|Comments about WRTC-2000
August 01st 2000
Special thanks to the following:
I would like to express my sincerely thanks to all of people of CB club Porezen in Kuk
for their unforgetable hospitality! 50 members of this
N3BB/5's wrap-up expresses it so well. His prose captures the universally
exhilarating atmosphere we all experienced in Slovenia. Although Terry and I have
been in Slovenia on several previous trips, this was the most exciting and perfectly
orchestrated experience ever. Just to say thanks to our wonderful hosts seems hardly
sufficient to express our true feelings.
It has taken me two weeks to get back home and to absorb my experiences of the WRTC in
order to be able to write this letter. My wife, Diana, and I stayed in Slovenia
after the contest and played tourist until Friday, renting a car and driving up into
Austria Wednesday, and over into eastern Slovenia and Croatia Thursday. Those days,
coupled with the Tuesday minibus tour to Venice enabled us to get several new experiences
and to see places for the first time. The whole WRTC Slovenian experience was
terrific, and I'll never forget it.
WRTC 2000 was for me the most important Ham radio event in my life. I attend to the other two previous WRTC and I was very happy with it, but the WRTC 2000 was something special!!!!
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S T O A L L O F Y O U !!
Hope to see you on the band.
Have just arrived home after a wonderful experience at WRTC in Slovenia. The SCC and WRTC Committee did an outstanding job of organizing what was without doubt the greatest event in Amateur Radio history.
Thanks to S57AW and the guys at S50G for their gracious hospitality and support.
I read your comments and am very glad that you all returned home all right. My mind and
heart is still in the beautiful and sunny Slovenia. I would like to thank to the all
Slovenia organizers very much for the unforgettable week. Special thanks to Robi, S53WW,
Stojan, S51WI, Igor, S51IK and others from S59DEM club for their hospitality. I hope that
I will have a chance to return it.
73´s and gl. Jan, OK1QM
Thanks for writing up stories about some of the "behind the scenes"
activities. I really enjoyed reading about what was happening with other
I hope all the S5 WRTC participants understand how much we enjoyed visiting Slovenia -- and our admiration at the outstanding organization of WRTC. I can not think of any way in which WRTC could have been improved.
Future hosts can only hope to equal the performance of Slovenia.
Here in the Washington DC area, PVRC club members that I've talked to in the last few days were thrilled at the level of contest activity from S5 during the IARU/WRTC. As one person told me on 2 meters, "There were Slovenian stations with every conceivable form of callsign: S5S all the way up thru S571W and S5/something very long! And they were everywhere! If you couldn't hear a Slovenian station within the passband of your receiver, your radio was either broken or tuned outside of the ham bands."
I can only echo what others have said: I will remember WRTC-2000 forever as a highlight of my life.
That was definitely the occasion of a lifetime! I can't praise the organisation of WRTC
too much. To the Roberts, Tine, Mario and all the
As a member of the oldest team in the competition, 121 years between us, I can tell you I was pleased with the results and can understand how difficult it would have been to place substantially higher in the standings, after meeting the other participants. Those young fellows really can get the job done! Special praise to Dan and Jeff who were gracious in their victory, true champions.
Oh, yes, the Air Canada saga plays on, the baggage arriving the next day after the plane ;-) Oh, yes, there may still be a pilot's strike. Talks have broken off.
73 Bob VE3KZ the second half of S561Canada with VE3BMV
Hello Everybody !
73 from PY2NY (CW'er at S532N station)
We are back in Lithuania after an unforgettable trip to Bled. On behalf of my team (S512T) I would like to thank and congratulate S5 guys again for their hard work and amazing hospitality. Our thanks also go to our host Vito,S56M for being an excellent host.
73&CU in the Contests soon!
It has been said many times before on this reflector, and I would just like to say it one more time: WRTC 2000 was an amazing experience. Hats off to the organizers for what they have achieved! I only wish I would have had a chance to talk to everyone who was there...
I would also like to express our heartfelt thanks to everybody at Radio Club Maribor, S59ABC! The station was perfectly well prepared, we enjoyed their great hospitality, and we received every assistance we could possibly dream of (within the rules of WRTC 2000, that is!).
As you're talking about having next WRTC in only two years' time: it won't be easy to put on such a great show every two years! The Slovenian Contest Club has really set a standard that won't be easy to follow...
73, Felix, DL5XL, S583D in WRTC 2000.
PS: See you in RSGB IOTA Contest on July 29/30!
