My research of the previous 5 years of results for the 20m only category suggested that if I set a goal of at least 2100 QSOs and 60 Multipliers, that I should be able to hopefully have the top score for the category this year (even at the bottom of the sunspot cycle). I wrote down my goal on a small yellow Post It note and kept this in front of me while operating. It required calling CQ more than 5,300 times, and so far it appears my goal was accomplished unless a higher 20m only score is submitted. During so many CQ's, I wished for a shorter contest callsign like D4B. However, I was grateful to the licensing authorites for the special assignment of VP2VVA to use in the contest instead of VP2V/K6VVA which was for non-contest operation to hand out some IOTA QSOs primarily to Europe. A few "dupes" and probable logging errors will undoubtedly reduce the score a bit in log checking, of course.
Dmitriy, UA4WLI, made several modficiations to TR4W for me which helped greatly. It was a pleasure to use his excellent software for the first time in a major contest. I am also converting to TR4W for use at my new solar/battery remote controlled station in California which is now partially operational. If you have not used TR4W yet, I encourage everyone to try it !!!
Although my host George, VP2VQ, kindly offered me the use of either his FT-1000MP or IC-746 Pro, I decided to take one of my TS-480 rigs because I am so familiar with it and have used the TS-480 on other Contest-Peditions. My home QTH SO2R station also uses two TS-480's. Fortunately, I was able to reduce my Contest-Pedition travel luggage because George also provided the use of a 12v power supply, his small amplifier and existing A3 tribander. Although the tribander was only 30 feet off the ground, the QSL photo I took from the VP2VVA operating location looking toward the U.S.A. shows why it worked so well. George, VP2VQ, and his family were excellent hosts. When not operating in the Contest, I enjoyed many fun times visiting with them.
I arrived on Tortola Thursday afternoon, with the contest to start the next evening local time. When I woke up on Friday morning, George informed me that the A/C electrical power was QRT on the entire Island. It did not come back on until that afternoon. We searched for a possible backup generator to accommodate a pure sine wave for the computer and radio equipment, but none was available. My concern was that the power might go off during the contest. So I said many prayers during the contest for the power to stay on and gratefully all was OK. George is planning to add a backup generator soon.
In a few months, George, VP2VQ, will have some exciting news about future
Contest-Pedition and DX-Pedition opportunities on Tortola. If you'd like to be informed, send George an email ( vp2vq at surfbvi.com ) and use TORTOLA in the Subject line.
My very good long time friend Jim, N6TJ (ZD8Z), was also operating the contest not too far away from VP2V as NP3U. We just missed being able to see each other at the San Juan, Puerto Rico airport by about one hour because of our different airplane flights to and from the Caribbean. Fortunately, I will be able to see Jim and his XYL at the Visalia DX Convention next month, as well as Scott, K0DQ, who I first QSO'd in the late 1950's when we were both Novice Class Licensees (KN0DQI and KN6VVA). Congrats to Scott on his winning all band score from the VY2ZM SuperStation.
Now back in California, I wish my trip to VP2V would have been longer in order to do sightseeing and enjoy the Caribbean waters. Next time I will plan to spend more days there. Some photos from my Contest-Pedition trip to Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
73 & Tnx to all for the Contest QSOs and Multipliers ...
Rick, K6VVA * The Locust
* Celebrating 52 Years as a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator
* Co-Founding Member, NCCC (Northern California Contest Club)
* FOC Member #1845 (Ex #845) * A-1 Operator Club
* C6AVA, KL8C (Trustee), KP2CW (Trustee)
* DXCC, WAZ, WAS, etc., etc.