|My setup and the VE3WDM is my lic plate from Ontario
This past weekend I was busy with the CQ World Wide CW contest...go figure! The solar weather was not looking good and for most of Saturday, the Kp index was around 6 and for a short time moved to 7. I was shocked the conditions were still decent. On Sunday the Kp index fell to 2-3 which also gave better conditions. I entered as low power (100 watts), all band and unassisted meaning I did not use QSO finding assistance. The bands I operated were limited to my antenna the Hustler 4BTV which meant that was 40,20,15 and 10m.
|Spot in the middle of the Ocean is code garble SN70 I put zero and not the letter O
Some of my highlights were getting a call from fellow blogger Bas PE4BAS, KH7L and V51YJ. I think because of the conditions solar weather wise it limited me from Southeast Asia. I did spend a lot of time in the operating chair and toward the end of the contest I started to get what I call "code garble". I heard a call but it just did not register, I heard a call but entered numbers or letters on the keyboard that had nothing to do with the call and so on. For example, numerous time I had a call starting 9A call me and every time I entered 0A. I kept having to correct it and that meant time and good old 9A wondered what I was up too. I ended up pulling the plug about an hour before the contest ended.
My best hourly contact rates were in the 130's and at the low-end 50's. I have been practising handling pileups using N1MM logger. You can set it up to give you pileup simulations. Not that I am a big gun but when you get spotted on the cluster things can get a bit hairy at times.
|The final results
During the contest 99% of the time I was calling "CQ contest" or running as it is called. My speed was 32-34 wpm. I find if your calling at 32 wpm you get replies at 25-36 wpm. When calling at 34wpm sometimes the comebacks can be very fast and mistakes happen. In this contest, the exchange is 599 (signal report) and CQ zone and that is filled in by the contest program. This means when your calling CQ contest you can go a bit faster as most slower callers most likely found your call on the cluster. When a serial number is involved a lot of contest stations slow down the serial number part of the exchange.
Overall it was a great contest and I look forward to it again next year. The next contest I am looking at is the RAC Canadian Winter contest in December.