ARRL International DX CW contest.


Overall the weekend had great solar conditions and huge participation worldwide. At times it was very hard to find a clear section of the band to call "CQ Contest". Some may find that frustrating but in the big picture that is a very good thing. I had some memorable contacts in Japan, Australia, St Helena Island, FK8IK on New Caledonia Island and last but not least PE4BAS fellow blogger was logged on 15m. In this contest, I ran (calling CQ contest) for about 98% of the time at about 32-24 wpm. I did have an "I can't believe I did that" moment. On Saturday just before I stopped to have dinner I wanted to try a different macro. I turned the power down to zero and tried it a few times to make sure it would work. I then went for dinner and came back to go on 40m. Now 40m openings for me most of the time do not last very long. I got right back on and started calling CQ and calling and calling. I noticed on the RBN I had no spots which was a bit odd as most of the time I can something into the U.S. Then it hit me the power was still at zero! Well, that was about 20 minutes of lost time. 

All the bands (for me 10-40m) were in great shape and very busy. On Sunday evening around 6:30 local time, things started to go downhill for me. My ability to concentrate was just not there as I heard a call sign and only one or two letters registered with me. The best way to describe it was brain fog, it is not unusual for me toward the end of a long contest to get this. I was even having issues with keyboarding. I would type Zero when the call was 9, the call 9A2Y I had 0A2Y also when typing I would hit two keys at once. I then would be transmitting oddball calls. At that point, I would try to fix the call on the fly and most of the time that is a challenge and at this point in the game, it just made things a nightmare. I decided to pull the plug early as my frustration level would take the fun out of things.

The final tally


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

2 Responses to “ARRL International DX CW contest.”

  • Bob VE3ETE:

    Mike, I operated on 20 meters low power with the aid of the FTDX10 decoder and was able to make 99 QSOs and 51 mult’s. I didn’t trust my abilities to sit on one frequency & call CQ, so chased contacts overthe 70 khz, over & over during the 24 hours. Band cond’x were quite good. My ability to read parts of the code is improving, don’t know if I will ever be able to send using a Bencher at 32 wpm for 24 hours. No problem with a straight key at 15 to 20 wpm! Thanks for continuing to write about your cw journey. 73 Bob VE3ETE

  • Mike VE9KK:

    Good morning, Bob very nice to hear from you and for sharing your CW adventure. What you are doing is great and helping you move along with CW. Getting in the mix of a CW contest either S&P or running is great practice. Great work with 99 Q’s and keep at it. I would like to recommend Long Island CW club, you can look up their site on the internet and they are dedicated to helping with CW. They have a HUGE amount of possible help aids. Get on as many contests, QSO’s and so on as you can. Your mind will slowly wrap around the art of code. If there is anyway I can help out send me an email. ve9kk at hotmail dot com.
    73 and have a good weekend.

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