1996 ARRL DX Phone Contest (W2SC opr)

K5ZD (opr. W2SC), Single Op All Band, High Power

By Tom Georgens, W2SC
w2sc@arrl.net

Summary Sheet

            ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST -- 1996

 Call: K5ZD(W2SC opr.)          Country:  United States
 Mode: SSB                      Category: Single Operator

      BAND     QSO    COUNTRIES

      160       62      38	1/4 Wave GP
       80      321      73	Inverted Vee @ 90'
       40      303      68	402CD @ 110'
       20     1641     118	5/5 @ 100'/50'
       15       86      42	TH7DXX @ 70'
       10       11       7	TH7DXX @ 70'
     ---------------------

     Totals   2424     346  =   2,516,112

Equipment Description:

  • IC-765 + Alpha 76, TS-930 + L-4B
  • 160m 1/4-wave GP, 80m Inverted vee @90′, 40m 40-2CD @110′
  • 20m 205CA @100′, 205CA @50′
  • 15m 5-ele @75′
  • 10m 6-ele @67′ fixed South
  • TH7DXX @70′

The Contest

Just before the ARRL CW, Randy K5ZD asked if I wanted to do a multi-op at his place for SSB. I had already decided not to do SSB from home that weekend but I said that I would let him know in a week or so.

On the weekend before the SSB contest, Randy put out a message offering his station so I figured I better give him a call. He indicated that he was not that eager to operate and I could do a single op if I wanted. But I wasn’t so sure and since I had a mid-week, cross country business trip planned I left it up in the air. At the time, my preference was for a multi since I was not familiar with his station and he mentioned that there were a few problems with microphone switching for two radios. When I operate from home, I have to have complete stability and I make no station changes after Wednesday night. I was concerned about being tired and unfamiliar with the setup and embarrassing myself with a poor score. To further complicate matters, Randy said “Oh by the way, K1AR is also doing single op.”

I eventually cancelled my business trip and decided on Thursday that “no guts no glory” prevailed and I would try single op. On Friday, I knew the word was out when KC1XX sent me a packet message asking me to send Randy up to his place to operate. I suggested that he take K1AR instead. He replied that K1AR will go up there after 36 hours if he had me beat by then. I was little peeved but Matt later owned up to making up that comment up by himself.

Randy said to meet him at his place at 23Z and he would give me the tour of the station. We discussed single versus multi for a while and, at 2330Z, we finalized the decision that I would do single op. I got the short tour and I was ready to go at 00Z.

I got off to a slow start as I got the feel of the station. I was CQing on 40 and taking mults on the second radio on 20. Whenever, I went to 20 I was blowing away the frequency settings on the run radio. It took a few hours to figure out what I had to hit to switch radios. Then, on my first QSY to 160, I was getting no output. It turns out I left the radio in split and was transmitting on 80. On the other hand, entering the frequency from the CT keyboard for the 40 and 80 splits was a dream. I need to do that at home.

Eventually things (and I) calmed down and stuff started to happen. 80 started to play and I made sure I worked hard at 160, Randy’s best band. 40 meters even had a EU sunrise opening which did not occur on the CW weekend. After 10 hours I was at 448/172, and I was relatively pleased, especially after a number of ops stopped by that night to say how poor conditions were.

The dead time between sunrises was not too bad. The last EU worked on 40 was 0954Z and the first on 20 was 1028Z. Twenty opened slowly but eventually broke for good rate. Little did I know then but I was going to be around 14.164 for most of the next 10 hours.

After a couple of high rate hours on 20 I started listening on the second radio for an opening on 15. Randy splits the headphones between the two radios, one in each ear. I do not do that at home and I could never really use two radios effectively when I had any kind of rate on the run radio. I have deep respect for anyone who can operate with a different radio in each ear.

I primarily used the second radio to listen to KC1XX CQ on 15 to see if the band was open. He eventually started to get sporadic answers but not enough for me to QSY. Later, around 1530Z, I heard K1AR on 15. At this point I figured that I needed to give the band a try. I CQ’d for about 15 minutes, worked a handful of guys at the noise floor, and decided that it was not worth giving up the 100+/hour rate on 20 for this. I went back to my old frequency on 20 and continued to run. I occasionally checked 15 after that. At one point I heard K1AR again, he called CQ about 5 times without an answer, and I decided to just run 20 until it died. It turns out that the 15 meter decision was a fatal mistake the magnitude of which I would not realize until later.

Twenty was absolutely incredible with Q’s and mults rolling in all afternoon. After 20 closed, I searched for mults for awhile and went to 40 and 80. Had some success on 40 just before 00Z. Finished the first day at 1573/286 with 1078 Q’s on 20.

Around 01Z, K1AR stopped by asking to compare scores. I do not like to compare scores since it tends to demoralize me, but I figured I had to give him a score. In addition, Randy’s computer had a problem where the colors in CT would arbitrarily change and I spent most of the contest with the colors being pink and gray. As such, it was very hard to read the score box. In fact I could not pick out the numbers without putting my face right up to the screen. When we exchanged, I was stunned to find that I was 50 QSOs ahead but he had around 40 more mults. The difference was 15 meters where he had 50 mults and I had 6. He was up by about 150K but I was quite happy to even be in the ballpark. I never expected to be that close, let alone ahead on q’s. Things were not so bad and my feeling was that if 15 had the same opening on Sunday, I could pick up the mults when the 20 rate was lower and this could be a game.

I pressed very hard that night on 40, 80, and 160 and I slowly picked up some ground. John told me he was going to sleep but I decided to stay up. I eventually took a 10 minute nap when things got very slow. 160 was a disappointment the second night. Randy has a big signal on this band and I was hoping to pick up some multipliers by CQing but it was to no avail. By 10Z, my QSO lead on AR was 120, his multiplier lead was around 25, and the point differential was down to 70K.

Twenty was even slower to open on the second day. I suspected that this would be a bad omen for 15 despite the fact that the same thing happened on CW and 15 was better the second day. After a few hours of running John and I were still 70K apart. Unfortunately, 15 never opened to Europe and there was no way for me to catch up on the multipliers. I compounded the problem by leaving a runnable 20 to chase South Americans and look for unusual mults. Not being able to effectively use the second radio really hurt at this point. When I was on 15, AR had a 140 hour on 20 and it was never close again.

As of 18Z on Sunday my 10 meter total was 0/0 but I heard one of the LU’s say that they were going to 10 so I checked there periodically for the rest of the contest for the sporadic openings.

Eventually ran out of gas in the last 2 hours and AR pulled away even further.

In the end, I never really recovered from the 15 meter blunder on the first day and attempts to make up ground proved counterproductive. However, when the contest was over I was not the least bit disappointed. I told Randy that it was like being handed the keys to an Indy car on race day. My goal was to keep from smashing into the wall and not
necessarily to beat Rick Mears. As time goes on though, it is starting to gnaw at me.

Of course I would like to congratulate K1AR and thank Randy for the use of his station. He has done a great job building the place. I have operated from only a few other places but, in each case, I never really felt louder than I do from home. I expected the same to be the case this weekend but it was not true. I felt very loud on all bands (perhaps it was the fact that every 10th station said I was the “loudest on the band”) and the difference from my home station was very tangible. Randy’s internal setup is very simple and intuitive and, most importantly, it worked. The two radio setup proved to be a handicap for me but a better operator could use it to great effectiveness. Interstation interference was also near zero.

Randy was also the perfect host. He delivered orange juice and Wheat Thins (combined with 4 bottles of warm soda it was my entire sustenance) and stayed away from making suggestions or anything else that could be construed as assistance.

Another thing about his station is that you can look straight ahead out a window into his backyard. It is very good for the eyes and eliminates the “closed in” nature of contesting. It was particularly interesting to watch the weather since we had rain, snow, sun, clouds, thunder, and lightning. In fact the snow static was so bad that nothing could be heard at times.

About 6:15AM Sunday morning, Randy came down to say that it was lightning outside. I said that was ridiculous in March. As he was looking out the window, lightning lit up the sky, the radios browned out, and a tremendous clap of thunder came 2 seconds later. Fortunately, that was the only occurrence but it sure woke me up for a while.

Overall, conditions were poor but I had a great time and I learned a great deal. Thanks again to Randy for actually giving me an opportunity to compete for the top spot.

