Wednesday, October 31, 2018

#cqww SSB 2018 PA6AA contest review

Event: CQWW SSB 2018
Section:  Multi Operator Two Radio High Power
Logger: N1MM+ newest version
Station 1: Elecraft K3s 400W
Station 2: Icom IC-7300 400W
Antenna 160m: Inverted-L
Antenna 80m: Inverted-L + dipole
Antenna 40m: 4 square + dipole
Antenna 20m: VDA + FB23
Antenna 15m: VDA + 4 element yagi
Antenna 10m: VDA + Moxon

It has been a great weekend from a great location. Not only doing the contest but also being part of a great team with all members making the best from what we got. Enjoying the almost endless space for antennas and the great outdoors next to the small house. Unfortunately PA4O was not feeling too well and did not take part in the contest with our team but at least he was able to give some support being there helping with the antennas and equipment as far as he could. We were also supported by PA0VAJ Jan who constructed the 40m 4 square antenna array for us. So the contest team consisted of PB7Z, PD1RP, PD3OES and me PE4BAS. I didn't stay for the night so most of my operating was at daytime.

Initially we would use two Elecraft K3 transceivers but due to problems connecting with the computer and playing WAV files for the voicekeyer we swapped one K3 for a Icom IC-7300. So it was my first experience with this radio and it worked very well, it was a real pleasure to listen to. Being a Icom fan of course I am a bit prejudiced ;-) Both stations made use of a 400W amplifier. The start of the contest was a bit rough, we had some technical problems especially with the network between the computers and the voice keyers. And a unexpected storm (7 bft) fridaynight.

We had a lot of antennas this year. It was also a test what would work for us and what not. Starting with a excellent working 40m 4 square doing a real good job on DX. At least I worked YJ0CA from Vanuatu without any problems saturday morning. KL7RA from Alaska was also worked on this antenna array. We build a 40m dipole on Sunday but didn't use it much actually.

On low band 160m we had a inverted-L 18m high which blew over fridaynight already at the start of the contest due to high winds but was not damaged and re-placed saturday. On 80m a inverted-L and a dipole. On 15m a VDA and a 4 element yagi at about 10m high a real DX canon, to name one of the DX stations we worked VK9XG from Christmas Isl. On 10m a moxon on about 7m high and at first a 10m VDA which wasn't used much. 20m was a bit problematic, we used a FB23 (dipole-director configuration) on about 6m high and a VDA. Personally my experience was that the VDA was better on both RX as TX and I was even spotted by KL7RA from Alaska (one of my highlights hi) with this antenna. However we lost too much points on 20m compared to the competing stations and we really should look at another (better) antenna for that band. The FB23 was placed on the 10m moxon mast sunday afternoon to see if that would improve things. It did improve a small bit but still the VDA won overall with about 0,5-1 s-unit difference.

We didn't build all the antennas on one day of course. PB7Z did rent the house for the week and started to setup the 4 square together with PA0VAJ already at the start of the week. Because none of us ever worked with a antenna array like that Bernard had the honour to test it out. Of course some good DX was worked mostly on FT8 and CW proving the antenna was a excellent performer.

Locator was not JO32IU but JO33DJ
The results...
We were satisfied but made less QSOs compared to last year. The amount of multipliers was higher though and so was our score. The only band we were not satisfied with was 20m. We are already busy making plans to get better next year although since we are kind of portable we are a little limited in making big plans since antennas should be light and strong and not too big. We are right at the northern coast and winds can get very high here.

CQ contest from PA6AA

Grey marker shows exact QTH


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you as well Peter being on the team. Personally I find it unbelievable that you make the effort of travelling all the way from Amsterdam to the contest location. For others that read this comment: it takes almost a day with public transport to get at the location. Till next year buddy. 73, Bas

  2. Hallo Bas, leuk om zo eens te werken met 400 watt en een mooie plek + IC7300 om die eens te gebruiken. Ik had maar even geluisterd op 20 meter en helemaal vol met SSB stations. Zelf niets gedaan want ik was het hele weekend in Brabant bij familie. 73 Paul PAØK

    1. Paul, ik heb je net een e-mail geschreven met reactie...73, Bas

  3. Contests zijn leuk om eens een keer met een serieuze hoeveelheid serieuze antennes te werken. Mooi lijstje spullen. En die plannen om t volgend jaar weer beter te maken. Ik herken het helemaal van mijn PACC ervaringen. Leuk.

    1. Hallo Lars, ja jullie hebben hetzelfde met de PACC. Opbouwen, contesten, afbreken, wegwezen. Is wel leuk. Valt nog niet mee ook! 73, Bas

  4. Hallo Bas,
    Nou je hebt je weer heerlijk kunnen uitleven in deze contest.
    Wat is er nou mooier dan een wedstrijd doen met een goed stel kameraden, prachtig antenne park, mooie vrije locatie en dan als toegift ook nog met jouw felbegeerde de Icom IC7300 kunnen werken. Beter kon je het niet krijgen en ik weet zeker dat jullie prachtige resultaten zullen hebben.
    Geniet er nog even van. 73 Hans, PE1BVQ.

    1. Hallo Hans, ja het was een feest. Ik vond het geweldig even met de IC-7300 te mogen spelen. Erg mooie radio die er op den duur wel gaat komen. 73, Bas

  5. Excellent job and lots of antenna action h.i. looks like your contest team is one to watch. Sounds like a lot of fun, good post 73 Simon M0YKS

    1. Hello Simon, thanks for the great QSO and featuring in your cqww video. 73, Bas


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