ARRL Sweepstakes SSB - 2100Z, Nov 19 to 0300Z, Nov 21

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mtindor

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If you're a North American ham and you like to operate SSB, this weekend is the ARRL Sweepstakes SSB event. It's a good event to play around in if you are looking to work all states. The bands should be packed with NA SSB stations.

This is also a great contest for those of you living in NA who have mediocre antenna systems. Even the smallest of stations are going to be able to make a decent number of contacts with other NA stations. I'm not sure what the propagation forecast looks like, but I anticipate 10m and 15m to be jam packed during the daylight/evening hours.

ARRL Sweepstakes SSB
2100z, Saturday Nov 19 to 0300z, Monday Nov 21
- that's a start time of 4 PM Eastern, 1 PM Pacific

WA7BNM Contest Calendar: 8-Day Calendar
ARRL Sweepstakes

The exchange is more detailed than the typical contest, so read up on what you need to send to the other party if you do participate. A typical low power single op would send something similar to this:

001 A AA8IA 91 OH

[incrementing serial #, precedence, your callsign, year you were licensed, ARRL/RAC section]

Hope to hear and work some of you guys.

Anybody plan on participating?


Mike / AA8IA
 

k9rzz

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Thirty two fifty six, alpha, kay nine are zed zed, seven six, wisconsin! ... Over!

I need your check and section! Check! Check!

:^)
 

JnglMassiv

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I'm running 'quebec' here in Chicago and it was tough going. I got about 7 qso's today but it took a lot of trying. If there's any other stations on the freq, they're probably going to drown out my 5watts to wire antenna.

I'm going to try again tomorrow.
 

mtindor

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I can't stand SSB contesting. I just happen to be bored so I'm operating. I have no decent way to monitor my own audio, and people constantly think I'm saying AA2IA or AA3IA instead of AA8IA. Drives me up a wall . Plus, I might as well be QRP. If you don't have directional antennas [+an amp] in an SSB contest, you aren't loud enough to stomp on the alligators.

Although I have a Heil headset, I don't like using VOX and I only have a handswitch. So I constantly have to juggle between the handswitch and the keyboard. Very tedious.

I also have a problem frequently with RF getting into my audio when I transmit. My inverted-V is about 14 feet away from the back of the house and parallel to it. And my shack is in the basement just inside where the antenna is. I need to get the antenna moved away from the house at least another 20 feet for good measure.

I did enjoy working a guy from Butte MT today. Why? Because he was relatively new (licensed in 2010) and was extremely laid back. He was way up high on 10m casually calling CQ and handing out MT contacts. He didn't adhere to the Serial | Precedence | Callsign | Check | Section like everyone else, and I'm betting the rabid contesters out there wer probably driven crazy by the fact that they had to slow down and relax to get an MT contact. I'm going to send the guy a QSL card and a note with it. It was good to see somebody on 10m just having fun in the middle of this crazy contest.

Mike
 

k9rzz

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Good going guys. I didn't get on at all this year. Radios all busted. I've put in my hours in the past though, so I know how it goes. Yes, it sure helps having all your ducks in a row before hand and a decent antenna is a must. I've done some Sweepstakes solo as well as multi-op and we always put extra effort in the antennas before hand. Never got a clean sweep from home, but several times as part of a multi. Never an easy task!
 

kayn1n32008

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If you don't have directional antennas [+an amp] in an SSB contest, you aren't loud enough to stomp on the alligators.
I disagree. I was over a a friends place yesterday and he is runnng seperate PAR endfedz on 10, 20 and 40m with only 100w. In 2 hours of tuning around we managed in excess of 20 contacts each. We were usually able to get heard on first drop of a call sign, mostly on 10m and had fun. After setting up, and tuning (fun when it is -20c) a PAR on 40m (hanging horizontaly) along a 5 foot high fence) we were able to work the eastern US, and got a 5/9 report out of Montana. Linears are nice but really only push the power bill up when the conditions are as good as they were this weekend.

