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To: 3830@contesting.com, jhfitzpa@wisc.edu
Subject: [3830] WPX CW PJ2W(WI9WI) SOAB HP
From: webform@b4h.net
Reply-to: jhfitzpa@wisc.edu
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2004 11:39:58 -0700
List-post: <mailto:3830@contesting.com>
                    CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: PJ2W
Operator(s): WI9WI
Station: PJ2W

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Curacao
Operating Time (hrs): 34.5

 Band  QSOs
  160:    0
   80:    0
   40:  435
   20:  692
   15: 1500
   10:   97
Total: 2724  Prefixes = 806  Total Score = 7,531,264

Club: Society of Midwest Contesters


This was the second time I have done this contest from the Caribbean Contesting
Consortium station, PJ2T, on Curacao. Last year was the first, and I scored 2924
- 807 - 7871478 claimed. After score reduction I finished 10th in the SOHP AB
category, however I was beaten out by a couple of LP stations to finish out of
the top 10 overall. I made a few very basic mistakes last year, including a poor
start because of poor band choice, not spending enough time on the low bands for
6 point QSOs, and operating only about 32.5 hours. I felt these were correctable
and that I could do relatively better even though I was expecting poorer band
conditions due to the lower flux levels compared to last year. Last year I
started on 40 meters and had a very slow start due to very high noise levels.
This year we arrived on Wednesday afternoon. I spent a few hours operating the
next 2 days trying to get a feel for band conditions. As expected the higher
bands had weaker signals and shorter openings than last year, and 30 and 40 were
very noisy. We spent the rest of the time before the contest at the beach,
downtown, and my wife (KA9DOC) and older daughter went diving. K9NW called me
just before the start of the test to wish me luck. He had been working on
Bonaire that week and was staying at a hotel downtown before his flight back to
Ohio  early Saturday AM. After a long flight home he gave me a couple of QSOs in
the test. Thanks Mike. I elected to start on 15 meters which I felt should
support strong signals to the US for at least a couple of hours. This was a good
choice with 150 QSOs in a little over an hour. As things slowed down I went to
20 where I had my first surprise. Noise levels were very high, over S 9. Last
year 20 was quite quiet. There were constant thunderstorms about 15-25 miles off
the south coast between Curacao and Venezuela the whole time we were there,
leading to very high noise levels on 20, 40 and 80. The only time they moved
near the station was early Sunday AM when I was sleeping for a few hours. After
3 hours on 20 I moved to 40 which had some strong signals in spite of the high
noise. The rate on 20 was about 100/hr, and dropped to about 75 on 40. I know I
was something of an alligator on those bands, and apologize to those whom I
could not pull out of the noise. A quick listen on 80 showed very strong noise
levels and few signals. I never even tried to make any QSOs there, figuring it
would be  a waste of time. I made my first mistake after 6 hours, when in spite
of reasonable rates on 40 I elected to sleep for about 5 hours hoping for a good
European opening on 20 or 15 after sunrise. I took a quick shower and went to
bed with about 602 QSOs in the log. When I got up in the AM, the rate wasn't
there and my QSO totals lagged the rest of the contest. Twenty had high noise
levels in the AM, and 15 didn't open until about 4 hours after sunrise. I had
good rates on 15 most of the rest of the day and also the next day, but not as
high as I hoped. Fifteen was the money band in this contest with over half of
the QSOs. It was essentially the only usable band during daylight with high
noise and weak signals on 20. Last year I made 247 QSOs on 10 meters in about 2
hours, almost all US. This year on Saturday afternoon I made 4 trips to 10,
netting 19 QSOs. It seemed to open mainly to W5 only briefly, and few stations
were there. Sunday afternoon I made a couple of trips to 10. It was open to most
of the US, and I made 78 more QSOs in about an hour on the band, but I quickly
ran out of stations to work and the rate plumetted. Saturday night was a reprise
of Friday, with reasonable rates on 40. The noise levels seemed a bit less and
signal strengths were better than Friday. Again I made the mistake of quitting
too early, and again the high bands opened late on Sunday AM. QSO rates were
about 50 to 60 per cent of Saturday's. I managed to stay in the chair for about
35 hours this time, an improvement, but still not all the time I was allotted.
Conditions were obviously worse than last year's, and I again made a number of
tactical blunders, hurting my score. All in all I enjoyed the contest, it is one
of my favorites, with lots of activity and lots of multipliers. A few
statistics: NA 61 % of QSOs, EU 33 %, Asia 2 %. Most worked countries: US 1546
QSOs, DL 135, VE 107, OK 94, UA1 86. I worked only 16 JAs, 10 on 15 meters. None
were strong. We'd like to thank Geoff Howard, W0CG and PJ2DX, and his wife Cindy
for the use of their wonderful house. Also the CCC for the use of their fine
station. Special thanks to members of the CCC who gave me a number of QSOs
during the test including W0CG, K8ND, N8BJQ, W9VA, W8TK, and I'm sure several
others who's calls have leaked out of my memory  in the last 2 weeks. Thanks to
all who gave me a QSO.



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