A weekend of radio.

Not often is this seen on 10m


 VE9KK the world of CW blog would not be complete if I did not partake in the ARRL International CW
DX contest. As always I skipped the opening session Friday evening mainly because my limit is 40m and due to the time, I would have limited operating time before the band closed down for the evening. The contest was very well attended along with great propagation numbers. Now having said that on Saturday the space weather numbers were off the charts and some in my local contest group felt it could had been an error on WWV's part as they were showing 343 and other sites such as Dominion observatory were in the 160s. In any case, the numbers were great and in most logs including mine, 10m displayed the largest contact numbers as sure sign propagation was good. 

For about 90% of the contest I ran and when it go slow I did some search and pounce. Now running in a contest like this you get HUGE pile-ups and it showed me I have to get more serious with pile-up practices using software such as Morse Runner. I have to be honest in saying at times the pile-ups were overwhelming and hard to pick out any call. 

The action on a map view

My Hustle 4BTV worked like a dream and at times my SNR numbers in Europe were great according to the Reverse Beacon Network. One of the challenges was to find an empty spot to call CQ contest. Often I would have to find a new spot as other ops would unknowingly move in. Not a big deal as it's all part of contesting. Entering these contests always helps out my CW skills to improve my skill but towards the end of the contest on Sunday evening I pulled the plug at 23:30 UTC with only a 1/2 hour to go. I was not hearing code anymore just noise and simple calls like M2T were a challenge so it was time to end things and go have a nice glass of red wine and relax.
One of the highlights was contacting fellow blogger Bas PE4BAS on 10m and 15m.

The contest runs for 48 hours and according to my contest program N1MM I was on for 16.5 hours but I take a break every hour and lunch but N1MM keeps running as I don't want to shut it down to just start it up again. So I figure I was on for about 14.5 to 15 hours in total. My best 1 hour run was 148 contacts. On average each hour netted me between 80 to 90 but then there were very slow one hour stints as well.

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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