CQ WW SSB 2014

This year we were back in Multi/Single trying to improve our
OH record score from last year. Propagation forecast looked good
but there was a great risk of radio blackouts and Aurora blocking
the propagation to North America.

After repairing all other lightning damages we finally found a
fix for our running amplifier on Thursday night when OH6XX and
myself got to the station.

Friday was spend setting up the station. We had a Running position
and an inband S/P position together with 2 Multiplier stations.

Logging programmes were installed on new computers and everything was
checked to be working fine.

Kari, OH5LF arrived just before sunset with new EA4TX rotator controller
and we managed to calibrate the position potentiometer before dark.

Everything looked great and it was time for Finnish Sauna to relaxe
before the contest and to have a few hours sleep.

But then Murphy paid a visit. When we returned from Sauna, we decided to
check the tuning marks on the amplifiers. First we noticed that the
running amplifier was having a low output. Trying to tune one of the
multilier amplifiers was impossible. The mains voltage was dropping
dramatically. Plate voltage dropped by 1 kV and the amplifier was
faulting all the time. Fortunately we had a spare amplifier that was
not having all the safety features and we got it going with low power.

The other problem we noticed was with the antenna switching. When we
transmitted with Mult 1 we had a problem with 80 meter relays.
OH6XX and OG9X tried to fix the problem and it took a few hours.

The start of the contest was not what we had hoped for. Aurora blocked
20 meter propagation to NA and we worked mostly 1 pointers on 40.

Our multiplier team, OH2BU and OH7CW did a great job to dig out every
possible multiplier.
We did not reach last year’s figures, low bands were hurt by good
propagation on high bands from more southern latitudes and we could
just not break some of the pileups on high bands in the late hours
to Central America.

Murphy hit us again on the secong night. TR relay of Mult 1 amplifier
broke and we were forced to replace it with the one that was not
working on Friday night. Luckily this time it was working OK and we
were back in business.

The Murphy came back. While running on 80 we suddenly lost receiving.
Another TR relay problem? No, we checked the amplifier and it was OK.
Was it a broken front end in K3? No, the 80 meter antenna relay was
damaged. So, back in the business again.

In the end of the contest we had a 90 minutes opening into NA on 20.
Otherwise the propagation to NA was down from last year and we lost
a lot of qsos. Claimed score was down from 10.9 to 7.6 million.

Anyway we had a good time and will be back in the end of November for
CQ WW CW Contest.

Operators of OH5Z in CQ WW SSB 2014

OG9X, OH2BU, OH5LF, OH5NQ, OH6XX, OH7CW

73, Timo OG9X

 

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