As I type this while flying back over the Atlantic after 3 wonderful weeks in Europe, I
can't help but wonder whether everyone else
The entire team of Organizers went from "who are these guys?" status 4 years ago in California to "how could anyone top that?" status now!
Jeff, WC4E and I travelled extensively throughout Europe over the 3 weeks we were on the continent and covered almost 7000 KM in the rental car (the rental agent did a double-take when we returned it this AM!). The other Jeff, N5TJ joined us for a few of those days and a whole lot of driving.
There were many highlights of the trip, but the consistent warmth of the Slovenian hospitality and support was at the top of the list. Most of us did not know what to expect from this visit and that was blatantly obvious from all the questions and doubt that permeated this reflector in the weeks and months preceding WRTC. Concerns about customs, bears, snakes, coax switches, cold wx, etc, etc were patiently and systematically addressed and NONE of them turned out to be anything close to the issue that some had built them up to be - yet another indication of the tremendous effort that our hosts put into this!
Having the opportunity to meet so many new friends and deepen relationships with existing friends was by far my biggest take-away from this week. Yes, the trophies are tremendous, too, but any of a number of teams could've walked away with them and my feeling would be the same. That is a one-time occurrence. Friendships last forever.
You guys may have the prefix of S5, but you will always be S9+++ in my mind.
vy 73, Dan, K1TO/4
Thank you very much to all the Slovenian Guys for the very fine organization, was
impressive to be together with the best contesters in the
Cu soon in the pile-up !!!!!
I've been in Bled during the week of WRTC like companion, I have to say that was a
wonderful exciting experience. Thank you to Tine S50A & Slovenian Team for the great
professional organization in WRTC and given to me opportunity to meet a lot of
73 de Pietro, IK4MTF
The World Radiosport Team Championship (WRTC-2000), held in Slovenia, exceeded every expectation for an outstanding success. The organising committee deserve all the congratulations that have been flowing from around the world. From the moment that I arrived in Bled Slovenia, I could see the overhead banners and public displays that welcomed visitors and involved every member of the Bled community in the enthusiasm of the event.
Slovenia provided an outstanding venue with high quality hotel accommodation, meeting
places, catering, guided tours and, spread across
My congratulations extend to the leading team Dan Street, K1TO and Jeff Steinman, N5TJ. Dan and Jeff combined their talents to demonstrate how to achieve outstanding results under highly competitive and challenging conditions.
Special thanks go to all participants, supporters, referees, drivers, and hosts for making WRTC2000 a most enjoyable and memorable event.
We can all look forward to seeing, hearing and reading more about the great success of
WRTC2000 over the coming months. My digital photos are now ready to be sent to John
Devoldere for production of the special WRTC2000 photo CD. You might want to make a cup of
coffee while waiting for a few previews http://homepage.renren.com/john_loftus/index.html
to download. The beauty and tranquility of Lake Bled is breathtaking.
73, John Loftus VK4EMM
All I can say is what the others have said, and then some....WOW...Gonna be a real hard
act to follow! And, What a Beautiful Country!
Also, I've arrived safely back in Monterey, and checked out the station, It's all still intact at 599 DX Drive, awaiting any guest ops, who want to operate...Come vacation to the Monterey Peninsula, and you are only 15 minutes from N6IJ...The BBQ, refrigerator, FT990 and beams await....
73, DX, de
Had a very nice time as a visitor to the WRTC in Bled. The results of all the efforts
was amazing, the planning was down to the detail level,
Operated from the station at the HQ site, Hotel Astoria. Using a vertical and 100Ww in
a poor location make 100 qso's. Alot of fun to hear
The whole operation will be in my mind forever. Those of us there are wondering if it
will be possible to top the effort and results achieved
Hi all, specially S5 friends !
Million thanks to all of you for the most extraordinary ham radio event ever
happened. To our brothers in S5 congratulations for everything. We will never forget the
friendship they devoted to us. When I get back to Brasil I will try to express
in a letter my deep feelings.
God bless you !
We are finally back home after an incredible 10 days stay in Slovenia!
We would like to thanks Tine, S50A and his team for such fantastic organization. Our BIG THANKS to our host Arpi, S51AY! Special thanks to S51TA, S51ZO, S57MHZ, S57MW, S59W for technical support. Also thanks to S52EZ, S54AC, S57RA, S50C team and many many others...
It was unforgettable event!
Only think I can say is repeat all the comments wrote in this reflector before. Incredible week-end in Slovenia, their preparation, the ham spirit, and the best important ... the Slovenian people.
Congratulation to organization, they can't done better . I wish to thank's organization, our host Tone - S54E - and Radioclub Cerkno -S50E, the support all of the CB Porezen KRN Tolmin for they hospitality.
