Tuesday, April 2, 2024

#CQWPX SSB contest 2024 review


Contest: CQ WPX SSB

Section: SO ALL LP

Radio: IC-7300 @100W

Antennas: Inverted-V 2x22m, 4 elem. LFA 10m, Gainmaster HW 24-29MHz, Multiband halo (cobweb), Inverted-L with autotuner on 160m.

 I took part in the WPX contest this year. Because Sunday was Easter it was not possible to be on the radio for a long time. It's a family day, so we had to go out. But luckily best propagation was on Saturday. My main focus was DX and best band for DX is always 10m. So most of the time the band was open I was on 10. I worked one all time new one which was Bangladesh S21RC. Like last year there were some interesting DX paths especially on 20m, like China, Japan and India at the middle of the night. And I heard a station from Colombia very early in the morning, which is not very common. Although many did complain about the propagation at Sunday I still worked DX like ZL, VK and a lot of USA/Canada and central America on 40m in the morning just after sunrise. Unfortunately no USA/Canada on 80m this time. I heard a few stations there but was not able to get through.

Light green=10m, Light blue=15m, Orange=20m, Red=40m, Blue=80m, Dark green=160m

As far as I can see in my previous results I've made a new personal record. I never ever made 1 million points before. This year will be hard to beat I think...

Some statistics:

I "only" operated approx 22 hours from the 48 available due to family obligations of course.

I did do some runs. But most of the time I was searching for the nice DX. Only at Sunday evening I did concentrate on some serious runs at 80m. I went well in the last hours of the contest. I was astonished by the progressive numbers some of the stations gave me. One station gave me number 5600 (!).

This graph shows my off time exactly. Saturday morning between 8-9 (local time 9-10) we had to go out for our weekly shopping and we did have a nice coffee. Sleep between 0:00-5:00, this weekend we also went to summertime. Then we had to go out to family between 12 and 20. I did not expect to do that much in the last hours but the runs on 80m were great.

Some highlights this contest: working S21RC of course, an ATNO. Working EP4IRN on both 10m and 20m. On 10m I worked him with my vertical Gainmaster HW, I could barely hear him on my beam. Working OY1R Regin from Faroer on 160m is always special to me because I met him in person some years ago. 

It was very strange to experience on 10m that the Gainmaster HW on top of my tower was sometimes equal or even better to contact some stations. Normally the big 4 element LFA is 2-5 S-units better. This puzzles me? I think it is just a matter of propagation and polarisation of the signal.

I certainly was a memorable contest this year. And most important....I had fun again. Till next year.


VE9KK said...

Good morning, Bas some very impressive results in the contest. Very nice getting S21RC and it's in these big contest I find you get these great contacts. I too have found that I did very well in a contest to only read of some mentioning the solar weather was not that good. Now I don't even check the solar weather anymore I just get into the contest. In this past when I looked at the solar weather it sometimes gave me a negative outlook on how things would go.
Excellent results and best of all you have a fun time on the bands.

PE4BAS, Bas said...

Tnx for the comment Mike. I also do not check any solar data before a contest. It doesn't really matter how good or bad it is. When the contest is on, it is on, no matter what conditions are at that moment. We can't change the sun :-).
I really like the DX on 10m, and it was on last weekend, so I enjoyed it a lot. 73, Bas