160 Meter Contest - January, 2002

Pink shows the states worked during the CQ World Wide CW DX Contest.

As each new state was worked it was colored in during the contest with a goal of Worked All States.

A total of 12 hours was spent operating and an amazing total of 40 states were worked including Hawaii. Three Canadian provinces and the Cayman Islands were included in the total of 136 contacts.

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This accomplishment is amazing because it was done with 100 watts with this 23' antenna! It was built for 40m, not 160. It has a top hat and a good radial system. Temporarily a SGC Smartuner is being used as the matching unit at the base.

Twenty-three feet on 160 is 1/20th of a wavelenth. Praise goes to the SGC Smartuner for converting that low, low radiation resistance into something useable. The fact that it presents a low SWR to the transceiver doesn't mean anything but 40 states and 136 contacts tells it all--- it gets out.

There are no secrets but there are revelations as explained in Secrets of a Successful Vertical Antenna.

With no intention of working the contest one contact was attempted with a Utah station 15 minutes before the contest started. Shagrinned that the contact was successful, more QSO's were attempted and made. Then when the contest started stations were picked off left and right for the next hour and a half. Ten states were worked before a break for dinner. Getting back to the contest was all one could think about.

It was tremendous fun and all the while the constant thought was it was being done with a 23 foot antenna and 100 watts. What a contest station that is! Who needs a huge antenna and a KW?

Planning now for the next 160 contest is under way. The Smartuner at the base can be replaced by a real matching network and a loading coil. That would allow more power and a stronger signal.

Also since there was no plan to be in contest mode no software was used. QSO's were logged by hand on paper and the "hunt-and -pounce" method was used. Keying was done by the builtin keyer in the ICOM IC-756PRO and a hand key. Next time a computer can run CT software and the method can be changed to "running". The combination should improve the results.