IARU HF World Championship
Class: SOAB(A)CW HP
QTH: Ohio EM89ps
Operating Time (hrs): 20
Band CW Qs Ph Qs Zones HQ Mults
160: 24 0 4 5
80: 117 0 11 16
40: 377 0 25 36
20: 644 0 31 41
15: 152 0 17 27
10: 14 0 5 0
Total: 1328 0 93 125 Total Score = 939,144
Club: Mad River Radio Club
The 2018 IARU HF Championship is yet another event in the year long
ARRL International Grid Chase, a contest within a contest. As I have
been slowly dropping further behind my arch rival for supreme scoring
dominance in Ohio, I thought a whole bunch of contest contacts might
make up a majority of the deficit. So the goal was to make as many
QSOs as possible, and perhaps recapture some of the spirit of the 2014
WRTC event that I visited 4 years ago. See:
Since I was to maximize the number and dispersion of contacts, I chose
to operate the unlimited category.
In 2014 I made my goal to work every WRTC team which I accomplished
although I buggered one of my log entries which negated one important
QSO. Since WRTC is a contest within a contest, my operation would be
a contest within a contest within a contest. Furthermore, WRTC 2018
is offering a certificate to anyone who works all of the WRTC teams,
which makes it a contest within a contest (repeat 3 more times for a
total of 4 levels).
Between 20 meters and sporadic bursts of propagation on 15 meters, I
worked 70 Y8 callsigns, which matches the list published by WRTC 2018
just before the event started, although I didn't look. When 40
finally opened, I started working them again. Eventually I got all of
them on 40 except Y86V. I worked a few on 80 but the static was
terrible and it was hard to be sure the Y8 station copied my call
While working all of these nearly identical callsigns, I thought about
the idea that the WRTC organizers try to make all of the competitor
stations perform nearly identically. At first glance it seemed like
all of the competitors were uniformly weak. On the other hand, one or
two would seem to stand out. On yet another hand, I kept no record of
which stations seemed to stand out, so my anecdotal experience is of
no scientific value.
I worked a few European HQ stations on 160. They were remarkably loud
considering how much static they had to overcome in order for me to
For the last couple of months FT8 operating has been teaching me about
summertime DX propagation. But when I operated a sometime DX contest,
I completely forgot about 20 meters until long past European sunrise.
Fortunately a JA immediately responded to my 0700Z 20 meter CQ.
I looked for opportunities to make 6 band contacts, but the
intersection of the sets of stations I worked on 10 meters and 160
meters turned out to be null. I thought about trying to talk a couple
of locals into band changes, but I decided I wasn't that desperate.
Writelog needs a feature wherein one can add a prefix or callsign to
the entity look-up table (built-in DXCC list) on the fly. Every DX
contest seems to have a TO5X operating from FM or FG or somewhere.
Instead of editing the QSO entry every time, one could enter a prefix
or callsign plus entity and have the computer make the additional
adjustments as QSOs happen. Since Y2 - Y9 are still valid German
prefixes, how come Writelog doesn't know that. More specifically, why
doesn't the CTY.DAT file have an entry for the Y?
Does D1HQ count as a real HQ station? I'm guessing not, but the log
checking process will surely make that decision.
I am conflicted about sharing the same zone number with the east
coast. In the other DX contests the 1-land callsign mixed with CQ
zone 4 has a dubious distinction. On the other hand, in the IARU
test, no one can tell I'm not in New England.
In addition to all of the minor equipment functional problems I've
whined about recently, now my station won't put out more than 1200
watts on 40 meters. In this case, the problem is not a lack of drive,
but that the amplifier acts like the loading capacitor is broken, but
only on 40. On other bands, I can get to 1500 watts easily. The 40
meter SWR is quite low - maybe there is some particular reactance
value the amplifier doesn't like. More things to investigate.
Equipment: Elecraft K3, P3, Alpha 8410. Antennas: 20 - 15 meters:
Cushcraft X7 @ 100 feet and Cushcraft X7 @ 60 feet; 40 meter vertical;
80 meter vertical; 160 meter 'tee' vertical. Beverages for receiving
on 80 and 40, phased array for receiving on 160.
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