Posts Tagged ‘CQ World Wide DX CW’

2012 CQ World Wide DX CW | The Stats

N1MM Contest Logger Zone Count

N1MM Contest Logger Hourly Breakdown
N1MM Contest Logger Zone By Day Breakdown

Good afternoon from the #hamr shackadelic zone where rainy weather helps improve soil conductivity for my ground mounted vertical and its radial system. I’m looking over my statistics after last weekend and wanted to share my highlights. The top screenshot is Qs per zone count. The middle screenshot is my hourly rate in the pilot’s seat at SL’s shack. Lastly, the bottom screenshot, compares my Q count per zone against that of Saturday and Sunday.

Have you heard the saying, “Location, location, location?”
I never considered this sage advice until a few years ago when casual competition crept into my ham radio lifestyle. I’m looking at the evidence based on the work of Rick, ZL2HAM who submitted a masterful activity density visualization at CQ WW Contest Blog. I recommend ‘clicking’ on the maps for a better understanding of either the East Coast or European Walls.

The concentration of activity to geography favors the East Coast of the United States. For example, the signal generated by SL’s ICOM 756PRO and Alpha 89 amplifier must take a polar path into Europe unlike our competitors to the east. However, the opposite is true for the East Coast when beaming toward Asia, although, activity density is an apples to oranges comparison between Europe and Asia.

Evidence suggests greater zone activity in Europe versus Asia therefore point potential (eg. new zone, new country, new zone and new country) favoring that of the East Coast.

The name of the game is pointing your antenna systems toward major population centers on each respective continent. The flip side is following daylight and maximizing usable frequencies during daylight hours on the high bands as well.

Have you heard the saying, “Call CQ, CQ, CQ?”
The end result of calling CQ is rate and rate is essential for a casually competitive score. I didn’t operate the low bands focusing only on high band production. Is Cycle 24 peaking? Are we on the downside of the cycle’s bell shaped curve? I enjoyed a strong first two hours beaming 315 degrees toward Japan and China on 15m and twenty meters.

Likewise, I enjoyed limited Saturday production beaming toward Europe, between 25 and 30 degrees. The effects of space weather seriously dampened my path into EU and it is notable on zone by day breakdown.

Bravo Yankee and Victor Uniform
There are a total of 11 Bravo Yankee (BY) Qs in the log versus 204 JA-stations across two bands of activity. I’d like to see the number of Bravo Yankee participants double for next year? On the other hand, I didn’t hear a Victor Uniform (VU) from zone 24, throughout the ‘big event’. Potentially, activating this zone next year, could result in a Box score for that operator?

Conclusion
Overall, each event builds your experience level, lessons are learned, and goals are prepared. I’m learning from each respective experience with an idea of employing the band map much like a second receiver minus the actual hardware. I like casually competing against SO2R operators.

Contest on!     

2012 CQ World Wide DX CW | The First List

The First List

DXLab Suite generates a summary report after an event and this is my first list after last weekend. I really never know what the list may look like while in the game. As you can see, it is difficult to accomplish something like this over the course of a generic ham radio weekend, instead; my first list was accomplished across 21 hours during the ‘big event’.

You can have a lot of fun no matter what your shack hardware might be or what type of antenna system.

Chase DX with patience and respect. 

My 10,000 Hour RadioSport Challenge | 9,436 – 21 = 9,415 To Go

2012 CQ World Wide DX CW Results

Good afternoon from the #hamr zone where a winter storm is raising a little havoc outside the shackadelic sliding doors. On the other hand, the stoke rages on after a sensational last weekend logging DX in the pilot’s seat at my mentor’s shack. I want to thank John, W6SL for the time on the high bands because several new entities and one additional zone went into my computer logger.

Changing The Game
N1MM contest logger function keys were fixed and what a difference maker versus sending callsign from the paddles then pressing an Icom 756Pro function key to send my exchange. Instead, with a fully operational keyboard, I sent our exchange with enter send message (ESM) or using F5 key for partial callsign with question mark.

The F5 key made a difference when a cluster swarm simultaneously pounced on my transmit frequency.

I’m not a qualified electrical engineer but I don’t think a receiver filter is designed for or capable of handling signals driven by cluster technology that is simultaneous ‘clicking’ of tens, hundreds, or thousands of band maps pointed in the direction of one multiplier.

Cluster Pounce
I’d like to cite an example of cluster pounce gone out of control. It was mid-Sunday morning and I was spinning the dial when a swarm of signals exploded on a Zulu Sierra One in South Africa. Perhaps, for many of us, this station was a double-double that is new zone, new multiplier. Africa is difficult enough from zone three and, a double-double, was seriously significant.

I felt for the operator thousands of miles from the Five Cities of California. The swarm was out of rhythm with the Zulu Sierra One therefore throwing out the rhythm for all of us. The moment was cataclysmic because the operator simply could not manage the cluster pounce — too many signals arrived at once with their callsigns sent immediately toward South Africa.

He tried. I was frustrated. And the double-double multiplier in South Africa vanished from the listening frequency.

Stormy Paths
On the other hand, propagation paths into Asia and Europe seemed short lived for this season whereas Saturday was better than Sunday. I enjoyed stable 15m conditions into Asia on Friday night with two hours of 60 plus Qs going into the log. However, 20m was search and log, with 10 minute bursts of rate toward Asia as well.

Twenty meter antenna is 6 elements at 50 plus feet and 15m system is 6 elements at sixty five feet on the left hand tower. Each antenna was manufactured by KLM of late 70s and early 80s fame. Additionally, ten meter antenna is 5 elements, at 60 feet on the right hand tower.

Saturday is everything in RadioSport with the polar path into Europe reasonably stable between 25 and 30 degrees on 15m and twenty meters. I established a decent rate frequency on 15m into EU while mostly searching and logging on twenty meters.

In the meantime, Central, South America, and Caribbean multipliers and zones pumped 10m numbers however; I missed additional multipliers on the same band as Saturday conditions were locally notable.

Conclusion
Overall, RadioSport’s ‘big event’ delivered serious ham radio fun through last week despite stormy conditions and short lived paths toward major continents. I spent more time searching and logging even though my band map was populating with multipliers. Instead, I watched one cluster for band openings and put that information to use, as spotting efficacy is oftentimes sketchy at best.

I recommend spinning the dial starting at the high end of the band and work’em as you descend to the lowest end of the band. Additionally, if using assistance, think about using that information to spot when a band is opening toward a specific continent. I’m sharpening my search and log technique as band maps tend to draw my attention away from the frequency dial.

Contest on!    

Latest SWPC 3-day Space Weather Forecast

Latest SWPC 3-day Space Weather Forecast: Geophysical Activity Forecast: The geomagnetic field is expected to begin the forecast period at mostly quiet levels until the arrival of the 20 Nov CME midday on day one (23 Nov) when conditions are expected to rise to active levels with a chance for minor storm periods. Conditions have a chance for reaching major storm levels early on day two (24 Nov) with the expected arrival of the 21 Nov CME. On day three (25 Nov) conditions are expected to return to unsettled to active levels due to CME combined with high speed stream effects.

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