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

 

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