I had a chance to try out my wires this past weekend in the
CQWW SSB contest. I decided to play around part time in the S/O
unassisted category. It had been 8 years since I had tried this
category and that was when I was KH2F in Guam where there were
no packet spotting networks. I kept coming across an unusual
situation I don't remember ever encountering. This had to do
with DX stations IDing. Since I was not serious in this effort
I was able to spend some time on a particular frequency and take
notes. Numerous times throughout my tuning I came across DX
stations that would not ID. Not unusual you say? I know this
happens all the time. The unusual part of it was that sometimes
many minutes would pass before someone would ask,"what's your
call?" I listened to ZX0F for 13 minutes; yes, THIRTEEN minutes
during which he NEVER IDed. I timed it! He had a serious pileup
of U.S. stations that he ran and ran and ran and not once did
someone ask him for his call. I blame this on Packet. I sure
hope the packet spots that were generated had the correct call
listed. DX stations can run pileups on DX spots alone. I used
no packet this weekend. I tuned so much that a callous
developed on the side of my palm from rubbing on the table.
Occasionally I would stumble across a rare multiplier and easily
work it since there were no other callers. I sometimes stayed to
listen to see how long it would take for a pileup to happen.
When it did it was almost in an instant.The good DX ops
continued to ID every call. Others were heard giving up IDing
once the pileup started knowing that a "spot" had been made on
one of the Megaclusters. Pity the poor single op who ran across
the pileup while tuning and never heard an ID or called in the
fray to work it and waited around for an ID that never came.
I also noticed that the most stubborn are some of the single op
dxpeditions to the Atlantic and Central American countries. I
heard U.S. ops ask for the DX's callsign numerous times with no
response or even a rude comment from the DX every so often.
The recent issue of CQ includes the contest survey.
One of the questions is how has contesting been effected by
packet. The packet spotting nets appear to have had a negative
impact on single op unassisted. Quick,massive pileups in
progress, and longer periods between IDing has only hurt the
serious single operator.
My 10 hour fun effort generated 202,000 points. I
never called CQ. I was surprised by how many pileups I could
bust with my wires. Fifteen meters was surprisingly good here.
I worked nearly 50 countries each on 15,20, and 40 meters and
around 40 countries on 75 meters. I don't have an antenna on 10
meters. The easiest station to work on all 5 bands was HC0E. I
tried to work them on 10 meters with the 80m antenna but no
Antennas here: 160m half sloper at 40 feet, 75m inv vee at
40 feet, 40m- Pair of inverted vees fed 1/4wl out of phase with
apex at 40 feet., 20m- 160m half sloper(2wl long wire) and
another pair of inv vee 1/4 wl out of phase at 30 feet.,
15m-the pair of 40m vees.
Since it had been a long time since trying the CQWW from
the USA I wasn't sure what zone I was in. I knew I was zone 5 up
in Maryland. I asked locally and was told zone 4. I thought I
verified this by looking at last years results and seeing W4s
listed in the zone 4 boxscores. I was already halfway through
my effort when VP2E informed me I was zone 5 in South Carolina
and that Alabama was the only zone 4 in the w4 call area. I
decided to continue giving zone 4 in order not to cause a
confusion when I worked the dx on other bands. Who the hell
wants to explain to a DX station about the mixup in a middle of
a pileup? There goes 200k points out the window!
I suppose a checklog is the only remedy. Hope you all fared
well. 73 Ken KP4XS/W4 zone 4 err uh I meant zone 5.