2010 NAQP CW Contest Summary

I thought I was going to have to miss a few hours of this but it turns out one of my daughters events is today, Sunday, and not Saturday, so I was able to put in a full time effort. It was another very cold day (20 degrees or less) like the previous week, but no snow and no wind.

I started out on 20m when the contest got going at 1pm local time and stayed there until the sun started to set. I bounced back to 20m from time to time even after the sun went down to see if there were any new stations I could hear. I logged 3 Alaska stations but I didn’t hear any Hawaii stations. I operated without using packet cluster so if they were spotted I wouldn’t know. I checked 15m a few times and normally made a contact or two but there didn’t seem to be much activity there. I even checked 10m twice just for giggles but didn’t hear a peep. I was on 20m from 1:00pm (1800z) through 4:15pm (2115z).

Besides missing Hawaii, I didn’t see Nevada, North Dakota or Nebraska and locally I didn’t see any Vermont or Maine stations. I was able to work 44 of the 50 US States and 8 of the 13 Canadian Providences over the course of the contest.

As the sun started to set I went over to 40m and spent two hours there tuning up and down the bands. There was minimal noise on 40m and conditions seemed to be good.  Other then a quick scan of 20m/15m I was on 40m from about4:15pm  (2115z) until about 6:15pm (2315z).  I popped over to 80m and spent 30 mins logging stations there before heading back to 40m until about 8:15pm (0115z)

At 6:15pm (2315z) I switched to 80m for 30m and logged 27 stations. At 8:15pm (0115z) I came back to 80m, started at the bottom of the band and worked my way up. It was pretty noise so I had the RF gain down a lot so I could stand listening but that didn’t matter as all the signals were strong. I was able to work about 1 QSO per min moving up the band and logged 67 Q’s in 70 mins by the time I hit the top of the band. Each slight turn of the dial yielded another station to work. A quick pop back to 40m to check if there was anything new and a few stations were logged including Puerto Rico. I then went back to 80 and dialed up the band again to work any other stations I might have missed or that came on after my last scan, but that first scan was pretty wall to wall.

Here’s a screen shot of my desktop after scanning up the 80m band the first time. You’ll be able to see the band map on the right showing all those stations worked. If you click the small image it should open a larger image of the screen. In the center you’ll see DM780 which I use to help interpret the incoming CW. All the other windows are part of N1MM from the list of multipliers by band on the top left, some basic stats under that, the main entry window under that and the packet window under that (which is blank since I’m not connected). At the middle on top is the count by band and under that is the check window for call signs entered in the main entry window. On the right side at the top is the list of QSOs made and the far right is the band map which in this case shows everything worked already since the call signs are all light gray.

Here’s my score summary for this years NAQP CW ham radio contest:

Band    QSOs     Pts  Sec   NA
 3.5     131     131   37    1
   7     128     128   39    1
  14      99      99   24    1
  21       8       8    5    0
Total    366     366  105    3

Score : 39,528

Next Saturday is the NAQP SSB (Phone) contest but I am pretty sure I’ll be away from home for most if not all of the contest. If I get on at all it will be late so likely 80m and maybe some stragglers on 40m is where any activity will be.


4 thoughts on “2010 NAQP CW Contest Summary

  1. A task well executed and an excellent score given interesting conditions as Cycle 24 continues creeping upward.

    I note short haul propagation east of Mississippi in your numbers on the low bands contrasting against high band activity. My 20m production extended as far east as Texas with sectional multipliers 1, 2, and 3 virtually non-existent. However long haul propagation on 40m made a difference in my score.

    A job well done and best going into ARRL International DX season.


  2. Thanks for the comment Scot. If I look at the overall contest, the top states worked were:

    CA 36
    FL 22
    TX 18
    CO 18
    TN 17
    PA 17

    On 15m these were all contacts:

    CA 3
    OR 2
    NM 1
    ID 1
    FL 1

    On 20m the top states were:

    CA 21
    TX 11
    CO 10
    FL 9
    AZ 7

    On 40m the top states were:

    CA 12
    FL 8
    WI 7
    TN 7
    CO 7

    On 80m the top states/providences were:

    PA 13
    ON 9
    TN 9
    IL 8
    OH 8
    IN 8
    GA 7
    WI 7

  3. Nice write-up of your effort. Looks like somehow we avoided each other in the contest :-(.

    Only three states that I didn’t get at all were Hawaii, Vermont, and North Dakota. Usually there’s some Hawaii participation (and in fact I heard KH6MB in the hour before the contest) but I didn’t hear them. I worked three different Alaska stations on 20M.

    Conspicuously missing from my list of Candian provinces worked was BC. I heard them working others on 20 and 40 but somehow I never worked them.

    Like you, I scoured 20M (and I did 15M too) for the first 4 hours or so of the contest.

    By the time I switch to 40M at 5PM local time it had already “gone long” and while I worked the midwest and west states over and over again, I somehow missed out on almost all the East Coast multipliers. When I tried 40M later circa 8PM the NAQP activity had pretty much dried up.

    I had a really good rate going on 40M but it was interrupted by ice skating and making supper :-).

    80M was the meat and potatoes band, just like my previous NAQP efforts. Someday I’m going to get a rig that’ll do 160M. My rate on 80M just went up and up and up through the night… I had kinda expected it to plateau and then drop down. Towards the end many many west coast stations worked on 80M, they weren’t loud, and I had to ask for several repeates on some, but they were workable.

    Band QSOs Mults
    80: 328 47
    40: 116 35
    20: 110 27
    15: 16 6
    Total: 570 115 Total Score = 67,830

  4. Dave, came across your blog when looking for NAQP stuff via google… nice blog. I worked you in the Nov 2009 Sweepstakes. I’m glad you are out there working CW contests, but I have to say I was surprised to see you using a CW decoder??? I never envisioned someone on the other end not copying the code I’m sending in their head. A serious tip for you… toss the decoder and just eek it out in a contest and use your ears, you will be much happier in the long run and derive so much more satisfaction out of using your ears to copy the code. Plus your rate will go way up and you will be in a much better position to run and not just pounce on the guys running 30-40 wpm. Anyway, my two cents… sill gald to have you active though handing out Q’s!

    Good Luck!

    73 de NG7M

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