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Sun Nov 26 20:15:52 EST 2017

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

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

Class: SOAB HP
Operating Time (hrs): 37
Radios: SO2R

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:   40     4        3
   80:  292    11       18
   40:  484    21       44
   20:  879    25       62
   15:  294    13       27
Total: 1989    74      154  Total Score = 970,368

Club: Orca DX and Contest Club


My longest CQWW CW session ever -- 37 hours is one more than I managed in 2012,
which was my previous iron-pants record for this contest. Thanks to some
short-ish naps at just the right times -- and not sleeping a lot longer than
planned -- I don't feel too beat up at the finish line. Sure needed a LOT of
coffee through the weekend.

Best surprise was ZS calling me on 15M during a US run Sunday mid-morning. the
band shouldn't have supported that path but the signal was loud and probably on
a skew.

Was curious to see how the HQ9X lads would make out from Roatan. They were
booming in here every time I worked them (80M through 15M). If I ever get to
retire, that's the place for me. Verticals on the beach, and nothing but blue
water to the horizon. Dream on, I guess. The XYL says I can go any time I want.
And take the dog with me.

Netted 75 countries so not even DXCC from here. Would have been better if
Saturday had not been so rough. Sure missed Europe on 15M -- a single zone 33
and no more across the Atlantic (over the pole).

Went in with a simple and (at the time last week) lofty goal of 1,500 Qs, 150
mults for a 500,000 score. Going unassisted, I figured a lot of mults would be
left on table. Seeing scores from VE5MX and others I know there were a lot I
either didn't run across or couldn't hear to work them.

Managed to finish with 1989 Qs, 228 mults (!) and 970,000 points. So I'm happy.
Did not expect the bands to be as strong as they turned out to be.

Loved some of the runs on 15M and 20M. On Sunday afternoon I worked 418 Qs in
one session -- peaking with a 60-minute rate of 185/hr -- before moving to 40M
for the final hour or so.

The AL-80B ran like a champ, but the sturdy old SB-221 was great until I needed
to go to the AL-80B for 160M. Then I just left the 40-year-old Heathkit resting
for the remainder of the contest.

About two of my 11 off-hours were spent on gear. When I wanted to run the
second radio (on 40M) while running on 80M, I couldn't get it configured for
about an hour. CAT wasn't working properly, until I realized the radio was in
memory mode not VFO mode. Duh. Fixed, and had a geat time with duelling CQs on
40 and 80 for about three hours from midnight to 3 a.m. when it was slow enough
to stay on top of things. 

I would have made a lot more Qs on a single radio without the down-time getting
the SO2R figured out, but it was a good investment in time as I haven't really
done much two-radio in CW tests. The radios and antennas worked just fine with
minimal interaction even with high power, at least on 40M and 80M. Will do more
of that in future. Maybe in RAC Winter at the end of December.

Also spent the better part of an hour on Saturday afternoon getting the
MFJ-1026 noise cancelling box working and hooked up (haven't used it since the
July 2016 shack rebuild, but 20M was so noisy to the east all weekend I needed
to defeat the power line hash). Worked like a charm with the 40M quad as the
reference sensing antenna. I must have been an earless gator on Saturday
pointing southeast. I could tell there were lots of low-power stations in the
noise but couldn't work 'em until the box was set up, and then my rate shot

Okay. That's one more behind us on the slow crawl across the bottom of the
cycle. Pretty good fun considering where we are, and where I am in VE7-land
with modest antennas.

Thanks to all for calling in.

-- Bud VA7ST

       QSOs  Ctry   Zn  Score
2017: 1,989   154   74    970,368 HP 37 hrs
2016: 1,226   122   61    478,179 HP 23 hrs
2015: 2,170   239  111  1,750,700 HP 34.5 hrs
2014: 2,372   264  113  2,099,136 HP 34 hrs
2013: 2,075   246  118  1,798,160 HP 31 hrs
2012: 2,365   249  104  1,888,550 HP 36 hrs
2011: 2,114   248  109  1,725,024 HP 32 hrs
2010: 1,721   180   92  1,033,056 HP 32 hrs 
2009: 1,777   158   92    950,750 HP 31 hrs
2008: 1,580   129   71    670,600 HP 25 hrs
2007  1,470   129   69    615,582 HP 32 hrs
2006  1,476   163   78    775,297    35 hrs
2005  1,014   126   61    411,587
2004  1,421   146   79    697,500
2003    865   115   73    351,936
2002    675   147   63    313,740

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