Wednesday, March 28, 2018

#cqww wpx ssb 2018 contest review

Event: CQWW WPX SSB 2018
Section:  Single Operator Low Power  All Band SSB
Logger: N1MM+ newest version
Station: Icom IC-706 MK2G 100W
Antenna 1: Multiband Inverted-V 2x20m ladderline fed, apex 12m agl
Antenna 2: Multiband coppertape vertical 9m agl

Took me a while before I got to write this review. Too busy with too many things...

Despite my failing radio and poor antennas I did a good score in the WPX SSB. Is it my rare prefix that does the trick? Or is it just luck? I didn't work any new ones but did work some nice DX along the contest. This year I thought of making a video shot here and there from the nice DX on the bands. You really have to think of that because when you concentrate on the DX you most time forget everything except logging the right call and number, at least that is my experience. Luckely the radio was only failing once just after 15 minutes in the contest I could not receive and transmit for about 10 minutes when suddenly the sound of stations came back and transmit was fine again. No problem after that, even not when my radio was glowing hot. The only band not opening this year was 10m, although "not opening" is not the right word, there was just no activity when I listened. Strange enough 15m opened saturday late with DX to South Amerika and Sunday to Finland for a while.

Some DX worked by band:

15m: PQ5B (Brazil), CX2DK (Uruquay), FY5KE (French Guiana), CQ3W (Madeira), 4Z5LY (Israel), EK7DX (Armenia), FR4QT (Reunion Isl.), 9Y4D (Trinidad&Tobago), 9Q6BB (DRC)

20m: PJ4V (Bonaire), PX2A (Brazil), A61ZX (UAE), JE6RPM (Japan), A71AM (Quatar), P40WL (Aruba), PJ5Z (Saba&St.Eustasius), 8P5A (Barbados), KW7Y (USA, Washington state!), VY0ERC (Canada, Nunavut!), VU2YVK (India), KL7RA (Alaska), UP2L (Kazakhstan), JT5DX (Mongolia)

40m: ZM4T (New Zealand), A61EK (UAE), HZ1HZ (Saudi Arabia), NN2DX (USA), VC3J (Canada), PJ2T (Curacao), 8P5A (Barbados), UP2L (Kazakhstan), RV9UP (As. Russia), VK4KW (Australia), TI7W (Costa Rica), JT5DX (Mongolia)

80m: UP0L (Kazakhstan), CT9/CT1BWU (Madeira), WU2X (USA), 9K2HN (Kuwait), 8P5A (Barbados)

160m: VY2ZM (Canada)

VY2ZM came back on my CQ. I was surprised!

Did hear China and Japan on 40m but was not able to get to them. Signals were very weak and just audible. I heard China as well on 20m but just audible. Enjoy the video and listen carefully for ZM4T, he was weak but workable!

I can say I've spend a few hours in the contest. See my on/off times in the table. A big pile up at my prime time 20 UTC. The stations kept coming after I was spotted on the cluster. Actually I could have made 700 QSOs but stayed too long on 15m trying to work DX. I guess that is still the DXer in me. Below the country list and map. I have to admit I didn't work S0 Western Sahara, I had a error in my log which was corrected after I wrote this post. 80 DXCC in one weekend is not bad I think. I even worked more stations compared to previous years with better propagation...

Actually the WPX contest is my favorite contest in which you can work the best DX. Even a small station can do it. I didn't use any beam only a homemade vertical and inverted-V. The only problem for many is receiving these days. Luckely I have no problems with high noise levels at my location but I can imagine the frustration. Because if you don't hear the DX you cannot work it!

Although propagation seems not the best at the bottom of the solarcycle there is still a lot of DX that can be worked. Though the low bands like 160/80 and 40 are favorites at the moment. Actually propagation on those bands is still very good. I enjoyed the contest a lot this year and am glad my radio was still working. This is probabely the last time I worked a contest with my vertical on the 9m antennamast. I will dismantle this mast as everything will move to the new antennatower this year. I'm still not shure what to do with the vertical. I might place it on top of the tower....

Update 30-3-2018:

CQWW WPX SSB 2018 statistics

ODX ZM4T actual QTH locator is RF80LF: 18327Km (tnx ZL3IO)


  1. If missed you on 10m (snif snif) Wel done Sebastiaan !

    1. Saw several spots from you on 10m Henry, unfortenately nothing could be heard when I tuned to those freqs. Have been tuning over 10m several times but nothing heard. 73, Bas

  2. Hi
    ZM4T sits in RF80LF by the way.
    73 Holger, ZL3IO, one of ZM4T

    1. Thanks Holger, it was my ODX. And now it's even a few km longer. It's almost the exact opposite side of the world. Amazing contact!!! 73, Bas

  3. Hello Bas, in spite of the circumstances, you still got good results in the contest. And I would take the cuppertape vertical nicely to the new mast. That antenna has proven its worth.
    Fijne Paasdagen, 73 Hans, PE1BVQ

  4. Well done! My rig was similarly working with all the noise limiting tricks in operation! Very busy contest indeed. Always nice to hear the polar flutter on the far west US stations.


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas