Category Archives: 160 meter contests

Great weekend on 160 meters

This weekend was the ARRL 160 meter contest, which is always one of my favorites. I operated for a few hours Friday night, had a couple of long runs going, and ran for a few hours in the early evening on Saturday. The result was over 600 contests, and I had a great time. Next weekend is the ARRL 10 meter contest, which is really almost the opposite as far a propogation and hours of operation goes. With the low sunspot numbers, I’m not expecting much, but I’ll be on.

I am learning more and more on contesting. My lesson from this one is, “If you’re running a frequency and getting a high rate of hourly contacts, don’t quit to go watch a football game or something. When you come back, the contest and conditions will have changed, so don’t expect to pick up where you left off. I’ve read that advice before, but I saw it first-hand Saturday night. If I’d kept operating Saturday night, I could have added another 200 contacts or so, but I went to watch Nebraska-Texas game (hey I grew up in Nebraska so I’m allowed.)
Oh well, it’s a contest, and I still had a great time.

CQ 160 contest

Friday night at about 11 p.m. I realized I’d forgotten about the 160 meter CW contest this weekend. I tuned around the band, heard some stations, but it was dark, cold and snowy outside and I didn’t want to go out and reconfigure the antenna. So I went to bed.

Saturday I went outside while the sun was out, it was still cold and snowy, and reconfigured the antenna so I could operate Saturday night.

I have a 80 meter off-center-fed dipole fed with ladder line up about 50 feet. For 160, I tie the two sides of the antenna together and feed it from the long wire connection on the Dentron MT-3000A tuner. On 80 meters, I’ve been running coax to a balun just outside the shack, and feeding the open wire from there to reduce RF in the shack. Hence the need to go outside to reconfigure antennas.

Saturday night I got on 160 about 5 p.m. as the band opened to the East Coast. I took a couple breaks in the evening to eat dinner and go somewhere with my wife, but by 11 p.m. I’d broken 300 contacts ranging from Maine to Washington. So a good night on 16o.