|COMMENTS FROM LAST YEAR:
"As on vacation in the south part of Italy, I asked Frank to let me use his superb station for SARTG. I didn't want miss that contest and as my antennas at my main qth are out of order that one could have been my last contest for a long period.. :-(
Frank lives in a real country estate. More than 7 acres of good land, not far from ALBEROBELLO (the town of world known Trulli) and from CASTELLANA GROTTE, famous for its caves. My parents home is a 10 minute drive from him, so moving would not be a problem! It took a week to convince him of letting me operate his shack: no one ever touched his radios since then and he worried about possible failures.
He has a very fine station. His qsl card seems to be a market of amateur radios: FT 1000, Ic 775, FT 277 and a mass of other equipment for satellite operation and V-U-SHF.
The towers (I counted three of them) are homemade by him: quite tall....more than 30 meters and all self-supporting. Besides the idea of using a 3 el. Yagi for 40 meters was very pleasant for me (I had never used one before).
This modest effort was possible thanks to Ray who in the bat of an eye sent me a new password for RTTY...with the call IK7APK. Thanks Ray! Thanks to everybody for giving me the great pleasure of good rates when in running mode. I hope to have given to you a new Italian province on Rtty. Qsl cards, if you prefer the direct way, should be sent to Frank's call (address below). It will be my care printing cards for this contest, but please, a humble prayer: send your qsl's via bureau. It could be a fine way to push Frank forward in the contesting world. In the future it will be my objective to make his station not only exist for rag chewing.
Hospitality was warm and the coffee on Sunday afternoon was needed..... A special thanks to his wife for letting me to occupy the second floor of their fine farm-house for an entire day, and of course to everybody for reading these lines till now. I hope to read you on my PC soon.
Ciao Sante "
Since last year few things have changed. I am one year older, my son ALEX is running for 3 years old (next NOV.) and enjoys more and more the strange sounds coming from the radio in our home.... :-), my wife has taken her ticket for Amateur radio.... As usual, also this year I have enjoyed our beautiful beaches in the South, but as Sartg occurs in this period, Frank also this year has helped me to enjoy it.
There were also a few changes also on the radio activity site, some
more pleasant, other a little less. I don't have a CRYSTAL BALL, but Frank,
IK7APK, began to enjoy what last year he defined "things for crazy". Few,
but important topics let me hope to get him engaged in our fine contesting
Well, we soon started checking all the antennas to avoid bitter surprises during the contest, but what last year went discontinuously this year has ceased to function. I intend what could have been great stuff, the 3 el Yagi for 40 meter at more than 100 ft. His 20 year old son climbed the tower and tried fixing the problem. Last year we had thought it was a poor connection, but after having replaced the coax, nothing seemed to change. The more astonishing thing was the high SWR, so high that in 15 years of hamming I had never seen anything like it. With great pain we renounced using it. Also the KT34XA a six el. by KLM showed high SWR on the 20 meter band but avoiding to QSY down below 14.080 we could obtain an acceptable match with his Commander Amplifier. On 40 and 80 meters only wire antennas were used. These also had high SWR, but the VERSA TUNER did its job. The Commander lie on a little table with wheels outside the shack, so we had been forced to pull cables to move it in front of the door so we could see if all went right during operation. I let you imagine how I would have tuned the amplifier from 2 meters away from the radio...hi All cable leakage made things more difficult. We had to use toroids on the keyboard and cables running to and from computer. When the KT34XA beamed south-west toward South America, the beam crosses the house locking the computer. I did not count how many times I pushed the hard reset key on the computer to start again. Sadly a lot of coax was broken in several runs to the watt meter, and after to the tuner, so besides a lot of swimming in the sea this year I could be nominated for the man more RF exposed....
Here is a list of all the rig used:
The always more famous combo RTTY/RITTY this year has been a nightmare for me. Please, don't misunderstand me. I love it. I began contesting on Rtty seriously when this became available, but when a system composed by 2 elements are made from different hands, sometimes at first, some problems could arise. The worst in my opinion had been the "serial number jumping". Here RTTY 3.1a/RITTY 2.12 refused to work so it was a must to go to previous versions. Foolishly I had wiped them from my HD, so a few minutes before the contest started I was in high sea with no hope at all. And here I would like to deeply thank ON4ANT and VE3QW for offering themselves to send me as an attachment to an E-mail message the previous versions. It missed by 20 minutes the shot of the gun...I never remember a more crazy run with my car to go back to my parents home to turn on my computer and connect the net. Sadly my wait at home lasted 30 minutes, but for a reason I probably shall never know, those Mails arrived on my provider the next morning. Luckily when connected to the net, checking nervously every 2 minutes for new mail I began surfing my HD. It's useless here speaking about my loud shout when, in a RTTY.ARJ file I found all the directory content with the so much looked for versions. In a few minutes I was back to Frank's home and at 0055 YU7YG was my first qso. All the rest has been a long run, with very good rates at some moments.
Frank had remained chattering with me till 0200 in the morning, and even if he never wanted to touch the mouse his interest in what I was doing was clearly evident. The food he offered me at lunch hour has been great: local cuisine and almost a 1/2 oz. of red wine made things even more pleasant...hi (the wine was so red that if you'd put a light on the other side of the glass, it never would cross the wine....). All the 10 USA call areas had been worked on 20 but not one VK heard in all the contest. Practically speaking, this year I have less than double the score of the 1996 edition.
Last minute highlight: his son has climbed the tower again, dismantled the balun and found it in a very bad manner. It has been remade, so next year the chances to be on the air with the 40 meter Yagi are very reasonable.
A great thanks to Frank and his wife for having kindly offered me for the second year the pleasure of working all of you. Always to Ray for the quick delivery of a new password for RTTY. Qsl's, of course, will be mailed as last year via Bureau.
My prayer has always been the same: Please send your card to Frank. This event has been possible due to the pleasure Frank has had in receiving a lot of cards. Below there is the summary sheet and some pictures taken on his antenna farm. By me...see all you again ....
ciao Sante, IK0HBN
|Software: RTTY by WF1B, Version 3.0
Power Output: 300
Club Participation: BIT BUCKETEERS
"I have observed all competition rules as well as all regulations established for amateur radio in my country. My report is correct and true to the best of my knowledge. I agree to be bound by the decisions of the Awards Committee."
Date 25 Aug. 1997 Signature Sante Lillo, IK0HBN
Francesco Petrosillo IK7APK
by 3 homemade towers each more than
100' in height.
Sadly we were not able to use it this year.
10/15/20 meter by KLM. This antenna
showed a high SWR on 20 so high power
on this band was not possible.
the 50 Mhz band. NOT shown on these
pictures but present, we have also a
HALF SLOPER by ALPHA DELTA
for 80 meters and a VERTICAL LOOP
for 40 meters.
HAM RADIO SHACK?