Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
A number of stations worked KL7FWX over the local IRLP node, too. The down side of this mode is that the self-appointed "policeman" of Alaska IRLP rarely seems to miss an opportunity to belittle operators who may step outside his strict notion of protocol. I witnessed this first-hand on Saturday afternoon. We all know the type, and these people provide excellent examples of how NOT to behave on the air.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Alaska was well represented as a double multiplier for many. NL7Z, AL9A, AL7R, AL1G, KL8DX, KL1JP, KL2R, and others were on.
Contest : CQ World Wide DX Contest
Callsign : KL2R
Mode : CW
Category : Single Operator (SO)
Overlay : ---
Band(s) : Single band (SB) 20 m
Class : Low Power (LP) UNASSISTED
Zone/State/... : 01
Locator : BP64KU
Operating time : 15h20
BAND QSO CQ DXC DUP POINTS AVG
160 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
80 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
40 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
20 969 27 52 27 2250 2.32
15 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
10 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
TOTAL 969 27 52 27 2250 2.32
TOTAL SCORE : 177 750
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Callsign : KL2R
Mode : PHONE
Category : Multi Operator - Single Transmitter (MS)
Overlay : ---
Band(s) : All bands (AB)
Class : Low Power (LP)
Locator : BP64KU
Operating time : 14h33
160 0 0 0 0
80 3 0 0 6
40 12 0 1 24
20 187 1 28 372
15 92 0 25 184
10 7 0 5 14
TOTAL 301 1 59 600
TOTAL SCORE : 35 400
Sunday, November 22, 2009
In short, I think we al learned something, both about each other as well as various technologies in the KL2R shack. It's a training ground, first and foremost.
Monday, November 9, 2009
160 0 0 0 0
80 6 0 0 12
40 48 0 6 96
20 207 1 23 414
15 90 0 32 180
10 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 351 1 61 702
TOTAL SCORE : 42,822
Operators : N1TX, KL1JP
The contest was off to a promising start with a strong opening on 15m, but eventually we moved to 20m and found it was hard to gain traction. Best 40m QSO count ever using the new dipole at 100 feet. Sunday proved rough as the aurora picked up (see purple curve in the chart below), and those east coast multipliers could not hear us.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Philosophical speaking, having a short lived but high aurora period puts us northern low power stations in good position to pick up EU mults while circumventing the competition. Stations outside the auroral bowl usually have difficulty in being heard by the stations inside the bowl. As long as the aurora is short-lived, it is quite comforting to hear the flutter and realize the competition just dropped out.
In previous contests, the NA C3 usually had difficulty working into JA country during their nighttime. However, the new EU C3 worked exceptionally well into the JA nights on 20m. I had little trouble picking up any existing 20m contacts that I could hear from both JA land and scattered locations within EU. Russian stations RG9A and RZ3AXX came back on the first call. Both reported we had a great signal.
Monday, October 26, 2009
CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB
Operator(s): AL2F AL7IF KA1NCN KL7RA N1TX N5XZ NL7Y
Class: M/M HP
Operating Time (hrs): 48
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 92 7 6
80: 341 17 19
40: 1592 31 71
20: 3273 35 131
15: 1525 32 86
10: 19 7 7
Total: 6872 129 320 Total Score = 7,312,863
Sunday, October 11, 2009
KL2R New Antennas Compared
I don't have enough thanks to offer: KL1RL, KL1JP, N6PU, and my two work colleagues Marc Meindl and Lance Seman.
Good times coming!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thanks to EVERYONE who worked us that weekend! And special appreciation to Eric KL7AJ for his help as second operator.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Here's some pics a friend took a couple of days ago showing the results of this summer's forest fire (called Zitziana fire) that nearly cooked the NL7Y remote cabin and two towers at West Twin Lake. QTH is 93 miles SW of Fairbanks. The black in the foreground near the cabin is the result of a backfire set by the smoke jumpers to prevent the fire that approached from the west (upper area now turned tan/brown). All was saved as the fire was slow moving through grasses and new green vegetation. Some big big spruce trees were saved. The tallest one to the left rear of the cabin held my 160M inverted-L. Hope the groundplane survived. The Force-12 beam shines through the trees to the right of the dwellings.
Prior to the first big fire in 2002, the area was unburned for over 150 years. Some of the big spruce had been there since the 1600's (over 400 yrs at least). Trees like those surrounding the cabin plus black spruce covered the surrounding terrain as far as can be seen. So, after two fires in seven years maybe it's now safe to move the main tower up the hill for a better shot at East Asia.
73 Gary NL7Y
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The Alaska 50th Anniversary of Statehood Special Event will be on the air October 18, 2009 from 1800Z until October 19, 2009, 0600Z. There will be many stations on from around the state of Alaska all using KL5O (kilo lima five oscar). We will be on all bands, from 160 through 10 meters, including the WARC bands. This would be a good opportunity for those station needing Alaska on a particular band or mode to make that needed QSO. Operation will be scheduled to facilitate working North American stations, though all stations worldwide are encouraged to participate.
Making a QSO in this event qualifies as credit for Alaska in the ARRL Year Of The State QSO Party.
Details and updates: http://www.kl5o.com/
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I can understand why all the real contesters beat feet south as soon as they could.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Although licensed only as a novice, I think KB2GSD was a contester at heart. "I want to win," he once said. "I not only want to win. I want to be the best. I feel very badly if I can't be."
