Thursday, March 30, 2023

#CQWW WPX SSB Contest 2023 review


Click to enlarge.


   This is one of the biggest world wide contests for HF amateurradio. The aim is to work as many different stations preferable DX. Multipliers are the different prefixes (WPX=World PrefiX) and DX (stations from a different continent as yours) count for a different amount extra points. Since I had limited operating time this weekend I had no goal, however this changed sunday evening. Propagation didn't look good because of a coronal mass ejection from the sun which wiped out most of the radiosignals on 14MHz and above at friday. It seems the propagation was still not recovered at Saturday. I had to work that day so I was unable to participate at that time, I don't know if I missed something though. 

  I started late Saturday evening and things didn't look allright as far as I could experience. I could barely hear some stations on 10m so I started on 15m. The band was full of DX and the experimental squalo antenna did a good job. I worked my share of DX for shure not knowing what propagation would be next day. I even managed working 2 contacts on 10m with EA8 stations. Quite early I went down to 40m which was also open into Europe and a few DX stations after midnight. At 00:30 I decided to run on 80m. Normally to get a good run it takes about 10 minutes of calling till you get some spots on the cluster. This time it took me only 3 calls to get a good run for about 1 hour, I worked about 100 stations. After a few contacts with DX on 40m I decided to take some sleep to be fresh Sundaymorning. This also because it is always the weekend the clock changes to summertime. 

Setup WPX. Icom-7300 100W, Doublet 2x20m
inverted-V, 10m LFA 4 elem.,
experimental square halo

I checked my last years efforts in this contest and noticed that I heard a lot of DX but couldn't work some of it. This year on Sunday it was different, I could work DX without much problems or calling. Actually I worked some DX I could barely hear, but they could still hear me. Worked CY0S from Sable Isl. on 10m late in the evening. I heard him in a huge pile-up and thought I would never have a chance. But I thought I just try it once....surprisingly I was heard at the first call, it was an easy contact. On 10m with the big 4 element LFA I had this most of the time actually, with the right conditions it probabely is radiating a huge signal. 10m opened early with excellent DX on the band to most of Asia, I never ever worked so much stations from China, Japan, Thailand and some countries in between. Last year I had no luck working 9N7AA from Nepal, it was easy to work him this time. The experimental squalo antenna also did a great job on 20m and 15m. The fun is that it is omni directional so if there are skewed paths, long path or short path propagations I wouldn't know. This way I worked unexpected DX, like PJ2T and J68HZ early in the morning on 20m, normally these are only heard in the evening. Propagation on Sunday was crazy anyway. I had the idea the whole world was upside down. What about Australia on 10m with 5/9 signals late in the evening, normally only heard in the morning. I also worked a Japanese station very late in the evening on 20m, again with excellent signals. It was all really crazy. Anyway, not really that important but to get a good score I think you need to divide your time/contacts equally over the bands if they are open. So, I think I divided it well this time. It was also my goal to go Sunday when I reached 111 contacts on 10m. I decided to try and work 111 contacts on all different bands except 160m. But for fun my last contact of the contest was with YT8A on 160m while tuning my 10m beam on that band. Actually compared to last year I worked almost the same amount of stations but in less time.

Most interesting DX:

10m: BD7MM (China), JT1CO (Mongolia), E27EK (Thailand), JH4UYB (Japan), VJ4T (Australia), 9N7AA (Nepal), 9G4X (Ghana), VU3NPI (India), FR4QT (Reunion Isl.), ZS1OPB (RSA), 8P5A (Barbados), VP5V (Turks&Caicos Isl.), 5Z4VJ (Kenya), V26K (Antigua&Barbuda), CY0S (Sable Isl.), KP2M (US virgin Isl.), TI0RC (Costa Rica), PJ4R (Bonaire), TO3Z (Guadeloupe)

15m: PJ2T (Caracao), V26K (Antigua&Barbuda), P43A (Aruba), CY0S (Sable Isl.), FK8GM (New Caledonia), KP2M (US Virgin Isl.), ZF1A (Cayman Isl.), PJ4R (Bonaire), FY5KE (French Guiana), FR4QT (Reunion Isl.), BD7MM (China), VJ4K (Australia)

20m: 8P5A (Barbados), V26K (Antigua&Barbuda), NH7T (Hawaii), KL7RA (Alaska), ZF1A (Cayman Isl.), PJ2T (Curacao), J68HZ (St.Lucia), JH4UYB (Japan)

40m: UP2L (Kazakhstan), R9GM (As.Russia), A44A (Oman), V26K (Antigua&Barbuda), PJ2T (Curacao), KQ2M (USA), PX2A (Brazil), D4Z (Cape Verde), A71WW (Qatar).

List of DXCC worked during the WPX 2023

Some interesting things I like to mention for the personal archives this contest:

- An increase of Chinese operators. Their modulation is always overmodulated and their english is difficult to understand. But at least they are there!

- Russian stations are back!

- Some stations from continents I didn't expect did show up on unexpected times, Like Australia late in the afternoon on 10m and west-indies early in the morning on 20m.

- Worked my QSL printer from the Ukraine UX5UO Gennady on 15m. Worked OY1R Regin from Faroer Isl, on 80m. 

- For the first time since long in a contest I worked a new DXCC (ATNO) FK8GM from New Caledonia. I applied for a QSL and Eric was so kind to send me one!


VE9KK said...

Bas all I can say is WOW! From reading your post one would never think we had solar weather issues at all. Great to read the squalo antenna was working well. Some very impressive contacts! For only being on a limited time you did very well. Sounds like the contest bug has bitten you!

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Hello Mike, tnx for your comment. No contest bug here. But I like to participate in the big ones. WWDX and WPX preferable SSB. Indeed at Sunday the propagation was excellent. At least here in my country. The Squalo antenna miight be a compromise antenna but it does well on my end. It is very small as well, which might be an inspiration for thos that have no room for big antennas and still like to DX. 73, Bas