First 160 Meter Contacts Start With a Bang!

Nick, K7MO, set me up with two big-ass antennas and got me on the air for the ARRL 160 Meter CW contest. He needed to work out the bugs in his Beverage and I needed 160M contacts. For my effort, I was able to make 332 contacts and score over 52,000 points. In my opinion, that is a very strong showing for a West coast station and only operating 10 hours of the contest period.

The plan was to run Nick’s Drake line so that we could use the Beverage for a receive antenna and transmit on the vertical. Nick could not get the transmitter to load up the antenna. To the backup we went and I set up my ICOM IC-718. But since there is only one antenna connection on the 718, I would not be able to use the beverage. Next, Nick hooked up Sparky the old KW amp and tried to tune up. No dice. The tuning cap spit and arced so Nick says, “You’re low power now.” At that point, I search and pounced a little then started calling CQ. I worked the only DX of the contest for me the first night with a handful of JA stations, a UA, and PJ2T. The first night, I logged nearly 200 Qs in 4.5 hours with a little ‘HF entry level’ rig.

The station on the first night, ICOM 718, MicroHAM MicroKeyer, IBM T40 laptop and N1MM logging software.
ICOM 718

Nick found a bug in his homebrew antenna switcher so the second night, the Drake 4-Line was ready to go. I worked another 140 Qs using the old tube rig hooked up to modern contest logging equipment.

The station on the second night, Drake 4-Line T-4XC, R-4C, MS-4 speaker, K1EL USB keyer, and laptop with N1MM.
Drake 4-Line

AC7FA operating.
AC7FA Operating 160M

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