Although I did not do nearly as well as I had hoped, I did beat my score for last years contest by a considerable margin. If anything this tells me that I am doing a better job at working the pile-ups when in the 'run' mode, however my 'search and pounce' performance was hampered by a number of contributing factors such as manual tuning of both the Palstar AT2K tuner as well as my AL-80B amplifier, the congested band conditions, and the lack of a better receive setup. Although I am able to tune both the amp and tuner relatively quickly, it is a far cry in comparrison to a solid state amplifier along with a high quality stepper auto tuner but you do the best with what you have to work with.
I had purchased a DX Engineering RF-PRO-1B active magnetic loop antenna prior to this contest with the intention of putting it into operation for the duration in reducing the RFI from the power poles nearby as well as increasing the S/N ratio to pull out some of the weaker signals (particulary on 75m and 160m) but due to an apparent faulty power injector for the pre-amp and the location I placed it not being ideal, I was not able to use the loop to the full advantage as I thought I might. I will also add that the 160m activity was nearly non existent as I only worked 2 stations during the period I gave it a try and I noticed that out of all the submitted scores on 3130 Scores, there was only one other station to have worked any contacts on the band and that was only about 5 or 7 contacts. Dismal for them as well as me.
The high points in the contest - my K4HEX.com 6 band Hex beam continues to perform excellently on the bands from 20m to 6m and the SWR fails to rise above 1.7:1 with the majority of the bands (20, 17, 10, 6) being below 1.5:1 at all times. A real performer for only being about 30 feet from the ground. I will also add that my 160m doublet antenna at 240 foot in length and about 75 feet at the apex continues to perform very well on the 160m, 75m, and 40m bands producing a very good amount of gain on the 40m band. Based off the models I produced in a previous article below, I feel as though the angle of radiation and lobes in the models are very close to being accurate with the 75m band seeming to have the highest angle of radiation which works well for rag chews yet not so well with long distance contacts.
All in all I found the contest to be a great amount of fun and as in the game of golf, I tend to be happy just playing against myself (or more accurately - past performances). In that aspect you can see below the difference one year has made in my contesting evolution, at least on this particular contest. Could I have done a better job? Sure I could. As always in hindsight one thinks about if they had gave it a bit more in the seat time or possibly worked another hours worth of contacts before calling it quits they could have made a much better showing but considering I had my grand Daughter over for the weekend I chose to spend time with her - which in my opinion was way more valuable than a couple hundred more Q's!
Comparrison Between 2015 and 2016 Results
Some Of The Particulars From 2016 Results