73 and thanks for the contacts,

Tom W2SC

Continent Statistics

                 160   80   40   20   15   10   ALL   percent

North America     16   27   20   32   29    3   127     5.2
South America      4   20   20   54   47    8   153     6.3
Europe            42  265  249 1454    8    0  2018    83.2
Asia               0    3    2   75    0    0    80     3.3
Africa             0    5    2   21    3    0    31     1.3
Oceania            0    2   10    5    0    0    17     0.7

Rate Sheet

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    33/19    19/15    .....    .....    52/34   52/34 
   1      .        .      31/9     14/5       .        .      45/14   97/48 
   2      .      28/21     5/2     14/7       .        .      47/30  144/78 
   3     6/6     35/9       .       2/1       .        .      43/16  187/94 
   4    17/13    26/7       .        .        .        .      43/20  230/114
   5    13/8     28/3       .        .        .        .      41/11  271/125
   6    10/3     18/3      7/5       .        .        .      35/11  306/136
   7     4/3     18/9     28/6       .        .        .      50/18  356/154
   8    .....     3/3     55/7     .....    .....    .....    58/10  414/164
   9      .       4/3     30/5       .        .        .      34/8   448/172
  10      .       4/2      5/4     47/20      .        .      56/26  504/198
  11      .        .        .     148/22      .        .     148/22  652/220
  12      .        .        .     121/5       .        .     121/5   773/225
  13      .        .        .     111/4       .        .     111/4   884/229
  14      .        .        .      94/3       .        .      94/3   978/232
  15      .        .        .      77/4      8/6       .      85/10 1063/242
  16    .....    .....    .....   102/2     .....    .....   102/2  1165/244
  17      .        .        .      78/2      7/7       .      85/9  1250/253
  18      .        .        .      79/5      6/5       .      85/10 1335/263
  19      .        .        .      67/2      8/5       .      75/7  1410/270
  20      .        .        .      45/2     15/5       .      60/7  1470/277
  21      .        .       3/0     29/4       .        .      32/4  1502/281
  22      .        .      10/0     25/1       .        .      35/1  1537/282
  23     1/0      3/2     26/1      6/1       .        .      36/4  1573/286
   0    .....    28/2     .....     2/0     .....    .....    30/2  1603/288
   1     1/0     10/0      5/1       .        .        .      16/1  1619/289
   2     3/2     16/2       .        .        .        .      19/4  1638/293
   3      .      17/1      4/1       .        .        .      21/2  1659/295
   4      .       4/1      5/2       .        .        .       9/3  1668/298
   5     3/1     29/0      2/1       .        .        .      34/2  1702/300
   6      .      31/0       .        .        .        .      31/0  1733/300
   7      .      12/3     15/2       .        .        .      27/5  1760/305
   8    .....     2/0     14/0     .....    .....    .....    16/0  1776/305
   9      .       3/1      2/1       .        .        .       5/2  1781/307
  10      .       1/0      2/1     10/1       .        .      13/2  1794/309
  11      .        .        .      68/0       .        .      68/0  1862/309
  12      .        .        .      83/2       .        .      83/2  1945/311
  13      .        .        .      80/3       .        .      80/3  2025/314
  14      .        .        .      50/1       .        .      50/1  2075/315
  15      .        .        .      74/1      2/2       .      76/3  2151/318
  16    .....    .....    .....    19/0     16/8     .....    35/8  2186/326
  17      .        .        .      37/0     12/1       .      49/1  2235/327
  18      .        .        .      65/2       .       5/4     70/6  2305/333
  19      .        .        .      26/0       .       3/2     29/2  2334/335
  20      .        .        .      25/2      8/1      3/1     36/4  2370/339
  21      .        .        .      20/0      2/0       .      22/0  2392/339
  22      .        .      15/1      1/0      2/2       .      18/3  2410/342
  23     4/2      1/1      6/0      3/1       .        .      14/4  2424/346
DAY1    51/33   167/62   233/58 1078/105    44/28    .....    ..... 1573/286
DAY2    11/5    154/11    70/10   563/13    42/14    11/7       .    851/60 
TOT     62/38   321/73   303/68 1641/118    86/42    11/7       .   2424/346

DAY1  1.9/28   3.6/47   5.3/44  12.2/88   0.8/52    .....    .....  23.9/66 
DAY2  0.4/30   4.9/32   2.8/25   9.9/57   1.6/27   0.3/35      .    19.8/43 
TOT   2.2/28   8.4/38   8.1/37  22.1/74   2.4/36   0.3/35      .    43.7/56

1996 ARRL DX CW Contest

K5ZD, Multi-operator Single Transmitter

By Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

                    
           ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST -- 1996

   Call: K5ZD                      Country: United States
   Mode: CW                       Category: Multi-Single
                                 Operators: K5ZD, WX3N

   BAND     QSO    QSO PTS PTS/Q COUNTRIES

   160      154      462   3.0       54    1/4-wave GP
    80      413     1239   3.0       77    Inv vee @90'
    40      842     2523   3.0       87    40-2CD @110'
    20     1442     4326   3.0      100    5-el/5-el @100'/50'
    15      148      444   3.0       69    5-el @70'
    10        6       18   3.0        3    TH7DXX @ 70'
  --------------------------------------
  Totals   3005     9012   3.0      390  =   3,514,680

The Contest

This was a practice run for the WX3N/K5ZD WRTC team. As Dave and I had never operated together before, we thought it might be good to get some time in before arriving in SF.

Dave was to arrive at the Providence airport at 4:45PM on Friday with the contest scheduled to start at 7PM. Plenty of time… except when there is a major snow storm that afternoon. Luckily, Dave was on one of the few flights which was allowed to land. We shook hands at the airport at 6PM. Now all we had to do was drive home (normally 40 mins in good wx) and get ready for the contest.

It was a true Le Mans start. We got to my place at 6:53. We couldn’t get up the driveway due to the snow, so we jumped out and walked up the hill. It was 6:57 when we entered the station and started turning equipment on. I got the computer booted and ready just as the clock turned over 0000Z. No introduction to the station — I just sat Dave on 40m and told him to work people while I got everything else figured out.

Never could get CT networking to run on my Windows 95 computer, so we settled for just one computer. This in turn made the second radio less useful, so we just used it as a spotting receiver. We ended up almost exactly following the rules for the WRTC so we feel we may have learned a few useful lessons.

The ARRL multi-single category’s 10-minute rule really robs both station and operator of any chance to utilize agility or skill. Both of us are experienced two-radio single ops, yet the 10-min rule meant we could only CQ and watch the packet screen. At the bottom of the cycle where only one band is open, this doesn’t make for much strategy. I.e., press F1.

Friday night was OK on the low bands. The MUF went below 40, but that is not so bad in New England where 80m, and even 160, are capable of producing QSOs all night.

Twenty opened as the sun was beginning to lighten the sky. We had excellent rate and it was obvious that much of the rest of the country had decided to take the weekend off. Despite the crowded band, there wasn’t the normal competition for frequencies. It seemed the faster Dave turned the keyer speed up, the higher the rate. 750 QSOs in 6 hours.

We pretty much skipped 15m on Saturday since 20 was so good. Decided to gamble on equal or better condx on Sunday when the rate would be lower. Turned out the be the right choice as 15m was better Sunday and the 20m rates were indeed lower.

10m was really bad. Interesting to hear VP5JP both days on what sounded like ground wave (probably weak sporadic E). Worked an LU and OA4SS for our other 2 countries. Heard TI1C for awhile on Sunday, but he faded out before the 10-minute limit would allow us to QSY.

In addition to the strength of the Eu signals on 80 and 160m, the real eye opener for Dave was when we went to 40m Sat afternoon. He got there about 1930z (2:30 PM local) and claimed 7002. It just seems amazing to be running Eu on 40m and yet the sun is still high in the afternoon sky.

As usual, at 0000z, the bands died and it became a grind of finding new QSOs on the LF bands. 160m was definitely better the second night. Dave found 23 new countries between 00z and 06z.

It is obvious that packet now dominates the DX contests. We marvelled at how fast the hordes would descend on a packet announcement. We were also amazed at the amount of stuff we found that had not been spotted. People put out DLs and G3s, while there is an FR5 only a kHz away! After awhile, we just waited until 10 mins after a spot was put out before even going to check it out.

