Saturday, November 30, 2013


CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: EA5ON
Operator(s): EA5ON
Station: EA5ON

Class: SOSB(A)/15 QRP
QTH: Valencia
Operating Time (hrs):

Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
   15:  351    28      100
Total:  351    28      100  Total Score = 93,056

Club: Torrent Contest Club


Wow! What a fun time!

I am an almost exclusively phone op and only started very low-key CW contesting
in 2010. This year I hadn’t taken any decision about CQWW until the Thursday
evening when I decided I would once again do a s+p QRP monoband effort. I also
decided that since I hadn’t done any practice in the last year, and hardly
any CW DX QSOs, it would be a good idea to go assisted. Normally I don’t use
the cluster for SO phone contesting but for this event it would probably reduce
my busted calls a lot and help me out a bit. It looked like I had an SWR
problema with the antenna and was all set to do 20m but a niggling thought made me take
the amp, ATU, and low pass filter out of line and test directly at the rig.
Bingo! Low SWR, so I decided on 15m. I downloaded N1MM to my new PC, did a half
hour session on Morse runner, and went to bed.

Saturday looked good to start off and I managed to make a good number of QSOs,
once I remembered how to send my call and check the cluster calls were OK. No
CAT from computer to rig, so I had to tune the rig manually to the spot
frequencies and do all the sending with the paddle. After a while I tried CQing
at the top end of the band, but following a couple of disastrous attempts at a
QSO I decided to revert to s+p. There were lots of calls not on the cluster but
a lot of those ops were so fast it was impossible for me to copy, so I decided
to concentrate on getting multipliers. Some of the pileups were pretty tough
and no way to break the KH0 or KH2 piles, I could also hear KL7 but didn’t
even attempt it. Slowly the count kept creeping up, but unlike other contests,
very few USA stations spotted. At evening mealtime the band was dead, a quick
check revealed a half time score of 178 qsos, 22 zones, and 73 countries. This
was already better than my best previous score. After dinner I decided to take
a spin round a dead band and was rewarded with multipliers from HK and Z8.

Sunday I decided that it would be hard to pick up many more multipliers with my
puny 5w and decided to try to work the bandmap a bit more intensively. At first
most eastern stations did not copy, with their beams all towards JA, but slowly
but surely the band opened up a bit and I was able to get a few in the log. I
was also able to work Japan, China, and Mongolia, all for double mults. As we
were sitting down for lunch I saw a spot for VK2IM pop up and I tuned to his
frequency, there he was and no pileup! But the dirty looks from the family put
paid to that and by the time I got back, he was gone. Another afternoon without
much in the way of spots so I ended up using my ear, who knows what my busted
call rate will be for those ones. I managed to break a few pileups for mults
like Iceland, Greenland, and Isle of Man, but no such luck with Jersey,
Shetland, or Crete. Once the band was almost devoid of stations I tuned around
again and to my astonishment a barely audible 9L1A pulled me out of a pile for
country number 100. I then tried for ZF1A but no such luck and finally after
working a few Brazilian stations, called it a day.

I realized after doing this that I could have tried using skimmer/RBN for this,
as a phone op I forget these things exist! This might have helped me boost my
score. I also continue to be amazed at the skill of so many ops who were able
to pick my 5w signal out of the noise over and over again. I take my hat off to
these people, hardware helps make a big score but in the end these guys are
just super ops and I congratulate all those who made a big score through their skill
and effort.

Thanks to all for the QSOs.

Rig: IC765
Pwr: 5w
Ant: Optibeam OB6-3M

73 de Duncan EA5ON

No comments: