[CQ-Contest] CQWW 160 CW: Early Hours Suggestion

Tom Haavisto kamham69 at gmail.com
Sat Jan 30 13:15:20 EST 2016

I think there is more to it.

First off, at the start of the contest, EVERY QSO is a new mult.  So - NA
works NA, EU works EU - lots of mults for everyone.  Trying to find/work
PJ2T, or any other Carribean at this time is no so easy.

You should also see how things go the second night. Expect things to be
easier once all the "easy mults" have already been worked, and folks are
ready to spend more time looking..

ON4UN's book on Low Band DXing also has lots of useful information.  It has
been a few years since I last read it, and here is the Coles Notes
version.  Basically, as we transition from day to night (greyline), some
signals will leak out from under the canopy of darkness.  We can hear these
loud signals, but are unable to work the guy.  These signals are coming out
at high angles, and our TX antennas are optimized for low angles.
Basically - we are unable to put a useful signal - at high angle - back
into the skip zone.  Once we are in mutual darkness, things get better.

I remember reading where one guy had a low dipole for 160, and it was a
killer antenna - for around 15 minutes a day - during the greyline. Being
low, it had a high-takeoff angle, and worked well in this scenario.
Before/after, not so hot.

ON4UNs book is still in  print - available from the ARRL, and is great
reading for anyone interested in low band DXing.

Tom - VE3CX

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On Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 12:05 PM, <jmaass at k8nd.com> wrote:

> Jim W8WTS and I are ready to go at PJ2T for the CQWW 160 CW Contest this
> weekend.
> One of the things I did during the "off season" is analyze one of our
> frustrations: the fact that we can hear Europe at the beginning of the
> contest, but they *never* answer us. This is the phenomonon we call "Europe
> feeding upon itself", working the fast fellow European QSOs and not
> listening outside.
> For PJ2T, the average time from the beginning of the contest to our first
> Europe QSO has been 2 hours 43 minutes (at almost 0100Z). Time following
> our sunset to the first Europe QSO has been 1 hour 18 minutes.
> During this frustrating period, we are CQing and slowly starting to work
> USA stations as darkness starts to move across the East Coast and beyond.
> We also hear US stations trying to call Europe, and having the same success
> in that venture as we do in the early hours. US stations are also "feeding
> on themselves".
> If I have a point, it is that USA stations might try to call PJ2T (and
> other Caribbean and South American stations) in the first few hours of the
> contest, *before* we turn our recieving antennas with priority towards
> Europe until European sunrise at essentially 0800Z.  We are not busy early,
> and priority is nearly 100% in the USA direction for the first few
> hours. To be sure, we listen on the US Beverage (and other receiving
> antennas in other directions) during European darkness after they start
> listening outside for us, but priority is generally on working Europe while
> they are in dark. If you call and call without reply from the US, chances
> are that we are looking for the European multipliers on our Europe
> Beverage, and we don't hear you!
> One other peeve to address, especially for Europe stations: if you call
> CQ, PLEASE allow enough time between calls for someone to be heard!  Often,
> there is insufficient time even for our short 'PJ2T' call to be complete
> before the next CQ has begun. It's not like 20-meters: Topband requires a
> bit more listening time to allow for QSB and to allow you to listen on ALL
> your receiving antennas for those responding!
> That is all: everyone have fun on Topband!  Oh, and work PJ2T!  :-)
> 73,  Jeff  PJ2/K8ND
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