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Tue Sep 26 00:23:29 EDT 2006

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, RTTY

Call: VA7ST
Operator(s): VA7ST
Station: VA7ST

Class: SOSB/20 LP
Operating Time (hrs): 25.5

 Band  QSOs  Pts  State/Prov  DX  Zones
   20:  370  840      43      55    24
Total:  370  840      43      55    24  Total Score = 102,480



Note: I ran all bands as I can't get enough of CQWW contesting, but will enter
SOSB/20 LP category as that's where I focussed my time -- managed a lot more Qs
there than I expected to (370 Qs, up from 199 last year).

2006 all-band summary:
 Band  QSOs  Pts  State/Prov  DX  Zones
   80:   81  157      27       5     6
   40:   78  167      29      11    11
   20:  370  840      43      55    24
   15:   31   74      12       8     9
   10:    1    3       0       1     1
Total:  561 1241     111      80    51  Total Score = 300,322

Gear this time out:

* FT920, N1MM Logger + MMTTY (thanks to the super N1MM team)
* 3-ele CL33 at 45'
* 2-element 40M inverted-V beam apex at 75' (resonant at 7.300, not good)
* 80M inverted-V apex at 75'
* Ground-mounted trapped vertical, 36 radials of varying lengths (20'-80')
* No cluster



* A great, anxious run to the finish to break 300,000 all-band points
* Working Saudi Arabia for the first time
* Running stations on 80M Friday night
* Nice 20M EU opening Sat. morning. By 8:30 a.m. it was going strong


* Lack of 15M -- only one US opening, brief, late Saturday afternoon
* Lack of 20M EU opening Sunday morning -- got up at 7 a.m., but EU weak
* 40M west > east propagation dismal

Year-over-year          Qs  Mult Score
2005 CQWW RTTY SOABLP  561  242  300,322 (Note: 102,480 as SOSB/20)
2005 CQWW RTTY SOABLP  365  221  189,840 
2004 CQWW RTTY SOABLP  760  220  482,062 1st contest w/tower
2003 CQWW RTTY SOABLP  257  168  101,304 

Conditions (SFI 72, A 3-8, Kp ~ 3) weren't too good, but good enough for a fun
weekend. Score, Qs and mults up from last year, but 2004 was much better
Q-wise. Didn't realize till after the contest that we had coronal hole effects
on Sunday.

Opened Friday evening on 20M, finding some JA/UA and domestic action before
heading to 40M at 0214z. What a drag there, with what I am formally reporting
as a VE7 40M low-power curse in full swing. Heard 'em all big-time; worked only
a few till late in the night. Then it was like turning on the taps -- a flood of
Qs, though by then the band had thinned out plenty. Stayed in the chair till
just after 2 a.m. (0800z).

Slept in till 8:30 a.m. (1530z) Saturday to find 20M EU wide open, lots of loud
signals (it never really went away all day). Passed last year's point total of
189,840 just after the first day (0030z Sunday) and had almost 24 hours still
to go.

Saturday afternoon, from 2330 to 0030z (4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Pacific) saw 15M
quite open to much of the US from BC. Still nothing like last year's 15M
openings. Worked just 31Qs for 12 SPs this year, vs. 100 Qs for 35 SPs last

Sunday, up at 7 a.m. (1400z), thinking I'd get in on the early part of the EU
opening. But it just never happened. Stations were in there, but not nearly as
workable as the previous a.m. Instead, I went to 40M and had a great time
hunting -- thankfully many stations I called could actually hear me. Worked a
few JAs, and ZL2AMI, my only ZL. I did hear several VKs Saturday morning on 40M
but couldn't get their attention.

Kept going to 15M all day Sunday, but only two or three Qs resulted -- I think
all South American stations. 

Countdown to the End...

Went down to the wire breaking 300,000 points Sunday afternoon. Needed about 6
more Qs in the final 9 minutes to hit the target. I knew 20M was very played
out with 370 Qs in the log there -- I'd never get the contacts I needed in time
working at a rate of one every couple of minutes.

Took a chance and went to 40M. Experience told me nobody would hear me. Though
I've never noticed this in previous years, for some reason this year 40M is
useless till well after dark. I could hang a curtain from Alberta to Mexico,
and nothing East of the line can hear me behind it. Except I can hear
absolutely everyone having a great time out east. 

So, in broad daylight, I started trying stations on the inv. V and
ground-mounted vertical, feeling anxious and doubting I'd succeed. The band was
crackling, jammed with loud, crisp signals.

At last, managed to work W9OL for 2 pts on the vertical. Just up the band, I
found W7FG. N1MM Logger flagged the callsign in red -- needed the OK mult.
Jumped on the end of his CQ, and he heard me right out of the gate. That
short-cut my needed Qs to just two more to hit 300,000 points. I had nearly 8
minutes left. Piece of cake.

Not so fast, Bud. I spent a LONG 5 minutes (3 minutes to the end) trying and
failing, then searching for the biggest sigs I could hear. Figuring big sig =
hot antenna farm, or someone located close enough to hear me. 

With three minutes to go, I found W0NA/4 calling -- then laughed when he sent
"Begging for US / CAN multipliers". He was on the far side of the continent. I
had 100W to a vertical and 36 radials at best, and the one-way Faraday curtain
between us. I threw in my call twice. Heard VE3ESH answering as well. W0NA/4
came back with "please send your call several times" and I figured ESH had him
in the bag. 

I decided I was too desperate to walk away, and sent a VA7ST triplet, thinking
if he couldn't hear me then I wouldn't be making too much noise for him to hear
ESH. Bingo. It was me he was looking for. 299,900 points. One more contact and I
would be over the top.

I spun the dial up the band, heard a string of Qs in progress, but I didn't
have time to wait around. I needed someone ending a CQ call. And there he was.
K6HGF. South of me in CA. The vertical ought to make it that far. A 20-second Q
and we were done. Thanks Doug for being right where I needed a slam-dunk Q on
40M. 300,322 claimed all-band points. The 20M score would float in at 102,480.

Didn't have many dupes -- I usually just work 'em in case they're hand-logging
with a Model 28 (hi) at the other end and can't easily check their dupes. Had
one station try a third Q on 20M, at which point I opted out.

Hope Jim, VE7FO, had a blast at the antenna farm of VE7UF on Vancouver Island.
Worked him on 80M Friday night with a good signal and heard the boys on a
couple other bands Saturday. They were my VE7 mult on 80M... I was going to try
and move Jim to 160M, but I think he would have seen through the trickery

Looking forward to CQWW CW in November. Now off to reconfigure my 40M wires for
the umteenth time.

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