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ARRL 160-Meter Contest (2015)

ARRL 160-Meter Contest


Call: NR4M

Operator(s): NR4M K7SV

Station: NR4M


Class: M/S HP


Operating Time (hrs): 28



Total:  QSOs = 1501  Sections = 80  Countries = 50  Total Score = 441,625






K7SV comments:

Steve and Larry (K7SV) teamed again for this running. Steve worked from the beginning to about 03Z and Larry operated from 03Z to about 08Z.  Steve took over from about 09Z to sunrise. That was both nights. Conditions were not stellar, but certainly not bad. QRN was minimal but at times the band was really packed. We had a problem with the 8 circle, so RX antennas were NE, SE and NW beverages. Transmit antenna is a pair of phased Tees with about 100ft vertical. rig = K3 driving a single 4-1000Z.


While this contest is not known to attract the amount of DX that the CQ 160 does, there was fair activity from Eur. During 03-08Z Fri night Eur was fairly weak with some fair signals from far western Eur at their sunrise. When Larry took over at 03Z Sat night the Europeans were considerably louder.

Fairly loud stations followed the terminator as it proceeded west. It seems like we worked a bizillion WWA stations. Normally the further north we go on the west coast, the harder it is to work stations from here. That didn't seem to be the case during the weekend.

We weren't aware of any frequency fights and signals for the most part were quite clean.


ARRL 160 is usually a fun contest and this one was no exception. Maybe we should make a serious effort next. Top band can only improve from here!


NR4M comments:

I started this contest in bit of a down mood.  After many hours, Larry and I could not get the receive 8 circle working as it should.  This receive array was 80% the reason I had such a blast in this contest last year.  Real disappointment.  Well, at least we had 3 Beverages that seemed to be working well and would have to rely on them.


At the start of the contest, I could just not seem to get anything going.

Didn’t seem like there was the steady stream of stations that I had hoped for.  Although, my first hour was over a hundred, it was nothing like my first hour last year.  At this point, I am really missing the 8 circle.


Next thing to happen was the K3 seemed to develop an intermittent on receiving

on the transmit antenna.   This meant I was really working the Beverages to the



About 0100z, I was tucked in between K3ZM to my low side and another station, whose call I forget, to the high side.  I’m sure they were getting crowded, as everyone seemed to be getting closer than any of the 3 of us wanted.

Although the QRM was understandable, and not preferred,  we all dealt with it,

as we were all in the same situation.   A bit later, things eased up and we all

were able to claim a bit more ‘breathing room’.


Q’s came, but not at the rate of last year.  I dropped below 100 per hour much sooner than last year, with many less overall Q’s in the log.  Thought

this was going to be a looonnngg contest.   Larry showed up at about 0400z and

I turned it over to him with a few dozen less Q’s than same time last year.


I showed up again about 5 AM local and operated till signals went away with the sun.  My only excitement was to hear ONE, and work ONE JA, for the mult.


During the day Saturday, we swapped out some feeds and put another, shorter,

set of 3 Beverages in place of the non-functional 8 circle.    We also replaced

the K3, with another from the 80 meter station.  Things were looking up.

Also lost the cut-off bias on the 4-1000 amp.  It was operating more like a zero bias 3-1000.  Tube were now idling at 80 ma, with just a hint of red color.  Those repairs would wait till after the contest.


Started back at it about 2100z, and things seemed better than the same time the previous evening.

Things were steady until about 0230z, when I started working EU regularly.  A few times I had ‘buzzy-bee’ pileups of EU stations, that I just couldn’t

hear (hearing loss.)   2 db less and you couldn’t hear them; 2 db more and

they were perfect, although weak, copy.   Sure was longing for my 8 circle at

this point.

Larry showed up and I gave him the task of making something out of it all.  As usual, he did, although it wasn’t too easy for him either.


Next morning, I worked the one and only VK that I heard, for a new mult.

Overall, we did work 50 countries, which, considering all the issues, was an enjoyable surprise.

This is a recording around 04:00 UTC from Michel, ON7EH on his 128 m unterminated Beverage antenna... which corresponds to a S5-level on a 300 Hz setting on the K3. Michel is running K3/100 and inverted L at 15 m with many radials.



73 de Lar and Steve

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