Coming into the CQ WW RTTY contest, I knew I could only participate on Friday and Saturday as I was heading out of town on Sunday for a business trip. Fired the radio and N1MM+ up just before 8:00pm ET (0000z) and was ready to go. I started on 15m with the hex beam pointed to EU and the first station I hear and work is a JA station. I’m hearing west coast US stations too and work a few of them right at the start. Moved to 20m for a bit and found stations to work but nothing exotic. 40m had some good activity with NA stations and western EU stations coming in strong. After just 66 Qs logged, I called it a night. It was a very long week at work and I wanted to just lie down and fall asleep.
Saturday morning I started on 20m and moved to 15m which was very active. 9am ET I took a quick check on 10m and could work some EU stations. 10m is such a great band and when it’s open during a contest it makes the event even better. I’m not going to say every time, but most stations would get my call the first time I sent it and our exchange would be as clear as a text message – no noise, no repeats, just a perfect exchange. I needed to run some errands in preparation for being away for a week but with 10m open I had a hard time stepping away.
Saturday afternoon I was able to get back on and spend a good part of the remainder of the day on the air. 10m was open and active all afternoon and I spent most of my time there, dropping down to 15m for a spin up and down the band for any new stations I hadn’t yet worked. I’d flip back to 10m, work any new stations, and then switched to 20m to work up and down the band there.
Late Saturday afternoon with antenna pointing west I looked on 10m and quickly got KH7. After scanning the band I heard a ZL3 and after a couple calls got them in the log. On 20m I worked VK3 with the hex beam pointing east. He was very strong and got my call and report on the first try.
I didn’t switch to 40m until 9:30pm (0130z) and like the night before, EU signals were coming in strong. For the first time in the contest I went to 80m and worked NA stations in the US, Canada and Caribbean. Not a lot of points but most were multipliers which pumps up the overall score.
At the end of the night before shutting down I took a quick look on 20m and came across KC4AAA in Antarctica. He had a good pile going so I’d give it a couple calls and then try and work another station elsewhere on the band before trying again. I was going to head to bed but spent 10 more minutes before I snuck my call in and he came back to me and I got Antarctica in the log for my 30th zone. I ended the night with 465 Qs and figured that might be all I worked in the contest since I had to travel the next day.
Sunday morning I got things ready for my trip and helped clean things up around the house. I was ready to head to the airport with 90 mins to spare so I fired things up and spent 90 mins Sunday morning on 10m having a blast. I even got a ZD8 (Ascension Island) station in the log. I was able to add another 48 Qs into the log for a total of 513.
Score Summary from N1MM+:
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty SP 3.5 22 24 3 3 14 7 63 113 11 22 24 14 122 267 22 43 30 21 140 349 18 50 19 28 166 462 20 56 8 Total 513 1215 74 174 95 Score : 416,745
Below is a map created using ADIF2MAP showing the contacts made (click to enlarge):
Here are the 81 entities & 30 zones worked in the contest:
Some interesting stats… Worked 379 unique stations but just one station (NR5M) on just all 5 bands. If I was able to work on Sunday maybe that could have been more stations. I did work 8 stations on 4 bands including SV9CVY, Michael on Crete. Michael was very strong on all 4 bands.