AA8IA Amateur Radio

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CQ WPX CW 2011 Summary

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After having weeks of daily severe thunderstorm activity, Mother Nature decided to cooperate by giving us East Ohioans a beautiful holiday [and contest] weekend. I caught up on yard work, spent a lot of time with the family, and was able to put in what I would consider to be a decent effort for CQ WPX CW.

Any storm activity was far enough away to keep the bands relatively quiet. Propagation during any of my operating time was less than stellar. I didn’t experience a single good opening into EU. SA was prominent on 15m. 10m was dead for the most part on Saturday, but on Sunday there was a little activity — again mostly SA.

From the beginning my intent was to operate SOAB-LP. And, up until the very end of the contest I did operate SOAB-LP. But, once I saw that I had a chance of hitting 600 Qs I figured I’d switch to SO(A)AB-LP, meaning that I was “assisted” by the packet cluster. It wasn’t until I did this that I realized that I should have been focusing much more on snagging new prefixes. There were a lot of needed prefixes showing up in the spots, but unfortunately they were mostly gone by the time I got there or were out of my reach [unable to be heard]. Perhaps because it was the tail end of the contest, a lot of those prefixes I needed may have switched to Searching & Pouncing.

I put in 19 hours, which is more hours than I have ever put in for a single contest prior to this one. I felt good; it felt good. I also garnered more Qs than I ever had in any previous contest. This proves what they say about keeping your butt in the chair.

Do I have any regrets? Not at all. I managed to get some outside chores done and spend a lot of time with the family over the holiday. I wouldn’t trade that time for contesting time under any circumstance. And I improved significantly upon last years’ score and my overall contesting methods.

I would like to try and do the following next year:

  • Put more time in, perhaps 24 hours
  • Call more of the weak stations instead of avoiding them thinking we couldn’t complete a valid exchange
  • Run Assisted for the whole contest instead of just the last two hours
  • Pay much closer attention to picking off multipoint contacts and, more importantly, new prefixes

WPX CW is really a blast. Since exchanges are fairly noncomplicated, you can really increase CW speed. I really enjoyed setting N1MM to 34 wpm instead of 28-30 like I usually do, and I thoroughly enjoyed copying the superfast exchanges of many of the contest stations. Of course, I would always QRS when I was working a station sending slower.

I compared my score with handful of other stations that I like to compare with, and I suspect one or two of them were either running Assisted but not claiming so, or they operated many more hours than I did. There are shitloads of ops who are better at contesting than I am, but there’s always someone I have to question when I see their score submission. Oh well, there isn’t anything I can do if anyone is fudging the facts.

Then only thing that really could have made WPX CW more fun this year is some decent propogation to EU and elsewhere on both days, especially on 10m.

Below is my summary…

CQWW WPX Contest, CW

Call: AA8IA
Operator(s): AA8IA
Station: AA8IA

Class: SO(A)AB LP
Operating Time (hrs): 19

Band QSOs
160: 0
80: 138
40: 172
20: 164
15: 128
10: 25
Total: 627 Prefixes = 302 Total Score = 389,882

Club: Mad River Radio Club

Written by Mike

May 31st, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Contesting

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