CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW
Class: Single Op HP
Operating Time (hrs): 30
Total: QSOs = 1531 State/Prov = 42 Countries = 77 Total Score = 1,056,244
TF4X â?" 2011 CQWW 160M CW
In early December, 2010, TF4M (Thor) contacted me about doing the ARRL 160M
Contest from his station near Bildudalur, Iceland. Since it was too late for me
to arrange my schedule for that event, I asked about the 2011 CQWW 160M CW
Contest. After Thor checked his schedule and commitments, he agreed for me to
come for that contest.
The first thing we did when arriving here two days before the contest was to
get a tour of the antennas. They are amazing, to say the least, and represent a
degree of work and commitment that few in the world would attempt. On the HF
bands Thor has installed five rhombics in all the major directions. Two
rhombics are reversible giving seven total directions. I played with them a
little before the contest and was impressed. If the station was in the
direction of the rhombic, you heard it. If you switched rhombics, the station
But I was here for the 160M contest and that was a different set of antennas.
Thor has installed a vertical transmitting antenna that he calls the â??Arctic
Kingâ??. The antenna is a very large straight pole (It is the largest in
diameter, weight, and height in Iceland) with two wires up the sides to a
capacity top hat. This antenna is on the shore surrounded on three sides by
seawater. It is located a long ways from the station and Thor ran thousands of
feet of very large low-loss hardline to get to it. The antenna works!
Just as impressive is the receiving setup. Thor has installed four reversible
beverages for the major directions. Added to the receiving setup is another
160M vertical located a long ways from the transmitting antenna. They all WORK
very well. Anything that could hear me, I could hear even better. Imagine
listening from a location that has zero atmospheric noise. That is what I had
I just reviewed the spots for the contest and found that many spots said that I
had â??good earsâ??. I had to laugh because I remember the comments I would see
after a 160M contest from noisy Texas when the comments would sometimes say,
The only confusing factor of hearing so well is that sometimes we did not have
transmitting conditions to an area that I was hearing quite well. So it would
seem that sometimes we were not getting out, but in reality we just had poor
conditions in that direction. Aurora is always a factor in transmitting from
this part of the world. Thatâ??s why Thor has put so much effort into a
superior transmitting antenna.
I used a K3 in diversity mode for practically all of the contest.
Operating this contest somewhere other than the USA is a real education for me.
The band seemed always open to Europe even hours after European sunrise. There
are many, many stations operating this contest in Europe. The band is as
crowded here as it is in the USA during the contest. There is lots of splatter
and key clicks, but you learn to live with it and do the best you can. The
conditions to Europe dominated the contest.
The USA and other parts of the world were a different matter. I had hoped that
the spots would bring lots of USA QSOs, but there were not many callers. I
missed a lot of W7 multipliers and I probably should have done more searching
and pouncing to find them. But I worried that even if I heard a station well,
there was no guarantee that they could hear me. I seemed to hear everyone
regardless of conditions. However, I did work a number of California stations.
One of the surprises was hearing and working J28AA in zone 37. Thor had said
before the contest that he only needed zone 37 to complete his 160M WAZ After
the QSO, I immediately jumped up and called Thor. Thor rushed in and started
calling and in a couple of minutes had his last zone. It was a magic moment for
all of us, me, Thor, and Susan. We drank a toast to Thorâ??s success while I
continued to call CQ and work stations.
Two other QSOs come to mind, having VP8ORK answer my CQ and later, having
KH2/N2NL answer my CQ. I worked a couple of Jas, not nearly as many as I
expected. So conditions were not very good in that direction. Someone on my
frequency said a BA1 was calling me. I listened but I never heard anything of
it. That was the only thing that heard me that I did not hear all weekend.
It was a pleasure to operate from Thorâ??s station. Thor is an excellent cook
and introduced us to many of the traditional Icelandic dishes and treats. I
probably gained a few pounds from all the good food. He is a fine host.
This was truly an adventure.
73, Richard â?" TF/K5NA
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