2) tweaking of the tuning of the new 40 meter yagi (JK2040) and 10 meter yagi (JK1015) installed in November; (3) installation of a new 2L SteppIR on the Rohn 45 tower; (4) replacement of 3 of the old Beverage wires that originally had been laid out in the rugged “Cunucu” 10-12 years earlier; and (5) a long list of smaller items.

The work went very well (aided by the rental of a 66’ man-lift) and by Thursday evening we were feeling good about our progress having successfully completed all the tower and transmitting antenna work and gotten a start on the Beverages. But we were all exhausted and to varying degrees bruised and bloodied from our efforts, and there had been time zero time to prepare the station or ourselves for the contest. Moreover, Andy, AE6Y/P49Y, had taken a fall off a ladder while trimming back trees that interfered with some of the new guy lines, badly twisting and bruising his back, and it was unclear whether he was going to be in any shape to operate.

At this point, we came very close to abandoning any plans for an ARRL DX CW operation. Fortunately, Andy Bodony, K2LE/P40LE, was on the island for his annual visit at his time shares and available to supplement our team. So, after some hesitation, we decided we’d regret not doing the contest, and hastily set up the station during Friday, barely getting it ready in time to start the contest.

We’re glad we did because it turned out to be a lot of fun!

Low band conditions were generally very good, especially the first night. But, as others have reported, 15 meters did not open until 1800z on Saturday. Fortunately, it opened a couple hours earlier on Sunday, and we got a pleasant surprise with a bit of a 10 meter opening on Sunday afternoon.

Throughout the weekend the new antennas, rotors, etc. all worked great. AE6Y recovered gradually from his fall as the weekend progressed and he was able to take on increasing amounts of operating time during the days which freed up Ed and John to complete some of the remaining items on the project list during the contest. Andy, K2LE, was the ironman without whom we would not have had the wherewithal to the keep station active throughout the night hours and it was great to have him join us.

As always, thanks for all the QSOs! Given the last-minute way this operation came together, we probably had a bit more “operator error” than usual and we apologize for that. We also experienced some periods of local noise on the high bands that interfered with our ability to copy weaker stations at times and we apologize for all the “repeats” that resulted.

Congratulations to all on the many the fine efforts, especially the excellent showing by the ZF1A team in the M/S category and the PJ4A team in the M/2 category. 73,

John, W6LD on behalf of the P40L team (AE6Y, K2LE, W6LD and W0YK)

Station (all towers on a 100x100’ lot):

Rohn 45 tower (66’): Single boom 2-element shortened 40m interlaced with 4-element 20m (68’) (JK2040, long-boom version); 80m Inverted-V (65’); 160m Double-L center-fed vertical dipole (65’)

North Rohn 25 tower (56’): Single boom 5-element 15 interlaced with 6-element 10 (JK1015 configured for dual feed)

South Rohn 25 tower (45.5’): Tri -bander (JK Mid-Tri)

Beverages: 4 controlled by K9AY switchbox: JA/West-US (800’), East US (500’), EU (800’)and East-West (AF and OC) (350’)

Rigs: K3/P3x2; configured with W0YK-designed system for “first to transmit wins”

Amp: Alpha 91B

Logging software: Win-test 4.30