It is now the next day and the noise from this past weekends very active phone contest is still in my head. The WPX is very enjoyable because it is an everyone can work everyone contest providing good DX opportunities as well as US contacts. The weather was pretty clear all weekend but a bit chilly and there might have been some light rain Sunday afternoon but nothing that would impact operating.
An extra enjoyable tidbit in a phone contest is being able to, even just for a moment, speak with ops I so often make CW and RTTY contacts with. A quick ‘Hey David’, ‘There’s s familiar call’ or a ‘Nice to hear you’ always makes me smile. A few times the op even took a moment out to have a short conversation. One specific example though there were a few is when KT6YL in the middle of a good pileup she had going stopped and said hello and how nice it was to hear the voice of someone she has made many RTTY contacts with.
I felt the overall conditions this weekend were good and provided for a lot of fun and a reason to stay on the air. A single op can work 36 of the 48 hours so I figured the easiest way was to look at being off those 12 hours between about 12:30am local time and 6:30am local time Fri/Sat and Sat/Sun and that is what I pretty much did.
Friday after a couple long weeks (and weekend) at work I sat down and recorded some audio on the computer to use in the contest when calling CQ.. At 0000z (8pm local) I got rolling on 20m for 1.5 hours and then 40m for 1 hour and then 80m in S&P. After working the stations on each band I spent time moving between the 3 bands and ended the first evening with 121 Q’s at 12:30am / 0430z.
Saturday I woke up and put some coffee on to get things going. I started on 40m and was able to shortly log Japan and Australia on the 1st call to each of them and within a minute of each other. After scanning through 40m I went up to 20m and started working there. I did hear a Kuwait station but the pileup was huge. Before long it was wall to wall noise on 20m. I kept popping over to 15m where it was quieter and more manageable. Saturday I checked 10m a few times and didn’t find anything until later in the day when HC8GR on Galapagos Islands said they were on 10. I couldn’t hear them but I could hear some others. Almost any 10m station I could hear seemed to have no issue hearing me so it is obvious I am weaker on the receiving end of 10m on the G5RV. As dusk approached I started to move to 40 and switch between 40 and 20. 20 seemed to do well into the evening so I popped back there for any new ones. I called CQ a bit on 40 and 80 and though the rates weren’t very high and it was mostly US stations they helped with the totals. I called it quits about 12:45am/0447z with a total count of 453 Qs.
I woke up Sunday morning and made some 80m contacts and then moved to 40. It didn’t seem as active/open as it was on Saturday morning. Because I wasn’t using the DX cluster, I might have not come across the stations unless I could hear them while tuning the band. I moved to 20m
and was already seeing some impressive serial numbers being sent by the big operators. Most of the day was again spent between 15m and 20m with occasional checks on 10m. Probably the highlight on Sunday came at 0523z and was a 10m contact to V5/DL5XL in Namibia Africa. That is my longest 10m contact by a long shot at 7100+ miles.
On Sunday I called CQ mostly on 40m and even during the afternoon I was able to get numbers, though maybe not a lot of DX, in the log. I did a little CQing on 15m as well but it wasn’t as productive for me. Ah to have a KW and a SteppIR up 100ft :-) But with what I have for power, antenna and location, I’m very happy with my performance. I also qualify, probably for the last time in any contest that has this category, as a rookie. I did well as a rookie in 2009 and I did much better this year so we’ll see how my score stacks up with other rookie SOAB LP entries.
I worked 71 DXCC entities, 24 of the 40 CQ zones and 44 of the 50 US states. The 671 contacts were with 502 different stations.
Below is my score summary from N1MM.
Band QSOs Pts WPX
3.5 70 189 31
7 217 462 112
14 216 479 147
21 149 335 82
28 19 52 8
Total 671 1517 380
Score : 576,460
73 & good DX,