CT9M January 27, 2005 (Next page)
CT9M CQWW 160 CW 2005 Score: 1,496.286 (QSO: 1242, Sec: 53, DX: 68)
Dear HAM friends,
George, VE3NZ and myself arrived to CT3 on January 21. We were greeted by Luis, CT3EE at Funchal airport. Gyuri, HA5JI (and his XYL Klara) and Jean, HA5SX arrived few hours later and together we went to our hotel.
The hotel conveniently located only 6-7 minutes drive from CT9M. Next morning we met the group of the station: Luis-CT3EE, Luis-CT3DL, Joe-CT3BD, Duarte-CT3KY, Miguel-CT3IA, Faria-CT3DZ, Duarte-CT3EN, Alves-CT3IQ and Tiago-CT3KU, as hams from three continents assembled at the Madeira contest station. We looked around and assessed our possibilities for antennas. There was a 50m high freestanding telecommunication tower 160 meters from the radio shack that we were allowed to use. The shack is on the edge of a water reservoir, which is around 250 meters wide and the water level was about 10 meters below the edge. The communication tower offered a great starting point for all kind of antennas. Finally we decided to put up a three-element delta loop for US, a sloping dipole for EU and a square loop over the water. Work begun, and so did the bad weather. Madeira has a great weather in January, sunny 19/20 Celsius on the southern coast, but rainy, foggy with 10/15 Celsius in the mountains at 750 mtrs, where the contest station is located. Building antennas for 160 meter could become non trivial at the CT9M QTH. On occasion while we were holding the two ends of a wire a cloud settled in, and suddenly we could not see each other, only could communicate by UHF hand-helds. Just minutes later the clouds were gone and we had to take off our jackets, it was so hot in the sun. When the full wave loop stretched 300 meters across the reservoir needed a fine tuning, we asked CT3BD for a boat(?). He said "OKay", and an hour later surprise, we got a rubber boat. The next day happened the highlight of our antenna projects; Lali, VE3NE did his stunt with the boat, adjusting the length of the loop. There were lots of happy spectators cheering him from the shore. We were working on the antennas until Friday evening. Used up at least 500 meters of coax, several hundred meters of nylon ropes and lot of wires. Basically we bought all the useful nylon ropes that were on display in Funchal. At the local supermarket we found only 91 meters of 5 mm climbing rope in a sporting store. The other ropes were either too thick or not strong enough for our use. Friday Jose, CT1BOH arrived and gave us some good advice regarding antennas for EU but we were out of wires, ropes and quite honestly we were very tired for all the work so we left everything as it was.
First night was very bad for EU. We could hear everybody but we were having hard time to be heard. US wasnít bad and the 3 ele delta loop worked pretty good. We could work state side QRP stations. During the day after the first night we had very special visitors at the station.
Martti-OH2BH, his wife and Pertti-OH2PM showed up for a little chitchat. It was very interesting meeting and Pertti gave me some good advises regarding the beverage antennas, which I used immediately and it worked! We agreed to have lunch together on Sunday afternoon at our hotelís restaurant. Later on that day we had another surprise visit from the group of CT9C: Slavek-OK1TN, Jan-OK1NU and Karel-OK1DXB came to see us and we had a very useful and interesting conversation about the contest, the locations and related topics.
Second night was better for EU but still not as good as we wanted. More QSOs but the Asian stations did not hear us very well.
We were hoping for a better final score, however we had simply not enough time before the contest to experiment and build the most suitable array for the location. Overall, we improved about 30% relative to our score in the same category last year as VP5/VE3NE, it feels good. It even feels better, that we broke the official Multi Op CW record, held by VY2ZM since 2003, by a good 300k (unofficial) margin. Mission accomplished - says Geo, VE3NZ. (Other team members may not necessarily agree.)
We owe a lot to the members of CT9M, Madeira Team and we are very thankful for their help. Without the support from the Madeira Team we could not achieve any decent score. Their hospitality is unparalleled. To tell the full tale of their post-contest dinner they presented for us would be a complete story by itself. Wow! They are an excellent group with high ham spirit and great personalities. We enjoyed every minute of our stay on beautiful Madeira and cherish our friendship with The Madeira Contest Team.