Sunday, February 21, 2010

ARRL DX CW Contest

ARRL DX CW Feb 2010 Summary

 Band    QSOs    Pts  Cty
   3.5      43     129   33
     7     124     372   57
    14     202     606   63
    21     146     438   59
    28      28      84   13
 Total     543    1629  225
Score: 366,525

Rig Yaesu FT-1000MP Mk-V
Ant Cushcraft R7 (24 ft vert) and 1/4 wire out the 3rd fl window for 80/160
Amp Started with Alpha78 but coax grnd opened after 150 Q's so switched back to Clipperton
Software N1MM
Keyer WinKeyer USB

Read the great book Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy by Carlo Consoli, IK0YGJ and thought a lot about my 'career' as a cw op.  Every CW op should take a look at it.  It is available for free download at

This contest was my personal best in any CW contest, partly because of the improved conditions and partly because of my attitude towards the higher speeds.  Some ops are much better than I am and turning the speed up past 30 wpm seemed to be more comfortable to many and hey you just get used to it after a while!  

Putting the full QSK Alpha 78 on the air for the 1st time was only a partial success because after a rest period it did not come back online, no drive at all.  I put the Clipperton back online and will get to troubleshooting the problem later.  I did find a coax that seemed to be causing lack of drive on the other amp and it showed an intermittent ground with the ohm meter.  

The best moment in the contest was breaking a moderate pileup on TX4T (French Polynesia),  by turning the speed up to 33 wpm!  The op was very good and running the simplex pileup and most were 25 wpm more or less and I could tell the op was ready for more speed.  After way too many calls I cranked the speed up and he came back to me after ONE more call!  It was over my comfort zone but not his!  He picked it right out of the noise and I know I was not the strongest signal.  For the rest of the contest I often changed speed up and got many very easy exchanges by going faster.  Relax and let the code come.  Become  one with the CW.  

Thanks for the great Read on CW Carlo!

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