Update: The plaques are in and the results are official. When parts of this article were first published we thought we had a good chance at breaking the US record we set in 2007. The results are official and the club holds a new US record, and a winning score for 2011 North America. Read more for the story of how this was accomplished.
What a wild ride! In the week before the contest we put together a multi-2 effort at W1AN. Minutes before the contest started, Mike, K1DM asked what call sign we were going to use. Good question! No one had given any thought to that, and as this is a prefix contest, Mike thought it might be good to use NG1G. So we decided to go with that and one can only figure it helped, since we might have been the only NG1 in the contest.
All together we had 8 operators from the club take part, and it was great getting N1HRA, KO1H and KA1CQR in the chair and catching up on old news. This was Chuck’s first time in a multi-op contest with the club, and what a good one to start with. Chuck brought new member Chip, N1MIE, with him, and I enjoyed a good chat with Chip while I put Qs in the log on 15M.
We started out on 20M and 40M but after 13 20M Qs decided to go down to 80M. 40M was hopping but 80M was slow going, with signals being tough to decode. By the time we went to 20M and 15M at 1222Z, we had 493 40M Qs and 305 80M Qs in the log. We spent the entire day CQing on one frequency on 20M, and divided our time on 15M between CQing and S&Ping. Our S&P rates stayed high, as we were consistently answered on the first call. Starting just before 2200Z, W1AN worked a nice pile of JAs and socked away more mults. At the end of 24 hours we had over 1,600 Qs in the log and things were shaping up for a run at the US record we set in 2007 at KI1G. This was the first time in a RTTY contest for both Ed, W1PN and John, W1XX. With just a little instruction (apparently on a strict one-hour limit) both men were clicking away like pros in no time.
The Sat/Sun overnight dragged a little, as it always does. But we managed to add 200 Qs on 80M and over 300 Qs on 40M. By around 1600Z we had hit 7M points. Shortly afterward, unbeknownst to us, a Class C solar flare had occurred, causing our rates to plummet. However, the Two-of-Three Johns (W1AN and KO1H) soldiered on like QSO robots, eventually putting the ribbon on the whole shebang at over 8.4M points. Depending on how many mistakes we made, we have a good shot at beating the US record we set in 2007, raising the bar just a little higher for next year.
There seemed to be an unusual number of stations duping us. It was very frustrating and although it was our policy to work all dupes, it slowed us down on more than one occasion.
Many thanks to everyone who came out to support the operation and contribute to our great score! Everyone seemed to have a good time. A special thank you to John, W1AN and Nancy for hosting the operation. Nancy takes such good care of us with plenty of great food and drink! They are wonderful hosts.
We had no equipment failures. No lightning strikes, floods, power outages, or other disasters, man-made or natural. There was nary a hiccup to be had except for Writelog’s timed CQ function causing some havoc. Perhaps using a different call at W1AN confused Murphy, who might have been hanging around my house looking for me. Sucker! John’s station is a pleasure to work. There’s nothing like being a big fish once in a while!
Other than K3IU, KO1H, and KA1CQR, I’m not sure of what other club members we worked. Thanks for the Qs guys!