Wold wide radio ham community should learn about the example of the Slovenian radio ham spirit.
I will keep in my memory these unforgettable week-end .
I hope to see everybody in next WRTC.
Fernando, EA3KU - S567F
I am finally back home in Cyprus after an unforgettable week in Bled. On behalf of the Cyprus team I would like to thank and congratulate Tine and his team for their work and amazing hospitality. Well done guys!! Our thanks also go to our host Drago, S51XA for being an excellent host.
Andreas 5B4LP - Marios 5B4WN
Of all the adjectives that I've thought about I think the word "spectacular" best describes WRTC 2000! What an event - a once in a lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. The Slovenia hams out did themselves in their preparation - I heard not one complaint during the entire week.
Thanks to everyone for making this a memorable experience and congratulations to the winners and organizers. I will return to Slovenia for another visit!
To Tine Brajnik, S50A and Crew!
A hearty well done guys!!!! It was fantastic.....you should be very PROUD of what you achieved. It will be a very hard act to follow.
All the best and CU on the bands.
73 Jeff, K1ZM
Back home (in the office) I also want to thank Tine, Robert and all the other S5-guys
for the great job and the wonderfull preparation of this
Thank you very much again and CU all in the contests soon.
73 de Wolf, OE2VEL (S533G)
The team Italy 1 was back at home safely. I would like to thank you all the S5 wich
gave us an opportunity to meet, to enjoy, to make a nice contest. Our organizer, hosts
were very nice.
We are back to home. We had an incredible week, lot of souvenirs in the head. It was a pleasure to see all these famous callsigns for real, sharing ideas and comments.
A very great event which I would not have missed !
73 Gérard F6FGZ (one of S543C)
Tine and all the rest of the SCC team !
Let me add my voice to those who praise the excellent venue, arrangements, organization, execution and truly pleasant atmosphere at Bled. A great pleasure to meet scores of old friends in such wonderful circumstances...
The standard has been set...as others have already pointed out, the next WRTC organizers have a real challenge..to improve on Bled will be daunting indeed!
I salute You all for a job well done!
Already back home in Paris area, all in a single day. Hope all of you are safe at home. It was really nice to meet all of you in person, some for the firts time.
For the ones that missed WRTC-2000 and heard it was a big success, I can confirm this but I'm sure the rumors were under the real facts.Tine and his SCC team did an unbelievable job and all of them have to be congratulated for the perfect organisation of everything. An excellent job guys, and again thank you.
All was so great right from the beginning that we have been surprised not to see at least a Minister or a Slovenian government member at the opening ceremony !
All the S5 worked a lot, except the guy in charge of the Complaints Office:-) He has sleep continuously for a week and he could certainly assist the guys at the Congratulations office !!
The WRTC organisation standards have been set up at the top level. Who can match this for the 2004 edition ?
Best 73 de Jacques, F6BEE (once half of S543C)
Just got home ...I'd like to thank all of you for a great show we had for a week. I am sure we'll keep it in memory for a long time.
73s, Harry RA3AUU,S587N
As a competitor in WRTC 2000 I can endorse the comments already made here on the reflector on the fantastic organisation of the event by the Slovenians. From the time we were collected at the airport by army transport it was obvious that Tine and his team had gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure the success of WRTC.
While the competition was the core of WRTC, it was also a great opportunity to put faces to many of the callsigns that I have worked in contests over the years. I renewed aquaintance with some of the people not seen since the first WRTC in Seattle ten years ago, and met many others for the first time. It was a magical week.
Bled is a great location, and I will certainly be returning for a holiday though I will miss the experience of walking by the lake and meeting by chance people whose callsigns appear so frequently in my contest logs.
As to the WRTC contest itself, we are disappointed by our placing but the simple answer is that we were in the company of very many top contesters! This event has enhanced the already considerable reputation of the S5s in the contesting world and it is a week of my life that I will never forget.
Team UK - G3SXW+G4BUO - S568Y
Thank you for a wonderful week and for your hospitality. Andy and I had a great time. It was a great job - you should all be PROUD of your work.
It was FANTASTIC!
CU on the air.
Congratulations to the undisputed champions of radio, K1TO and N5TJ!! You guys proved that you are undoubtedly the best of the best! Words cannot do justice to the feats you have accomplished. Your performance says it all!
