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Mon Oct 26 20:41:52 EDT 2020

                    CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB - 2020

Call: VE9CB
Operator(s): VE9CB
Station: VE9CB

Class: SOAB HP
QTH: New Brunswick
Operating Time (hrs): 40
Radios: SO2R

 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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