[CQ-Contest] 40M open early for DX in CQWWCW

Shoppa, Tim tshoppa at wmata.com
Tue Nov 29 09:12:10 EST 2016

Mike VE9AA -
  You asked several good questions in CQ-Contest.

  Below are some of my thoughts on the ebb and flow of band choices in CQWW:

  From the EU point of view, they can work most of the other EU's on 40M and 80M and 160M for points and mults. Here in NA, VE's only work W's and W's only work VE's for points. And even that is lopsided because the VE's have a lot more W's to work than W's have VE's to work.

  So the EU's are on 40M even before THEIR sunset. And it is that it is often advantageous (point wise) for a VE station to stay on 20M much later than a W, because the VE can run W's on 20M for points.

  The disturbed conditions on 40M after my sundown, caused a lot of us W1-W4's to figure out that it was much easier to go to 40M to work EU's way before our sundown rather than after. Also, because there was no chance of folks like me running JA on 15M like in solar max, we were not spending a lot of time running on 15M in the afternoon.

  The usual thought that 40M is a "darkness band" is not true, even in undisturbed conditions. It's very often for me to CQ on 40M in CWOps at 1300Z and get replies from VK's, even though both ends are in sunlight :). Occasionally I will be CQ'ing at 1300Z in the deepest of winter, and be picked up by skimmers in EU (especially GW8IZR who has the most incredible skimmer ears, maybe only met by that VK4 skimmer) even though it is local noon in EU.

  I had a handful of long-path JA callers on 40M in my afternoon while I thought I was CQ'ing for EU. The long path JA's sounded especially clear and unwobbly to me. Both ends were in sunlight. Usually I don't get long path JA callers until we are closer to winter solstice.

  I had a VERY HARD TIME running EU on either 40M or 80M, but no problem at all on 20M. This poor conditions on 40M/80M were very unusual for me. I'm guessing that 80% of my 20M QSO's were running, and that 80% of my 40M QSO's were S&P., and that's just unusual for me.

  Mike, you also asked why the EU's weren't chasing us on the skimmer spots. A very knowledgeable local shared with me, that in poor conditions the pipsqueak EU's who might chase skimmer spots rather than CQ, they don't stay up late working 40M, they're in bed, so there are many fewer to reply to my CQ's even if we could hear other.

Tim N3QE

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list