Sunday, October 27, 2013

CQ World Wide Phone Contest

This was a wonderful weekend for radio amateurs.  Sunspot numbers were very high and the SFI was as high as 228 in the days before which made the high bands very productive.  I worked the contest mostly on Saturday and a couple of hours on Sunday and only in search and pounce mode and I was being very selective in picking out the stations that fill the holes in my band slots on 15m and 10m.  Some highlights that stand out in retrospect:

The pileups on Rwanda, Ascension Island, Samoa and other Pacific rim islands had been very large and even with my two element beam and the Drake L4B easily pushing out 1000 watts - I could not break thru.  However, I did get Guam, Alaska and Hawaii.

I picked up three new ones - #195 Nepal, #196 Andorra.and #197 Kenya

The pile-up on ON4UN was enormous and he easily had the biggest signal out of Europe.  I texted WM4AA to listen to his signal and it was showing up as S2 on his dummy load.  They really were not after the DXCC but after the man himself.  ON4UN - John Devoldere authored an essential book on amateur radio titled "Low Band DXing".

All in all, I was able to work 124 countries over the period of about 6-7 hours.  Clearly, the Drake L4B linear and the two element Hexbeam quad bander were both helping in a huge way.  I tried working a few stations QRP - and it was difficult.

The toughest DX to work was the Uganda station 5X1NH.  He was very deliberate and slow.  I  left the radio for about a half an hour and worked him in the second sitting.  He was the last station I worked.

There were a few gems on the CW portion of the band which were rather easy to get since everyone was chasing DX on phone. 

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