The contest ended with the usual multiplier chasing excitement. We switched to 20m at 2350z to work S92SS for a new one. This stuck us on a near dead 20m band with little to do except search for new QSOs. A spot showed up at 2358z for PY0TI. I spun the dial, heard K1AR calling (they know how to use Alt-F4), dumped my call in and got him. It’s rare to beat K1AR in a pile-up, and even more satisfying when it is in the last minute of the
contest for a new multiplier! High fives all around.

We had been comparing notes with KC1XX during the weekend. Their big hardware was too much to overcome. Sunday morning, Matt’s 4 high 20m stack kind of walked away from us. But the real margin was on 80m where XX has a delta loop at 180′ compared to our inverted vee at 90′. Yet another DX contest where 80m costs me! Even so, it was fun to actually have real competition and know that it was going to be close.

Even with the frustration of the 10-min rule, I really enjoyed this effort. I am very busy with work and it was nice to be able to work, sleep, see my family, and still get to operate about as much as I wanted. Anyone want to do the phone contest?

Randy, K5ZD

Continent Statistics

                     
                 160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America     17   24   26   28   26    1  122     4.0
South America      4   10   16   15   22    5   72     2.4
Europe           129  374  758 1361   83    0 2705    88.7
Asia               3    5   17   46    2    0   73     2.4
Africa             1    5   14   16   10    0   46     1.5
Oceania            1    3   20    2    5    0   31     1.0

Rate Breakdown

BREAKDOWN QSO/mults

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    84/26    .....    .....    .....    84/26   84/26 
   1      .      82/28     3/0       .        .        .      85/28  169/54 
   2    10/4     21/5     39/8       .        .        .      70/17  239/71 
   3     9/7     12/4     43/8       .        .        .      64/19  303/90 
   4    13/6     43/2       .        .        .        .      56/8   359/98 
   5      .      72/7       .        .        .        .      72/7   431/105
   6    20/9     13/2     12/4       .        .        .      45/15  476/120
   7     4/1      9/3     31/2       .        .        .      44/6   520/126
   8    .....     7/5     40/5      3/2     .....    .....    50/12  570/138
   9     3/3      4/1     19/8      4/2       .        .      30/14  600/152
  10      .        .      10/2     19/9       .        .      29/11  629/163
  11      .        .        .     108/22      .        .     108/22  737/185
  12      .        .        .     132/12      .        .     132/12  869/197
  13      .        .        .     140/7       .        .     140/7  1009/204
  14      .        .        .     131/3       .        .     131/3  1140/207
  15      .        .        .     131/2       .        .     131/2  1271/209
  16    .....    .....    .....   115/4     .....    .....   115/4  1386/213
  17      .        .        .      54/2     28/22      .      82/24 1468/237
  18      .        .        .      35/2      5/3      2/2     42/7  1510/244
  19      .        .      37/2     31/3       .        .      68/5  1578/249
  20      .        .     101/8       .        .        .     101/8  1679/257
  21      .        .     120/0       .        .        .     120/0  1799/257
  22      .        .      53/1     20/8       .        .      73/9  1872/266
  23      .       7/0     46/2      7/4       .        .      60/6  1932/272
   0     1/1     53/3     .....    .....    .....    .....    54/4  1986/276
   1    21/6      5/2      3/2       .        .        .      29/10 2015/286
   2     7/4      6/0      1/0      3/2       .        .      17/6  2032/292
   3    15/4     13/2       .        .        .        .      28/6  2060/298
   4     8/4     12/2      4/2       .        .        .      24/8  2084/306
   5    28/2      2/1      7/3       .        .        .      37/6  2121/312
   6     3/2     34/1       .        .        .        .      37/3  2158/315
   7      .       6/2      6/1       .        .        .      12/3  2170/318
   8    .....     3/3     16/1     .....    .....    .....    19/4  2189/322
   9      .       4/1      6/1       .        .        .      10/2  2199/324
  10      .       5/3      6/0       .        .        .      11/3  2210/327
  11      .        .       2/0     66/0       .        .      68/0  2278/327
  12      .        .        .      82/1       .        .      82/1  2360/328
  13      .        .        .      94/0       .        .      94/0  2454/328
  14      .        .        .      33/1     16/13      .      49/14 2503/342
  15      .        .        .      14/0     45/15      .      59/15 2562/357
  16    .....    .....    .....    40/1     23/2     .....    63/3  2625/360
  17      .        .        .      67/0      4/0       .      71/0  2696/360
  18      .        .        .      57/2      4/4       .      61/6  2757/366
  19      .        .        .      21/3     10/4       .      31/7  2788/373
  20      .        .      13/1     14/3      8/2      4/1     39/7  2827/380
  21      .        .      67/0       .       5/4       .      72/4  2899/384
  22      .        .      47/0     15/3       .        .      62/3  2961/387
  23    12/1       .      26/0      6/2       .        .      44/3  3005/390
DAY1    59/30   270/57   638/76   930/82    33/25     2/2     ..... 1932/272
DAY2    95/24   143/20   204/11   512/18   115/44     4/1       .   1073/118
TOT    154/54   413/77   842/87 1442/100   148/69     6/3       .   3005/390

Hours/Rate by band

DAY1  1.8/33   4.1/66   8.0/80   8.9/105  0.7/45   0.2/11    .....  23.7/82 
DAY2  3.3/29   3.7/38   4.4/46   7.2/71   3.2/36   0.2/22      .    22.0/49 
TOT   5.1/30   7.8/53  12.4/68  16.1/90   3.9/38   0.4/16      .    45.7/66

1995 ARRL Sweepstakes CW

K5ZD, Single Op, High Power

Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

                ARRL SWEEPSTAKES -- 1995

  Call: K5ZD                     Section: Western Mass  
  Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator High Power

      BAND     QSO    QSO PTS   SECTIONS

      160        0        0        -
       80      274      548        -
       40      827     1654        -
       20      242      484        -
       15       19       38        -
       10        0        0        -
     -----------------------------------
     Totals   1362     2724       77

               Score:  209,748

Commentary

SS CW is my favorite contest! Although I recall it being much more fun from NTX than from WMA!

Contest started very slowly. Was CQing on 40 and tuning on 20. 15 was near dead. Went to 80 early just because 40 didn’t seem to be producing too well. When I finally went to 40, quickly realized I may have been on the wrong band! Was just going through the motions until 40 opened. My back was constantly reminding me that I had just done 44+ hours of DX contesting only six days earlier (another sign I am getting old, never used to notice this!).

Great condx on 40 Sat night. Good signals from coast to coast. Skip zone was ONLY about 200 miles. This made for some good rates that got me mentally back in the contest.

Did 2 radio stuff the whole weekend. But unlike past years, didn’t find as many QSOs on the 2nd rig. Many times I would tune for up to 10 mins without finding a new station to work. Meanwhile, the CQing radio would continue a steady 40/hr rate.

Operated non-stop to 0940z. Decided I would go until the rate dropped. Could have stayed on, but 12:40 hours is a long stint in the chair without getting up. Back on at 12Z for a much better than expected hour.

I have about decided that the rates on Sunday just keep going down. So my strategy was to operate as long as rate stayed above 40/hr. Second off time was at 1800z. So I operated 18:40 of the first 21:00 hours! This left me the luxury of being able to kill lots of off time all afternoon and evening. It becomes a game of hoping that the competition doesn’t catch up.

Found the KP2 on 15m Sunday morning while tuning with the 2nd rig. Got him on the first call. Didn’t think anything of it until I heard all the horror stories later about the pile-up. Was worried about VE5 until got 3 of them Sun afternoon. Worked about 6 ME stations on 40 Sunday.

The last section was NWT. Found VY1JA at 14001 (tnx to tip from KR0Y) but it was a mess and he was very weak. Didn’t expect to make a sweep anyway so decided to concentrate on QSOs. A little later I was CQing on 14051 and very happy to have VE8NC call in. My first sweep in 3 years!

This is a challenging contest from W1. First you get to listen to the W5 and west guys run way ahead. Then they seem to disappear on Sunday morning so you almost catch up (and visions of Top Ten dance in your head). But then Sunday afternoon the bands go long and its over. Gotta find a way to squeeze another 50 QSOs out of the first 6 hours in order to have a chance.

Congrats to KZ2S at N2NT for top Northeast score. And to K1TO for pushing me all the way. New Division Record makes it worthwhile.

