CQ WPX CW contest in the books

This sure was a weekend were the solar activity played a huge role in contest endurance. I entered the contest QRP at 5 watts. I did not turn the rig on Friday evening as I find the start of these contests can get very very busy. I was on and off both Saturday and Sunday. I put in about 5 hours on Saturday and on Sunday it was around 3 hours. Sunday was spent getting household chores done and spare time was on the radio.
Lots of  Solar action
I had a total of 92 contacts my score was 18,800 points and 80 WPX contacts. I did have a blast when I was in the contest and for the first time ever I was contently having to repeat my call and my exchange due to solar conditions.
Some lessons learned
  1. When running N1MM logging program, N4PY rig control software and the Flex Radio Flexcontrol vfo knob all together through LP-Bridge some very very strange things can happen. This resulted in some lost contacts and down time due to software issues.Going to have to get these programs to shake hands and get along.
  2. Funny thing.....I have been practicing my contest CW code with Morse runner and using my laptop. Well it would seem that my fingers became very familar with the smaller keyboard on the laptop. When I contested on my home PC and regular sized keyboard I was making mistake after mistake while keyboarding calls and exchanges. I do have a smaller keyboard for the desktop PC and started to use it towards the end. Going to have to stick to the same keyboard as it seems size does matter.
Some of the joys of the contest
  1. It seemed to me that most of the contesters CW speed was in around 25-30 wpm and I did find that very comfortable. 
  2. At least the bummer conditions were world wide and leaves us all in the same playing field more or less. 
  3. I contacted OQ5M in the contest and soon after he commented on my blog of how good my signal was. This fast interaction is kinda cool. 
  4. My contact with Australia, Cuba and Hawaii. 
  5. The politeness of the op's whom I had to give several repeats too, those who still could not make out my call just said "bad QRM and hope to contact later 73"
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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