This past weekend was the 2010 CQ WPX RTTY contest and boy did I have fun! I got home from work a little late and got on the air about 1.5 hours after the contest started Fri evening but that isn’t a problem since a single op can operate 30 of the 48 hours. I ended up able to put in 30 hours in total without missing any sleep.
Friday night before heading off I was able to make 118 contacts on 40m & 80m. When I got back on Saturday morning around 1240z (7:40am local time) 20m was good to EU. It was easy to tune up the dial and work most stations on the 1st or 2nd call, even with 100w and my G5RV. At 1450z (9:50am local time) I switched over to 15m and wow! I had never been on 15m when I could hear and work this many stations – come on sunspots! I stayed on 15m until 1630z (11:30am local) and ended up making 45 contacts. That might not seem like a lot but I think that might be close to or more 15m contacts then I made in another other contest in total. I went back to 20m and made more contacts flipping to 15m from time to time. I ended up with 68 contacts on 15m on Saturday. By 5:00pm local time (2200z) I had worked 20 of the 40 CQ zones.
Saturday later in the afternoon I picked a 20m frequency and was able to hold it and run for about 50 mins and making 45 contacts. They were all mostly US stations with a couple DX and Canadian stations. I then switched to 15m to see if I could hear anyone new and the 1st station I heard was a ZL1 in New Zealand and I was able to work him. I moved to 40m and 80m at 2300z (6:00pm local) for a couple hours before heading to dinner. When I left for dinner I was about up to the total number of contacts I made during the entire WPX RTTY contest last year. When I came back from dinner Saturday evening a couple hours later I got on 40m and 80m again. I had a good 80m run for just under 1 hour even having some DX stations call me. I called it quits for the night at 0545z (12:45am local). On the first day I ended up logging 575 contacts over the course of about 18.5 hours.
I had 11.5 hours or so of operating time left in the 30 hours we can be on the air so I figured I’d again get on around 1230z (7:30am local time ) and that is what I did. It would allow me to operate the rest of the contest without having to schedule any off time of at least 1 hour. I started off on 20m again working up and down the band. EU was strong and working stations wasn’t an issue. I stayed on 20m for almost 2 hours before switching to 15m again and stayed there for about 1.5 hours working stations I could hear. If I could hear them, they could hear me. Just before 1500z (10:00am local) I worked my first VU2 station in India who was calling CQ on 15m. He was up and down and I hope he was able to log me on his end. After working 15m I switched back and forth between 20m and 15m with some short runs calling CQ on 20m. Around 2030z (3:30 pm local) I picked a frequency up the band around 14.120 and was able to hold it for 1 hour logging 46 contacts from the US and EU.
I stayed on 15 & 20m through 2300z (6:00pm local) as there were stations to log including AL9A in Alaska which was the last one I logged before moving to 40m. I logged 5 different Alaska stations this weekend, all with strong signals on 20m. I was able to work just 1 station in Japan but he was in the log. I finished up the last hour of the contest on 40m. I was able to log an additional 62 contacts on 15m giving me a total of 130 contacts on the band. Prior to this contest I had only logged a total of 425 contacts on 15m since being on HF. I did more then 30% of my total prior 15m contacts in just this one weekends contest. I wonder when 10m will give me this same thrill?
Some quick stats on my logging shows 858 total contacts (860 minus 2 dupes that worked me when I was calling CQ) consisting of 668 unique call signs. I logged contacts in 24 of the 40 CQ zones and 47 of the 50 states just missing nearby states of Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. I logged contacts in a total of 70 different DXCC entities with India being hopefully a new one for me. On 15m I logged 45 different DXCCs out of the 130 contacts. There were 436 different call sign prefixes logged which is a multiplier in this contest. I am very pleased with my performance and can’t wait for the next contest. I’m glad today is a holiday in the US though :-)
Here is my score summary from N1MM which worked flawlessly along with MMTTY on my new computer:
Band QSOs Pts WPX 3.5 143 354 65 7 128 418 65 14 457 899 240 21 130 316 66 Total 858 1987 436 Score : 866,332
73 and good DX!