Monthly Archives: November 2011

2011 CQ WW CW – 3 new DXCCs worked

This past weekend was the very popular CQ WW CW contest and I didn’t plan on participating much at all with other things to do with family and friends, but that isn’t exactly what happened. Well on Friday night I didn’t participate at all, but when I woke up on Saturday morning, before anyone else in the house was up yet, I fired up the radio and didn’t get up again until there were 172 Qs in the log!

Saturday morning I woke up, made some coffee, sat down, configured the macros in N1MM and turned the radio on and picked 15m. I started at the bottom of the dial, tuned a station, worked them and tuned up the band to work the next station. It’s always easy to do this at the start since every station needs to be logged. After getting up to the top of 15m and working any others I marked but didn’t work, I switched to 20m and did the same thing there and again on 10m. I finally got up and hopped in the shower, came back, worked the same three bands and had 256 Qs in the log before I needed to call it a day and head out. 15m had the most Qs after I was done for the day.

It’s nice working stations in ZL, ZS, VK, etc on the 1st or 2nd call with my little 100 watts and dipole antennas. I think with 15m and 10m open and active, it even makes 20m more enjoyable without ever single station trying to pack into the only band most people could work them on. I got back home after 11pm local time on Sat night and told my wife I’d just scan the band and see what was happening before I came up, and then 60 mins later I was done and turned the radio off again with another 45 Qs.  I worked 40m on Sat night and was able to log a bunch of Caribbean stations but there were also plenty of EU stations I was able to hear and work. Usually 40m isn’t a band I do well on for “DX”, but it was ok on Sat night. I called it quits with 301 Qs.

Sunday morning I woke up kind of late, made some coffee and figured I’d see what was happening on the radio while everyone was still asleep. 40m still had some stations on it but they were all US stations and I had worked them already for the multipliers they provide. I flipped to 20m and started my tuning up and down the band working any new stations I could copy. After about 1 hour I flipped to 15m, spent 30 m scanning the band and then hit 10m. Worked 10m for 1 hour and the rest of the time I was on the radio I flipped between 10, 15 & 20m working any new spots. I operated assisted with the DX Cluster providing spots beyond just the ones I heard and marked myself. I tried to avoid jumping to new spots but as the day progressed I spent more time working new ones for multipliers than I did working stations on countries I had already logged on that band.

On Sunday I was able to work 3 new DXCC entities I had previously not logged.  I was able to work AH0BT on Mariana Island on 15 & 20m. I worked E51MAN on North South Cook Island on 15m though it was hard to here a QSL/TU since there was a PD4 station sending his call over the E51 station. And finally I worked ZK2V in Niue on 10m for a 3rd new one logged.  Hopefully I’m in all their logs and they use LoTW or I’ll be sending off for QSL cards.

I finished up on Sunday on 40m working more Caribbean and Eastern European stations for what ended up being a total of 573 Qs in the log. Not bad since I didn’t think I’d operate much this weekend.  I ended up with 93 DXCCs just on 15m so I was close to working DXCC just on that one band, but I did end up working 117 total entities across all the bands, which I don’t think I accomplished in any previous contest. Some of the rarer CQ zones had large pile ups, if I could even hear the DX station, so I didn’t focus too much on the zones, but I did end up working 30 different zones. I ended up working 13 stations on 4 bands with most being in the Caribbean area.

I worked 400 different operators in the 573 Qs, many of which have become familiar calls. The most stations worked in any one country was Canada, followed by Spain, Germany, Brazil and Italy.  305 of the Qs were worked on countries classified as EU followed with 125 by those classified as NA (primarily Canada and many of the Caribbean entities).

Here’s a map of the contacts based on their grid squares (click to enlarge):

Here’s the N1MM score summary showing contacts, counties and zones by band:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cnty   ZN
    7      75    202    40   15
   14     152    419    73   23
   21     219    614    93   23
   28     127    338    61   19
Total     573   1573   267   80

Score : 545,831

Logs have been uploaded and sent in. Hopefully I’ll see some QSLs on those new entities. Thanks for all the contacts and enjoy the holidays!



