webform at b4h.net webform at b4h.net
Tue Apr 5 08:38:57 EDT 2016

ARRL DX Contest, SSB

Call: KQ2M
Operator(s): KQ2M
Station: KQ2M

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 29.9
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:    0     0
   80:   69    42
   40:  249    65
   20: 1115   102
   15: 1845   109
   10:  389    75
Total: 3667   393  Total Score = 4,322,214

Club: Frankford Radio Club


In Connecticut between ARRLDXCW and SSB, we normally have at least a foot of
snow on the ground and 15 degree daytime temps with strong winds.  You DON’T
do outdoor antenna work.  But this year we had 81F temps!  I’m 54 and I have
NEVER seen 81 degrees in March in NY or CT.  Only one thing to do…  DO
ANTENNA WORK!  I rebuilt my 40 meter wire beam and 4-square, made some station
improvements and eagerly awaited the contest, planning on operating about 20
hours or so, about the maximum  that my body usually allows. 

Surprisingly, the Sunspot Number was rising into the 80’s at contest time
from the 20’s just the week before.  This was going to be fun!  I started the
contest at 0013z �" late because of eating out with my family �"  on
15.  I called cq and my first qso was DU1IVT  followed by a small pileup of
JA’s with BD1RX, HL4RBR and BA5CW all calling in in the first 7 minutes. WOW!
 After that excitement, it was mostly JA and a few Carib/SA callers with VK7XX
calling in off the side of the antenna.  As the rate quickly died, I turned on
the 2nd radio and began to hunt mults on 20 while cqing in a few SA PY and LU
stations.  After a quick pass up 20 M and then across 15 for more mults, I
qsyed to 40.  Tuning up the band I found 9K2NO, A71AM and A65BP and a bevy of
Carib. and SA stations. Stations were LOUD and packed 2 to 3 deep on every
freq.  I tried a quick run at 7168 with my pitifully misshapen wire beam (yes I
rebuilt it but then I had to get it back up into the trees and that did not work
out very well), and was astonished to be called by an S9 UA9MA, 7Z1SJ and
ZS1TMJ, but not many EU stations.  80 was very noisy and I tried to run but no
one called. I was already too exhausted from the combo of the meds and too
little sleep from the prior week so I went qrt at 0214 after I put a few more
SA mults into the log on 20.  I awoke at 10z and made my food/meds and went
down to the shack.  20 was already wide open to EU so I quickly found a freq.
and began to run.  

BOOM!  Within 3 minutes, I had a ROARING, HOWLING, SNARLING mob of EU stations
calling!  Most were not even remotely interested in whether or not I was
calling them, they continued to call anyway.  And they were LOUD!  The only way
to control the pileup was to work them so fast that they HAD to stop calling or
I would be on to the next station.  That seemed to work �" as the rate
meter shot up to 360 for last 10 min the calls got shorter and the stations
talked faster and listened more!   At 1115z the floodgates opened to Russia and
UA9/UA0 and the rate continued to climb.  SV9COL, UN9GD, HS0ZIV, JA3YBK ! and
YB3IZK also called as the band started to go long.  That and 1200z was my cue
to run on 15.  It took only 30 seconds to find good freq. and off I went! 
A61ZX immediately found me along with UN9GD, RW9USA, SV5DKL and an AVALANCHE of
EU callers!  AT 1226z, the rates were 400.0 last 10 min ! and 250 and climbing
for last 100, and by 1245z the last 100 rate was 302.3  and still going up!

