This past weekend was the ARRL SSB Sweepstakes ham radio contest. I was able to put in time on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and later in the day on Sunday. In total it looks like I was on the radio about 17-18 hours total which is a pretty good amount.
I was able to make 362 total contacts across 72 of the 80 possible ARRL/RAC sections. 47 of the 50 states had a logged contact missing just Alaska, Mississippi (again like in the CW contest) and North Dakota. I didn’t hear any AK or MS stations but I did hear a ND station but he had a big pile up and I needed to leave to go to a NY Giants football game, just like in the 2008 SSB Sweepstakes.
80m was the best band for me, especially since I wasn’t able to be on the radio during the prime 20m time on Sunday. There was very little noise on 80m on Saturday with some noise on Sunday but nothing bad at all. I mainly did S&P with a few shorter attempts in Run mode. I went into run mode later on Sunday and did well with about 40 calls logged in 30 mins with some spurts of 2 a min for a couple of minutes in a row. Though 80m was the best for number of logged Q’s, 20m provided the most sections but that could just be because I started on 20m so everything was a new section.
I didn’t work any QRP stations this time which is not too surprising since in SSB mode it’s harder for them to be in run mode and I was S&Ping. I did log 4 Schools based on their precedence.
The top 5 sections logged were MDC, VA, NC, EPA and ENY. The top 5 states logged were MD, VA, CA, NY & PA.
For the year first licensed in ham radio, the top responses in the exchange were 76, 77, 58, 59 & 62. Three of the oldest were 12 from W4CA and 22 from K2CC and W8FT. All 3 are clubs/schools and indicate when they were first operational.
It was nice to hear my name or a quick hello from other ops that I’ve worked many times in the past. It’s easy to be a bit more personal in a phone contest then with the canned RTTY and CW exchanges sent by macros. I also received some good signal/audio reports. It was funny that not long after I got back on the air from returning from the Giants football game I got a great audio report. After yelling loudly for a few hours I would have figured a report of “you’re losing your voice” would have been more appropriate.
eQSL & LoTW have been updated and the log sent to the ARRL. Below is my log summary for the contest. It’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait for the next sweepstakes.
Band QSOs Pts Sec 3.5 231 462 24 7 51 102 14 14 75 150 31 21 5 10 3 Total 362 724 72 Score : 52,128