2011 SSB Sweepstakes – Stats – Clean Sweep?

This weekend was the 2011 ARRL SSB Sweepstakes ham radio contest. The contest format is to work as many US, Canadian, Puerto Rico and Virgin Island stations as possible. You can work any station only once and each ARRL section is a multiplier. ARRL sections are mostly states, but some states like NJ, NY, PA, TX and CA have multiple sections. The exchange is a relatively long one with it being serial number, operating class (also called precedence), your own call, check (last 2 years you were first licensed) and your ARRL section. My exchange would be 123 A K2DSL 07 NNJ which represents contact #123, A which is low power unassisted, my call sign, 07 since I was licensed in 2007 and NNJ (Northern NJ) is my ARRL section.

I had a VE testing session to attend on Saturday so I wasn’t home for the start of the contest but there are 11 new Techs about to get their call sign this week. Between the late start and having something to do that night, I was only able to operate 3 hours on Saturday, but was able to make 87 Qs covering 47 of the 80 ARRL sections. Since I only operated 80m for a short time, and 80m is where most of my “local” northeast states will be worked, I needed a lot of the nearby states/sections still. I did work a good number of the 0 and 7 call areas which can sometimes be the toughest to get such as Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, North & South Dakota as well as the Canadian Northwest Territory.

On Sunday, I slept relatively late but was able to spend time on the radio often throughout the day. When I first fired the radio up, I was still on 80m and scanned the band and was surprised to find a few stations still on 80m which gave me a couple more quick sections. I moved to 40m for the next hour and worked another 11 mults (60 total at this point). I checked 15m at 1400z (9 am local) and immediately worked the Virgin Islands section but there wasn’t much activity there yet so I switched to 20m and worked 5 more mults (66 total).

I switched back to 40m and made a bunch more contacts but no new mults. It starts to get harder to find the new sections I haven’t logged. I really wasn’t thinking I would operate a lot this weekend and certainly didn’t think I’d be able to find this many sections, but I felt I was getting pretty lucky, especially with some of the tougher ones for me – MS, KY & WV being the typically harder ones for me on the East Coast. From this point on I was just switching between the bands and tuning up and down them from the bottom to the top (or when I stopped hearing any stations) working any station I hadn’t worked before with infrequent new sections being found.

Midday I needed to stop and attend a competition for my daughter and her team. It was worthwhile as they placed first in her final High School cheerleading competition. When I got back home, I still needed a couple California sections, Puerto Rico, 1 or 2 Canadian sections, SC and unbelievably my own NNJ section. I continued to jump between the bands and just tune up/down. I worked S&P the entire contest and never once called CQ. Sometimes that makes it difficult to log sections if the operator is also working S&P.

At 22:55z I worked SC which left just 2 sections – my own Northern NJ and Puerto Rico. Working SC gave me WAS (Worked All States) in under 24 hours.  I figured NNJ would be something I’d get but I had only heard 1 PR station when I was on this weekend and he had a large pileup so I moved along but didn’t find him again. At 00:34z I worked a NNJ station as contact # 301 on 80m for section #79 leaving just Puerto Rico. I finished scanning 80m and then 40m before heading to 20m and finding a PR station with a good size pileup. It took about 5 mins of putting my call out there before he picked me up and worked him as contact #308 for a clean sweep of all 80 ARRL sections!

Below are some stats produced by the K0RC log analyzer.

I worked the following States/Providences only once in the contest:
MB, NL & NWT Providences
Puerto Rico

I logged CA stations the most at 33 times followed by MDC (Maryland/DC) stations 31 times.

I worked the most stations in the 4 call area with 55 Qs followed by the 0 call area with 41 Qs.

In the power/precedence breakdown I worked 111 B (High Power) stations followed by 105 U (Unlimited using DX Cluster) stations followed by 71 A (Low Power) stations. I worked 2 stations running Q (QRP) and they both had good strong signals calling CQ.

Looking at the year first licensed that was sent as part of the exchange, the most frequent years sent were:
(19)77, (19)69, (19)55 & (19)76
For 2011, the current year, there were 3 stations that sent 11.
I worked 5 other ops that sent (20)07 which is the same year I was licensed.

