Monthly Archives: March 2011

2011 CQ WPX SSB Summary

I’m a little late getting to posting about this past weekends CQ WPX SSB ham radio contest. There was a lot of anticipation that the conditions were improving and that activity would be high and it seems like that was indeed the case. The contest started Friday night and ended Sunday night. Single Ops could operate 36 of the 48 hours but that wasn’t an issue for me as I wasn’t able to operate in a true full-time effort, especially on Fri & Sat evenings.

For those that don’t work the WPX contests, anyone can work anyone else, and the prefix of the call sign is the multiplier so a K2 & W2 are 2 different multipliers. Multipliers are counted once across all bands and not once per band. Also there are more points for contacts made outside your own entity so Canada contacts are more points than US contacts and contacts on a different continent are worth even more.

Friday:

Fri night I operated around 3 hours and started on 15m where there was already activity not just Fri night but all weekend long. I was able to log a Hawaii station right away. After 15 mins I  moved to 20m and worked S&P through the band. I worked S&P the entire weekend and never called CQ once. 20m was already wall to wall with loud and often times overlapping signals. I spent most of my evening there and moved to 40m and 80m for a short time to get anyone I could hear before calling it a night with around 80 contacts in total.


Saturday:

Saturday’s time on the radio was again all S&P and started around 11am local time 1500z after some errands and a much needed haircut. Most of the first part of the day concentrating on 15m and 10m. 10m seemed to have some activity throughout the daylight hours and 15m was more like 20m has been with wall to wall signals throughout the day with a bit less chaos than 20m. 15m had a lot of the typical South America stations booming in but there were also plenty of EU stations and even Africa stations coming in. I spent a lot of time tuning the dial on 10m looking for new stations to log. Again, the South America stations were coming in strong as they do whenever I’m hearing 10m stations. The Caribbean stations were all loud as well. You can see from the 10m map below that the SA stations I made contact with were primarily on the coasts. I also had no problem logging a contact with a ZS station in South Africa on 10m at a distance of 8000 miles. This was my 2nd South Africa 10m contact since being on HF.

I did pop over to 20m on Saturday to spin the knob up and down to log stations, but I did head back to 15m and 10m and spent more time there. I was more interested in logging new countries on 15m and 10m than just increasing my total number of contacts for the contest. As the sun started to set I again spent some time on 40m and 80 thought 20m was active up until I got off the radio that night. I ended Sat night with 332 contacts in the log. Compared to 2010 CQ WPX SSB contest where I finished with 671 Q’s I figured I was lucky if I’d even approach 500 on Sunday.


Sunday:

When I got back on the air Sunday morning, I went through 40m and logged any new stations before switching to 20m. When I went to 20m I started at the bottom of the band and the first station I heard was JT5DX in Mongolia booming in loud and clear. There was no pileup so I logged him quickly on the 1st call with no repeats. I had worked JT5DX before but he was so loud and strong I was amazed. After 20 mins and a few other stations logged as I spun the dial up the band I came across BQ100. The station was so loud that I figured it was some odd prefix in the Caribbean or Europe but when I entered the call in N1MM it showed as Taiwan. I was amazed there wasn’t a pileup and I was able to log them too on the 1st or 2nd call which gives me an all time new one logged. I stayed on frequency as BQ100 called CQ over and over for 2 mins before the next person came back to them and I moved off frequency. Not longer after I came across a station in China that was very strong and there were a few folks calling but I was able to get in where a portion of my call was recognized. Unfortunately the best he could get on me was W2DSL and as I tried to correct him someone must have spotted him and a wall of ops came on and there was no hope for him to get my call though he tried. It was the first time I ever heard a station in China too. There’s hope for me!

The rest of Sunday was spent scanning up and down 20, 15 & 10 though I spent much more time on 10m. Yes it was much less productive but I wasn’t going for large numbers. When the contest came to an end I was pleasantly surprised I had logged 563 stations with more contacts on 10m than on 40m or 80m. I ended up working 81 DXCC entities which is 10 more than last year with 110 or so less total contacts. I also worked 26 different CQ zones, not that that those are a factor in this contest either. I worked 7 different stations on 4 bands but none on 5 which isn’t surprising since I spent very little time on 80m. 17 other stations were worked on 3 bands.  It was a very enjoyable weekend so thanks to all for hearing my 100w.