Here’s the numbers…

Rate Sheet

HOUR      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  2nd Radio

  21    .....    55/23    23/17    .....    .....    78/40   78/40     13
  22      .       6/3     70/14     1/0       .      77/17  155/57      7
  23    33/1     18/2     27/2       .        .      78/5   233/62     18
   0    67/3       .      13/3       .        .      80/6   313/68     13
   1    16/0     58/1       .        .        .      74/1   387/69      3
   2     7/0     77/1       .        .        .      84/1   471/70      7
   3     3/0     79/0       .        .        .      82/0   553/70      3
   4     8/0     60/0       .        .        .      68/0   621/70      8
   5    16/0     36/0     .....    .....    .....    52/0   673/70     16
   6    37/0     13/0       .        .        .      50/0   723/70     11
   7    36/0      8/0       .        .        .      44/0   767/70      8
   8     8/0     33/1       .        .        .      41/1   808/71      8
   9     3/0     27/0       .        .        .      30/0   838/71      3
  10      .        .        .        .        .        .    838/71      .
  11      .       1/0       .        .        .       1/0   839/71      .
  12     5/0     51/0       .        .        .      56/0   895/71      5
  13     1/0     47/1      2/0     .....    .....    50/1   945/72      3
  14      .      48/2      2/0       .        .      50/2   995/74      2
  15      .      50/0      4/0       .        .      54/0  1049/74      4
  16      .      43/0      1/0      4/1       .      48/1  1097/75      5
  17      .      34/0      7/0      6/0       .      47/0  1144/75     13
  18      .       6/0      9/0       .        .      15/0  1159/75      6
  19      .        .      23/0      5/1       .      28/1  1187/76      5
  20      .        .      19/0      1/0       .      20/0  1207/76      1
  21    .....    27/0      8/0      2/0     .....    37/0  1244/76     10
  22      .      16/0      5/0       .        .      21/0  1265/76      5
  23      .       9/0     28/1       .        .      37/1  1302/77      8
   0     3/0       .       1/0       .        .       4/0  1306/77      1
   1    16/0      1/0       .        .        .      17/0  1323/77      1
   2    15/0     24/0       .        .        .      39/0  1362/77     14

TOT    274/4    827/34   242/37    19/2     .....    ..... 1362/77    201

&nbsp

1995 CQ WW SSB Contest

K5ZD, Single Op All Band, High Power

By Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

          CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1995

Call: K5ZD                     Country:  United States
Mode: SSB                      Category: Single Operator
                                         High Power

BAND    QSO  QSO PTS  PTS/QSO  ZONES COUNTRIES  ANTENNA

160      71     178    2.51     12      38      1/4-wave GP
 80     334     935    2.80     16      71      Inv Vee @95'
 40     203     567    2.79     21      79      40-2CD @110'
 20    1471    4341    2.95     36     125      5-el/5-el 100'/50'
 15    1177    3471    2.95     28     110      5-ele @60'
 10      96     268    2.79     10      25      6-ele @70', TH7 @70'
--------------------------------------------------
Total  3352    9760    2.91    123     448  =>  5,572,960

Hours of operation: 44.0

The Contest

As usual, this contest begins well before the contest. Under intense pressure from my¬†wife, I am considering skipping (or at least minimizing) my effort in the contest. Then K1AR informs me he is going to do a multi-single. After finishing second to him two years in a row, this is indeed a good thing to hear. I tell my wife that I have to operate for this rare chance to win. Doesn’t matter — I am still in trouble.

On Thursday, K1AR informs me that he is going to be single op after all. By now, I have my contest mind set in place. No way I can not do the contest. Escaping to assisted class has no appeal. I guess I will try one more time to beat him.

Put my son to bed at 2350Z, and get on the air. K1AR is on 14150 working JAs. I am searching vainly for a frequency. He works over 100 the first hour while I have only 54. We remain about this same number of QSOs apart for the next 36 hours!

40m was great. MUF to Europe stayed above 7 MHz all night, but there were less stations listening up than usual. Called lots of CQs and got very few answers. Did get called by 3V8BB for one bright spot.

All Friday night everyone was complaining about static. Really not a problem for me. The Beverage helped a lot and I never really felt like I was having trouble hearing. Worked 200+ QSOs on 75 the first night which is pretty good compared to my normal total.

160 was OK but the Europeans were having a lot of trouble hearing too. Managed to work 5 of them right at their sunrise.

Saturday morning saw 20m have a teaser opening around 10z. Some of the EU were loud but could not hear at all. I concentrated on the LF bands knowing I could get all of them later. Finally, at 1044Z I found a frequency and got a run going. Worked 193 QSOs in the next 84 minutes — WOW!

Switched to 15m and heard K1AR already running near the bottom of the band. Took the first clear spot at 21.237 and called CQ. The next hours were as good as it gets without going to the Caribbean. Worked 749 stations in the next 5 hours — all on the same frequency. It was incredible to see the 100 QSO rate meter just keep going up and up. This was certainly the best run I have ever had in a DX contest.

Just to make things interesting, in the midst of all this rate I notice that the sky is getting darker. Almost turns to black. Is that thunder? My wife comes in to inform me that she has been hearing thunder for awhile and it is getting closer. We don’t have thunderstorms in New England in October! When the front finally hit, the wind and rain were incredible to watch. But with the rate meter so high, I couldn’t stand to stop. Three of the highest and most memorable runs I have ever had have been during thunderstorms. Why is that? The storm was over in less than an hour and there was no damage. Surprisingly, there was no rain static during the entire storm. And it even cleared up my line noise.

After a quick scan of 15m, then 10 for a few QSOs, it was back to 20 for three good hours. I kept checking 10m all day on the second radio and never heard a signal until after 17Z. Was amazed to hear that KM3T worked Europe.

After the Europeans began to fade, the JAs came booming in. They don’t seem to respond to K5 calls as well as K1’s, but it beat trying to scratch out QSOs on 40 and 75. Just over 2000 QSOs at the 24 hour mark with a score of 2.6 Meg. Set my goal at 5.5M (considerably better than last year’s 3.3 Million).

The low bands were better the second night. But the rate was pretty slow. Finally decided to focus most of my effort on 160 since that is where the easiest multipliers were likely to be found. Worked 24 countries on 160 Saturday night. Most of them either very low (below 1820) or very high (above 1855). That is the only place they seemed to be able to hear. Got a few answers to CQs, but it was more productive to just keep tuning and catch guys as they came out of the noise.

Slept from 0755z to 0950z. Was surprisingly awake but took a nap so I could survive the high band runs the next morning. This is the first DX contest in a long time that I actually got plenty of sleep in the week before. It made a HUGE difference.

Sunday morning started as a repeat of Saturday. Big hour on 20 then made the jump to 15. Amazed to hear K1AR on the band edge (you multi-multi guys are not supposed to allow a single op to do this!). I went up a few kHz and started calling CQ. Conditions were not as good as yesterday. Yet every time I listened to John he was running as fast as he could go. In a three hour period, he worked 250 more stations than I did (and I wasn’t doing that bad!). The contest was over! Slightly demoralized, I made beating KM3T my new goal.

Since I couldn’t get anything going on 15m, I tried 20m. Was very surprised to find 14.150 empty (where was KM1H?!). I called CQ and had two good hours. The band edge is definitely a magical place. There was little QRM, lots of stations calling, and some interesting multipliers that called in. No wonder people fight so hard for this spot. Just as the frequency cratered on me (FG5BG started up just below), KM3T showed up and finished me off. Dave is just far enough away that he is not too loud here and I guess he just ignored me until he won the frequency.

Decided to scan the bands and found 15m packed with loud Caribbean. Checked 10m and it had some loud signals (PJ9B was 30 over). There is nothing more fun than S&P on a virgin band. Worked 69 QSOs in 54 minutes — all from zone 7,8,9,10,11,12,13. Even got a few answers to my CQs. The 16 new countries helped the score a bit too!

The rest of the contest was just CQing on 20 with the main radio while tuning with the second radio. Tried 40, 80 and 160 during the last hour but nothing too exciting.

If you asked me two weeks ago for a score prediction, I would have been happy with 3 Meg. Never expected what we got. Although the longer the solar forecasts called for quiet conditions, the better 15 got. With the big rates on 15 and 20, this was a fantastic contest. Even if I did have to finish 2nd to K1AR for the third year in a row! I think I will get a guest op to go after him for next year…

Misc Notes

– I did not hear a single station working by call areas all weekend.

– Did not hear or get stuck in a single packet pile-up. If I heard one I just kept going.

– Enough said about last two letters!