Here’s the score summary from N1MM showing the breakdown on contacts and sections by band:

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Sec
  3.5      72    144   13
    7      93    186   15
   14      65    130   19
   21      69    138   27
   28      45     90    6
Total     344    688   80

Score : 55,040

All logs were uploaded to eQSL, LoTW and sent into the contest Sunday evening.

For those in the US, have a happy Thanksgiving!


2011 WAE RTTY Summary with Maps

The fun and different WAE RTTY contest was this weekend. It utilizes QTCs which is a batch, usually of 10, contacts that can be exchanged with the other station as long as they are on a different continent. It helps increase your score beyond just the contacts you directly make. I made 573 QSOs and added 589 QTCs for a total of 1162 total contacts.

Friday night was the start of the contest but I was at the last high school football game of the year which was also the last game my oldest daughter, captain of the cheerleading squad, would cheer at in high school. When I got home I fired up the radio and spent 1 hour making contacts before calling it a night with 38 contacts.

Saturday conditions were good across the bands with the majority of activity being on 10m. 20m seems to be the least crowded of the bands where up until a few months ago, 90%+ of the activity would be on 20m. Here’s a screenshot of an active bandmap from N1MM when I was on 10m just after 10am (1500z) on Saturday (click to enlarge):

I was able to work a VK (Asutralia) station just after 4pm local (2100z) on 10m. It was the only VK station I worked all weekend. The next station I worked was a Hawaii station on 10m. 1 hour later I worked 4 JA stations in a row on 10m. I asked to send/receive QTCs a bunch when I thought I wouldn’t have an issue receiving or they would hear me ok sending. If there’s too much QRM/QSB, repeats can be painful. I probably could have asked more often and I’ll try and do that next year. Late in the day I spend a little time on 40m and 80m but didn’t log too many and did a few other things late in the day. I worked a Saudi Arabian station on 20m. which is only the 2nd Saudi station I’ve worked.

Sunday conditions were good, though a bit more work bypassing stations I hadn’t worked the day before. 15m seemed more active on Sunday and less general noise on that band. I was able to work the same Saudi station from Saturday but this time on 10m. Tuning the bands for S&P was productive all day Saturday and most of Sunday so I didn’t call CQ too often. Around mid day on Sunday I started to call CQ on various bands, and I’d get a short burst of stations but it didn’t last long and I went back to CQing.

Some notable Qs made: ZD8F on Ascension Island worked on 20m late Sat afternoon and 10m on Sun morning right after the Saudi 10m contact. Sat afternoon on 10m I had 4 JA station contacts in a row and 7 total in less than 30 mins. Also logged Phil GU0SUP for just the 2nd time and ZC4LI who I worked a lot a couple years ago but handed logged a contact with in 18 months.

Some stats show 1 station worked on 5 bands and 12 other stations worked on 4 bands. There were 359 unique stations worked out of the 573 Qs’s logged. Looks like 59 different DXCCs were logged across 25 different zones. US stations topped the list followed by Germany, Canada, Italy and the Netherlands.

The map of all contacts made is below (click to enlarge):

Here’s a map of all the 10m contacts made over the weekend (click to enlarge):

Logs have been upload to LoTW, eQSL and sent off to the contest sponsor and already confirmed as received. Here’s my score summary which you can see is a bit longer than normal because it shows the QTCs by band:

Band   Q/QTC  QSOs    Pts  Mlt
 3.5    QSO    23      23   36
   7    QSO    88      88   87
  14    QSO   138     138  122
  14   RQTC    90      90    0
  14   SQTC    40      40    0
  21    QSO   129     129  104
  21   RQTC   100     100    0
  21   SQTC    60      60    0
  28    QSO   195     195  116
  28   RQTC   169     169    0
  28   SQTC   130     130    0
Total   All  1162    1162  465

Score : 540,330

I enjoy the WAE format. Looks like the ARRL Phone (SSB) Sweepstakes is up next weekend so I’ll be trying to get time on the air for that one.