Good night, Walter. Thank you for being the very best.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Last year's participants, Ken W6HF and Luci KL1WE, couldn't visit for Field Day, and co-founder Rod KL1Y is overseas. Nevertheless, Field Day 2009 at KL2R was a record-setter. We station operated Class 4E for a change of pace. Rain was minimal, and KL1JP's solar-battery cooler was put to good use with FT897 and FT857. The FT950 was primary for CW and digital modes. N6PU's Jupiter was in the #2 HF position. Dan attempted several satellite QSOs, but the passes were not favorable.
Justin KL1RL dusted off the ham-hat and lent a hand on setup and operation after months away from any radio. New member Elaine N6PU was first to arrive and last to leave, and she stirred up some good interest on PSK31 and the other modes. Her 5 kW generator came in handy in the middle of the night, too. New licensee Alex KL2TI camped in front of the microphone with some coaching and worked some SSB. Phil KL8DX, another new member, drove all the way up from Healy and earned the nickname "Manimal II" after six hours pounding brass with little introduction or orientation. He said of Field Day at KL2R, "My first chance at operating in a group setting was last weekend, and it makes me want to return and do it many more times. "Read more about our Alaskan ham fun: http://www.akradio.net/activities.htm
It was truly amazing to watch the WinTest gab window; stations being passed from one band and op to another, reports of changing band conditions and of course, the camaraderie, issued personal challenges and the humor that were often displayed. In my opinion, it was a most memorable team effort by all participants involved. Simply put, it was a lot of fun to be a part of this, not to mention the education and experience I received. There's a lot to learn by participating in contesting. Any contest will allow you to work with different radio modes and frequencies, try new equipment, have a look at a variety of antennas and get a better understanding of propagation and the effects of the sun upon propagation and locations.
I continue to be impressed with all of the pre-contest testing and last minute tweaking everyone did for IARU. Things like Larry sitting out in his shack at 1am (that's 3 hours pre-start) wiring together a 240v power cable so we can use Gary's (NL7Y) amplifier, Rich climbing the tower to replace a blown 40m relay in the middle of the event or the extraordinary IT effort by Wigi (AL7IF) to make the routers play together nicely amaze me in term of commitment. And, I am especially astonished that nothing did a big melt-down in the middle of the event. We've all dealt with radio and computer equipment over the years to know how unusual that single event is; namely that everything worked the way it was suppose to AND when it was suppose to. After all... to think there were, what, 10 radios interfaced to 10 software packages using 8 separate routers using a variety of internet providers. Whew...just think what might have happened had GCI inadvertently cut their fiber optics cable again?
There were a lot of personal "firsts" for me in this event. First time I saw logging that rapid, first time as a multi op, first time I used an amplifier (thanks Gary !) and of course first time I used the W1AW/KL7 callsign. I remember hearing more than a few "huh's ?" and "are you guys in Alaska ?" and "how much power are you guys running ?" returns on calls. I assume the amp was partly responsible for our delightful BIG BOOMING signal for a change. And then... there was the tenacity of the operators. Now I know first-hand what sort of effort it takes to rack up several million points.
This truly was an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks again to Rich for his extraordinary courage in placing his head between the stock and the guillotine blade. Thankfully, no one had to let the blade loose.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
The king of multi-multi contesters in Alaska, Rich Strand KL7RA, proposed last year to operate as W1AW/KL7 in the IARU HF contest. Several stations signed up to activate the headquarters station, and the idea began to germinate.
Stream of consciousness...
Rich pulled a million strings, even up to the last minute, to make the knot that held this thing together. WOW! He is far too modest, but I think we all know without this extraordinary effort, W1AW/KL7 would have been a pipe dream.
The HC8N CW team stacked the decks from Rich's new Kenai station. The 3830 reflector is full of comments regarding how strong the signals were. Some good 10m contacts were in the offing, too. Those guys really know how to light up the ionosphere.
Wigi AL7IF gets a blue ribbon for his technical support getting the VPN and WinTest networking going well in advance so we could have a chance to wring things out. Without it, I have a feeling things could have gone very badly.
Corliss AL1G gets my gold star for sheer staying power and making the Voice of Willow a force to be reckoned with, especially towards the end when new stations were not that easy to find. She did a tremendous job keeping alive the memory of Frank KL7FH SK.
Frank WL7O and Debbie KL7OU at Big Lake kept things running and running and running from there on 40 SSB. Whatever it took. And many thanks to them for pictures/words for my documentation effort.
AL7F Kris' 80m SSB signal from Anchor Point was absolutely amazing. That antenna work has paid off.
The odds and ends I contended with at KL2R to get ready were numerous but all relatively minor. Repairs from Field Day, re-cabling, labeling, running 240 VAC for the amp, etc. I dotted the last i and crossed the final t with just under 3 hours left until the start.
Dan KL1JP started the generator at 1150Z and toughed it out for half the contest until work demands drew him away. Thankfully,Gary NL7Y came to the rescue. Both these guys deserve a round of applause for dogged perseverance in less-than-ideal conditions. But we're used to that sort of tenacity, which is what it takes in Fairbanks to compete when the Kp and aurora go high. Lesser ops would have gone to bed or gone fishing.
The technology -- WinTest in particular -- was rock-solid. IARU gave us a chance to exercise some of the multi-multi tools in the software suite. After this, M2 operation at KL2R will be a piece of cake. Partnering was fun to do. Gab kept us awake and entertained, not to mention proved an invaluable coordnation tool. (I didn't receive one phone call.)
I had a huge sense of relief when I powered off the generator at 1201Z Sunday. I had slept barely 3 hours in the previous 48, and as Gary said, I was slowly bleeding. But I went to Snoozeville feeling a great sense of accomplishment, tremendous pride in everyone's teamwork, and above all, real honor in having been invited to participate in such a special event.