– When you boot up a CT log with 5.5M, a message appears at the bottom of the screen saying “Do you want to operate at K1EA?” Yes, I think I would.

Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Randy Thompson, K5ZD

Continent Statistics

                 160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America     31   63   36   68   56   16  270     8.1
South America      2   11   24   56   60   78  231     6.9
Europe            35  253  129 1132 1002    0 2551    76.1
Asia               0    0    1  169   25    0  195     5.8
Africa             3    7    9   26   26    2   73     2.2
Oceania            0    0    4   21    9    0   34     1.0

Hourly Rate Breakdown

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    32/20    16/7      6/4     .....    54/31   54/31 
   1     4/4     14/7     30/7      4/2       .        .      52/20  106/51 
   2      .      16/13    12/4     22/7       .        .      50/24  156/75 
   3     2/1     57/17      .       2/2       .        .      61/20  217/95 
   4    10/7     28/3     13/6      7/5       .        .      58/21  275/116
   5     4/2     37/5      7/2      9/4       .        .      57/13  332/129
   6      .      46/8       .       1/0       .        .      47/8   379/137
   7     1/1      8/3      7/5      7/3       .        .      23/12  402/149
   8    .....     2/2     20/13     4/2     .....    .....    26/17  428/166
   9      .      10/3     11/5      1/0       .        .      22/8   450/174
  10     1/1       .       1/1     41/21      .        .      43/23  493/197
  11      .        .        .     153/23     3/3       .     156/26  649/223
  12      .        .        .      23/1    132/34      .     155/35  804/258
  13      .        .        .        .     158/8       .     158/8   962/266
  14      .        .        .       1/1    165/15      .     166/16 1128/282
  15      .        .        .       1/0    145/5       .     146/5  1274/287
  16    .....    .....    .....     5/0    124/2     .....   129/2  1403/289
  17      .        .        .      58/3     37/5     10/8    105/16 1508/305
  18      .        .        .     130/3      2/1       .     132/4  1640/309
  19      .        .        .     117/4     10/7       .     127/11 1767/320
  20      .        .        .      90/5      8/2       .      98/7  1865/327
  21      .        .        .      17/1     36/12     9/0     62/13 1927/340
  22      .        .        .      35/3     14/1       .      49/4  1976/344
  23      .        .      14/3     32/4      1/0       .      47/7  2023/351
   0    .....     1/0     12/2      2/0     .....    .....    15/2  2038/353
   1     2/2      9/0      5/1       .        .        .      16/3  2054/356
   2    14/9       .       7/2       .        .        .      21/11 2075/367
   3     8/5     12/4       .        .        .        .      20/9  2095/376
   4     4/2     31/4       .       3/0       .        .      38/6  2133/382
   5    13/2     33/1       .        .        .        .      46/3  2179/385
   6     2/1     16/2      2/1       .        .        .      20/4  2199/389
   7     4/3      3/1      7/3      3/1       .        .      17/8  2216/397
   8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    ..... 2216/397
   9      .       1/0      1/0       .        .        .       2/0  2218/397
  10     1/0      3/1      3/3     14/3       .        .      21/7  2239/404
  11      .        .        .     128/3       .        .     128/3  2367/407
  12      .        .        .      54/1     44/1       .      98/2  2465/409
  13      .        .        .        .      91/2       .      91/2  2556/411
  14      .        .        .       1/0    129/0       .     130/0  2686/411
  15      .        .        .      57/2     24/1       .      81/3  2767/414
  16    .....    .....    .....   120/6     .....    .....   120/6  2887/420
  17      .        .        .     138/3       .        .     138/3  3025/423
  18      .        .        .       6/0     27/8     40/6     73/14 3098/437
  19      .        .        .      33/1      1/0     34/10    68/11 3166/448
  20      .        .        .      62/1     12/1      2/1     76/3  3242/451
  21      .        .        .      23/2      5/0      1/1     29/3  3271/454
  22      .        .       2/0     46/4      3/0       .      51/4  3322/458
  23     1/0      7/0     17/4      5/1       .        .      30/5  3352/463
DAY1    22/16   218/61   147/66  776/101   841/99    19/8     ..... 2023/351
DAY2    49/24   116/13    56/16   695/28   336/13    77/18      .   1329/112
TOT     71/40   334/74   203/82 1471/129 1177/112    96/26      .   3352/463

Breakdown in Hours/QSOs per Hour:

DAY1  0.6/35   3.9/55   3.7/40   8.2/95   6.6/128  0.4/48    .....  23.4/86 
DAY2  2.5/20   3.1/38   2.4/23   7.4/94   3.9/86   1.1/73      .    20.3/65 
TOT   3.1/23   7.0/48   6.1/33  15.6/94  10.5/112  1.4/66      .    43.8/77

 

1995 ARRL DX CW Contest

K5ZD, Single Op All Band, High Power

By Randy Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

       ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST -- 1995

      Call: K5ZD                     Country:  United States
      Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator, High Power

      BAND     QSO    QSO PTS PTS/Q COUNTRIES

      160       70      210   3.0       35
       80      230      690   3.0       64
       40      816     2448   3.0       83
       20      986     2958   3.0       92
       15      942     2826   3.0       81
       10       43      129   3.0       23
     --------------------------------------

     Totals   3087     9261   3.0      378  =   3,500,658

Equipment Description

  • IC-765 + Alpha 76CA, TS-930S + Drake L-4B
  • 160: elevated 1/4-wave GP with 4 radials
  • 80: Inverted Vee at 95′
  • 40: 40-2CD at 110′
  • 20: Stacked 205-CA at 100’/50′
  • 15: 5el at 70′
  • 10: 6el at 75′ fixed South
  • TH7DXX at 70′

Commentary

Finally! A DX contest that happened when conditions were at their best.

Rates were great. It was kind of fun to be ahead of last year’s rate sheet right from the start. Had my usual problems on 80, but they were quickly forgotten at sunrise when 20 came to life.

15m actually opened at 12Z both days, but stayed on 20 while waiting for activity to build. The first morning on 15, I switched to 21021 and was able to stay there for about 430 QSOs. The frequency was so clear, I felt like IQ4A (big and loud)!

Moved with the MUF through the bands. Having only one band open at a time really packs the activity and is the main reason for the big rates. Lot of multi-band QSOs in the log.

Great JA opening on Saturday evening on 20. Signals were loud but not much quantity. Some good mults too!

Saturday evening after 01Z was frustrating. Could not get anything going so just had to tune around. Kept falling asleep between QSOs! Managed to stay awake until 09Z when I slept for 90 minutes.

Sunday conditions were almost the same as Saturday. Actually had some Europeans on 10m scatter (worked 7 Eu countries). Cost me about 20 minutes of 80-100/hour rate though.

Almost no multipliers to go with all the QSOs on Sunday. Finally at the end, managed to find enough to make the multiplier total respectable. Was great to find 9 new ones in the last hour. Best was being called by ST2AA with 30 seconds left in the contest. Thought someone was pulling my leg, but we had a little QSO after the contest. Turns out he is an American and mentioned that he had forgotten about the contest. He was on 30 meters all weekend!!!

Congratulations to KQ2M at KM1H. A quick comparison showed that I was ahead of him after 24 hours, but he beat me by almost 200 QSOs on Sunday! Will need to do some head scratching on how that happened.

Have now finished 2nd in four major DX contests in a row (behind K1AR in 94 ARRL Phone and 94 CQ WW Phone, then behind KM1H in 94 CQ WW CW and 95 ARRL CW). I don’t think even KC1F had a streak this frustrating!

WANTED: Antenna ideas for 80 meters. Need something that will improve my signal to Europe. Plenty of room, but lots of trees. Limited tower height to work with and antenna suggestion must not degrade my magic 160 vertical! Money is becoming less of an object with each loss!

The Numbers

                              Continent Statistics
                 160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America     13   21   20   17   23   11  105     3.4
South America      3    7   10   17   18   23   78     2.5
Europe            52  194  756  831  863    6 2702    87.2
Asia               1    1   16  109   24    0  151     4.9
Africa             1    5   10   11   10    3   40     1.3
Oceania            0    2    9    6    6    0   23     0.7

You just have to love those Europeans. Worked over 200 Russian/Ukraine stations.

