[CQ-Contest] My Work Plan for CQ-WW-DX 2008

Tim Holmes w8tahradio at gmail.com
Tue Oct 21 12:36:27 EDT 2008

Hi folks -- theres been a good conversation running around on work plans for
CQWWDX as well as a request for a good stirring of the pot.  so here we go.

First off the disclaimers -- this material is my own compilation of material
available from publicly available sources.  I am fairly new at this so there
will likely be errors (which is part of why im posting it).  Thirdly, I am
very well aware that with my station, I dont need a work plan (IC-706mkIIG
Wire dipole at 65 feet and 10-15-20m Rotatable dipole, I use the process of
forming a workplan as a way to get into the mode for the contest (and
because i enjoy forecasting which i also do for tornadic weather as a storm

The Process.

In order to formulate my work plan, i have created a series of grids with
the times 100 to 2400 down the sides (i built them in google docs
spreadsheet) and the bands 10, 15, 20, 40, 80 across the top (i cant work
160).  Using the propagation charts from The New Shortwave Propagation
Handbook, I then work my way through the appropriate chart (in this case,
east coast, Spring and fall, Low solar flux / ssn) on the grid i insert the
propagation index shown on the propagation tables for each time slot (there
is one grid per region listed in the tables)
propagation index 0 is left blank
propagation index 1 is in black
propagation index 2 is in blue
propagation index 3 is in green
propagation index 4 is in red

this allows me to quickly see when / where the high points in the
propagation might be (empahsis on MIGHT) i construct a matrix chart that has
the hours down the left side and the regions across the top.  Working from
the first set, i fill in the location/time slots with the band number
written in the color for the propagation index shown on the charts -- this
then allows me to see very easily where i should be working at what time.
 Once this is organized, I then fill out the work plan

All that being said heres what im planning to be working (subject to
external engagements)

from the start of the contest till 11pm local time i'll be working 40 and 80
with an eye towards europe and south america and the carribbiean

from 11pm local to 0700 local i have a radio blackout in effect since my
radio turns on the landlords touch lamps in their bedroom

0700 - 0900 local i'll be on 20m looking for europe and south america and
the carribbiean
0900 - 1500 there are some chances for 15 to get going ( a band I generally
do pretty well on) looking toward south america as a fall back 20 should be
rockin both south and east

beginning around 1500 the predictions call for 15 to quiet down so i'll drop
back to 20 till about 2000 local there is a window in there for some middle
east and africa on 20 (1500 local to 1700 local) so i'll be checking the
spots and keepin an ear out for them

from 2000 (local) till 2300 (local) it looks like 40 is the place to be
looking for europe, south america and (late night) south pacific

2300-0700 is the radio blackout again

0700 - 1230 or so im at church and the rest of sunday pretty much repeats
the plan of saturday

So theres my plan -- any and all input, comments, suggestions for
improvement etc are most welcome

i'll post my worksheets (blanks) into the file section if i can get it to
let me so you guys can look them over

Tim Holmes
W8TAH - Amateur Extra Operator
Medina County AEC
Skywarn Advanced Storm Spotter Certified
Certified Severe Weather Specialist
StormNet Chase 9

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