I enjoyed CQ WPX CW despite storm conditions that drove the A-index into double digits. It was a first for my low power, low profile station and I suffered through a deplorable Saturday afternoon. Propagation really matters in the game of RadioSport in addition location, antenna systems, station engineering, operator skill set, and strategy.
There is a lot to learn and accomplish within the art and science of RadioSport.
Friday Night Lights.
I did not settle into the chair until mid-evening after returning home from work then deployed my wire antenna system for the low bands. The south leg of the wire antenna goes up later in the evening after 20m shuts down. I stow the vertical when operating on the low bands in the evening because the wire is too close to the second antenna.
Friday night rocked between 0200 – 0500UTC as 39 -Qs went into the log. I jumped a little early from 20m to 40m and it is a habit of mine. I need to pay attention to the play book knowing 40m is generally noisy at this time of the year.
I keep notes on propagation and the receiver floor literally dropped out when the A-index spiked at 28 through Saturday afternoon. I was simply not heard through the noise deciding instead that napping through the day was a better idea. I could not compete against a double digit number.
Sunday Is Different.
I’m noticing a trend that Friday night and all day Sunday really makes a difference in my log. Historically, I have not scored as many -Qs on Saturday however, neither have I experienced a zen-like event when propagation produces epic conditions. It is like surfing, one continues returning to waves time and time again, when all of a sudden the cosmos falls into place.
I know that event is somewhere out there on the time line!
I scored double digits across four bands for the first time ever and called CQ more times than not on the low bands. I did not use memory functions when sending the exchange as well. My biggest surprise was a 10m opening into Oceania and South America late Sunday afternoon. I was thrilled when LU1HF ignited my cans with his stellar signal.
The high bands were fun and 20m produced the best results with 50 -Qs in the log.
I managed a pair of excellent hours on 40m that is 0500UTC (13 -Qs) and 1300UTC (11 -Qs). I was pleasantly surprised on 80m late Sunday morning but my timing on this band was totally off.
Overall, I logged 116 -Qs and 73 prefixes, totalling 15,549 points effectively beating my score from last year. The storm did not help the low bands where I wanted to log as many JA-stations as possible on Saturday morning. They are excellent operators and the noise was too much for low power, low profile into Asia.
There is more fun work inside the shack relaxation zone and many thanks to all who pulled out my signal through CQ WPX CW weekend!