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Wed Feb 24 00:47:15 EST 2016

ARRL DX Contest, CW

Call: WX0B
Operator(s): AD5Q
Station: WX0B

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: Dallas
Operating Time (hrs): 45:17
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Mults
  160:   38    27
   80:  130    50
   40:  709    91
   20:  554    88
   15: 1153    94
   10:  100    46
Total: 2684   396  Total Score = 3,143,448

Club: DFW Contest Group


With last year's experience a not so distant memory, the contrast was stark.
This was emphasized throughout the contest, since I had my complete line scores
on screen for both 2014 and 2015 (along with the current 10 minute rate),
updated by the minute. As regular readers already know, I have software that
does this. It was basically laughing at me as I became more sleep deprived and
delusional about topping my score from TWO years ago (or even three). Forget
2015 - that won't happen again for a while (and I will be into my 70's). 

With the exception of the peak times on 15, run rates were substantially lower
and there was nothing to be done about it except to make the best of it. I saw
that the propagation forecasts were for improving conditions all weekend. The
flux is still high enough to keep 40 open for endless EU's, but the 2nd evening
brought the most frustration as runs on any band fizzled after a dozen contacts
or so. I was hearing stations closer to either coast running on bands when I
couldn't. Rather than run the CQ machine, I mostly stalked for mults on
lowbands until the EU sunrise when 40 became runnable. Conditions on 80 were
off too.

As the cycle goes into further decline I am expecting 80 to pick up some of the
slack as conditions worsen on 40. We get to a point where the MUF to EU at their
sunrise peak is below 7 Mhz, but we are not there yet. We are clearly past the
point of no return on 10. 15 is still in great shape, and we still have these
great contests. It would be ideal if the declining conditions effected everyone
equally, but they actually give the (mostly east) coastal areas a greater
advantage on 6 out of 6 bands. So I need some new strategies if I am to break
back into the Top-10 anytime soon, and have already written the LUA code. Being
the regular op at WX0B is an awesome privilege, and a challenge to always
improve and make the best use of the station.

Roy -- AD5Q

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