Rate Sheet

BREAKDOWN QSO/mults  K5ZD  ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST  Single Operator

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....   120/27     9/4     .....    .....   129/31  129/31 
   1      .      17/12    58/5      7/6       .        .      82/23  211/54 
   2      .      65/14      .       6/4       .        .      71/18  282/72 
   3    12/9     10/0     26/4      3/1       .        .      51/14  333/86 
   4     2/2     34/7     17/3      1/1       .        .      54/13  387/99 
   5    11/6     15/4       .       3/3       .        .      29/13  416/112
   6     8/5     13/2      1/0       .        .        .      22/7   438/119
   7      .       3/2     62/7       .        .        .      65/9   503/128
   8    .....     7/6     69/7     .....    .....    .....    76/13  579/141
   9      .       2/1     51/4       .        .        .      53/5   632/146
  10     1/1      2/1      7/3     19/12      .        .      29/17  661/163
  11      .        .        .     141/18     2/2       .     143/20  804/183
  12      .        .        .     100/9     46/21      .     146/30  950/213
  13      .        .        .       3/0    121/14      .     124/14 1074/227
  14      .        .        .       7/0    116/7       .     123/7  1197/234
  15      .        .        .       6/2     86/6      6/4     98/12 1295/246
  16    .....    .....    .....    .....    84/1      6/3     90/4  1385/250
  17      .        .        .      85/4     12/0      2/2     99/6  1484/256
  18      .        .        .     103/6      4/4       .     107/10 1591/266
  19      .        .        .      75/2      7/4       .      82/6  1673/272
  20      .        .        .      72/3      1/1      7/2     80/6  1753/278
  21      .        .      45/3     17/6      4/3       .      66/12 1819/290
  22      .        .      60/3      1/0      9/5       .      70/8  1889/298
  23      .        .      55/2     17/2      4/0       .      76/4  1965/302
   0    .....     2/1     .....    57/1     .....    .....    59/2  2024/304
   1     6/3     17/1      6/0     11/2       .        .      40/6  2064/310
   2     8/1      3/1     18/2       .        .        .      29/4  2093/314
   3     4/0      6/3      2/0       .        .        .      12/3  2105/317
   4     8/4     11/1       .        .        .        .      19/5  2124/322
   5     1/1      4/0     28/1       .        .        .      33/2  2157/324
   6     9/3      4/1     20/1       .        .        .      33/5  2190/329
   7      .      10/3     28/2       .        .        .      38/5  2228/334
   8    .....     1/1     31/0     .....    .....    .....    32/1  2260/335
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2260/335
  10      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2260/335
  11      .       1/0      4/4     37/0       .        .      42/4  2302/339
  12      .        .        .      42/1     55/0       .      97/1  2399/340
  13      .        .        .       1/0    102/1       .     103/1  2502/341
  14      .        .        .        .      55/2      7/7     62/9  2564/350
  15      .        .        .       1/1     75/0      3/3     79/4  2643/354
  16    .....    .....    .....     5/0     58/1      2/1     65/2  2708/356
  17      .        .        .       1/0     60/0      2/0     63/0  2771/356
  18      .        .        .      38/0     15/4      2/0     55/4  2826/360
  19      .        .        .      63/2      3/1       .      66/3  2892/363
  20      .        .        .      42/0      5/2      1/1     48/3  2940/366
  21      .        .      36/1      8/0      5/2      5/0     54/3  2994/369
  22      .        .      41/0      1/0     13/0       .      55/0  3049/369
  23      .       3/3     31/4      4/2       .        .      38/9  3087/378
DAY1    34/23   168/49   571/68   675/83   496/68    21/11    ..... 1965/302
DAY2    36/12    62/15   245/15   311/9    446/13    22/12      .   1122/76 
TOT     70/35   230/64   816/83   986/92   942/81    43/23      .   3087/378

DAY1  1.3/27   3.1/54   7.6/75   6.5/103  4.7/106  0.2/95    .....  23.5/84 
DAY2  1.7/21   2.2/29   5.3/46   5.1/61   6.1/73   0.6/37      .    21.0/54 
TOT   3.0/23   5.3/43  13.0/63  11.6/85  10.8/87   0.8/53      .    44.5/69

1994 CQ WW CW Contest

K5ZD, Single Operator, All Band, High Power

By Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

           CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1994

 Call: K5ZD                  Country:  United States
 Mode: CW                    Category: Single Operator, High Power

   BAND     QSO   QSO PTS  PTS/QSO   ZONES COUNTRIES
   160       97      264     2.72     13      43
    80      265      758     2.86     18      64
    40      631     1836     2.91     31     105
    20      835     2452     2.94     34     108
    15      614     1807     2.94     23      77
    10       49      127     2.59     14      35
  ---------------------------------------------------
  Totals   2491     7244     2.91    133     432  =>  4,092,860

Operating Time: 45 hours

Equipment Description

Radios:

  • IC-765 + Alpha 76CA
  • TS-930 + Drake L-4B

Antennas:

  • 160m elevated GP
  • 80m Inverted Vee with top at 95′
  • 40m Cushcraft 40-2CD
  • 20m Stacked Hygain 205-CA at 100’/50′
  • 15m LTA 5-ele 15 on 32′ boom at 70′
  • 10m LTA 6-ele 10 on 30′ boom at 78′ fixed South
  • TH7DXX at 70′

Notes on the Contest

This contest began for me 363 days ago. The first real test of my new station had resulted in a #3 finish in the ’93 WW CW only 30K behind K1KI and K1ZM. Lots of antenna work over the summer and this was going to be an all out effort to win. KQ2M told me during Phone SS that they were going to get the 40m beam up at KM1H. Add in N2NT, W1KM, N6BV, N2LT, KM9P and the usual stealth entry of K1ZM and I knew the competition was going to be tough.

0000Z

Despite all the anticipation, I start the contest absolutely flat. No adrenaline, no enthusiasm, nothing. Maybe it is my heavy duty work schedule, or the 9 extra people in our house the past 2 days, or just the burn out from this being my 3rd serious contest effort in 5 weekends (I vote for that one). I decide to grind it out and hope that I will warm up to the contest and find some source of motivation.

Bands are just as expected the first night. I take my pounding on 80m and have fun busting pile-ups on 160. 20m is open all night to JA although I only work a few since I am concentrating on the low bands.

Keep checking 20 during the 08, 09 and 10Z hours. Good scatter sounds like the top of the cycle. Bands are going to be great! I work two EA stations on 15m at 1030Z (that’s 5:30AM local time) and they are loud! Yes, the bands are going to be hot.

1100Z

Hmmm…I am hunt and pouncing on 20 but only the big guns are coming through. I am having no luck calling CQ. Sunrise is 1140Z and with the sun comes the devastating solar storm. Normally the 12Z hour is a big one here. I managed to find 15 QSOs spread across 80 to 20m. It is so bad I spend time calling a JA on 80, some LP on 40. Yuck!

During 13Z I spend time trying to find QSOs on 20 and 15m. It is a struggle.

Conditions are nearly identical to the WW Phone contest. It too suffered from a solar upset Saturday at sunrise. With a strong sense of deja vu, I go to 20m, start pressing F1, and wait for the bands to return. From my experience on Phone, I “know” that 15m will open tomorrow. So I concentrate on milking 20 for all it has. I use the second radio to tune 10 and 15 for easy Caribbean/SA mults.

1900Z

The computer screen starts to blur. I am having trouble seeing the point of the screen where I am trying to type. Unfortunately, I know exactly what this means — ocular migraine headache in 15 minutes. Look for Ibuprofen but we are out. Oh this is going to hurt. My concentration suffers badly, but I have lived through these during contests before.

Twenty is almost gone to Europe and 40 is a mess of unanswered CQs. I try several times to find a spot with no luck. I hear KM1H down around 7009 almost all weekend and I figure that his bigger antenna is carving out an advantage. My head still hurts and my enthusiasm is wilting!

I stick it out until late in the 01Z hour. This is awful. All bands closed to Europe! I have been in the chair for all but 5 minutes of the first 25 hours. It is time for a shower and some food.

0300Z

I continue to grind but the bands are bad. I keep thinking that I should go to sleep! My headache is receding but it still hurts. I keep questioning why I am doing this. I would give anything to know how the other single ops are doing. I want to quit, but there is always the chance I am close.

By 04Z, I can’t stand it any more. I decide to sleep for 45 minutes and get back up for EU sunrise. This was almost a mistake. I wake up fine but the “sleep drunkenness” is murder. It takes all of my experience and knowledge of what is happening to keep moving. My stomach is turning over and I am dizzy. 15 minutes later and I am awake but not after many thoughts of quitting. Why do we do this?

