CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op QRP
Operating Time (hrs): 12
Total: QSOs = 410 State/Prov = 48 Countries = 4 Total Score = 102,440
Club: Contest Club Ontario
Since I was away and had missed the 2010 running of the contest I planned a full
time effort trying to set a new QRP personal best that I had set in the 2009
contest which consisted of 517 QSO's 50 States/Prov and 15 Countries for
162,370 points but after the past year on 160 and all the discussion on the 160
reflector it became apparent that the amazing band condx we have been enjoying
for the last few years at 23's solar min may have all but disappeared. None the
less I was going to try anyway if condx warranted. It will be interesting to see
what other people thought condx were like at 5 watts as it wasn't that great
Friday night I had a some decent runs and was heard all over NA but I just
couldn't get Europe's attention. The band felt flat and the DX was not as
strong or as plentiful as they have been in the past. This trend continued on
Saturday and while I did manage to snag CR2X at his sunrise peak that was it
for Europe. I did work a KP4, a P4, and 3 C6's but I really felt "QRPish" for
the first time in years... While the QRN was only S3 to S5 at 300hz BW on the
vertical no less, on Friday, and very quiet at S2 to S3 at 300 hz BW on the
vertical on Saturday, it felt like I was contesting back in 2003 / 2004 with
the poor propagation and high absortion - just like we had during the downslide
of 23 before solar min. Unfortunately this may be the trend for the next few
years as cycle 24 revs up....
As a result I decided to go part time and packed it in early both nights right
after European sunrise and readjusted my new goal to 400 Q's and 100,000 points
- both of which I hit just before going QRT Sunday morning.
Regardless of condx it was still lots of fun and I am glad I was here this year
to be part of it.
Thanks for all the QSO's.
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