This is the third time I’ve entered the CQ WW CW Contest. My previous two entries were in the QRP category and I was able to generate 135 QSO’s in 2009 and 182 in 2010. This year I operated at low power, or 100 watts output rather than the 5 watts previously. That makes a big different but I did find that since so many in this contest are running much higher power levels, it’s still difficult to get through the pile ups — and in some cases it’s impossible. Furthermore, I was unable to get any interest in my attempts at running, and calling CQ. Admittedly, the single attempt was a bit half-hearted. So the entire contest was spent in search and pounce mode.
I managed to beat my all time results in any contest with 389 QSO’s, which resulted in 262,361 points. I spent a total of 24 hours on during the contest, sleeping at night and picking up Kendal on Saturday morning for our usual grocery shopping and golf at the driving range. In the process I managed to snag three all new countries — T70A, San Marino; 5W0OJ, Samoa; and ZS1EL, South Africa. I should have also picked up a few new countries on new bands, haven’t worked my way through that yet.
One of the highlights was the 10 meter band, that has been all but dead over the last several years. This year it was alive. So much so that on the first day it was very difficult for me to break through any of the piles up, due to so many high power stations calling at the same time. For this reason, I spent most of the first day on 15 meters with my two-element Moxon beam. It worked superbly in getting me though the smaller pile ups on 15. At 6:30 PM on Saturday I broke the 100,000 point level. The next break through was 200,000 — that happened by working ZD8W on Ascension Island at 11 AM on Sunday. I broke 250,000 at 2:30 PM by working 6V7V in Senegal. It was starting to get lots of fun by that time. However, I really needed to take a break shortly after that to take the Moxon down in the daylight.
I did put up a 150 foot long wire, over the top of the house, to try my hand at 160 meters. Managed to work two guys, but that was it. 80 meters worked ok with my best DX so far on that band by working EF8S in the Canary Islands. That happened on the HF2V Butternut vertical.
The K3/100 worked flawlessly as did the Skookum Logger software and the Winkeyer. No technical problems at all.
I hope you were able to work the contest as well. See you on the bands.