Ken Harker WM5R
2000 ARRL November Sweepstakes, Phone, N5XU M/S

Monique Stinson N3TNN works a pile-up operating at N5XU
in the 2000 Collegiate Championship.

N5XU participated in the Collegiate Championship conducted during the weekend of 18-19 November 2000. We operated in the Multioperator Single Transmitter (M) class, with KB5LBN, W5JLP, N3TNN, K5PI, KT5I, and WM5R operating.

The contest, for Ken WM5R, really began at 10AM on Saturday, when he put on his climbing harness and went to the top of the tower in 40°F light rain in order to swap out our rotor for one that George K5TR loaned to us. It wasn't clear what was wrong with our rotor, but it doesn't rotate anymore, even though all of the electrical checks on it check out. So, swapping out the rotor in the rain took no longer than it did the last two times Ken did it (while not in the rain,) he was just somewhat miserable while doing it. But it was absolutely worth it for the contest. There was enough time to dry off and warm up before the big event. K5TR, of course, takes good care of our little club, and we are very grateful for the loaner rotator. It wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without it. Meanwhile, George operated SOHP from W5KFT and made 2180 QSOs!

We got off to a much slower start this year than last year, but things picked up in the next couple of hours, peaking with a 129 hour Ken had at 2300, his personal best in this contest, and the best hour the station has had in a Sweepstakes in at least 10 years. We probably shouldn't have tried to go to 40 in the 0100 hour, as that dropped the rate dramatically for about ten minutes. After the first five hours of the contest, we were still about 50 QSOs behind last year's pace.

We pursued a different off-time strategy this year, opting to operate until 1:00 AM, start again at 6:30 AM, and then take the last half hour off. In retrospect, we didn't make as many QSOs between midnight and 1:00 AM as we would have made in another hour of operating on Sunday. On the other hand, we worked our only VE5 during that hour.

We had more operators this year than in many recent years. Our three newest contest operators are Monique N3TNN, Johanna W5JLP, and Louisa KB5LBN. All three of them operated the contest last year - their first contest experience ever. This year, they did fantastic. Monique in particular had at least three full hours near 60/hr, even on Sunday afternoon, and once had the rate meter (based on the last ten minutes) up at 90/hr. All three are getting much better at handling the run frequency, getting calls out of the noise and QRM, and are getting over their hesitations while operating. This was a very cool thing to hear.

We had a much better Sunday than last year, including an 83 hour on Sunday morning! As Ken WM5R describes it, "I had actually gotten into a frequency fight with a prominent WcF superstation on 20, when he zero beated me, and started calling 'CQ Contest.' When I told him the frequency was in use, he told me that he had been there 'for 50 minutes.' I told him he was wrong (I had made 20 QSOs on that frequency, including several stations in Florida) but he was insistent on stealing my frequency, and after seven full minutes when neither one of us made a QSO, I let him have it. I tried to find another run frequency, got an inferior one for a while, and after a little bit decided to go to 15M. When I got there, I found that the band was longer than the 'K5TR South Texas Sweepstakes Sweet Spot Metric' would suggest was a good place to be. I was working W1, VE2, VE3, Mn, Mi, and not the Oh, In, Il, WPa, and Mdc stations. But, the band was still sparsely populated, I was able to get a good clean frequency near 21230, and it seemed like everyone just found me. It was great. Mostly they came one right after the other, and not in clumps. And I think by getting there early, that as the band shortened and more stations moved up from 20, I was able to keep a clean frequency longer, closer to the bottom of the band, and that really helped me work stations faster. It was just a tremendous morning!"

The rest of Sunday, we had a couple of slow hours near noon, but otherwise were steadily gaining on last year's QSO total all day. Robert K5PI worked our last mult, VY1MB, giving us a clean sweep. Our second-best hour on Sunday was a 76 that Kevin KT5I worked at 2300, on 20. Monique N3TNN took us past last year's QSO total around 0130, and then we just went in a flat-out sprint to the end.

This is the second highest QSO total ever for the club station (the highest was set 11 years ago, coincidentally,) and it's the highest claimed score ever (in 1989, there were only 77 multipliers available, of course.) Our three newest operators together operated around 8 of the 24 hours, and would have operated more had they been around the shack more.

It was a fantastic contest.


The score below is claimed.

Band QSOs Points Mults
80SSB 19 38 2
40SSB 48 96 1
20SSB 541 1082 17
15SSB 481 962 28
10SSB 331 662 32
Total 1420 2840 80

Claimed score227,200


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