Persistance and a unique call help alot. did anyone work Monkey Monkey Monkey? can not remember the prefix but the suffix got my attention forsure!!!
 

mtindor

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I disagree. I was over a a friends place yesterday and he is runnng seperate PAR endfedz on 10, 20 and 40m with only 100w. In 2 hours of tuning around we managed in excess of 20 contacts each. We were usually able to get heard on first drop of a call sign, mostly on 10m and had fun. After setting up, and tuning (fun when it is -20c) a PAR on 40m (hanging horizontaly) along a 5 foot high fence) we were able to work the eastern US, and got a 5/9 report out of Montana. Linears are nice but really only push the power bill up when the conditions are as good as they were this weekend.
Not to lessen your contacts by any measure, it's easier to work 10/15m with a very modest station. Propogation does a lot of the work, and then the receiving end rarely has QRN, although QRM is always possible. That's why I love working 10m. 40m is slowly becoming my favorite band though, but I need to put up vertical to work more low-angle. In an NA contest my wire works great on 40m.

Persistance and a unique call help alot. did anyone work Monkey Monkey Monkey? can not remember the prefix but the suffix got my attention forsure!!!
True, persistence works to some extent. SSB guys typically go for whomever is the strongest though. They aren't interested in asking for a repeat of a ??#?T if they have a booming ZZ3ZZ to work. Unlike CW, where I will oftentimes pick out the weaker calls, ask for repeats and work them. On CW an S2 signal a hundred hertz off of zero beat can catch my attention over an S6 signal zero beating.

I didn't work K6MMM this past weekend, but I worked her on 10/1 during the CaQP. She had an accent, not sure from where though. Very unique call, and she stood out. Plus her audio simply sounded great. I'm not one to succumb to YL voices on the radio like some hams do, but I got a kick out of listening to her say that call all the time.

Sounds like you had fun. I did as well, despite it being an SSB test. For the most part the RF into the audio was kept in check. I have two dipoles up. If one of them is "unplugged" and the coax is just running to the demarcation point, the RF out of the transmitting antenna comes right back down the unplugged antenna's coax and jumps around in the shack. If I get the unplugged coax away from the house, I have much less difficulties.

Mike
 
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mtindor

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Good going guys. I didn't get on at all this year. Radios all busted. I've put in my hours in the past though, so I know how it goes. Yes, it sure helps having all your ducks in a row before hand and a decent antenna is a must. I've done some Sweepstakes solo as well as multi-op and we always put extra effort in the antennas before hand. Never got a clean sweep from home, but several times as part of a multi. Never an easy task!
Far from a sweep for me [70 mults]. I wasn't really trying though, but if I were I doubt I would have gotten one. I did about 7 hours and had fun, which in my book is all that counts. When I start taking it too seriously and then don't live up to my own expectations it's a big letdown. I sulk for a week :)

Sorry to hear about your busted antennas. I always worry that at the last minute a high wind is going to come by and force the end supports out of the ground and ruin my day. So far it hasn't happened though.

Mike
 

IowaBrian

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Not to lessen your contacts by any measure, it's easier to work 10/15m with a very modest station. Propogation does a lot of the work, and then the receiving end rarely has QRN, although QRM is always possible. That's why I love working 10m. 40m is slowly becoming my favorite band though, but I need to put up vertical to work more low-angle. In an NA contest my wire works great on 40m.



True, persistence works to some extent. SSB guys typically go for whomever is the strongest though. They aren't interested in asking for a repeat of a ??#?T if they have a booming ZZ3ZZ to work. Unlike CW, where I will oftentimes pick out the weaker calls, ask for repeats and work them. On CW an S2 signal a hundred hertz off of zero beat can catch my attention over an S6 signal zero beating.

I didn't work K6MMM this past weekend, but I worked her on 10/1 during the CaQP. She had an accent, not sure from where though. Very unique call, and she stood out. Plus her audio simply sounded great. I'm not one to succumb to YL voices on the radio like some hams do, but I got a kick out of listening to her say that call all the time.

Sounds like you had fun. I did as well, despite it being an SSB test. For the most part the RF into the audio was kept in check. I have two dipoles up. If one of them is "unplugged" and the coax is just running to the demarcation point, the RF out of the transmitting antenna comes right back down the unplugged antenna's coax and jumps around in the shack. If I get the unplugged coax away from the house, I have much less difficulties.

Mike

You have to love a station that is MONKEY MONKEY MONKEY
 

kayn1n32008

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Yup sure got my attention!!! And my buddy replied with Big Ugly Monster. He just got his call and chose bum as his suffix! Got an instant reply!
 
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