With all due respect to the dynamic duo, it appears the REAL winners of WRTC were the Slovenians. From all accounts I've read and heard, S5 put on an amazing operation over there. S50A and his team deserve enormous accolades for WRTC 2000. The WRTC 2004 organizers can learn a lot from their success. They truly have a tough act to follow! I wish I could have been there!
I echo the comments about signal strength of the S5 stations. It was remarkable how even the stations were, considering the mountainous terrain of Slovenia. Again, the S5 organizers did an incredible job.
To sum it up in one word ... Wow!
Thanks from this side of the pileups!
With a lot of the top US operators over at WRTC I figured this year was my chance so I made a serious effort in the Mixed Mode category, running up some 2319 QSOs and just over 2 million points. As such, I was not searching out WRTC stations most of the time though when first hitting a new band/mode I did call any WRTC stations I happened across while sweeping through the band for IARU society mults.
A few tentative conclusions can be drawn from all of this:
1) Considering the first three place winners, there may have been an advantage to having a callsign beginning with S58 :-)
2) I didn't study the list of WRTC calls before the contest, and I busted one! I did e-mail my log to the WRTC Committee, so sorry if I cost the DL6RAI/OE2VEL team points due to my copying error.
3) Obviously there was no advantage to WRTC stations in working K3ZO. The second-place team didn't find its way into my log at all. On the other hand, the three stations who tied for first place in number of K3ZO QSOs made (with 4 each) finished in 16th, 20th and 40th places, respectively.
4) I agree with other observers that the signals seemed very well matched in strength.
Summing it up, I made a total of 74 valid WRTC QSOs with 43 of the 53 WRTC stations, broken down by band this way:
15 CW: 12
15 SSB: 15
One of the WRTC stations with an American accent asked me to QSY to 40 meter SSB but I turned them down as I was going for score myself and considered operation on 40 meter SSB a waste of time, since mults count only once regardless of mode. With 20 and 15 wide open to Europe all night long there was no percentage in my making such a move.
From everything I have been able to observe from here the next WRTC host is going to have a hard time equalling the show put on by the S5's. The real WRTC winners were the Slovenians who showed the world how it's done!
73, Fred, K3ZO
I wish to congrat all S5 hams and especially Tine S50A, for a fantastic event, that
will be very hard to follow. I was in Bled before and after IARU (QRV as T77C during IARU)
and it was a memorable event, that I will remember for ever.
SUPER, Super Super Job, well done boys.
WRTC 2000.....Super operators and congratulations to all of them. Also congratulations to the folks who put it all together...a HUGE logistic undertaking.
Good operators hear well too! Because I was running an Elecraft K2 at 10 watts and worked all of the stations. Yep, I'm very happy about this as it goes with the 96 clean sweep albeit not QRP then.
I set out to just have fun and didn't keep track of how many different stations were being worked...just having fun working 142 QSOs with the WRTC stations by the end. SSB and CW on 20 and 15 and 13 QSOs on 40. Antennas are the C31XR on 20 and 15 at 100' and a flat top dipole at 80' on 40.
Signals were relative equal here in East Tennessee overall. None was dominating over any other. Almost without exception all of the ops were very interested in getting my call correct....and you can bet I was not a powerhouse, hi. I'm impressed at their ability to pull me out of that mess.
So life isn't too short for QRP if this past weekend is an example. Thanks to all those helping me have an enjoyable time as it brings back past memories of my good old days with the PVRC.
73, lynn W4NL
PS...yep, Rosie KA4S was close by keeping me honest and cheering me on...good things never change do they?
I only can second Bruce's observations, the stations were nearly equal in signal strength (and what a strength!!) even from the other direction.
80 meters was out of question (very poor condx this year), but 7 teams managed to hear and work me on 40 meters CW, special congrats to them !!!
Missing announced callsigns in my log are:
Hats off to the WRTC-2000 organizers and the teams,
I only had a little time Saturday morning to spend in the contest so decided to CQ on 10 CW and see who answered. I beamed about 90 degrees expecting to work EU via backscatter. First QSO was with 4O0HQ at exactly 1200 (I answered him). Following that the following called me:
Signals were essentially identical...solid 559 by ear but not moving the MP's meter at all. I worked a bunch of other EU (43 total) from 1200 untl 1345 so I conclude most of the WRTC guys were not chasing mults on 10 at that time. Will be interesting to see if any of the guys above had above average mults since they were obviously tuning for them. I understand Sunday's opening was much better so hopefully many of them were able to put some Zone 08's into their logs.
