CQWW SSB VE9CB SOAB HP
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Mon Oct 26 20:41:52 EDT 2020
CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB - 2020
Class: SOAB HP
QTH: New Brunswick
Operating Time (hrs): 40
Band QSOs Zones Countries
160: 9 3 2
80: 300 11 33
40: 659 17 48
20: 1514 22 77
15: 1005 22 76
10: 407 11 42
Total: 3894 86 278 Total Score = 3,636,724
Club: Maritime Contest Club
Pre-contest preparations involved swapping out one bad rotator for a good one,
and re-installing my 160m Inverted L. Thanks to Don VE9ZP for his help with the
tower work on Wednesday and Friday before the contest.
I expected conditions to be somehwhat disturbed, and they seemed that way on the
low bands. The high bands seemed in better shape that I expected. I expected
15 metres to be much as it had been for the last few years - poor openings of
short duration, but 15 m turned out very quite good. I had even lower
expectations of 10 metres, so Sunday's three hours to Europe and Africa was an
absolute shock. That's the best I have seen on 10m in several years. However
good the opening was, it had clear limits: the only Scandinavian station I
worked on 10m was an OZ - there was nothing from LA, SM or OH. Also, I worked
Zero stations in Zone 16. I worked station in the European part of Zone 20, but
none in the Asian part of that Zone.
Covid-19's influence on the contest was obvious - many normally easy Caribbean
multipliers were scarce. I'm sure multiplier totals are well down on last year.
Mine sure are.
I need more 3-500Z tubes. The output of my TL-922 slowly dropped through the
contest, and by Sunday morning, the single 3-500Z in my AL-80A was outperforming
the pair in the older amp by over 3dB, so I switched to my second station
(TS-590 + AL-80) exclusively for Sunday. That came at a price, because my
vooice keyer wasn't working with my TS-590, so I had to holler my CQs on Sunday
rather than hit the F1 key. Getting 3-500Zs is hard, because RF Parts won't
ship outside the US, and because of Covid restrictions, I can't cross into Maine
to pick up a parcel. With the rates of Covid in the US, I would only cross in a
hazmat suit, and that would cause a stir at the border, I'm sure.
I managed to survive on three hours' sleep on each night, so I got in about
forty hours of operating.
Melanie (VE9 No-ID) was a wonderful support to me during the contest as always,
keeping me fed, walking the dog and providing encouragement. She varied her
jewllery-oriented Instagram account with a few snippets on my contest effort.
I'm surprised that some of her followers are hams, a few of whom worked me.
I had no frequency fights, apart from one I deserved when I clumsily slid onto
K1DG's 15 metre frequency and was promptly accused of frequency theft. I
grumped back at him briefly, then turned the dial.
This was a fun contest with hints of what's in store when the sunspots return.
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