ARRL DX CW contest done for 2012

Action on 20m
Since my setup does not allow me to be even close in the top running I try to come up with some goals before each contest,I find it makes the contest more interesting. Since this contest hosts a load of DX and the ARRL is offering a Diamond DXCC  challenge certificate for 2012 I decided to begin my DXCC country collection. During this contest I was not concerned with the number of contacts, concerned about spending to much time on making a certain contact or my hourly QSO rate. I was set on DXCC country hunting and working toward the 2012 DXCC award.

Contest highlights
  1. As always I operate the contest QRP at 5 watts but I also I was able at times to drop the power down to 5mW's. My longest miles per watts in this contest was 9339 miles per watt. 
  2. I was able to collect 65 DXCC countries during the contest.
  3. I made it into Japan and Hawaii with 5 watts I tried lower power setting but it was not working. 
  4. All bands (for me that's 10,15,20 and 40m) were open at one time or another and I had  contacts on all these bands. 
Contest downside
  1. This was the one and only downside I found for the whole contest.....at times when I came across rare DX and rightfully so there was a pileup. I found some stations would continue to send their call even over the DX station who was trying to answer a call. It's hard to find a hole to enter your call when (and they were very few) operators keep sending their call no matter what is going on in the pileup. 
To wrap it up the contest was great and propagation sure was not as good as in weeks gone by but still good. Operating QRP meant I had to send lots of repeats but the patience's of the DX op's was outstanding.  This contest gave me a good boost toward my DXCC award. 
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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