73, Bill W4ZV
About a week before the contest my Dad (ex KC3AJ) decided to do the IARU HF WorldChampionship as a multi-single. Frank's, W3LPL, station was still torn up from Field Day so we ran the contest from my basement and long runs of feedline!!! No rotors. I got a lot of exercise this weekend. My Dad is just getting back into contesting and wanted to break in his new callsign so we used N3ME from the QTH of W3UR with W3LPL antennas. Had a great time with my dad and working all the S5##x stations.
I just tallied up the numbers and it looks like we missed working three of the 53
stations (S538F, S567F and S584M). In total we worked 85 band/mode QSOs.
Can't wait to see the results.
I have put together the following list of stations that people have either told me or I figured them out from packet spots. The results were supposed to be made at 1500Z today. So we should hear the final results soon.
The following list of calls are NOT official:
S526O - K8NZ and W2GD
Yes I know they had, but not all of them seemed to have been compliant with those rules. I followed for some minutes S5... on 80m SSB (I can tell you the call whenever you want) calling CQ with their callsign spelled in German and answering and giving reports in German and even say hello (Dankeshoen and Alles-gut of course). I cannot say who they were, (since I still do not know the callsign-team relationship) and really I do not mind anyway since I think that it is quite easy to guess a Japanese man even if he is speaking english, but I can guess they were a DL team or an OE/DL team, (and the last shouldn't be, since you were their referee, weren't you?)
The competitors played it straight, but there are certain voices that it would be hard to disguise. Chris ZS6EZ is one that comes to mind. I sympathise with them - With my residual British accent, I can't get away with anything on the bands. One day I yielded to the temptation to do something a little "out of the ordinary" (unidentified), and a voice on the frequency immediately said "Oooooh, it's NT5C!".
My apologies to all the WRTC participants who I blew off when asked to go to SSB.
I did my best to bounce to other bands though & with the exception of S583D I think it was, the bounces were successful. Sorry 20 wasn't open... but I tried!
Between old age, the hot WX (peaking 36 or 37C in the shack) & having been distracted Saturday before the start (next time, the YL stays for the contest!) this year I didn't stand a chance from the first time I fell asleep - hardly three hours after the start.
Watching with keen interest for what went down in Bled - the S5 boys look to have really put together quite an operation, judging from the transport used by JH4NMT/JK3GAD & N2AA to get their station - really sorry I couldn't go myself!
Well, looks like I'm on the low end of the totem pole regarding the number of WRTC QSOs that ended up in my log. I only ended up with 40 WRTC contacts, and some were multiples from either changes in band and/or mode. I had hoped to be able to accomplish two things at once: work many WRTC stations, and improving last year's score in IARU. While our score in the contest was better (albeit peanuts compared to the big guns) we didn't work as many WRTC stations as I had hoped.
I have to agree with the other comments made regarding the quality of operating, and as someone who still had something to learn, it was nice to be able to sit back and "watch" them. I very rarely had to repeat a call; the ops usually got the full call right the first time (maybe it's my southern drawl, but most IARU ops tended to hear my "4" as a "2" among other problems). There was only one "iffy" contact and that was on CW, where the op didn't come back with the corrected call. I also noted that signals were fairly equal with QSB hitting all at various times. At any rate, it was nice to be able to slip in and out, especially when using VFO B for S&P contacts. I didn't get to see the packet spots because my husband (my multi-op partner) was out of town until about 3:00 UTC, so there wasn't much time for spotting "new ones".
As to band condx, I was a bit disappointed in the daytime noise level of 15m. In AL, the noise floor was typically S7, and many people who called me were only audible with both noise blankers enacted on the 1000MP. While on a running frequency, I had the choice of either deciphering through the distortion caused by the noise blankers or not hearing the stations at all (I felt like I was on 160m without a beverage). Night condx were nice, however, and we ended up on 15m until around 7:00 UTC when we finally succumbed to the reliability of 20m until the contest's end. At any rate, we did manage to improve our score over last year's, so my main goal was met.
Well, that's my .25 worth. I would like to add my congratulations to the guys in
S5 land for the way the WRTC was handled, and commend the ops for a
Just to add another deminsion to the comments on the WRTC activity here's what I observed from south central Texas (just north of RC's old QTH.)
I operated only 15 and 20 M. Nothing on 10 M except the two stateside HQs stations. Didn't try 40 M. I had good antennas, 5 el 15 at 120 ft. and 5 el 20 at 140 ft. I spent most of the time S&Ping for the WRTC gang. Picked up a few Hqtrs. calls and spent roughly 30/70 % time between SSB/CW. I made 85 Qs with the WRTCs. I worked only 47 of the 53 stations. As has been reported, the essential differences in signal strength seemed to be band/time dependent. Stations on the same band/mode in the same time frame were pretty much "neck-and-neck". Once or twice I ran across a "very weak" station buried in the QRM, but I suspect I may have been seeing beam heading effects. (It would be interesting to know what the guys were hearing and from which directions over the various time segments during the contest. Perhaps some of the returning crew will share their logs with us "wall flowers" who missed the party.)