0600Z

I am rewarded by a recovery of conditions. One of my occasional exploratory CQs on 160 is rewarded with an answer from DJ6RX. I get 34 answers in 30 minutes including 5 new mults. I even get to 80m and get some answers there (my 80m scores are more a testament to my S&P ability than my signal strength).

I stay awake into the 0900Z hour running Europeans on 40. I need more sleep and decide to catch another hour from 0940Z to 1040Z. This results in another bout with sleep drunkenness. Note: Always take sleep breaks in 90 minute periods — it does make a difference.

1200Z

During the 11Z hour, 20m was kind of weird. Some signals but couldn’t get much going. I was checking 15 on the second rig and was hearing SA/AF and even some Europe on scatter. I only had 51 QSOs on 15 (33 mults) so I decided to see what I could work on scatter.

No problem working stations so I decide to CQ. No luck. I give up and tune down the band just in time to hear local W2SC get an answer. Hey, if he can get answers I should. I go back to 21011 and call CQ again. It works. Some on scatter and some booming on direct path. The frequency goes wild!

Europeans are calling in by the dozen. OT4T starts CQing up 2 kHz and he is 40 over! I see the rate meter climb like crazy. You know it is good when the last 100 meter is going up!

I try to move G4BUO to 10m on a lark. It is tough with the rate to even have time to call him on the second rig. We never work, but I notice there are lots of signals on 10 including EU on scatter. I hear/work an IS0 on direct path. With rates over 130/hour on the main rig, my rate drops each time I try the second rig. I am sure I gave away QSOs but I didn’t want to miss anything. I had 505 QSOs in less than 5 hours (that sure helps the score)!

1700Z

Time to go to 20m. I am focused on keeping the rate up. 20m is not very good and I end up alternating between CQing and S&P for mults. The 19, 20 and 21Z hours are pretty slow. About 2230Z, I decide that 40m is my best hope to make it to 4 Million.

I try CQing down low. I try around 7020. It is a battle and I am losing. Finally, I S&P up high in the band. I find another frequency and it is magic. Steady slow rate of one QSO per minute. The score builds and I am overjoyed to pass 4 Meg with 50 minutes to go. Amazingly the rate continues. YK0A calls in (the first time I heard them all weekend). They are puny weak. WJ2O/KP2 fires up down 1 and I go get him for another mult.

0000Z

Finally, the contest is over. I feel better, but I am certain that I am out of the running. It was so bad I was sure KQ2M or someone else must have done better.

I just about fall out of the chair when KQ2M reads his breakdown. It is CLOSE! We are only 12K points apart. We have the same zone and country multiplier. Boy, am I glad I didn’t sleep a minute more! Now it is up to the log checkers. I would normally be confident, but with that migraine for 8 hours, my concentration may not have been good enough. Congratulations to Bob either way it goes. I am sure he fought many of the same mental battles that I did.

Here are the numbers.

Continental Breakdown

                 160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America     21   35   53   49   27   16  201     8.1
South America      4   12   22   22   26   23  109     4.4
Europe            70  213  508  670  537    7 2005    80.5
Asia               0    1   22   70    2    0   95     3.8
Africa             1    3   18   18   17    2   59     2.4
Oceania            1    1    8    6    5    1   22     0.9

Rate Sheet

HOUR     160      80       40       20       15       10     HR TOT  CUM TOT

   0    .....    .....    92/32     9/4     .....    .....   101/36  101/36 
   1      .        .      66/14    11/6       .        .      77/20  178/56 
   2     7/7     16/15    19/6     18/3       .        .      60/31  238/87 
   3     9/8      4/3     24/5      7/6       .        .      44/22  282/109
   4     8/6     35/9      6/1      2/0       .        .      51/16  333/125
   5     9/4     30/5       .       4/3       .        .      43/12  376/137
   6    10/5     39/5       .        .        .        .      49/10  425/147
   7      .      61/4       .       1/1       .        .      62/5   487/152
   8     2/1      4/2     37/8      3/3     .....    .....    46/14  533/166
   9      .       6/3     41/6      3/3       .        .      50/12  583/178
  10     1/0      1/1     10/7     18/10     2/1       .      32/19  615/197
  11     2/1      1/0      1/1     22/8       .        .      26/10  641/207
  12      .       1/0      4/1     10/5       .        .      15/6   656/213
  13      .        .        .      31/3     15/13      .      46/16  702/229
  14      .        .        .      75/5      5/5       .      80/10  782/239
  15      .        .        .     123/5      1/1       .     124/6   906/245
  16    .....    .....    .....   117/7      1/0     .....   118/7  1024/252
  17      .        .        .      95/7      1/1      1/1     97/9  1121/261
  18      .        .        .      74/10     8/3      1/0     83/13 1204/274
  19      .        .        .      47/0      3/2      4/3     54/5  1258/279
  20      .        .       5/1       .      12/7     16/12    33/20 1291/299
  21      .        .      13/0      8/3      2/0      5/3     28/6  1319/305
  22      .        .      37/2      3/2      1/0       .      41/4  1360/309
  23      .        .      25/2     23/2       .        .      48/4  1408/313
   0    .....     1/1     32/4     .....    .....    .....    33/5  1441/318
   1     1/0     10/4      5/0       .        .        .      16/4  1457/322
   2     2/2      1/0      1/0       .        .        .       4/2  1461/324
   3      .       8/3      8/4      1/1       .        .      17/8  1478/332
   4      .        .       3/1      1/0       .        .       4/1  1482/333
   5     6/4       .        .        .        .        .       6/4  1488/337
   6    37/7       .        .        .        .        .      37/7  1525/344
   7     2/1     37/3       .       1/1       .        .      40/5  1565/349
   8    .....     3/2     57/1      1/1     .....    .....    61/4  1626/353
   9     1/0      4/3     11/0       .        .        .      16/3  1642/356
  10      .       1/0       .        .        .        .       1/0  1643/356
  11      .        .       8/6     11/1       .        .      19/7  1662/363
  12      .        .        .       8/2     69/20      .      77/22 1739/385
  13      .        .        .        .     139/6      1/1    140/7  1879/392
  14      .        .        .        .     130/3      4/4    134/7  2013/399
  15      .        .        .        .      95/2     11/9    106/11 2119/410
  16    .....    .....    .....    .....    69/5      1/1     70/6  2189/416
  17      .        .        .      21/1     37/3       .      58/4  2247/420
  18      .        .        .      52/1      6/1      2/0     60/2  2307/422
  19      .        .        .      11/3      7/4      3/2     21/9  2328/431
  20      .        .       7/1      8/2     11/2       .      26/5  2354/436
  21      .       2/2      5/1     10/3       .        .      17/6  2371/442
  22      .        .      49/2      4/0       .        .      53/2  2424/444
  23      .        .      65/3      2/0       .        .      67/3  2491/447
DAY1    48/32   198/47   380/86   704/96    51/33    27/19    ..... 1408/313
DAY2    49/14    67/18   251/23   131/16   563/46    22/17      .   1083/134
TOT     97/46   265/65  631/109  835/112   614/79    49/36      .   2491/447

BREAKDOWN in mins/QSO's per hr  
K5ZD  CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST  Single Operator

HOUR    160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT   CUM TOT 
DAY1  1.7/29   4.0/50   7.0/54   9.4/75   1.2/42   0.8/34    .....  24.0/59 
DAY2  1.4/34   2.4/27   5.5/46   3.2/41   6.0/94   0.7/34      .    19.1/57 
TOT   3.1/31   6.4/41  12.5/51  12.5/67   7.2/85   1.4/34      .    43.2/58

1994 CQ WW SSB Contest

K5ZD, Single Op All Band, High Power

By Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD
k5zd@contesting.com

Summary Sheet

                CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1994

  Call: K5ZD                     Country:  United States
  Mode: SSB                      Category: Single Operator
                                           High Power

      BAND     QSO   QSO PTS  PTS/QSO   ZONES COUNTRIES

      160       39       94     2.41     13      25
       80      249      654     2.63     21      71
       40      205      572     2.79     21      70
       20     1083     3160     2.92     33     132
       15      359     1017     2.83     24     102
       10      109      289     2.65     15      44
     ---------------------------------------------------
     Totals   2044     5786     2.83    127     444  =>  3,303,806

Equipment Description

IC-765 + Alpha 76, TS-930 + L-4B
160m 1/4-wave GP, 80m Inverted vee @90', 40m 40-2CD @110'
20m 205CA @100', 205CA @50'
15m 5-ele @75'
10m 6-ele @67' fixed South
TH7DXX @70'

Reflections on the WW Phone

Contest – 2 weeks

Started with an empty room and assembled a station. All new antennas and feedlines. No
idea what works and what doesn’t.

