What a fun contest weekend! I was really looking forward to the CQWW 160 CW contest as topband is my favorite band, and what a great fun weekend it became. I entered the contest in category A single operator high power, but was initially tempted to re-enter in assisted mode and use the cluster as the band was quickly saturated with strong EU QRM making it hard to S&P for DX. I decided to stay blind and use my own skills combined with the powerful filtering in the K3 to pull calls out from an ocean of clix and QRM.
Topband was in excellent shape and the band was open all through daylight Saturday and Sunday with strong signals from states like TX, OR, CO, MT and a few exotic places like XE. The boys from K7RAT was fading in and out all day long peaking at 579, but I was not able to break through their contest QRM – I need a bigger stick! Just 30 minutes before noon (3 hrs 21 min after SR) I logged KL7RA who where booming, see audio link below.
During the total operating time of 22:49 hours I logged 925 unique calls in 56 different DXCCs, 30 states and provinces. My goal was to beat the results of the best SM station last year in my category, and with my final (claimed) score of 448.576 point I did it with almost 4.000 points of margin… well, lets see how many busted calls are in there.
On a techie note I experimented with a very simple diversity antenna setup, using pennants in NE and NW as main RX antennas and a 20 ft coax loop placed around 35-40 meters from the pennants. The result was better than I expected and diversity reception really helped pulling out the weaker ones. A side effect was that I could listen into several directions at the same time, and based on left or right audio to better be able to guess the direction of a calling station and chose the appropriate RX antenna.
To sum it up, the CQWW 160 CW contest provided lots of fun for the weekend and the goal of the contest was achieved – now I just need some sleep to catch up. Thanks to you all!
73 de Björn, SE0X (SM0MDG)