Oh oh...

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[flag on 220MHz]

Callsign: W2SZ/1
Location: Mt. Greylock, Adams, Massachussetts, USA
Grid: FN32
Category: Unlimited Multioperator
50 582 582 56
144 570 570 52
222 252 504 42
432 368 736 46
903 113 339 34
1.2 124 372 35
2.3 112 448 34
3.4 87 348 28
5.7 83 332 25
10G 59 236 12
24G 8 32 5
47G 5 20 5
TOTALS 2,363 4,519 374
TOTAL SCORE = 1,690,106

There was only one way to descibe this contest.... WET.

Arrival on the mountain occured late Thursday night after one of the trucks (not the same one as in August) lunched it's alternator (which had been hastily repaired over 10 year ago!)...

Shortly after morning on Friday the rain began and did not go away until late Sunday night. Along the way pretty much every station had it's own issue that needed to be worked out...

  • On 1296, before the contest started, one leg the power amplifier was damaged (open circuit TX) and had to be by-passed (resulting in ~60W on TX).
  • One of the 2M rotors was found to be DOA, right before the contest began, and had to be replaced
  • On the intial test of the new 2/3/5 aux prop-pitch based tower rotor it was found to be flaky and would stop turning... the station ran with a conventional rotor.
  • 6M ran the start of the contest with a 20dB RX impairment due to an out of tune RX helical filter. An on the spot sweep and re-tune of the filter was required
  • The performance of the 10GHz station was not up to par and it was found to be flaky BNC connectors on the tower box end of the cable. New connectors were installed and operation resumed.
  • The 2M antenna selector box (ULB) was found to be disconnected late Saturday night, upon connecting it one of the antenna stacks had a bad VSWR. It was tracked down to the T/R switch not switching properly (bad control cable).
  • The 222 array decided that it wanted 15 degrees of up-tilt during the wettest/windiest time in the contest. Due to the crummy weather (mainly very high winds) adjustment was not made.
  • The main 2/3/5GHz station decided to loose its band select capability late Saturday night. It was found to be a bad rotary switch and was replaced with some loose wires and a clip lead.
  • Early Sunday morning the 903 amplifier went up in smoke due to a failure in FET bias regulator. Low power (1W?) operation was the name of the game for the rest of the day.
  • The recently repaired 903 rotor (drive ring replacement) decided that it no longer deserved to live and the motor quit on late Saturday afternoon. A spare was wedged into service.
  • Due to the condensation on the face of the 47GHz radome it had to be wiped down before each QSO. In addition, the RX mixer current was a bit high (speculating humidity in the feed)
  • Some humidity in the 24GHz feed seem to affect station performance.
All said and done the contest was fun, the "fix-it" crews were kept rather busy, and the resulting score was decent considering the messy weekend.
[Sep 2002]

The setup before the rains began

[2/3/5 Aux]

The new 2/3/5GHz auxiliary station tower boxes

[High Microwaves]

47GHz arrives on the high microwaves tower,
wideband 10GHz gets a radome