Contest – 1 week

Went to LAX for trade show.

Contest – 36 hours

Woke up Thursday morning. Can’t hear out of my right ear. Monday after contest it is
diagnosed as a blockage due to wax build-up. Did the contest with 1-1/2 ears!

Contest – 24 hours

Sit on balconey at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA and watch sun go down. Wonder how I will ever get home and get things to work. Much less get motivated to do a serious effort.

Contest – 8 hours

Arrive home from red eye flight. Go to bed.

Contest – 4 hours

Wake up and see if station will work. One bad coax to replace. Some computer and DVP problems to solve. One trip up tower to try to fix 20 meter stack (doesn’t work).

Contest

Contest begins with about the conditions I expect. Not too motivated but operate because I want to see what works. My wife is not happy that I came home and went straight into a contest. My plan is to quit if ANYTHING breaks!

This is kind of fun. I like the late night band hopping and multiplier chasing…

Sunrise Saturday

Hey! Where are the Europeans! K1AR stops by to chat and we compare numbers. I would never do this, but I don’t really plan to be competitive, so I do. He is 80 QSOs up (wow!) and 40 mults up (double wow!).

Condx are terrible. No Europeans on 15m the first day! All the signals on 20 have lots of flutter. Keep grinding away with two hopes: 20m will be better in the afternoon, and the bands will be better tomorrow. Decide my goal will be to chase after K1AR and try to catch him on QSOs and let the mults take care of themselves.

Good run on 20 in the afternoon. Next time John and I compare I have caught up enough to have some hope. The competitive fire and motivation crank up. He caught some Europe on 15 while I was running on 20, but I bet the farm that 15 will open tomorrow.

Keep pounding the low bands all night. Am surprisingly awake, but decide I will sleep to be fresh on Sunday when the rates will be higher. Make myself go to sleep at 0800z for 3 hours.

Sunrise Sunday

Bands sound better (not great). No flutter on 20 and 15 opens slowly. Work G0KPW on 15 and he tells me their 10m frequency. Put the second radio there just to see if I can hear him. I can – and they are very loud on scatter! It’s an easy QSO so I spend some time chasing mults on 10. Work DJ4PT, S51AY. Can’t get an Italian. Decide I have wasted enough time and go to 15 to run.

Have an hour over a 100. K1AR immediatly checks in to tell me he just had a 170 hour. How does he do it? Is it the 4-stack at K1EA or does he just talk real fast? I am undaunted!

Rest of the contest is a CQ exercise. I didn’t use the second radio much on Saturday but start to work harder on Sunday. It pays off in lots of mults.

Last 2 hours are no good for Europe. Spend my time chasing South Americans on 10/15 (amazing how many of them there are). Work some VEs on 75. Catch 6 new countries in last 10 minutes on 40. Makes for a good ending.

Comments

Activity was definitely down. Bad conditions make it hard for the small stations to stay on.

160 was great the first night and terrible the second.

This contest was kind of fun. Much like my early efforts from Texas. Lots of hunt & pounce with occasional runs. Just the way I like it. More fun than the 12 hours of straight CQing normally required from W1.

Didn’t seem to be as many lids as normal (or maybe I just missed them). Only ran into a few pile-ups that I walked away from because there were too many lids. I did find some mults just when they came on, but never got through because the packet guys came on so
fast. It is crucial to get through early because once the first packet guy gets a QSO, the level of competition (some of it very obnoxious multi-ops) goes up.

I publicly admit it. K1AR is pretty good at this stuff. I was operating head down the whole weekend. This is so easy for John that he beats me AND tunes around the band having ragchews with everyone. Oh well… maybe next year when I get the 20m stack working!

Continent Statistics

                 160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America     19   91   41   85   56   32  324    15.9
South America      4   25   26   60   59   69  243    11.9
Europe            13  124  123  840  217    5 1322    64.7
Asia               0    1    0   63    2    0   66     3.2
Africa             3    4    9   30   19    1   66     3.2
Oceania            0    4    6    5    6    2   23     1.1

Rate Sheet

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    .....    66/28    .....    .....    66/28   66/28 
   1      .        .      49/19     9/4       .        .      58/23  124/51 
   2      .      27/18    31/10     2/2       .        .      60/30  184/81 
   3      .      58/21      .       3/1       .        .      61/22  245/103
   4     8/8     24/8     10/5       .        .        .      42/21  287/124
   5    12/8     10/4     10/6       .        .        .      32/18  319/142
   6     6/4     36/4       .        .        .        .      42/8   361/150
   7      .      11/4     10/3      2/2       .        .      23/9   384/159
   8     4/3     10/3      1/1      2/2     .....    .....    17/9   401/168
   9      .       3/1     12/6      1/0       .        .      16/7   417/175
  10      .       6/3      9/4      4/3       .        .      19/10  436/185
  11      .       2/1      2/2     20/10    20/14      .      44/27  480/212
  12      .        .        .      42/15     2/2       .      44/17  524/229
  13      .        .        .      23/3     11/6       .      34/9   558/238
  14      .        .        .      29/8      7/2       .      36/10  594/248
  15      .        .        .      23/2       .        .      23/2   617/250
  16    .....    .....    .....    83/4     .....     6/6     89/10  706/260
  17      .        .        .     119/7       .        .     119/7   825/267
  18      .        .        .     114/8      3/2       .     117/10  942/277
  19      .        .        .      73/6      7/4      9/8     89/18 1031/295
  20      .        .        .      39/2     13/5      9/3     61/10 1092/305
  21      .        .        .      15/1      6/1       .      21/2  1113/307
  22      .        .       8/2     22/6       .        .      30/8  1143/315
  23      .      11/1      4/2      5/3       .        .      20/6  1163/321
   0    .....    .....    .....    30/1     .....    .....    30/1  1193/322
   1      .        .      19/2      3/1       .        .      22/3  1215/325
   2     1/1     12/0      2/0       .        .        .      15/1  1230/326
   3     1/0      3/2      2/2     11/1       .        .      17/5  1247/331
   4     1/0     12/2      2/0       .        .        .      15/2  1262/333
   5     3/2       .      12/2      1/0       .        .      16/4  1278/337
   6     2/1      7/1      4/0       .        .        .      13/2  1291/339
   7      .        .       2/0       .        .        .       2/0  1293/339
   8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    ..... 1293/339
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   1293/339
  10     1/0      2/1      1/0      4/4       .        .       8/5  1301/344
  11      .        .        .      24/0       .        .      24/0  1325/344
  12      .        .        .      48/0     15/10      .      63/10 1388/354
  13      .        .        .        .      30/15    16/10    46/25 1434/379
  14      .        .        .        .      28/11    19/8     47/19 1481/398
  15      .        .        .        .     105/14      .     105/14 1586/412
  16    .....    .....    .....    .....    72/6      9/2     81/8  1667/420
  17      .        .        .      81/1      3/2      4/1     88/4  1755/424
  18      .        .        .      77/5      4/2       .      81/7  1836/431
  19      .        .        .      56/1      3/2     16/7     75/10 1911/441
  20      .        .        .      34/1      8/2      4/0     46/3  1957/444
  21      .        .        .      16/3      7/2       .      23/5  1980/449
  22      .        .        .        .      15/2     17/1     32/3  2012/452
  23      .      15/0     15/7      2/1       .        .      32/8  2044/460
DAY1    30/23   198/68   146/60  696/117    69/36    24/17    ..... 1163/321
DAY2     9/4     51/6     59/13   387/19   290/68    85/29      .    881/139
TOT     39/27   249/74   205/73 1083/136  359/104   109/46      .   2044/460

BREAKDOWN by Operating Time/Rate per Band

DAY1  1.1/27   4.7/43   3.3/44  10.6/66   1.4/48   0.3/70    .....  21.5/54 
DAY2  0.5/17   2.0/25   2.4/25   7.7/50   4.1/70   1.9/45      .    18.6/47 
TOT   1.7/23   6.7/37   5.7/36  18.3/59   5.6/64   2.2/49      .    40.1/51

 

1 7 8 9