Ken Harker WM5R
2005 ARRL November Sweepstakes, Phone W5KFT (WM5R, op. )

Band QSOs Sections
Totals 1765 80

Claimed score282,400

Thanks to Bryan for letting me use his station once again. One of the amplifiers was still in the shop, so I only had high power on one radio this year. I don't think this hurt me too much - there were a few second radio QSOs I missed because the other station either couldn't hear me or I got beat out by a high power station, but it wasn't very often.

I got off to my best start ever in this contest, with my first hour of over 150 QSOs in the Sweepstakes. I had some difficulty keeping momentum over the next several hours. Conditions were quite different from last year. 20 meters ceased being productive a full two hours earlier than last year each evening.

I took an off time Saturday night during the 0200 UTC hour when a shortwave broadcaster wiped out my run frequency and I couldn't easily find another good one on 40 meters, and my CQing efforts on 80 meters were not yet productive. I probably should have persevered and stayed on the air. The last three hours I was on in the evening were painful. I need to figure out how to turn those forty and fifty hours into sixty and seventy hours. I have yet to figure out how to do that, though.

I almost had a 100 hour on Sunday morning on 20 meters. I wish conditions on 20 meters had been better than they were.

If I had to do it over again, I would have taken a half hour off time in the 2300 UTC hour on Sunday, which was just a bad hour for me, and not taken the half hour off that I took in the 0100 UTC hour. I think I'm still making a lot of tactical mistakes in this contest - not just with off-time decisions, but in choosing run frequencies and being persistent enough with SO2R. TR Log says I made 46 second radio QSOs.

One pleasant aspect of this weekend's contest was a surprisingly light presence of jammers. There were a few malicious carriers here and there, but nothing like what occured last year in the contest.

I worked every section more than once, and at least one station from each section called me. I was a little surprised to work not one or two stations in the Nt multiplier, but three of them. I have yet to really understand why Alberta is so scarce in this contest. There are really large cities in that province, and yet I only worked five VE6 stations, the same number that I worked in VE5 and VE4. I worked twice as many stations from Wyoming this year!

I love operating at the W5KFT ranch, although it's sometimes a real challenge to keep the contest spirit going when it's a gorgeous fall day and the sunshine is sparkling off the lake just outside your window!


160 - Inverted V @ 145'

 80 - Sloping dipoles - NE, NW from 150', SE from 135'

 40 - Cushcraft 40-2CD @ 150', rotatable
      Cushcraft 40-2CD @ 70', fixed NE

 20 - Hy-Gain 204BA @ 157', rotatable
      Hy-Gain 204BA @ 105', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain 204BA @ 53', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain TH7DXX @ 60', rotatable

 15 - Hy-Gain 155CA @ 135', rotatable
      Hy-Gain 155CA @ 90', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain 155CA @ 45', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain TH7DXX @ 60', rotatable

 10 - Hy-Gain 105CA @ 140', rotatable
      Hy-Gain 105CA @ 100', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain 105CA @ 60', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain 105CA @ 30', fixed NE
      Hy-Gain TH7DXX @ 60', rotatable

Radio 1:  Kenwood TS-850SAT, Ameritron AL-1500
Radio 2:  Kenwood TS-850SAT
Headset:  Heil Proset
DVK:      W9XT Contest Card
Software: TR Log 6.79
Other:    SX0B StackMatches, Ameritron RCS-8V switches, ICE bandpass filters,
          Top Ten Devices Band Decoders, Top Ten Devices DXDoubler, CDE rotors

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