2013 CQ WW SSB Contest

K5ZD, Single Operator All Bands, Classic Overlay

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, SSB

Call: K5ZD
Operator(s): K5ZD
Station: K5ZD

Class: SOAB Classic HP
QTH: W1
Operating Time (hrs): 24

Summary:
 Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
------------------------------
  160:   44    12       24
   80:  143    17       55
   40:  185    24       67
   20:  511    31       97
   15:  757    32      101
   10: 1249    31       97
------------------------------
Total: 2889   147      441  Total Score = 4,932,144

Club: Yankee Clipper Contest Club

Comments:

This is my Classic score.  I operated for another 3.5 hours to end up with a traditional single op score of 3144/151/464 = 5,603,265.

What great conditions!  I have never seen all bands to be so great at the same time and for the full weekend.

I have some vacation days to use so took one on Friday to do some work on my 160m antenna. After listening to 10m in the morning, decided to work on the 10m stack instead. SWR was funky so took the analyzer up the tower and did some changes to the gamma match tuning on each antenna.  Came back to shack after 2 hours of tower work and the SWR seemed worse than when I started.  Argh!

During the day I kept debating on whether to do a semi serious Assisted effort or try Classic.  With business travel coming and my wife out most of both days, decided I would go for the Classic.

I have been doing SO2R in contests since 1977. I often just use one rig in smaller contests, but it has been a long time since I operated one of the “majors” this way.  30 minutes before the contest started I made a rough plan on the back of an envelope.  Operate 2 hours, take a break, operate 2 more, then sleep until sunrise. Operate during the morning and then play it by ear.

Decided I would operate in true classic fashion – completely unplugged.  No cluster, no online scoreboards, no propagation, no nothing. Just a boy and his radio.

Contest started great. It was a blast chasing DX on all bands. Without the second radio I was constantly pushing to run or scan. With conditions so good, I never had to get into a mode where I was just pushing F1 waiting for something to happen.

After about 3 hours, I was feeling burned out. The triple combination of a new job at work, managing the CQWW, and working on WRTC2014 was almost too much. I took an hour long nap at 0300z and woke up feeling much better. I chased DX on the low bands for 2 hours and had to make myself stop since the rate was not that high.

Woke up around 1000z (6am local) and worked my way up the bands chasing mults. Hard to find a hole on 20m. Ended up CQing on 15m at 1115z. When the frequency cratered, I did S&P up the band and then jumped to 10m. Wow!  Wide open. One thing you miss with not having the second rig is knowing what is going on and being able to quickly jump between bands.

Found a hole at 28378 at 1200z and it was off to the races. SH5 shows the best 60 minutes was 236 QSOs!  A personal best from the USA.  That certainly got my contest juices flowing and there were no more motivation problems all weekend.

Had a contractor come by to look at a project.  That took 20 minutes, but decided not to get back on until I had taken a full hour break. Operated 30 minutes and then had to run some errands.

The surprise of the weekend was to come back on at 1700z (1pm local) and find 10 meters still wide open. One CQ and the rate was incredible. Very quiet frequency on 10 meters and all Western European stations. Jumped down to 15m and did it all again.

By 2230z I realized that I had operated over 16 hours.  This didn’t leave much time for the second day.  Took a break for a nap and dinner. Got back on around 0130z for some low band multiplier chasing. Once again, had to make myself stop at 0300z.  Got to watch the end of the World Series game.  During breaks I was answering emails about CQWW rules questions.

With such great conditions, the low bands really took the hit from less operating time.

Slept until 1030z. Sunrise is at 1110z. Chased some DX on the low bands and then had some very nice runs on 15m and 10m. Rates were lower, but conditions were great. Best DX was having Champ, XW0YJY, call in on 15m, then 10m, then later on 20m! I have never worked so many HS stations in one weekend.

Took 2 hours off at 1530z to relax. Then back on for my final hour of operation.

Conditions were so good that I just kept going.  Mostly multiplier chasing and DXing. Figured out that I had put the 10m coaxes back on the box incorrectly so the low antenna was really the high antenna.  Luckily I did most of my running on all 3 antennas!

Never was able to get any kind of run going on 40 meters all weekend.  Signals were loud, but the mosh pit between 7125 and 7200 is only for the hard core. Worked a few mults on 75m right at the end.

A few comments.

– Operating with only one radio was more fun than I expected. It was more focused.  Also more engaging because I was always thinking about whether to stay or move.  When I did tune, there was pressure to go fast and dig for mults.  Lots of decisions.

– Operating with only one radio is less tiring. Listening to two audio streams of splatter is work.  I just felt better and had more fun all weekend.  The downside is that I missed a lot of mults. Operating with one radio is like viewing a football game through a straw. Difficult to fully take it in.

– Never heard zone 34.  Where were the zone 19 and zone 32 stations? Only one zone 19 and that was on 40 meters!!  Only worked two zone 32 and both were on 10 meters.

– The 24 hour limit did take me off the air. This was a concern with creating a limited time category and it will be interesting to see how it impacts activity (if at all).  With the great conditions, it may be difficult to draw any real conclusions.  Once I had passed the 24 hour mark, it was fun to be able to keep going.

– The super power stations from Europe are hurting the contest. They are loud and wide and aggressive. Power is asymmetrical.  It helps the user and hurts the others on the band.  If none of the little guys can find a place, will they keep operating contests?

