2010 ARRL International DX CW Contest Summary

This past weekend was the 2010 ARRL International DX CW Contest. DX stations can only contact US/Canadian stations and US/Canadian stations can only contact DX stations including Hawaii & Alaska.

The most noteworthy item is that the conditions allowed me to make 10m DX contacts.  I made 20 contacts on 10m to 11 DXCC entities which were: Argentina: 3, Aruba: 4, Barbados: 1, Neth Antilles: 1, Colombia: 1, Grenada: 3, Hawaii: 3, Martinique: 1, Nicaragua: 1, St Vincent: 1, Virgin Islands: 1.  Prior to this weekends contest, in total I had 37 contacts on 10m so this weekends contacts represent more then 50% of the total 10m contacts prior to this contest, most of which were US contacts. Along with 10m having relatively a lot of activity, 15m was again a busy band like it was the previous weekend for the CQ WPX RTTY contest.

Fri night after getting home from work I got things set up and spent a little time making contacts. I ended up with 53 contacts on Friday all on 40m before calling it a night. Saturday morning I got back on the air on 20m and signals were so strong from Europe that I often had to turn the pre-amp off and adjust the RF gain to hear the signals well as they were coming in so loud. Mid morning I switched to 15m and it was doing well again. I needed to run out to get a much needed haircut so I left with 73 Q’s on 20m and 50 Q’s on 15m after about 3 hours of operating.

After returning Saturday from getting my haircut and having lunch and getting back on, I had about 200 Q’s at 2:00pm local time. Around 2:30pm local 19:30z I checked out 10m and was amazed I could hear DX stations and they could hear me! I spent about 30 mins tuning and making contacts on 10m. I then switched to 15m and made a contact with the TX4T DXpedition in French Polynesia. I also made a contact with them later on 20m. I checked their web site and I show they already have me in their log for the 2 contacts. After dark on Sat before on made a couple of contacts on 20m with Japan. They weren’t strong for me but I think they were good exchanges. I ended Saturday on 40m and 80m with a total of 337 Q’s and 182k points.

Sunday morning just after 9am / 14:09z I worked J38XX giving me, for the first time, the same station logged on 5 bands 10/15/20/40/80 meters. Not long after I grabbed a fresh cup of coffee and when I sat back down a station was calling CQ on the last frequency I was on. It was a TA2 station from Turkey. I put out my call and he came back to me and I was able to log Turkey again. A pileup then started to build. I see today that my contact with TA2ZAF was confirmed on LoTW already for a new DXCC confirmed.

A couple hours later I was able to log Tanzania for the first time and it was on 15m. I also logged a ZS1 South Africa station on 15m. Not long after I was able to log Hawaii on 10m and logged a total of 3 Hawaii stations on 10m. I then stopped just making any contacts and started to look for 10m and 15m stations for DXCCs I didn’t already have and worked those. Between that and the fact I worked a lot of strong stations on Saturday, Sunday’s # of contacts was down. Early in the evening I logged Japan on 15m for the first time. I switched to 40m and 80m and worked what I could before dinner and the end of the contest.

I ended up with 2 new DXCCs logged getting Tanzania and French Polynesia in the logbook. I ended up working 2 stations on all 5 bands and 16 additional stations on 4 bands. There were 491 contacts with 334 different stations. Those 334 stations covered 76 different DXCCs. Not bad at all for 100w & G5RV!

Here’s my score summary from N1MM:

 Band   QSOs    Pts  Cty
 3.5      43    129   28
   7     105    315   48
  14     200    600   65
  21     122    366   53
  28      20     60   11
Total    490   1470  205

Score : 301,350

73 & Good DX,


4 thoughts on “2010 ARRL International DX CW Contest Summary

  1. Excellent job David! I wound up with about 380 contacts overall, I think it was almost the same number of unique countries, though I had about 50 fewer mults than you did. I’m curious about how much time overall you put in, I did about 13 hours. If I’d spent an hour or two on Friday and Saturday night I’m sure I could have improved my score dramatically, since I had very little on 80 and usually do a lot better there.

    What did you use the generate that image of the stations you worked?

  2. Calculating the large blocks of time looking at the cabrillo file I sent in (and I have available to me at work) I note the following times which probably has blocks of time in there when I had some lunch, showered, dropped off the kids, etc:

    Fri – 2.5 hours
    Sat – 12.75 hours
    Sun – 8.45 hours
    Total – 23.75 hours

    Sunday I was more selective in looking for stations on 10m and 15m vs just grinding out contacts.

    To generate the map I did the following:
    1) Export the ADIF from N1MM which is where I log during a contest.
    2) Load the ADIF into Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD).
    3) I then run Ham Radio Deluxe Utilities against it which pulls the associated info from QRZ. Not everyone provides a grid square so after that runs I manually update some using the page I wrote at http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php
    4) Once I have a grid square for everyone which is mainly accurate if there’s even a hint of their location, HRD calcs the lat/long.
    5) In HRD I then export to a Google Earth KML file 6) I upload that file to one of my web servers
    7) I go to http://www.google.com/maps and for the address I specify the URL of the KML file I placed on one of my web servers

    A lot of steps but pretty straightforward once you go through it. The most time consuming part is updating all the records where there isn’t a valid grid locator specified in QRZ. I don’t know why folks don’t go and do it or QRZ doesn’t do what I essentially do in my page and set them to some value based on the address in QRZ. Maybe I’ll search the contest mailing list and see if this was previously discussed and maybe put out a request for folks to update their QRZ info with a grid square.

  3. David – I enjoy reading your contest “journals”.
    We here in VK struggle many times to get you guys in W-land to point our way! When you’re pointing to JA is often hard for you to hear us but we hear you.

    I had really good 20M long path openings to NA at 1800Z-2000Z on 20M both days (to your northeast) that I hope you’ll try next time. You definitely need some VK/ZL’s on your map!

    Steve VK3TDX

  4. Steve – thanks for posting! It is always a thrill to work a VK station. I can’t do much pointing with my G5RV wire antenna but if I can hear a VK I will always try and work the station. On Saturday I was on 20m during the 1800-2000z time but didn’t hear any VKs and didn’t notice any spots for them. On Sunday during that time I was on 10m and 15m though I didn’t operate a lot during those 2 hours.

    Thanks again Steve and good DX!

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