ARRL CW Contest done QRP style

Oliver is asking……"Ahhhh dinner!!!
I took part in the ARRL CW contest this weekend in a part time way, I was not able to go full tilt as I had things around the house that needed to be done. I skipped the Friday evening as it's most of the big guns going at record setting CW speeds. I operated QRP, single band, non assisted, single transmuter and with my MFJ 1788 magnetic loop antenna. The bands were alive with CW and you would never think we were in the downswing of a solar cycle! Then conditions over all were great on 15m I was able to get on from early morning into the early evening. In the morning the bands were filled with
The rig setup
Europe and as the late afternoon rolled around the South Pacific started to boom in along with Central and south America. Some of the standout locations I heard were Bangladesh, Guam, Japan, New Zealand and South Sudan. None of which I was able to contact the pileups were HUGE!! Some of the highlights for me were contacting Hawaii, Cuba,  and grabbing a new DXCC Dominican Republic.
Score rundown is as follows
Contacts        DXCC's      Points
81                   39                9360

The equipment  used was the Elecraft K3 with 500,400 and 250 inrad filters, the Elecraft P3, Begali Contour Key and the Flex control external VFO knob and last but not least the MFJ 1788 Magnetic loop antenna. The software used were N1MM+ contest software, N4PY rig control software and MRP40 CW code reader for the chain saw speed code. I never had Murphy pay me any visits during
The contest software
the contest which really is a first time. I found 15m to be a great band very low noise floor and lots of action. I did venture up to 20m for a listen and from my location it was very noisy and I was glad I decided to stick with 15m.  Sunday seemed to be an easier day for making contacts I had far less repeats to do, Saturday I really had to work for each and every contact. Looking forward to the next CW contest!

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

8 Responses to “ARRL CW Contest done QRP style”

  • Peter KG5WY:

    Is Oliver licensed?

  • Mike KG9DW:

    Good deal Mike! I was on for just a short period of time and I heard CW activity everywhere. It was great!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Peter, Oliver like to think he runs the show but he is very funny as he thinks he is missing out of something and has to just be there.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Mike, yes the bands were alive with lots of great DX.

  • Ken Ascher KK4EIR:

    I have pretty much the same set up as you. I also have the SVGA adapter for the P3 which shows the CW decoded on the bottom of the screen and I’m also using MRP40. To my surprise I found that the Elecraft was decoding CW much better than MRP40 was. Using a butternut ground mounted vertical I was able to make 313 contacts including Guam New Zealand and Japan from Virginia however I was using 500 W.

  • James Broden N0OR:

    Sounds like fun on 15. I stayed on 40 and worked 38 DXCC with Yaesu FT450D running 5 W into a full sized delta loop. Mostly EU but JA ZL and KH as well. I use fldigi along with W5LA keyboard software. Looking forward to the next one.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Ken, I too have the SVGA card and the last time I used it was time ago but the decode must have improved. I am going to give the SVGA a go and see how the decode looks at this end. I was not able to contact Guam as the the pileup was huge.
    Thanks for commenting Ken have a great week.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello James, very nice setup with the Yaesu FT 450 and as all of us CW hounds we are all looking forward to the next CW contest.
    Have a nice week James and thanks for taking the time to stop by the blog

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