My efforts for the CQ WPX CW Contest this past weekend were very limited. You can see from the nearby scorecard that I was only able to put in 6 hours, all of which were stolen from time with my daughter, Kyla, and her family. They visited from Friday evening arriving about 9 PM (got two hours in before they arrived) and ending on Monday morning. Even so, I was able to beat my previous score by nearly 4 times! This was due for the most part to running low power this year versus running QRP in 2011.

If you participated in the contest, you’re aware that the propagation was simply superb. Lots of action on 15 meters and 20 meters. When I checked 10 meters, I found a few stations and worked them all. I checked 80 meters and didn’t find anything. On Saturday evening I checked on 40 meters and wished I had the endurance to stay up late and do one sweep of the band. But I knew that I’d pay for it the next day and miss all the fun with the grandkids.

Because of the visitors, I wasn’t able to set up the 15 meter Moxon. I sure wish I could have put it into play. It would have been a super contest for that beam. I’ve also been working on a Vee Beam, but just didn’t have it all together in time. Plus, it would have had the same issues of wire’s running over the pool — which was the major focus of the grandkids during their visit.

During the contest I tried one of the tricks I learned at Contest University at Dayton. I used one VFO to select a station and while waiting for them to ID or work the current station, I used the other VFO to setup for the next station, using the P3 bandscope. Then, after working the first station, I’d just pop the A/B button and switch VFO’s and repeat the pattern. It worked really slick and at a minimum kept me busy while waiting on the first station. Since this was an all S & P effort, it was nice to put this in play.

I can’t wait for the IARU contest in early July. I definitely need to clear my schedule and do the full contest and get one of my temporary antennas in the air.

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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