CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 23
Total: QSOs = 1331 State/Prov = 58 Countries = 56 Total Score = 477,090
Club: Society of Midwest Contesters
What an UNFORGETTABLE contest. While my score won't land me in
the top ten, this will certainly be on my top 10 list of
contests I've done.
Wall to wall Europeans, well in excess of two hours before
sunset. I've never heard anything like it. Unfortunately, for
whatever reason, EU couldn't hear me all that well Friday night/
Saturday morning. Seems like each EU QSO was a struggle, but I
did manage topping my best country total in the first night
at 41 countries (previous best was 25) and had all but two
states in the log (SD and OK), along with 851 QSOs.
So my best country total in the first night was cool enough,
but then Saturday happened. Same thing as before. EU heard
well before my sunset, but after sunset, I wasn't hearing
as many as the night before. But this time they were
answering my CQs. I couldn't believe it. I was being heard.
Not a lot of stations, but one here and there. Then at
about 0440z (10:40pm local), someone flipped a switch and
one after another 10-pointer called in, and nearly all the
USA stations disappeared. This lasted for 4 full hours,
way after sunrise in EU. Notable was S50A who called me
nearly two hours after his sunrise!
Now of course none of this is all that spectacular from
an East Coast perspective, but this was central Wisconsin.
Even K0TG at the W0AIH superstation said "I never have
heard of a EU run on 160 from this part of NA." And never
have I. I worked an unbelievable 157 ten-pointers (141 EU).
In comparison, in 2006 I had 12 ten-pointers and only 5 last
year. I had to keep reminding myself that this isn't 40M.
But with wall to wall DX, it was especially hard to find a
place to CQ, especially since most of the contest, the DX
wasn't hearing me. When I would find a clear frequency,
it wasn't but a few minutes later that some DX would start
calling CQ on my freq. At one point, there was a SA station
and two EU (and me) all calling CQ on my frequency that was
previously clear. And I think I was the only one hearing
I didn't operate as many hours as I would have liked. I
took a 1.5 hour nap from 2:30am-4am and was treated to my one
and only JA (JH2FXK) right at my sunrise and I pulled the plug
a few minutes later to get some sleep. I didn't start back
up on time, plus had to have dinner with my mother and daughter,
then I was back in the chair until nearly 3am. I had set the
alarm for another 1.5 hour nap, but nothing could wake me back
up at 4:30am. So I slept in until well after sunrise. I
got up and started packing up the station for the drive home.
This "station" was simply some wires threw up on Thanksgiving.
An inverted L (up 85') and a 1000' 2-wire beverage at my
mother's house. I bring up the K3, amplifier, computer and
comfortable chair for the weekend. Noise on the TX antenna is
S1-2 during the day, when the neighbor turns off the S9+30dB
I was on a complete euphoric high all weekend, except for one
contester that decided to park on me zero-beat and pretend he
doesn't hear me. It's the typical East Coaster who thinks he
can run off the W9. (Apologies to all the courteous East
Coasters.) He wasn't budging. He couldn't have come at a
worse time, I was in the middle of a 135 hour and went to
zero, and he didn't work anyone either. Of course he couldn't
hear me. (He was 20 over.) But when I turned the power down
to 20 watts and called with a different call, magically he
heard me. To which I turned up the power and asked him to
leave. And he didn't. If this "gentleman" doesn't apologize,
he will be permanently on my blacklist.
Thanks to everyone for the QSOs, making this one so memorable.
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