[CQ-Contest] WH7Q WPX CW Story - Long

Rob Shapiro nd3a at hawaii.rr.com
Sat Jun 5 20:36:40 EDT 1999

A few months ago, after a break in contesting activities from KH7R M/M
operations due to work commitments, I got the itch to do a single-op.  I
also had never been to Maui and decided to inquire if the Sea-Q-Maui B&B
was available for WPX CW weekend.  Sea-Q-Maui is run by Terry (KH6SQ) and
his wife Donna and is located in central Maui in Pukalani, the "upcountry"
area.  Located off Haleakala Highway at about 1200' elevation, about an
hour and a quarter drive from the Haleakala summit.  Terry and Donna live
in one house (with shack) and rent out the house next door.  The shack
consists of a TS-940S, TH7-DXX, A4S, 40-2CD, sloper for 80m and Ameritron
amplifier.  See http://www.seaqmaui.com for more info.

I arrived the wednesday prior to the contest and got settled in and on the
air almost immediately.  Thursday turned out to be my one and only day to
see a few of the sights.  I stayed up late that night and slept in friday
moning - contest begins 2 p.m. in Hawaii!  I already knew I'd be starting
on 15m but was surprised just how good it was.  Many times open
simultaneously to EU, NA and JA, and others.  Leaving the beam pointed due
north worked fine at that time!

Prior to sunset, decided to get moving to 20m.  This was my first
heavy-duty WPX operation in quite a while so looking back, I'm not sure the
rate got low enough to justify the move.  A little while after sunset, 20m
slowed to justify the move to 40m I had been waiting for.  I had a steady
run into mostly NA for a couple of hours but it died quickly for what I
believe was lack of activity and not a change in propogation.  I would
quickly find out why!  After making 5 Q's on 80m (my only 80m Q's,) I went
back to both 15m then 20m local time and began a steady run of EU and JA.
Mistake number two, in hindsight - I quit at 11 p.m. to begin a 6 hour or
so off time.  WPX is rate and if it's there, don't stop!

I'll be a bit shorter with saturday.  I began with a few Q's on 40m, some
more on 20m, then with an exception here and there, it was 15m the majority
of the time till sunset, when I got in some more 20m and 40m activity.
After sunset, it was an alternation between 15m, 20m and 40m until midnight
when I quit for another off period.  Prior to quitting for the evening, I
did begin to notice a change in propogation.  I began to notice the
appearance of skewed paths.  JA peaked pointing to the northeast or at
times even due east.  NA seemed to vary anywhere from due north to due
east, and EU to the northeast instead of more due north.  I wonder if
anyone else noticed this phenomena?  One thing I did not get much of, or
any at all, was longpath propogation anywhere.

I began my sunday activity just prior to sunrise - nothing on 40m.  I did
20m a bit then quickly went to 15m for the remainder of the contest with
the exception of some 10m and 20m thrown in there.  Quite a difference in
propogation, though, from the previous day.  I was told others experienced
the same thing.  Runs were less frequent, signals weaker and with more flutter.

I posted my results on 3830 previously but would like to say that I
thoroughly enjoy the contest.  I thought I physicall prepared myself well
and could have gone much longer than 36 hours.  I felt a bit cheated and
wonder if CQ contest committee has any thoughts of abolishing the single-op
required offtime?  As far as the 1-point rule, I think it's probably a good
idea to stimulate more interest in the contest.  There may be that case
here and there where it may make a difference in the standings but not
enough to risk the lowered activity it's abolition may cause.  Some
analysis of it's effects may be warranted when comparing the top logs in
the various catagories!

I'd like to congratulate everyone on a job well done.  In particular, for
the outstanding Oceania efforts by YB1AQS, VK4EMM and WH2/N2NL.  VK4EMM,
how did you do it on 40m?  Also, for stations I heard everywhere:  HC8N (of
course - congrats Trey), NR4M and NQ4I!

Aloha, Rob

Rob Shapiro - ND3A/KH6
nd3a at hawaii.rr.com
Potomac Valley Radio Club
North Shore Radio Club - WH7Q

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://www.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list