Here are maps of the contacts made. The first map shows all contacts and the second map shows the 10m contacts made. Click on the images to open a larger view:

Here’s the score summary for the weekend:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  WPX
  3.5      34    103   27
    7      65    176   33
   14     202    482  127
   21     186    470  115
   28      76    190   40
Total     563   1421  342
Score : 485,982

73,
K2DSL

Some press time for K2DSL

Over the past  week I’ve been notified that I have been mentioned in both CQ and QST magazines. In the March 2011 issue of CQ I’m mentioned in the article on the 2010 CQ WPX CW contest because I ended up in 1st place US in the Rookie category. The article also indicates I apparently receive a plaque for it which is sponsored by K6DBG (Chris) so thanks for that! I’m no longer eligible to claim Rookie status so I was lucky to sneak this in before I get lumped in the middle of the pack with everyone else.

In the April 2011 issue of QST Magazine is an article by WB8IMY (Steve) on the digital mode JT65. In the article Steve mentions my maidenhead grid square site at http://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php as the grid square is important for use with the software that is used. Thanks for the mention Steve!

Looks like I might be able to sneak in some radio time in the BARTG RTTY contest but just on Friday evening for a short time. The rest of the weekend and contest I’ll be unavailable and with one of my daughters. I just need to remember to mentally adjust GMT to Daylight Savings Time which kicked in last weekend. The BARTG starts at 0200z which last week would have been 9pm EST and now is 10pm EDT.

73,
K2DSL

2 new DXCCs worked – No NA RTTY Sprint

I’ve been busy with non-radio activities over the past couple of weekends and this weekend was no exception.

On Saturday I was able to work 2 DXpeditions that have been on-going. One is the 4A4A Dxpedition to Revillagigedo Islands off the western coast of Mexico. I worked them on 20m phone and it already shows in their online logbook. The other about 30 mins later was the Sable Island DXpedition and I was able to work N1SNB/CY0 also on 20m phone.  Sable Island is off the eastern coast of Nova Scotia Canada. Both of these contacts are for new DXCCs so for me so I’m glad I was finally able to hear and work them while at the radio.

Saturday night was the 4 hour NA RTTY Sprint but I was unable to be at the radio. My younger daughter was in her high school’s spring musical and Saturday night was their final performance so that’s where I was. She and the entire cast were terrific and gave a fantastic performance. I hope those that got on the air were had fun and racked up the Q’s in this fast & fun contest.

I’m going to be out of town next weekend with my older daughter so unless her plans change I won’t be on the air for the BARTG HF RTTY contest either. I might be able to sneak in just a couple of hours on Friday night at the start of the contest if we don’t have to leave until Saturday morning.

73,
K2DSL

2011 ARRL DX SSB – 1 hr on the air

This past weekend I was busy and mostly out of the house on Friday night, all day Saturday, Saturday night and all day Sunday. That meant no time on the radio for the 2011 ARRL DX SSB ham radio contest. I did check Facebook and saw some other emails indicating conditions were good, specifically on 15m and 10m, but I wasn’t able to get on the air.

On Sunday we had our local ham radio club’s annual auction and I was there from 10am through 5pm. I guess I could have tried to sneak in a little time before 10am on Sunday morning but I had some other items to deal with. While I was at the auction I checked my phone a few times and saw some posts about decent conditions so I know some folks were probably having a lot of fun. After the auction ended and in the pouring rain and wind, I got home and for about 1 hour I got on the radio and worked stations on 15m and 20m. I checked 10m but it was late with the sun already set and I didn’t hear any signals. In a quick hour I made 40 contacts with nothing exotic. I did hear a JA station on 15 but he faded quickly and I wasn’t going to hang around and see if conditions improved. P40A on 20m who was running 5 watts and booming in as if he was running 1KW.

I hope everyone that did spend time in the contest had a lot of fun. Here’s my short contest summary:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty
   14      22     66   15
   21      18     54   10
Total      40    120   25

Score : 3,000

K2DSL

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