Operating practices were, with a few exceptions, really quite good. In fact I was often able to spot an S5XX station just by their "sound"... i.e. not excessively loud (or overdriven), steady as opposed to "choppy" code or vocal exchanges, and more often than not "in a relatively clear spot". Speaks well the the overall skills exhibited by the group.
Though I initially felt a bit disappointed when I realized that the "rate" was not going to be anything approaching the two earler events, I managed to get a real kick out of the hunt... puts things in perspective when you have to scratch a bit for the new ones.
My congratulations to the teams, the support group and the organizers. One hell of a fine job.
Now, to coin a phrase, "where to they go next ?"
We were operating IARU multi-single from K8CC, so our WRTC QSOs were made during the normal course of that event. However, when a WRTC spot would appear, that "B" VFO sure comes in handy. We made 83 WRTC QSOs, with 45 of the 53 teams. S568Y was our QSO champ with four, while eight others we worked three times each.
I am pretty sure the S546Q was the MRRC team of K9TM & N2IC. It sure sounded like 'TM's voice on 15M SSB.
From our perspective, the WRTC stations were pretty even in signal strength and easy to work on 20M & 15M. I even had a couple that were pretty weak pop right back to a call on 21 MHz during the 09Z hour. On the other hand, we had thunderstorm QRN up to S9 on 7 MHz, but if we could hear the teams they could work us. Forget 80M - like K8AZ said, even the big HQ stations were barely audible here amoungst the QRN. 10M was not quite good enough for us to work the WRTCers. Still, you gotta love working JAs on long path. Again, the 10 minute multi-single bandchange rule sometimes got in the way.
We were connected to the K1TTT PacketCluster via the Internet all weekend. The majority of the spots seemed to come out of EU, so there were a lot of times we'd go chase a WRTC spot and not hear a thing.
As for operating practices, for at least the QSOs *I* made from our multi-op, I found the WRTC guys signing their calls every time and acting like superb operators. Still, I wonder how many calls are going to be busted. Many of the calls are similar - S546Q and S564Q for example. One time, I found S517W and S571W only a couple KHz apart. Ops who can't copy code were in trouble - for example I saw a spot for "S5BBZ" with the comment "Sometimes sends S56BZ".
As someone who was a participant in WRTC 1996, and said at the time that "The S5 crew has its work cut out for it", it appears that WRTC 2000 was accomplished in fine style. My congratulations to everyone involved.
All of the above except S583D are in my log amongst the 47 contacts with WRTC
participants I have made. I did make 5 qso even on 80 meters but none on 10 (I only worked
in the contest on Saturday and went to bed Sunday morning before the 10m band got opened).
RK9CWW worked 52 out of 53 participants but they used packet cluster being M/S. While most
of the WRTC teams were worming up on Friday I have tried to call them with just 5 watts
out to see how well they can hear. Almost all of them had very good ears (that includes
some contacts on 40m with 5W and single el delta loop).
I must also echo N6NT's comments about signal equalization.
As a referee in 1996, I observed first-hand the difficulty of creating equal stations. Although the organizers had obviously made an enormous effort to level the playing field, the competitors I was with were assigned to a station with very obvious handicaps. Consequently, I was interested in observing relative signal strengths of the various WRTC-2000 stations.
For fun, the gang at K8AZ decided to operate the contest focusing exclusively on working the 53 WRTC teams. Almost without exception, we found that the signals were equivalent at comparable times; when 15 & 20 were really open, the stations were almost all S9. And the minor variations in signal strength could easily be explained by beam headings during times when the competitors may have been beaming somewhere other than NA.
Our effort resulted in 212 WRTC QSO's. We had only a brief opening on 10m Sunday morning, which resulted in 4 Qs, and we did manage to break through the EU QRM on 40 CW for 22 Qs, but had no Qs on 40 SSB or on 80m. (80m conditions were poor -- even close to S5 sunrise, the EU HQ stations were barely above the noise).
