[CQ-Contest] The best QSOs/hour on SSB/CW

KEN SILVERMAN k2kw at prodigy.net
Mon Jun 25 15:29:08 EDT 2001

>1. Is it possible to make over 300 QSOs/hour on SSB or on CW?

Others have already mentioned that 300/hr has been achieved on SSB, but I
tend to think a sustained hour of 300 is probably not possible... not enough

>2. Which contest the best for the best QSOs/hour?

On CW, I think that the only contest where super high rates are possible is
during the CQ WW CW Contest.  No other contests have enough CW activity.
But I don't think that pure rate is the ultimate goal.  I tend to think that
a higher average rate is more important to successful contesting.

>4. What is your best QSOs/hour and which contest on?

My personal best on CW is a 237 clock hour, with a 248 Q-Rate hour.  This
was on 10m at 4M7X in the early afternoon when EU was dying out and the USA
was looking for somebody to work.  The only way I heard the EU signals was
to be double-beaming with 2 antennas (one USA, the other EU).  Otherwise the
EU stations were just too weak to work with the single antenna on the USA.
I would guess that the EU QSOs added about 20-25% of the QSOs in that

As others who have had high CW rates, the high rate times are NOT during big
pileups.  High rates are only achieved when there are 1, 2, or 3 callers at
a time, and you can nail the call correctly the first time.  In fact, during
the 237 hour, I had to call CQ a number of times!

This weekend in Field Day, I had an interesting moment... I was on 15m CW
and the band was really weak for the SSN numbers.  Most of the signals were
at the noise level.  Someone came in the trailer and asked how 15 was doing,
and I said it was really slow.  Then I looked at the rate meter, and my last
100 rate was around 205!  As I scrolled through the log, sure enough, I was
working about 3 QSOs a minute, but I also had to call CQ for every QSO.  It
just appeared to be boring since there was no pileup.

5. Who gives more QSOs/hour? USA? Eu? JA?

The operator has the biggest impact on rate!!!  Also having a radio capable
of discerning individual callers in a pileup is also critical, all radios
are not created equally.  Though I would say if you are looking at any one
target zone for high rates, it would be USA in my opinion.  But don't let
that fool you... NT1N has averaged a little over 200/hr for 5-7 hours
straight each time he operated 40m CW at 4M7X, 6Y2A, 6Y4A.  I analyzed the
ratio of USA/EU, and he was working around 60% EU during those hours.

I guess in summary, working high rate is fun, but I do not believe it is
solely the result of the characteristics of your target audience.
Basically a lot of aspects need to fall into place to achieve super high
rates:  operator skill of the runner is the single largest factor.  Then
comes band conditions, sustained time period with only small groups of
callers, ability to work more than one target area at a time, your
geographic location for the conditions of that particular contest, and some
contest mojo (voodoo).

Kenny K2KW

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