I was working on my first ever 300+ hour from stateside and it looked like I
was going to get it until the first lid moved in and cq’ed up 500hz.  What,
he couldn’t hear me or the raging pileup ?!  No sooner than I got rid of him,
another lid moved in right between me and one of the Multi stations �" he
couldn’t hear the roar of s9 +20 EU stations calling? And that is how it was
for the next 2 hours �" constantly fighting off belligerent non-listening
cqers while attempting to copy the stations calling me.  As I struggled to
maintain a 240+ per hour pace, 6Y1LZ and 9K2NO called in along with HS0ZHC,
A71AE, UN6LN, HS0ZCW and a few UA9 stations.  15 was WIDE OPEN!  To recap, the
1100z hour had 230 q’s and 1200z had 249 !  with a best 60 minutes rate of
256 !, all the while constantly battling frequency thieves, jammers, and tuners
and using every possible combination of filters on my Yaesu FT1000MP. Often I
would only get two or three characters of a call relying on the station to give
me the rest of his call when he gave his report.  The GOOD ops did this while
the less experienced and less knowledgeable did not.  “ Echo Zulu you are
59CT “.  “You are 59100”.  “Echo Zulu WHAT IS YOUR   CALL? ”.  No
answer.  And then again  “Echo Zulu GIVE ME YOUR CALLSIGN “.  “ Italia
Zulu Three…..”   “ NO, I want the ECHO ZULU station only,  WHAT IS YOUR
CALLSIGN ?”   And then having wasted about 30 seconds, I THEN had to take the
ECHO ZULU call out of my log because he never gave me his callsign!  In other
cases, the station gave me his call incorrectly and I tried to confirm it but
could not and also had to take the callsign out of my log.  This is unfortunate
because it means that both of us did not have a good qso (which is why he called
�" right?) and everybody wasted time and effort.  Usually by now half the
pileup would get bored and tired of waiting and leave my freq. and then, on
cue, another station would call cq on top of me after having waiting the
required minimum 3 nanoseconds between transmissions, and then the battle would
begin again.

I wanted to spend all the time I could on 15 because a CME was predicted and
that could make 15 disappear.  But just in case it did not, then I would have
to be on the alert for the 10 meter openings as well.

My rate dropped dramatically in the 13z and 14z hours with 156 and 154 as the
qrm intensified and the callers really became cooperative.  Here is an

 “F4XXX you are 59CT”.  (IZ8XXX calls over him).  “F4XXX you are 59CT”.
 (IZ8XXX and UA3XXX calls over him).  “ONLY the F4XXX, you are 59CT” (IZ8XXX
and YT4XXX calls over him).  “EVERYONE ELSE STAND BY - ONLY F4XXX you are 59
CT”.   etc.

And what is really bizarre are all the operators on 15, 20 and 80 that called
and called ENDLESSLY to work DX stations and then REPEATEDLY CONTINUED to call
them WHILE THEY WERE TRANSMITTING!  As if they ever could work him that way?!  
At 1330z 15 meter signals took a huge dive.  It was too early for the noon-time
absorption and too early for 10 to have opened.  Signals went from s9 to s3 in
about 30 seconds.  At that moment, a watery UA9MA called in, previously
obliterated by the loud EU pileup. Did we have a flare?  Too soon to know. 
Fortunately the stream of callers continued and the band got quiet reducing the
effects of splatter, intermod and poor and over amplified audio.   On the 2nd
radio I began to listen on 10 and heard a surprisingly loud ES5Q.  I picked off
a few more 10 M mults and then I made the jump to 10 and started a run at 1423z
with ZS2EC, 6W1SR, 7Z1SJ and A65BP calling in very quickly along with some VERY
LOUD Russians!  The excellent and unexpected run continued with TK5MH, EF6T and
a few SA/Carib stations like VP2VGG calling in.  But it was NOT a solid opening
like on 15.  It was “ Spotlight propagation “.  A few stations from here and
then a few from there, constantly switching around with no warning or
predictability.  One moment I would hear an S9+10 LA station and then seconds
later an S2 DL multi station.  A loud TF3DC and then barely audible Italians. 
Then two minutes of loud Germans followed by a few Russians.  And then NOTHING.
 So back to 15 at 1539z where the rate soared again despite the QRM, the
splatter, the NO�"listen cqers, etc.  W8PR was a fine example.  Ignoring
my pileup of loud EU stations, he proceeded to call CQ only 500 hz above me.  I
could actually copy his callsign without moving the dial!

