Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bad Day for Macho

Last week Macho Cuesew, the World's Most Extreme Contester, stopped by the Lost Island DX Society club station. Macho was obviously feeling very down.

"What's the matter, Macho? Another solar flare hit and wipe out the bands?"

"No. No solar flares."

"Well, what's got you so down in the dumps?"

"Macho is very sad. First, when they announced the team leaders for WRTC 2014, Macho was not included in the list."

"Well, don't take it so hard. There were a lot of top notch operators who didn't make it as a team leader. Maybe someone will pick you for a teammate."

"Macho already has a teammate - Leche Dinero. Macho and Leche were going to be Team Cuesew! We would win it all. We would be unstoppable - the World's Most Extreme Contester. And Leche."

"There's still a chance, Macho. There are those sponsored teams left to fill. If you can find a sponsor to pony up the cash, they could name you and Leche as their team and you'd be in. Maybe you could sponsor the team yourself?"

"No. Macho lost most of his money trying to buy an Alpha 77 over the Internet from a guy in Nigeria. And I still don't have the Alpha. I just need a little more money to pay the export registration paperwork fee. And the import registration paperwork fee. And shipping turns out to be very expensive from Nigeria. You have to pay for everything up front."

"Hmmm, does sound like a sticky situation. You said the WRTC was the first thing upsetting you. What else is wrong?"

"Macho is very sad to learn that the CQWW committee has eliminated the Extreme category. That was Macho's home in the greatest contest of all. It was the only contest that recognized the greatness of Macho as the Most Extreme Contester in the World."

"The WW is still the greatest contest on the planet. You just have to compete with the rest of us plebes now is all."

"Yes. I now compete with you puny ordinary contesters. Where is the challenge in that?"

"I see your point, Macho. Guess its time to hang up the tights and start hanging out on 75m phone in the evenings and relive the glory days."

Thursday, October 10, 2013

DXpedition to Mud Island

Thanks to an earthquake on September 24, a new island has appeared off the coast of Pakistan near the town of Gwadar. The new island, named Zalzala Koh, is made of erupted mud, spewed from the seafloor when either gases escaped or subsurface water was violently expelled. The new island is approximately 576 feet by 525 feet and has an elevation of 60 to 70 feet. It is located approximately 2 km from shore.

News of the new island sent a titter through the international DX community. New Ones of any sort difficult to find. But there is no denying that Zalzala Koh is a true New One.

An international group of DXpeditioners is being assembled to mount a expedition to newly formed mud island as I write this. Sponsorship is being secured and travel arrangements are almost complete. It is hoped that the call AP4ONY can be secured for the DXpedition.

Although Zalzala Koh has not been approved by either IOTA, DXCC, or any other award program, the DX spirit of WFWL (Work First, Worry Later) is at play here. If past history is any indication, Zalzala Koh may disappear within a year succumbing to the erosive power of the pounding of waves from monsoon storms, so work 'em while you can!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

CQWW Is Just Around The Corner

Last week while hanging out at the Lost Island DX Society clubhouse, SSB operator extraordinaire Rusty Key stopped by. Someone mentioned that CQWW was quickly approaching. While the other LIDS were excitedly discussing the prospects for banner propagation this year, I noticed Rusty was awfully quiet.

 "Hey, Rusty, you planning another big operation for WW phone this year?" I asked.

 Rusty turned exceedingly shy, looked at the ground and said, "Naw, don't reckon I'll do much."

 For one of the most prominent LIDS phone operators this was shocking and suspicious. It took a little prying to find out what was going on, but eventually Rusty fessed up.

"I was DQ'd last year."

"What!? Were you running Uncle Percy's amp that has the tube with handles again?" I asked.

"Naw," Rusty replied indignantly, "I won't even running the limit. My fancy digital wattmeter sat on 1495 all weekend!"

"Well, what was it then?"

"If you must know, they said I was operating outside the contest time period."

"Rubber clocking?! Who in the world gets nabbed for rubber clocking in this day and age of computers? Besides, the contest is 48 hours long and there ain't no less than 48 hour categories, at least until this year. How did you end up 'operating outside the contest period'?"

"Well, come 2359Z on Sunday night I had been up for over 48 hours straight. I guess I just zoned out and kept calling CQ. Guys kept coming back to me, so I kept working 'em."

"You mean guys kept calling you after 0000Z? Didn't, uh, your rate drop quite a bit?"

"Well, yeah it did, but you know the secret to contest success is Butt In Chair even when the rate drops. I figured it was just a lull, so kept CQing and kept working 'em even at 5-10 an hour."

"Hmmm, well guess fatigue can come into play and anybody can have a lapse of judgement. Well how long did you operate?"

"You mean when did I stop?"

"Yeah, when did you stop?"



"Yeah, I don't know what happened. I was so tired I finally fell asleep at the mic and didn't realize what had happened until I woke up Thursday. I apparently hit the macro button I had written to automagically send my log to the contest sponsor when I fell asleep. It was too late then."

"So the Contest Committee automatically disqualified you?"

"No, not a first. They wrote and asked me for an explanation. I panicked and responded with some gibberish about the compression and expansion of time due to Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle. I think I even worked in something about leap years. It was desperate and stupid. That was when they disqualified me."

"Can't say as I blame them. So you're sitting the old 'WW out this year?"

"I guess so. I was thinking I might borrow the club call for the contest. It would be a good year to run Uncle Percy's amp again."