I also reiterate Bruce's concerns about the callsign accuracy of some of the competitors. My guess would be that at least 1/2 of the guys signed their call every QSO, and that many more signed at least every other Q. But some signed only when the pileup died. Of great interest to me was the number of guys that we worked who were mis-spotted on the US and EU DXpacket clusters. We often found that stations were spotted with transposed numbers or with other minor errors. This almost always seemed to happen with guys that were not signing frequently. Our practice was to work the station -- whoever he really was -- and then try to get a valid callsign. Often this proved difficult; moreover whenever the guy we worked turned out to be a dupe, the dupe was not acknowledged. (Not a problem, I suppose, with computer logging -- but it should have immediately tipped the operator that we thought he was someone else (we have a computer too!) Listening to the pileups on several of the mis-spotted guys, I am certain that they had dozens (maybe hundreds) of QSOs with stations who did not log their calls correctly.
With the immediate e-mail log submission encouraged by the committee, it will be very interesting to see how much of this shakes out & changes the claimed scores. Maybe someone will obtain a dump from the various packet clusters and see how much the erroneous spots actually cost the guys who elected not to sign more frequently.
On a separate note, from my discussions with several competitors before the contest, it appears that the S5 committee has set a standard that will be difficult or impossible for future hosts to match. The competitors were treated with the kinds of ceremonies and events that Olympic athletes talk of, and the warmth and hospitality displayed was overwhelming. Congratulations to the S5 committee for a job superbly done.
OK - who was who ? What happened ?
I think S526O was K8NZ / W2GD. GD kept saying "Sugar Mike" instead of "Sugar Five" at the start.
What did "3830" sound like in Slovenia after the contest ?
After the WRTC in '96, all the teams got together immediately after the contest and drank a few 807's and swapped "war stories". Perhaps this wasn't possible due to the dispersal of all the stations all over S5 land?
From AA5NT, we had 41 qsos with WRTC stations - some of them were several band modes with the same station - I know we worked S549L on 3 different band modes. So our total stations worked is fairly low.
We only worked WRTC stations on 15 and 20m. Despite chasing numerous packet spots, many of them we could not hear. Of course, we could not change bands freely as we were multi-single.
All in all it was fun despite the lack of propagation on bands besides 15 and 20m.
While I didn't make as detailed comparisons as N6NT I saw about the same results on 20M from the WRTC stations. Most were about the same strength and I thought they did a great job of hearing my own station which is about the same as they were using. Almost all did a good job of pulling my signal thru. Guess that should be a given considering the skills of the contestants.
73 Jim KI7Y
I noticed the same results on signal strength...one of my notes reads "S564Q lite on 15m ssb" yet a little later they were very readable and Q5. The only 2 real differences I noted were at 2138 on 15m SSB ( abt 8 kc apart) S582A was almost S9 on my TS850 and S577V was barely S4; same thing at 2245, S564Q was very Q5 and yet 2 kc below was S568Y just above the noise. Curious to know the difference in location, elevation just to see what really causes a difference. I know my 10M opening was very short this morning yet stations abt 90 miles south of here seemed to be working everything. I think for the most part all the station I heard were very equal, at least on cw. On SSB, while the sig strength seemed equal, some of the guys seemed to have much more "punch" to their signal...not really overdriven, but probably a difference in mikes.
73 Jamie WW3S
WRTC from GB5HQ
Congratulations to the organisers of WRTC2000 and the teams who took part - everything seemed to go smoothly (from a distance!)
We found that the signals from the teams were fairly similar (we are 1900km from Slovenia) and we had no real difficulty in working the teams - all 53 of them - a total of 219 QSOs on 3 bands - GB5HQ was only on 40, 20 and 15m, SSB and CW, so each team could have worked us a maximum of 6 times - only 5 teams did this.
We don't know which team had which callsign. Anyway - a great event and we enjoyed working the teams - taking part in WRTC2000 from a distance.
I'll echo N6NT's comments about equalization of signals from the S5 Boys. There were more pronounced differences on 15 than on 20, but none were dramatic. Well done.
I only managed to work 41 of the stations, probably because I did not want to do SSB. All of my 345 QSO's were on CW, mostly S&P. I also dumped a lot of spots on packet.
I was also concerned about logging accuracy. I pushed a wrong button and duped S548X. They did not challenge the dupe and kept on going. I guess they were looking to N6AA and crew to clean up logs after the contest.
I was also disappointed to have such crummy condx on 40. The only European I worked (or heard) was DA0HQ. Ten was a bust. I couldn't even hear my partner, J75KG.
All and all, it was fun to search for the boys. I never figured out who was who, not even one of them even said hello. Guess they had guidelines to follow.
Tom Taormina, K5RC
Some disconnected observations on WRTC as heard from the SF Bay area...
