CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB
Class: SOSB/20 QRP
QTH: Milton, ON
Operating Time (hrs): 18
Band QSOs Zones Countries
20: 384 28 100
Total: 384 28 100 Total Score = 133,376
Club: Contest Club Ontario
Welcome to the wondrous world of Single band QRP on 20m! I guess I was just
too lazy to change the station around after the ARCI test last weekend.
Looking at what I had done back in 2001 running all band QRP on SSB at the
SS peak, I thought it might be fun to see how it felt at the bottom of the
cycle. I decided on 20m as the best test bed especially if 10 and 15 were
dead. They weren't but at least I didn't lose a lot of sleep doing the
bottom three bands.
At 00:00 I worked KH7Q. Nice start for QRP! It took only 25 minutes to work
a 6 continent WAC. The band was also full of east coast U.S. short skip, way
over S9. Worked 40 Q's in just over an hour and then went QRT until 10:38
Saturday morning when the Caribbean, African islands and Europe started to
be workable. It was a cherry picking exercise S&Ping up and down the band
with the antenna at 45degrees and then again at 150degrees. It became
apparent that with the power differential of 4 or 5 S-units that me calling
stations stronger than S9 was the most productive approach to making a
decent rate. I kept going until 15:38, acquiring 61 countries. This rate
wasn't going to hold up but the adrenaline was flowing very well thanks! The
remainder of the day consisted of on-and-off operating. The band was
starting to sound awfully familiar, up and down, back and forth!
I put away the earphones for the night at 01:43z. Last QSO until morning was
ZL6QH. The operator commented that I was exactly at his noise level! I now
had 88 countries and it was obvious that I now had a Golden Fleece to
capture, a DXCC, single band QRP. This was going to be a lot harder than in
2001 when I worked 107 Countries on 10m during an All band effort. Dawn
broke on Sunday to a band with propagation sounding much like Saturday,
including all the callsigns heard! A certain tedium set in but, taking
numerous breaks, the QSO and country total very slowly climbed. By 19:00 I
was still 6 countries short of 100. I had only accumulated 8 more in 8
hours. With 5 hours to go, things didn't look good. Also the pileups were
getting huge on any "new" station that appeared, particularly the Africans!
An additional 2 and one half hours of abusing my mike brought 3DA0WW, TF4M,
S9SS, 6W1RY, PZ5RA, and TO8RR(FG) into the log. Try as I might I couldn't
get any "safety margin" countries in the log. 3XM6CP just wasn't hearing me
and neither was CV5D. One "almost insurance" QSO was R7C which TRLog thought
was in Asiatic Russia but was, alas, only at UA3DPX's QTH according to NG3K!
I packed it in at 23:15 after another run of east coast short skip.
I have a QTH with a 100m drop off to the east. It was perfect for these
conditions. That is not always the case.
USA calls = 67
VE calls = 2 both zone 2
N.A. calls = 35
S.A. calls = 25
Euro calls = 222
Afrc calls = 19
Asia calls = 4
JA calls = 6
Ocen calls = 4
Total calls = 384
IC-706MKIIG and 4el 204BA at 50'
Thanks for all those good ears out there. I KNOW that my signal was indeed in
the noise during many of the QSO's. Hats off to the great operators out there.
See you in the CW portion, maybe HP ;-)
73 Bob VE3KZ
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