Now everyone can make a mistake �" hit the dial by accident, forget to
listen before calling cq, etc.  But there is NO excuse for calling cq, hearing
a BIG pileup right next to you, having a loud station immediately tell you that
the frequency is in use and nicely asking you to qsy, and then instead of a qsy,
you REFUSE TO MOVE and call cq  REPEATEDLY thereby continuing to cause
intentional qrm!

I really don’t understand why operators think it is ok to behave like this,
not to mention a bad idea to fight against a 20 element 4-stack of 5L yagis at
109/90/60/30 feet!

One of the nice things about the ARRLDX contest is that the DX stations are
much more likely to look for stateside stations than in CQWW.  So mults that
you usually have to chase often will call you, for example:  Between 1610
�" 1630z, along with the many EU stations, I was also called by TC3P,
YV4IVB, PJ4G, ZA/IW2ZOP, CN8VO, SV9COL, FG4KH, and TF3AO, all of whom would
have had a big pileup in CQWW.  

The 15z and 16z hours were 126 and 134 qso’s, while I hunted mults on the 2nd
radio.  During 17z and 18z, I continued to milk 15 meters while hunting a lot of
mults on 10.  GD6IA and 9J2BO were the most notable callers.  At 1844z I made
the late jump to 20 which did NOT have a stack.  Not having had time to
diagnose the problem in ARRLDXCW with the non-functional stackmaster outdoor
relay box, I had hooked up my three 5L HG205CA antennas to an RCS-4 and then
manually switched them back and forth to maximize my signal into Europe.  While
this worked fairly well, it was not nearly as good as having the ability to
phase any combination of my three antennas.  So when I needed to beam in two
directions at once �" very important on 20 meters late in the afternoon
�" I could not.  Being “ fresh meat “ on 20 was very nice �"
lots of EU stations calling in along with CN8VO, CT3FW, VU3KPL, ZS1VV and quite
a few Russian and OH, SM and LA stations.  Unlike ARRLDXCW where 20 died before
19z, in ARRLDXSSB, 20 was rip-roaring with 160 and 175 hours at 18z and 19z. 
The longpath was working well with ZM1A calling in at 1937z followed by T32AZ
at 1947z and 6W1SR at 1955z.  At 20z, 20 meters was still wide open to all of
Europe, including Northern Europe, with a loud OH0Z and more SM and LA stations
and when JA7ZFN called in early at 2021z, I knew that we could have a great 15
meter JA opening.  3 ZL stations called in between 2036 �" 2038 (one was
a 1-watter!) and then the JA and UA0 stations started to call.  Here is where
not having stacked 20 meter antennas was killing me �" a JA station would
call and I would have to swing the antenna NW and then the EU stations would get
weak.  I would cq with the beam NW for JA but of course none would call until I
swung the antenna back to the NE.  LOL!    It was not the most effective run,
but it was a lot of fun to be able to run both JA and EU at the same time on 20
�" which is actually a pretty rare occurrence in New England.  In the 20z
hour I worked 124 stations and then followed with another 135 in the 21z hour,
with GD0AMD, VK3SIM and a lot of ZL, VK and JA stations calling in with a very
large contingent of PA stations, while on 15, DL0WW was still 59+20 at 2047z
�" Incredible !  On the second radio I began to hear some JA stations on
15 and I quickly qsy’ed and had an instant pileup!

