I ran the ARRL DX CW this past weekend. My schedule allowed putting in some significant chair time. I had the usual conflicts, like picking up my daughter early Saturday morning and church Sunday morning, but most of the rest of the time I could devote to the contest. I ended up putting 20 hours in with a result of 352 QSOs, 76 DXCC countries, and 170,016 points. It looks like the only new DXCC I put in the log was 4U1ITU from Geneva.
I was running 100 watts into my HF2V 80/40 meter vertical, MA6V 20 to 10 meter vertical, and had run up the 15 meter two-element Moxon on the 20 foot painter pole. I found that 15 meters and 40 meters were my money bands. Didn’t find much happening on either 10 meters or 20 meters. 80 meters is always challenging, although I did work some new countries.
The Moxon on 15 meters worked very well. Plus, I was able to compare the directivity of the antenna by switching between the Moxon and the MA6V. This was particularly helpful when I’d have the beam pointed toward Europe and hear someone from the Caribbean or South America. All of my operating was search and pounce. I tried pointing the Moxon toward Japan and running for about 20 minutes, but didn’t get any callers. So I went back to S & P and picked up a number of Japanese stations.
I was a bit appalled by the behavior in pileups. At times it was as though the stations were intent on fouling up the contact if they couldn’t make it. Somewhat amusing was coming across the pile up for OA4SS on Saturday. I realized after a while that there was no way I was going to make it through. However, on Sunday I ran across him again. This time he was working everyone by the numbers — and doing so very strictly and methodically. He would repeatedly call for 3’s and after several minutes and making about two contacts move on to the 4’s. It didn’t seem to me that it was working in his favor, although the pile up was under control. I was delighted to work him the first time he came around to the 5’s!
For this contest I was running 100 watts. In looking ahead to the IARU contest, and their 100 watt limit, I’m considering moving back into the QRP category. I’d also like to put in place a Hex Beam by that time so I have some directivity on 20 and 10 in addition to 15. I was running RUMped as my logging software for this contest. It worked well and I’m always discovering some nifty little feature that I’d missed before. I’ve read through the documentation a few times, but I’m not sure that all the features are truly documented in that small booklet. The software did crash on me a couple of times. But a restart of software, computer, and/or transceiver would set things right with no loss of data. So all is well that ends well.
I hope you were able to work the contest. If I worked you, thanks so much for the Qs and for digging me out of the pile up or noise. 73!