CQWW WPX Contest, CW
Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 36
Total: 2260 Prefixes = 735 Total Score = 3,735,270
Club: Central Texas DX and Contest Club
I operated from W5KFT this weekend using KT5I (Kevin, an old friend from UT and
an occasional contester). My score was down from 4.37M last year to 3.75M, but
conditions seemed good. This year I emphasized 20 and 40; last year I put a lot
more effort into 15. Congrats to my favorite local rival N3BB, who got me back
for ARRL DX CW. Last year, Jim beat me by 21% -- this year it was only 20%.
Jim, you'd better look out in 2023!
I wasn't as rested as I wanted to be -- I was yawning the first evening. Maybe
there's something to the N3BB Maxim on how WPX CW and Dayton don't mix. There
were a few times when I got punchy and tried to run on one band with the amp set
on another, or discovered I'd forgotten to change back from the SE antenna, but
there were also some really great times "in the zone", really working both
radios very effectively. I know the SO2R hot shots can work both rigs even in a
very high rate period, but there were probably 2-3 hours in all when I focused
on just one rig, either because I was getting multiple callers to each CQ, or I
was straining on 40 to hear weak signals. I just kept my eye on the rate meter
(set to display points, not QSOs).
Ten meters was pretty much a bust this weekend, but 15, 20, and 40 seemed good.
I started running on 20, because I couldn't raise any DX on 15 before the
contest started. That was pretty productive, but I kept hoping 15 would open up
to JA. No go. I also tried to work 40M Friday night, but it was noisy, and the
beverages weren't working. I tried my first 40 run at 0230 without much luck. I
tried again at 0330 but again, didn't stick with it long. 20 was good, however,
so I worked it hard.
I took off a couple hours overnight (but unfortunately couldn't sleep) and got
up to work a nice batch of JAs on 40. I had a nice little run, but it didn't
really get going until around 1000 (JA sunset).
I had a pretty good run to EU on Saturday morning, but it started later, peaked
later, and seemed to end earlier than in the winter contests.
I took three hours off Saturday afternoon and got back on hoping to work scads
of JAs -- again, no luck. They just weren't there, but I managed to stay pretty
20 didn't seem as good Saturday evening, and I felt like I needed to work 40
hard, so I spent more time on 40, starting around 0100. I got my first decent
run on 40 going around 0230, but only stuck with it for about an hour. I worked
a total of 198 6-point QSOs (non-NA on 40/80). 155 were from running, 43 were
S&P. I logged 61 EU 6-pointers and 104 JA 6-pointers, with 33 miscellaneous
I took 3 more hours off Saturday night and got up a bit later, closer to the JA
peak the previous morning. The JAs signals were huge, but I kept wishing there
were just more of them.
Signals to EU on Sunday morning were pretty weak, and things seemed to really
fizzle out around 1600Z, so I took my last four hours off then, thinking I'd be
back in time to work some JAs and mop up what was left. When I got back on, 15
to EU was rocking, and N3BB says it had been good all afternoon. Although it had
seemed to close a few times, he said, it opened right back up.
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