CQWW WPX Contest, SSB
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 32
Total: 1172 Prefixes = 570 Total Score = 2,014,380
Club: British Columbia DX Club
* FT-2000 and SB-221
* N1MM Logger (unassisted)
* Steppir 3-el. at 47'
* 40M -- Steppir dipole
* 80M -- twin vertical array E-W
2010 -- SFI = 88 A = 7 K = 2
2009 -- SFI = 71 A = 3 K = 1
Expecting to see some very impressive scores after this one. The bands are
Sunspot group 1057 helped keep the flux "elevated" at 86 to 88 for this
weekend, but not enough to help 15M open up to Europe from this upper left
corner of North America. Nice to make a few Qs on 10M but it was more novelty
than an impact band.
15M was not good for rate, but provided leg room when 20M was un-runnable due
to overcrowding. I could find what appeared to be good slots on 20M, but after
being waved off time after time, when I did park I was always worried about
what I might be doing to the guys on either side. Eventually, you just have to
settle where you can between the titans, set the skirts and damn the torpedoes,
but it sure will be great when we can spread the congestion over 15M and 10M as
With Livescores still in upgrade mode, I used PC5M's Athena contest score
viewer for N1MM Logger to track my real-time performance graphed against my
best-ever 2008 outing. Really helped to see when I was gaining or losing, and
the feedback was powerful incentive to push harder when I needed to.
Was disappointed with 20M production. In ARRL DX SSB I made 640 Qs on 20M, all
DX, and expected to get 800 to 1,000 in this one if Europe opened wide.
Couldn't even get to 500, despite the easy domestic Qs to be had and Sunday's
all-day opening to Europe. The top tier was very strong, but the lower tiers
weren't very workable at all. Band congestion was so bad I spent a lot more
time on 15M, as up there I could make contacts and even find a spot to run a
75M activity was disappointing. Still, I managed to improve very slightly over
previous years. Adjusting the two vertical wire elements shifted the array's
sweet spot up from the CW/RTTY part of the band, but I overshot the mark with a
setting for 3.800 -- will note that for next time and set it for 3.700 instead.
40M was quite solid with plenty to work. The low Steppir dipole is a dream from
a bandwidth standpoint, but it takes some gain to really rack up 6-pointers, and
I only got a few of those. I had just 78 Qs on 40M last year. With the new
dipole up, working 300 on 40M seemed achievable going in this year, but it did
take some work to hit that goal.
Heard some neat episodes of sportsmanship and DXer acumen. One was from WX3B in
the wee hours of Sunday morning on 40M. I ran across him just as he was called
by a VK8 that I could not hear off the far side. After several overs, he had
the VK8's call, then said "now comes the fun part. What's my number?"
After many attempts, trying various permutations, he quipped, "it might be
faster if I just guessed the number." But he knew no quit. After a couple more
minutes trying, he observed that perhaps nudging the antenna would help. It did
and he landed the number. Great fun and great digging from an op with the gear,
ears and patience to get the job done. I worked WX3B next and congratulated
I doubled my previous best score, cracking the 2M-point and 1,000 Q barriers,
added 160 mults more than ever before, and am pretty happy with how everything
unfurled over the 32 hours I was on. I heard VE7 stations handing out serial
numbers so high they sounded more like frequency checks, so I figure I'll be an
Looking at the WPX SSB records for VE7, 2M points would have been 5th-best ever
in the section, and far above anything in the past decade. That will change
after this one as I am sure several stations from B.C. had outstanding
performances. And next year will move the bar even higher.
Expecting high winds, I had the yagi at 27' on Friday night. The winds didn't
arrive, so I was able to crank up to a soaring 47' for the Europe opening on
Saturday morning through to the contest close on Sunday afternoon. Cranked
things down at 0020z, and severe wind hit at 0040z. Timing is everything.
Best DX: Kuwait for a new one on 20M. Heard many Asian stations, including 9M6
and YB, on 40M Saturday morning but could not get their attention. JAs were
very, very scarce on the low bands -- too bad for us West-coasters, as those
few 6-pointers help to offset the Europe advantage from out East.
Had a lot of fun. Thanks for the Qs.
-- Bud VA7ST
Band QSOs Pts WPX
3.5 129 480 53
7 318 1334 128
14 461 1142 274
21 260 566 113
28 4 12 2
Total 1172 3534 570
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