Just for fun
It’s been over two months since I last posted, and I realized that part of the reason for that is that I’ve been waiting for something “important enough” to write about. Along the same lines, I’ve skipped operating in a couple of contests recently where I’d done so in the past because I didn’t have enough time to put in more than a couple of hours in the chair. I decided to fix both of those things recently.
Last weekend was one of the “big” contests, the CW version of the ARRL DX contest. In this contest, DX stations work US & Canadian stations, and vice-versa. (As opposed to contests where anybody works anybody, or are primarily US/Canada only.) This is a 48 hour contest, and while I’ve never operated for that entire period, I do usually try to spend time operating both during the day and in the evening to take advantage of different types of propagation at the different times of day. Last weekend, I didn’t have time to do that, but I did have a few hours on Sunday afternoon. I decided to spend the afternoon working whatever stations I could. When I operate in a contest, I like to have some kind of goal for myself. For this contest, I knew that I wasn’t going to beat my own personal best, so I decided that I’d do nothing but work multipliers for my first 100 QSOs.
Generally, this is kind of silly thing to do, especially for person who works in “Search & Pounce” mode, where you’re trying to just make contacts. Multipliers have additional value, and there are all kinds of strategies on working multipliers versus just working stations, but most of those apply to bigger stations who know they’ll be competitive. In any case, I decided that it would be fun to do, and that’s exactly what I did. Once I hit 100 QSOs I started working any other station that I found, but I still managed to work 141 multipliers out of 169 contacts.
My final score was only a bit over 71,000 points, which in this contest, is very low, but I did have a good time doing it, and that’s the point. Hopefully, this will get me “back in the saddle” for both contesting and working on my blog.
For anyone interested, here’s my claimed score:
Band QSOs Pts Cty
7 35 105 22
14 66 198 58
21 56 168 49
28 12 36 12
Total 169 507 141
Score : 71,487
DX contests for us little guys are an absolutely great way of working DX though for fun or for DXCC. When things slow down near the end of the contest you can try calling CQ and often you’ll pick up five or ten more countries that way. At that point many of the big boys switch to search and pounce and there are chances for a little pistol to run a frequency for a short time.
I generally go after DX that I’ve not worked before as my motivation when I do DX contests. Sigh.. I’ve not done a contest for over a year. I need to get back in the saddle…
The DX contests are indeed a great way to improved your DXCC totals. At this point, while I’m certainly not at honor roll status with a few over 300 confirmed, getting an all-time new DX entity is a pretty rare occurrence for me in general, and even rarer in a contest. However, I still have plenty of band fills and that working in the contests does help to fill those in.