JA pileups are pretty unusual and special in New England.  Normally a JA run
consists of working one or two stations at a time.  It is pretty rare to have
more than two call you,  but now I had almost 10 JA callers at times.  This was
COOL!  While Al4Y, KL7NC and a few VK stations called in, it was really all JA. 
Finally, at 2231z, HL1ACU called in followed by  DU1JM at 2234z.  The highlight
of my run was from 2250z �" 2256z when BG2CTX, BY2HIT, VK6DW, NL7V and
DU1EV all called in!  I can always tell the Chinese stations from the Japanese
stations because the Chinese have a tight and rapid flutter whereas the
Japanese stations have a deep and slow flutter which makes copying much more
difficult.  The run slowed quickly after 23z and BD7BM was the last Asian
station to call at 2314z. Not realizing that the amp tripped off, I had run
BD7BM barefoot.  Having completely neglected mult-hunting up until this point
on 15, I went to the “ spread-antenna “ formation and vacuumed the band for
SA/Carib and Asian mults picking up a loud VR2XAN before starting another JA run
at 2347 z during which HL2KV, HL5UOG, BD3CB, 4F8FSK and KH2X called in.  What
was truly remarkable was the number of 5 watt JA stations that I worked. 
Normally with excellent conditions, I work maybe 2 or 3 in a weekend, but on
Saturday night alone I worked 10  5-watters!  The run started to dry up after
2355z ending a 96 hour of mostly JA at 22z and 23z.  I had known that the JA
run should be excellent because the NOAA solar numbers were terrific -  SFI 95,
SSN 95, A = 5 and K = 0 !  And the auroral oval was at 1 �" its lowest
possible reading.

At the 00z halfway mark, I was quite pleased with 2142 q’s in 15 hours, about
143 per hour.  I ran briefly on 20 in the 00z hour with A65BP and a mix of
JA/UA0 and EU stations, but as the rate fell, it was time to get serious about
mult hunting.  I had not been on 80 or 160 this first night and only briefly on
40.  The 160 antenna had just caught a tree on Wednesday and was of action so I
tuned 80 and discovered a very noisy band with poor signals.  I worked what I
could and went back to 20 to hunt mults.  There was not much to work so back to
80 for another 15 mults then to 40 for more mult hunting and a 20 minute run
during which HI8JSG, 4X429DS, 8P6ET, and A93JA called in. I found 9K9Z up the
band and hop-scotched between 40, 80 and 20 then back to 80 for more mults.  I
was exhausted and only using one radio and I went qrt at 0345z.

Back on at 1034z, I quickly worked 10 mults on 40 and 80 in Carib, SA and Asia
and then ran starting at 1046z on 20.  TF2LL called in at 1051z, normally a
GOOD sign, especially when UN6LN followed at 1052z.  Then a mix of EU and
Asiatic Russians were calling in before 1100z �" this was very early. 
Any time the Russians are calling at the beginning of the EU opening, it means
GOOD propagation and a great run.  20 was HOT but then activity disappeared
like someone pulling the stopper out of the bathtub.  That meant I had to qsy
to 15 IMMEDIATELY �" even though TA4AKS and GZ5Y had just called in with
very loud signals.  A quick qsy to 15 at 1116z showed VERY loud European
stations.  TF2LL called in at 1125z followed by TC5A, LX1HD and a contingent of
OZ, OH, SM, and Russian stations.  The rate soared to 356.4 for last 10 minutes
with the last 100 climbing into the 190’s!  And then at 1155z, the signals
dived and the band got very noisy with a wideband swishing sound.  OH0I and
4O3A called in followed by R9UA and RT8U so the band was open long over the
pole �" a very good sign �" but signals were marginal.  Still, the
11z hour had 171 qso’s and, as the 12z hour opened, I was able to hear and
work that 3rd and rare 4th level of EU and Russian stations �" the ones
that you almost never hear.  Lots of UA9 stations were calling in with their
smorgasbord of  prefixes like UB8, RK9, RA9, RT8, RO9, RZ9, RX9.  A LOUD HS0ZIV
called in at 1250z to complete a 133 hour and the dual 138 hours of 13z and 14z
opened with ZS1TMJ, HI8JSG and UN7TX.  A little later, amidst simply awful qrm,
VU2CDC called in at 1337z, followed by YC2ABI at 1339z, 4J4K at 1346z and 7Z1HL
and TK5MH at 1348z!  ER6ARB and VU2UR closed the hour.  In the 14z hour,
notables were UN9LW, TA1BX, GD3VSW, VU2AE with the EU stations getting REALLY
loud.  That meant it was now time to qsy to 10 to see what could be worked.  At
1427z I cq’ed and a rush of stations called in �" many of whom were S9! 
I was quite surprised to hear a LOUD OH8GET and then a mini-pileup of SM
stations.  But this was not a real band opening �" it was spotlight
propagation.  A few SM stations, then a few DL’s and then a run of F’s or
EA’s and back to Russia.  I was pleasantly surprised when ZS6WN called in at
1440z and thrilled at 1450z when FR8QN called!  I continued to run and wondered
what might call next?  Well it was LY5W, Z36W, VU2DCC, YL2KO, UI2K and RW1F. 
And then the run died so I hunted mults because there could be 50 �" 75
countries available right at this moment and maybe only a few minutes to find
them before the propagation changed and the band died.  I worked surprisingly
few mults but did find and work GZ5Y, TO66R, 3V8SS, and many Carib./SA
stations, yet very little volume.  It was as though many of the EU ops.
didn’t think that 10 would open so they stayed on 15 instead.   With a big
qso number on 15 but not that many on 20, and with absolutely no room anywhere
on 15 to cq, I gambled and went to 20. 

