[3830] CQWW CW TO2SP M/2 HP

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Mon Nov 27 20:55:38 EST 2017

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: TO2SP
Operator(s): SP6EQZ SP6JIU SP3CYY K1CC
Station: TO2SP

Class: M/2 HP
QTH: St. Barts (FJ)
Operating Time (hrs): 46

 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
  160:  503    18       57
   80:  866    23       85
   40: 2384    32      105
   20: 2179    31      108
   15: 2259    24       99
   10:   49    12       14
Total: 8240   140      468  Total Score = 12,097,984



This was a 100% "multi-op in a suitcase" operation on the tail end of
the TO2SP DXpedition to St. Barts (FJ). All the wire antennas, radios,
computers and personal belongings were carried in by the 6 team members in 15
suitcases and carry-on bags and was set up in a rented villa.  The primary
purpose of this trip was to activate FJ, which is still a needed country on 160
and for JA's.  In the 9 days prior to CQWW CW, we made over 45,000 QSO's.  By
the time the contest started, we were all quite tired, having operated
contest-style all week with not much sleep.  One of the ops got sick about 12
hours into the contest and spent the rest of the weekend in bed.    

I joined the Polish DXpedition team for their annual trip to various islands
around the world under the condition that we operate CQWW CW, my favorite
contest.  For the 3 other ops in the contest, it was their first time in a
multi-op contest and they had no Cluster-assisted experience.  The remaining
two ops were SSB-only and operated the WARC bands on SSB and RTTY during the

Since the primary objective of this trip was to maximize DXpedition QSO's, the
station reconfiguration and computer setup for the contest started only an hour
before 00Z.  Needless to say, we had lots of problems and got a late start.  A
second router with its own network for the two contest stations was set up but
it never worked properly.  It was a wi-fi router and was very erratic, so we
had no Cluster for most of the weekend.  On Sunday morning we had a good
connection for a few hours and then again the last 3 hours, which helped
immensely with our lagging multiplier total as we picked up some really juicy
last-minute multipliers on 80 and 160.

One of the interesting things you learn when operating non-stop day after day
for so many days is how conditions change from day to day.  We had the best
160m conditions I have ever experienced the first night on St. Barts with a
deep Russian opening all night, but as the week wore on, the bands got worse
every day. The huge pileups of JA's we worked on 20 and 40 every day at sunset
never materialized for the contest weekend.  During the contest on 160 the
first night, the aurora up north caused very distorted multipath signals from
the US which made copy very difficult.  And the great US openings on 10m and
southwest Europe (and some unusual "flashlight" propagation into
central Europe) earlier in the week just never happened...

  TS-590 with Italian 800W solid station amp
  K3 and KPA500 500W amp
  160m Inv-L
  80m 2 phased verticals
  40m 2-phased verticals
  20/15/10 Spider beam up 25 ft (8m)
  15/10 2el vertical dipole array (VDA) at 12 ft
  EU + US beverages

For reasons of weight, no rotators, no coax switches, all wire was 22ga or
thinner, collapsible fiberglass poles used for all antennas except the push-up
aluminum mast for the Spider beam.

--- Rich K1CC

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