CQ WW CW contest wrap up
Another CW contest is in the books and this is the first time that Murphy stayed far away from me. I spent the longest time I ever have sitting in the contest chair, one reason could have been it was rainy and cold outside. I took one-hour sessions at a time with about a 10-minute break and lunch and dinner. I found this worked very well and allowed me to focus better when I was on the radio. I spent most of my time in running mode ( calling CQ contest and listening for callers) I will be honest there were times I did have issues and most likely ticked off some contesters with my failing to get their call, but oh well we all have to learn. A highlight was contacting a fellow blogger Bas PE4BAS on 2 different bands. With calling CQ or running I found the time just flew past and before I knew it I was coming up on my 1-hour break mark. Having said that at times when someone spots you on the cluster (thanks Bas) it can get jam-packed. At one point I answered and logged 136 QSO's in 1 hour! My theory is, keep my CW speed at a moderate level (around 29-27 WPM) and I figure I may get more callers. I could go faster but I feel I limit my prospects. Having said that while going at 29wpm I did get over and over stations coming back to me at 32-39 wpm, could be those I have worked in my weekly CWops mini contest and know the speed can be picked up a notch. But it does throw you off to all of a sudden get a call out of the blue at 36 wpm. It was nice to see 10m open and I was able to make some DX contacts. On Sunday afternoon 15m opened to South America and Hawaii which allowed me to get some nice multiplier contacts. I was very happy with how the new Hustler 4BTV performed as this was the first major contest I was able to use it in. My dream goal was to double last year's score and I went way beyond that! As a side note: This morning was the weekly Monday running of the ICWC MST (medium speed 1-hour contest) I gave the morning session a go and what a DISASTER it was! Not sure if there is such a thing as day after major CW contest brain fog but I sure did have it. A half-hour into the hour session I was ready to pull the plug but I hung on and ate humble pie. I was hearing the correct call but typing differently, hearing letters that just were not there, logging a contact before I received their full exchange and as a call was being sent to me I was like a deer in headlights. I could not send or receive S.O.S. if my life depended on it. Oh well, water under the bridge and just for the heck of it I am going to jump back in the operating chair for the afternoon MST session. What could go wrong eh?Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].