I found a good spot low in the band and was greeted by lots of Northern EU
stations.  A71AE, 4X4LF, 9K2NO and a few UA9 stations calling in with 6Y1LZ,
SV9/DL4KM/P and several TA and SV stations adding some variety.  7Z1SJ was very
welcome and I began to wonder why there were so many TA and TC stations calling
me?  I had worked as many Turkey stations on 20 on Sunday as I normally did for
all bands in an entire contest!  The rate was decent on 20 but it was clear that
the EU stations were still on 15 and 10 and so I tried a brief run on 10 and
then found a great spot low in the band on 15 where I settled in and the rate
soared.  The 17z hour closed with 128 q’s and the next three hours it was run
on 15 and hunt mults on 10 �" with 95+ hours.  T32AZ called in on 15 at
1830z with KH6CJJ not long after.  SK3W was still 59+10 on 10 meters but
unfortunately there was no volume.  The German stations were ridiculously loud
on 15, with some pushing almost 30 over!  But not much volume there either.  I
stayed on 15 until 1910z when I noticed that the K had shot up to 5!  The bands
would die fast now, so I went back to the 2nd radio to call loud EU stations on
20 and then qsy’ed to 20, finding a nice spot between two M/M stations.  A
UA9 greeted me followed by GJ3YHU, Z39A and TA4DA.  Then HZ1SJ, TK5MH and 5H3EE
followed.  In the 20z hour, EU stations continued to call but they got
progressively weaker and weaker .  JE1ZWT was the lone JA station to call
followed by 9H1PF, ZL1T, 5R8SV, RT0F, 4X1OM. 4X6TT, 9H3YY and ZS2NF.  Only
Southern EU was audible now, just barely.  Most of my qsos were now being made
on the 2nd radio on 15 working Carib and SA stations.  At 2111z, JA8RWU called
in and the band began re-open to EU but it was time to go to 40 for mults.

At 2157z, I took a chance and called cq on a clear freq.  INSTANT PILEUP!  EU,
Middle East, Russians, SA were all calling me!  I nearly fell off my chair when
A71AE called (that was my 2nd A7 on 40 !) and then 3A2MG called in one minute
later!  I had a massive howling pileup but I could not copy anyone through the
qrm, qrn and splatter.  Many of the stations were the same signal strength
making it almost impossible to get even two letters out of a callsign.  I
persisted and was able to work some more EU and Russian stations, 4X1IM,
EA8DED, HC0E, EF8O, and TA2NC.  It was quite a run.  But then the QRM returned
and the signals got weaker and my brief but very exciting run was at an end,
finishing a breathless 22z hour with 82 qso’s.  I listened briefly on 80 and
found a VERY loud UA2F but no one else on the very noisy band.  I continued to
run on 40 until 2315z and went qrt at 2315z just after working my good friend
Tine, S50A on 80.