I still remember some of the zinging criticism we suffered in 1996 regarding the inequality of WRTC stations. ZD8Z was one of the most vocal, as I recall, and Jim made a big point that from his perch the stations were anything BUT equal. Naturally, several of the competitors who finished in the bottom half of the rankings voiced the same complaint. So this weekend I made a concerted effort to try to observe how the S5 guys did on station equalization and not get distracted by the rest of the contest.
My IARU contest effort was strictly S&P, and that S&P was for WRTC stations only. I did buzz a few friends I heard who were serious about the contest, but only a few. In the spirit of the thing, I really went slumming: I plugged in the mike and hooked up to packet. Ugh! It felt just like visiting a tattoo parlor down by the docks. But if the focus is finding WRTC stations, I guess you have to do both. During the contest, I made many notes into the .not file, trying to record an honest signal strength reading every time I heard one of the stations.
When the opening on 20 finally died last night, I had only managed to get 90 WRTC contacts into the log. (A little different from 1996, when I got 353.) All of those contacts were on 15 or 20; I never heard a hint the WRTC stations could be heard here on the west coast on 10 or 40, and I did keep checking often when it might have been possible. There were 5 of the stations I never did manage to find. Who knows? They may have been pitifully weak stations that couldn't make it out...or the operators may have had better sense than to chase water-weak W6 stations when they could run the locals at a rapid clip. Those stations were S5333G, S544Z, S571W, S576K, and S583D.
For the other 47 stations, though, my personal feeling is that the S5 guys did an incredible job of equalizing stations. I have readings in my .not file that are all over the map, but the variation tends to be a function of time rather than variations among stations when readings were taken at the same time. A few times I found stations who were much weaker than the others and thought I had found some real loser stations, but then later readings on the same station showed no difference. For example, I have a note at 1613Z that S549L was S9 and the strongest station yet heard, while 2 minutes later I recorded S517W as barely audible at S2. An hour later, though, I heard S517W right up there with the strongest stations. The difference earlier was probably just due to beam heading.
Signals here on Saturday morning were simply awful. Almost none of them showed any indication on my meter, and they were ESP at best. That's the period of ~1630Z until ~2015. My rate at 2000Z was about 2/hour, so that's when I decided then it was time to go to church services for a while (St.John's Bar & Grill, next door to the Sunnyvale HRO). During that whole painful period, I could hear the east coast guys getting through one after another, no problem. Out here, I could only hear something for maybe 20% of each QSB cycle. Pure torture!
Once the sun set in S5, things sure seemed to pick up out here. Almost all of the signals I heard from ~2330Z until ~0700Z were in the range of S6 to S7, with an occasional strong S9. (S522R was 10dB over at 0409Z!) I think by the time it got good here on the west coast, everybody else had thrown in the towel and decided to forget the contest. It was so bad, in fact, that I had two of the teams (S539D and S531R) move ME from SSB to CW in order to get a "rare" zone 6 contact. (Maybe it was rare because all the contesters were already in Bled?)
One unrelated observation I wonder if anybody else made was what seemed like a cavalier attitude on accuracy by some of the teams. Many times I heard the WRTC station bust a call sign or come back to a partial, have the caller give a correction or a fill, and then the WRTC team just TU'd the caller and went on without ever giving a correction. This happened over and over to me, and once the TU is sent then the pile-up never gives you a chance to come back and be sure. Another gripe from this end was signing. Some of these guys would go for l-o-n-g stretches without ever giving their call. Several people gave a report to S526O and THEN asked for his call. Wrong! He just ignored them and went on. I finally gave up trying to figure out who this was and called him, then refused to give a report until he told me who he was. I don't know who any of the teams were, but I bet that guy got his contest training in the Caribbean! :-)
Funniest incident: at 0539Z I ran into S574V on 20SSB, CQing away with very few callers. Reason: sitting right on the same frequency, and about 20dB stronger, was DL0DR, also CQing away. Naturally, DL0DR was getting all the answers. It took a long time before I could find the right moment to call S574V, when the DL station was quiet for a second, and I tried to tell the op there was a super-strong DL station right on top of him. His answer: in the most irritated tone of voice possible, "We know". This is a guy who is used to waging frequency fights with 6 over 6 over 6 over 6, and winning. (Probably one of the W3LPL gang.) It doesn't work that way with 100w into a tribander!
Anyway, back to the starting point, I think the S5 guys deserve a major round of applause for having put together at least 47 stations that were extremely well equalized. I don't know about the 5 I missed, but the 47 I did hear were incredibly well-matched. Good job!