– I told a number of stations they were splattering. Many of them were able to reduce the splatter significantly just by turning down their drive. This indicates that some stations are using splatter as an offensive weapon.  Once again, they are causing long term damage to the game that we all love.

Thanks to everyone that goes on the road to make CQWW the best contest of the year.  And thanks to all of those that get on the air and fill our logs with contacts.

See you on CW!

Station

Elecraft K3 + Alpha 76CA

  • 160m: 1/4-wave GP, shunt fed tower
  • 80m: 4 square 40m: 2-el Yagi @ 110′
  • 20m: 5-el/5-el @ 100’/50′
  • 15m: 4-el/4-el @ 66’/33′
  • 10m: 6-el/4-el/4-el @90’/60’/30′
  • South: TH7DXX @40′

All numbers below are for the full 27.5 hours of operation.   Continents

          160M    80M    40M    20M    15M    10M   Total      %

    AF       3     10      6     14     19     13      65     2.1
    EU      21    105    135    431    660   1100    2452    78.0
    NA      18     32     35     41     59     51     236     7.5
    SA       2      4      8     42     39     76     171     5.4
    AS       0      1     12     51     94     36     194     6.2
    OC       0      1      4      3      9      8      25     0.8

Rates

Hr   160M     80M     40M     20M     15M     10M    Total     Cumm    Off

00Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   95/70   --+--   --+--   95/70     95/70  
01Z    -       -     68/37    6/4      -       -     74/41    169/111 
02Z   7/11   31/24   13/5     5/2      -       -     56/42    225/153 
03Z    -       -     14/7    23/14     -       -     37/21    262/174    25
04Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     262/174    60
05Z   7/7    50/23     -       -       -       -     57/30    319/204      
06Z  13/7    19/8    25/17     -       -       -     57/32    376/236 
07Z   3/3    10/7    21/8    57/15     -       -     91/33    467/269      
08Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0     467/269    60
09Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0     467/269    60
10Z   1/0     4/2     8/6    58/5      -       -     71/13    538/282      
11Z    -       -       -      4/1   111/46   21/19  136/66    674/348 
12Z    -       -       -       -       -    231/32  231/32    905/380 
13Z    -       -       -       -       -    194/11  194/11   1099/391 
14Z    -       -       -       -       -     38/0    38/0    1137/391      
15Z    -       -       -       -       -     63/7    63/7    1200/398    13
16Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    1200/398    60
17Z    -       -       -       -       -    169/18  169/18   1369/416      
18Z    -       -       -       -    127/18   10/8   137/26   1506/442 
19Z    -       -       -       -    185/19     -    185/19   1691/461 
20Z    -       -       -       -     32/23   50/10   82/33   1773/494 
21Z    -       -       -       -     73/13   15/5    88/18   1861/512 
22Z    -       -       -     33/3      -     17/2    50/5    1911/517    29
23Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    1911/517    60
00Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    1911/517    60
01Z   8/7    14/3      -      2/1      -       -     24/11   1935/528    26
02Z   1/0    14/3    21/3    33/7      -       -     69/13   2004/541 
03Z   4/1      -       -       -       -       -      4/1    2008/542    53
04Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2008/542    60
05Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2008/542    60
06Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2008/542    60
07Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2008/542    60
08Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    2008/542    60
09Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    2008/542    60
10Z    -      1/2    15/8     8/0      -       -     24/10   2032/552    39
11Z    -       -       -     27/0   148/8      -    175/8    2207/560 
12Z    -       -       -       -     64/5    83/3   147/8    2354/568 
13Z    -       -       -       -       -    154/6   154/6    2508/574 
14Z    -       -       -       -       -    172/5   172/5    2680/579 
15Z    -       -       -      2/0    17/1    32/2    51/3    2731/582    30
16Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--    0/0    2731/582    60
17Z    -       -       -    140/6      -       -    140/6    2871/588    20
18Z    -       -       -     25/0    23/0    30/6    78/6    2949/594 
19Z    -       -       -       -     52/3     6/1    58/4    3007/598    20
20Z    -       -       -       -       -       -      0/0    3007/598    60
21Z    -       -       -       -      9/2      -      9/2    3016/600    55
22Z    -       -       -     58/7    39/1      -     97/8    3113/608 
23Z    -     10/2    15/5     6/0      -       -     31/7    3144/615 

Tot: 44/36  153/74  200/96  582/135 880/139 1285/135

Worked on 6 bands: CN2AA D4C DF0HQ DR1A ES9C GM0B HK1NA PJ2T TI5W TM6M

Worked on 5 bands: 8P5A CN3A CR2X CR6K DL0CS ED1R EI7M G6PZ HA30S HG6N HG7T IG9Y II9P KP3Z LY7A M4A OK7O OZ7X PI4M RU1A SK3W UA4M

Most worked countries:

          160M    80M    40M    20M    15M    10M   Total
    DL       3     16     15     53    127    166     380
    EA              7     10     35     42     46     140
     F       2      4     10     13     31     58     118
     G       2      8      3     16     41     80     150
     I              3      9     41     39     68     160
    PA              7      3     14     32     67     123
    SP       1      6      7     14     41     54     123
    UA              5     14     37     47    135     238
    UR       1      3      5     29     18     58     114