With no 160, very little 80, just a few hours on 40 and only one antenna at a
time on 20, I was really pleased to finish with:

3,667 qso  x  393  mult  = 4,322,214  in  29.9 hours  NON-assisted.

Given the propagation, I believe that a 6.5 Million+ UNassisted score was
possible from my station this weekend with all working antennas and a full-time
effort; just below my 6.6 Million US record set back in 2002 at the top of the

It looks like it will be many years from now and well into sunspot cycle 25
before we see conditions like this again.

I had a such a blast operating this weekend, highlights of which were the 218
JA stations worked on 15, the MANY 7 - qso minutes and the 256 hour, my best
ever in ARRLDX. Thanks to all the DX stations for all the q’s and mult’s
and a special thanks to all of you who traveled far and wide to activate a
country for this contest!   It was a very special treat to be well enough to
operate ARRLDX SSB for the first time in three years, and a real thrill to be
able to say hello to my friends all over the world!

Bob KQ2M

kq2m at kq2m.com



HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    .....    36/29    52/10    .....    88/39   88/39 
   1      .        .      71/34      .        .        .      71/34  159/73 
   2      .        .        .       2/2       .        .       2/2   161/75 
   3      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
   4      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
   5      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
   6      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
   7      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
   8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....  161/75 
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    161/75 
  10      .        .        .     100/29      .        .     100/29  261/104
  11      .        .        .     176/13    54/27      .     230/40  491/144
  12      .        .        .        .     249/19      .     249/19  740/163
  13      .        .        .        .     155/3      1/1    156/4   896/167
  14      .        .        .        .      22/0    132/36   154/36 1050/203
  15      .        .        .        .      95/3     31/4    126/7  1176/210
  16    .....    .....    .....    .....   121/7     13/9    134/16 1310/226
  17      .        .        .        .      34/1     12/6     46/7  1356/233
  18      .        .        .      94/5     49/4     17/2    160/11 1516/244
  19      .        .        .     175/4       .        .     175/4  1691/248
  20      .        .        .     122/2      2/0       .     124/2  1815/250
  21      .        .        .      63/2     72/1       .     135/3  1950/253
  22      .        .        .        .      88/1      8/0     96/1  2046/254
  23      .        .        .       5/0     91/13      .      96/13 2142/267
   0    .....    19/13    .....    28/1     .....    .....    47/14 2189/281
   1      .      20/13      .      26/4       .        .      46/17 2235/298
   2      .       6/3     52/13      .        .        .      58/16 2293/314
   3      .      16/10    10/1      2/1       .        .      28/12 2321/326
   4      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2321/326
   5      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2321/326
   6      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2321/326
   7      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2321/326
   8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    ..... 2321/326
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2321/326
  10      .       6/2      8/5     69/2       .        .      83/9  2404/335
  11      .        .        .       5/0    166/5       .     171/5  2575/340
  12      .        .        .        .     133/0       .     133/0  2708/340
  13      .        .        .        .     137/6      1/0    138/6  2846/346
  14      .        .        .        .      28/0    110/10   138/10 2984/356
  15      .        .        .      49/2       .      32/5     81/7  3065/363
  16    .....    .....    .....     2/0     63/0     11/1     76/1  3141/364
  17      .        .        .        .     113/1     15/0    128/1  3269/365
  18      .        .        .       2/0     87/1      6/1     95/2  3364/367
  19      .        .        .      83/4     12/1       .      95/5  3459/372
  20      .        .        .      71/2     22/6       .      93/8  3552/380
  21      .        .      26/3      5/0       .        .      31/3  3583/383
  22      .       1/1     81/9       .        .        .      82/10 3665/393
  23      .       1/0      1/0       .        .        .       2/0  3667/393
DAY1    .....    .....    71/34   773/86  1084/89   214/58    ..... 2142/267
DAY2      .      69/42   178/31   342/16   761/20   175/17      .   1525/126
TOT       .      69/42   249/65 1115/102 1845/109   389/75      .   3667/393

Posted using 3830 Score Submittal Forms at: http://www.3830scores.com/

More information about the 3830 mailing list