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There shouldn't be any doubt that this was the best ever contest in RTTY
contesting history. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the SFI had jumped
to 190 on Saturday. It has been so long since we've seen these kind of
conditions on 10 and 15 meters that I forgot what it was like for these band to
be totally open. Man, it sure was fun, huh?

I beat my previous best score by more than 600k points. I tried going SO3R but
the 3rd radio died hours before the contest. I don't know that it would have
really mattered much as on the first night I didn't get the all-night 20 meter
opening to EU I was hoping for. Actually, the band was totally dead. And it
was barely open the second night although I was able to work some stations in
EU, Japan and South America between 2-4 AM local time.

Despite excellent high band conditions, I could not sustain any decent CQ runs
on 10 or 15 meters until late morning and afternoon, then the runs came
big-time on both bands. Before that, I was forced to do power S&P on both
radios and that drained a lot of energy out of me because it's very difficult
to do and you can't rest at all like you can if you are running on both radios.
Despite that, I was able to maintain decent rates until the bands came to me

I think the 10 meter JA run on Saturday night was the best I'd ever experienced
from my home station. With all the action on 10 meters, 20 meters got left out
and my numbers were way down. So I decided to leave 10 in the early after on
Sunday to concentrate on 20. Operating way up in the band, around 14136 kHz, I
had a tremendous run of stateside and EU (and a couple of JA's) the last few
hours of the contest.

Before the contest, I was greatly concerned how my body would handle a 48 hour
contest. I did receive some suggestions from several contesters before the
contest and read the Randy, K5ZD, webpage concerning sleep deprivation and
contesting. I decided to try the 90-minute sleep schedule for each night and
it seems to have worked well for me. After the contest, I felt pretty good.

I got plenty of rest before the contest. I ate only small meals (one Friday
before the contest and one Saturday night). Instead of eating breakfast and
lunch, I drank a nutrition shake. I did not eat snacks. I had a can of whole
cashews but didn't break it open until Sunday afternoon. Someone suggested
drinking Gatorade instead of soda, but I went ahead and stuck with a constant
flow of Diet Coke. I drank four 5 Hour Energy drinks during the contest when I
felt myself dragging a bit. I limited my intake of BC powder to 2 each day to
keep headaches at bay and ease the pain the headphones were inflicting on my
ears. Might be time for a new set of headphones. Anyway, I like to report
that everything I did worked. I did start to hallucinate in the last hour of
the contest and knew I was losing motor skills. Hand-eye coordination became
very difficult. But I knew there was only a short time to go so I was able to
concentrate a little harder in order not to become a total zombie by hitting
the wrong keys or forgetting to come back to someone. Sorry to those who I
worked in that final hours. It was rough! hi

Even though I had the best CQWW RTTY contest I'd every had, including my '92
trip to P4, I know it could have been better. The converted KT34 did not work
well on 10 meters, but luckily worked very well on 15 and 20. So I was forced
to keep the SteppIR on 10 meters nearly the whole time. The SteppIR worked
just great as it should. But I wonder what would happen had I been on the USA
east coast. I think I probably could have beaten the USA Low Power record.
Regardless, what I scored this weekend is probably the best I could ever hope
for with what I have (3 antennas and they are all low to the ground).

I want to thank everyone who worked me. It was the best of times!

73, Don AA5AU

Created by SH5 v.2.32 25-01-2012 21:13:08 UTC
Registered to: AA5AU