Yearly comes the CQ World Wide WPX SSB contest. It came this year, even.
As my previous posts indicate, I am in no position to contest seriously with my current antenna setup. But I decided to play along. See who could hear me, be a hit in other people’s logs as opposed to doing it to get a good score. But I did decide to keep track and give out serial numbers as IF I cared, just to see how many places I could talk to on my oddly placed random wire.
I made a whole 51 contest contacts. I thought it was 50, but I accidentally gave two people number 48 (sorry guys). That’s low, but I only sat still long enough for several bursts of 10-13. because with my setup, it takes a long time to make 10-13 contacts.
I had to fight hard for many of them. repeating things often. If it wasn’t a contest I would have been ignored in many of the scenarios. A couple people lost me. I’m sure I was frustrating for more than a few runners.
- Runners, that is contesters staying on one frequency for a while and working through the pileup of suitors, must need tons of patience. Some of them sound like they have none, though. I feel like I could hear who was having fun, and who was obsessing impatiently. But I’m no snitch
- Some folks manage to be friendly even though they are impersonal exchanges.
- I was not expecting to be heard by any DX countries, but I got South America, Europe, and Eastern Europe.
- Hardest-fought-for: 9AØBB in Croatia, a club call. I must have had to repeat my call and his number 8 times each, easily. Kudos to the operator for his patience and persistence, where stateside operators would have said they just couldn’t hear me and to try later.
- When my resonant antenna set-up is up in the next couple weeks, I really expect to have some fun. Finding out that I could get out enough to have fun on my way-too-low non-resonant wire was nice. Maybe next year, I won’t have to yell or repeat myself so much.
- Since I upgraded to General last summer, I have never heard a single operator on 15 meters. Until this weekend. While it certainly didn’t get as crazy as 20 and 40 got, 12% of my contacts were on 15 meter, just scanning through the band and pouncing.
- Hardest fought for and lost: a Hawaii station. After much ‘again again’ he finally gave up on hearing my serial for him when I faded the rest of the way out for him. ‘No contact! No contact!’. I admit I was bummed. We ALMOST got it.
- I don’t care what anyone says, there is no good contesting logging software for Mac. Hamlog is a really nice simple logging program, with nicely integrated call lookups. But no auto dupe-detection, and no dedicated fields for sent & received serials. But I winged it, and would use it again for the same contest, in pounce mode.
- Edit one day later: I take back what I said about software. RUMlogNG does what I wanted, but its documentation is not so great so I had to find the features just playing around.
- If I do find better contest logging, maybe I’ll try doing some runs next year.
Anyway that’s about it. I wasn’t in it to win it, but I was in it to have fun. And I had a lot of fun in various bursts over the weekend, so that’s a win for me. Moral: Use what you got.
Four stars, would play again.