VK4KW – WPX SSB 2016

VK4KW – WPX SSB 2016

Chez KW was a hive of activity for several weeks prior to WPX.

Several items needed repairs/replacement since the nasty storms of late 2015, but a new 20m system was also being installed and this required quite an amount of effort to complete in time.

We (just about) managed to do it. It was worthwhile too, as the new system seemed to work well and bag a few QSOs into the log.

The bands were a tad weird

The bands were a tad weird at the weekend; 40m especially so as it was noisy one minute then quiet the next. 80m was similarly affected, but a personal highlight for me on 80m was bagging Reunion Island on the band for an all-time new one. VK6IR also got the FR4 into the log and offered to work us on 160m for a mult. The PWX rules negate that of course, so we had a chat instead as it’s a long time between beers since I talked to Mr 6IR. EU was strong on the band but sometimes couldn’t hear us – the local noise must’ve been awful for them….

HF bands were open one minute and faded to obscurity the next, only to open again half an hour later. Lots of 6m spots at the weekend, so I was wondering if there had been a sun related event of some sort…?

4NM was also heard, but working him was difficult with sea shanties being played in the background of his shack as he had just returned from a cruise and was feeling a bit worse for wear.

15m was the money band

15m was the money band for us, with just under 2000Qs. 20m was a tad under 1000Qs and 10m sat sulking at a much lower total at 650 or so. We’d usually have around 1500Qs on 10m but not this year!

We also consumed copious quantities of beer, steak, eggs, bacon, bread, milk, bogrolls and a modicum of rum. It’s always good when the KW crew get together, but it is sometimes at the expense of QSOs as we sat and nattered/drank often – before someone mentioned that the shack sounded a bit quiet!! We had some fun, which is the main thing….

Murphy paid a call, with the new 40m rotator controller spitting the dummy just before the start of the contest. It had been installed and tested the week prior, but apparently it didn’t feel like playing WPX for some reason.

We also suffered from some jamming. Not by Bob Marley, but some close-by idiot that seemed to think it funny to make silly noises during a QSO. No doubt, his Mum put him to bed later with a glass of hot milk. Tw4t.

We had a few storms too – the main ones just missed us but the static was awful for quite some time which limited receiving capabilities for a while.

4000Qs and 1100 mults for 13.5M points

We got just around 4000Qs and 1100 mults for 13.5M points claimed. Tally was lower this year which rather reflects the sun spots I suppose.