CQWW WPX Contest, SSB
Class: SOAB(TS) LP
QTH: Cornwall, England
Operating Time (hrs): 25
Total: 1153 Prefixes = 644 Total Score = 1,666,028
Having travelled out to Cornwall in the far SW of England for RDXC I stayed on
for another week to do WPX SSB. Last time I participated in WPX SSB was back in
the 1960's when that contest was new.
The weather forecast for the WPX weekend was bad and it turned atrocious with
50mph winds inland and much worse on the very exposed GB2GM site. In view of
the forecast I had taken down my temporary light TX38 from a 50ft tower and was
left with a 2-element compact wirebeam for 10/15/20 and my temporary but decent
inverted Vs for 80 and 40 and a short T with plenty of radials for 160. The
wirebeam was at abt 25ft, just above roof height. The wire antennas on the low
bands seemed to do well but the low wirebeam didn't quite cut it with LP
against the big signals on the HF bands.
Conditions were not bad but trying to run on HF with LP and this antenna was
not really feasible. Then the second night the wind picked up and I had perhaps
a dozen power cuts, one for 2 hours and the remaining just for a few minutes but
they of course all required reboots. By midday on Sunday the wind took out some
connection aloft at the wirebeam making the SWR intermittently go high and I
had no useable antenna for the HF bands. The upside of that was that I instead
had a relaxing afternoon followed by an enjoyable evening in the pub in the
village where I was staying.
Disappointing of course but it was still a fun contest and a learning
experience - almost all my activity otherwise tends to be CW.
Phonetics turned out to be a challenge. My trailing E was often difficult to
get across. I don't know whether it was because of my way of saying ECHO,
because I was weak or because of the howling noise from the wind in the
background. ECUADOR worked OK for South America, not even ELECRAFT worked for
North America. A fun little episode happened when the op at 5E5E got
momentarily confused when hit with M5E. I fear quite a few may have logged me
as M5V or M5T in spite of my attempts to correct the interpretation. It was
tempting to revert to CW to get that E across but that is presumably not
comme-il-faut. Any constructive suggestions for getting M5E across phonetically
would be greatly appreciated.
73 Olof G0CKV (M5E, SM5CKV, W6CKV)
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