Ken Harker WM5R
1999 ARRL November Sweepstakes, Phone, N5XU M/S

Kevin Mandaville KT5I worked 117 stations in one hour.

N5XU participated in the Collegiate Championship conducted during the weekend of 20-21 November 1999. We operated in the Multioperator Single Transmitter (M) class, with KB5LBN, KM5FA, KT5I, and W5JLP operating.

What an absolutely amazing start to the contest! In four of the first five hours of the contest, we made more than 100 contacts. This is the best claimed score for the club since 1989, when we placed in the top ten multi-op, and it was all because of the first five hours of the contest. We started out with a good three hour run by KM5FA on 15 meters, cranking out 102, 102, and 109 contacts, respectively. Kevin KT5I then took over at 0000UTC, had a 96 hour, and then a 117 hour, our best hour of the contest. We never saw rates like that again, of course, and it was in those first five hours that we gained all the ground over our score from last year. Our best hour all day on Sunday was 67 contacts, and was actually a little slower than last year.

We ran with just a single transmitter, the Kenwood TS-850SAT. Our Kenwood TS-830S was hooked up to an AEA Isoloop antenna, intended mainly for people not operating to listen around with, but I don't think it ever got turned on. Maybe some day we'll get a two-radio set up going. The Heathkit SB-220 that we had to take out of service in the CW contest was back with us. There was probably a kilogram of dust inside the thing when we opened it up after the CW contest. Cleaning it out, especially around the tube sockets, we think fixed the problems we were experiencing.

Louisa Preston KB5LBN looks for a new one.

The club's love-hate relationship with the TS-850SAT grew even more complex this weekend. The TS-850SAT is extremely sensitive to RF, and has a very bad tendency to pick up RF on, say, the microphone cabling, which remodulates with the mic audio and causes bad RF distortion over the air. We had thought we had fixed it with gigantic type 77 ferrite toroids on the DVK and microphone cabling, but with the amplifier healthy again and pumping out more power, it appears that RF can get in through the headphone lines as well, and that the toroids we had on those lines were inadequate. Still, we were able to orient the cables in such a way that for the most part, we could operate without RFI. Only once or twice during the contest did we start hearing funky things on our voice peaks, and had to fiddle with cable locations to make them go away.

We could never really get anything going on 10M. It was open, and it sounded like a lot of stations were on, but we could never really get a good run going there, even though we made 10M contacts in eight different hours on Sunday. Our amplifier doesn't put out as much power on 10M as it does 15M or 20M, and our antenna has only two elements on 10M, which I guess isn't as competitive as two elements on 20M. 15M and 20M were our rate bands, and we racked up over 1,000 of our contacts on those two bands. We avoided 40M for the most part, but did reasonably well on 80M, with a 56 hour at 0500UTC Saturday night.

Kevin KT5I had the best quote of the weekend. Referring (unbeknownst to the San Diego section station with whom he was contacting) to an incident on Saturday where he was caught logging San Diego stations as "SD," instead of "SDG," Kevin actually said over the air, "I was dreaming last night that I was in South Dakota, climbing orange trees, and not getting any points for it." This was Louisa KB5LBN's first-ever HF contest. It was Johanna W5JLP's second phone contest, and the first time she has tried her hand at phone Sweepstakes. They operated together for a couple of hours on Sunday night. We also worked several club alumni over the air, from exotic places like WWA, WMA, and STX.

We had a clean sweep worked relatively early in the contest, at 1703UTC. NWT was our last needed section. PR and NWT were the only sections with just one contact.

We also discovered that our old callsign, W5EHM, was just recently reissued as a vanity call to a ham in Mississippi. We looked him up in the online callbook, a little befuddled as to why anyone would want that callsign (considering what it sounds like in code,) and found out that the gentleman's initials are EHM.


The score below is claimed.

Band QSOs Points Mults
80SSB 120 240 6
40SSB 32 64 0
20SSB 506 1012 16
15SSB 515 1030 56
10SSB 189 378 1
Total 1362 2472 79

Claimed score215,196


Contest Logging was done with TR Log contest logging software. The following reports and log were created using TR Log's post-contest processor.

Last Updated 26 June 2020