North American QSO Party – CW
1800z August 6 to 0600z August 7, 2011
NAQP Rules and Info
I typically love the NAQP tests. Overall, they are typically among the fairest contests. Perhaps fairest is the wrong word. You aren’t supposed to run high power, so if we assume everyone adheres to that rule, then this contest is about as balanced as it can be aside from any geographical advantage somebody have. It’s a great contest for us “little pistol” stations since it’s a domestic contest. We can work DX, but the vast majority of our contacts will be NA stations.
Unfortunately, I am having an extremely difficult time getting motivated. The last time I played in a contest, there was something going on with the 80m doublet / dipole / whatever you wanna call it. Typically I can tune anywhere on any band 40m – 10m, and I can typically tune 80m CW. But for whatever reason I was having difficulty tuning up anywhere on 40m as well as on 80m, and I could tell the tuner was struggling to tune on some others. Now, there is only so much that can go wrong with a simple wire antenna. If the legs are intact and the ladderline is attached, what else is there? It wasn’t raining over the last contest weekend, so it wasn’t an issue with wet ladderline. The push-up mast was all the way up and everything was taught.
I really don’t even want to mess with it. I’d rather put the damned Alpha Delta DX-LB Plus up, but I have to put it together first…. and that takes motivation. Then, I’d have to use coax, and the only coax I have of sufficient length would have to be robbed from the DX-EE dipole. That coax is 100 feet long [overkill] and probably has water intrusion since it has been up a year, is hanging directly down towards the ground from its apex, and has never been sealed. It’s already on the DX-EE, so for good or bad it does work to some extent. But I’d hate to go through the trouble of putting the DX LB-Plus up and swapping the coax to it only to find that the coax is in bad shape. Plus, I don’t have an analyzer to properly tune for a resonant sweet spot on all of the primary bands it handles, and I certainly don’t have the ambition to do it the hard way.
To add insult to injury, we are supposed to see scattered thunderstorms throughout the weekend. My luck would have it that it would storm throughout the 12-hour period and I’d have to lower the mast, remove the feedlines, and unplug all of the equipment.
I am hopeful that I can be on and that the 80m wire will work in typical fashion, but I’m not going to count on it. The odds are against me.
Good luck to all who participate!