15 meter shines in WPX CW
CQ WPX CW is a favorite contest of mine and this year propagation made 15 meter the highlight. The contest started with a small disaster, but then it turned around to be a great weekend.
The tactic chosen was to do operate 24 hours non-stop in the first part of the contest, then do the remaining hours based on the outcome of the first day. I ended up in the chair until Sunday morning at 0100 UTC, then got 3 hours of sleep before catching the morning run. Worked the remaining hours in three different parts of Sunday trying avoiding the slower hours from Day one.
Propagation returned for the WPX weekend and 15 meter was the best performing band with almost 900 contacts logged. 15 meter also provided most of the multipliers, 37% of all prefixes collected. 20 was also good with a long NA run Saturday morning as the highlight. 10 was thinner providing only 49 contacts but some nice multipliers including PW0F, a new DXCC. Summer nights are short so the time spent on low bands was limited, but more than 400 contacts where logged on 40 and 80.
After 36 hours of CW fun at total of 1995 contacts and 1012 prefixes where logged resulting in a claimed score of 4.4 million. It’s not the top claimed score in the category, but it is better than the current SM record which was my goal for the contest. The tactics of hitting off with continious 24 hour shift worked out well. I will save the goals, schedule and prep for next year and then all records will be broken! For sure! 🙂
What about that initial disaster? The contest started the worst possible way with coffe in the keyboard! At first I though all was OK, but after 30 minutes the keyboard started sending garbage to N1MM making the SO2R box go nuts. I had to stop running and open the keyboard to clean out the overdose of caffeine. The moral; Always keep a backup handy, because coffe mugs will never leave the shack.
73 de Björn, SM0MDG
This was the first 48-hour HF contest I can remember operating in which I made more QSOs in the second 24 hours of the contest than I did in the first 24 hours of the contest. It is also the first world wide HF contest that I have worked in which I get points for USA stations, but I actually worked more DX stations than USA stations! 15 meters was very long a lot of the time, making most of my one point QSOs more challenging than the two and three point QSOs.