2000 CQ WW CW Contest K5ZD

                   CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST  2000

      Call: K5ZD                     Country:  United States (W1)
      Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator


      160      105      273     2.60     14      40
       80      396     1119     2.82     21      74
       40      981     2852     2.91     29     104
       20      997     2914     2.92     33     106
       15      860     2535     2.95     33     104
       10     1195     3529     2.95     33     107

     Totals   4534    13222     2.92    163     535  =>  9,228,956

Equipment and Antennas

Station 1 - Yaesu FT-1000D + Alpha 76CA
Station 2 - Icom IC-765 + Ameritron AL1200 Logging software WriteLog by W5XD

Tower 1 - 100' Rohn 45G
160m elevated GP
80m inverted vee
40-2CD at 110'
205CA at 100'/50' in upper/lower/both stack 
155CA at 66'/33' in upper/lower/both stack

Tower 2 - 90' Rohn 25G
TH7DXX at 90' rotary
TH7DXX at 45' fixed NE
6-el 10m at 20' fixed NE
All of above can be combined through WX0B StackMatch.
40m sloper.
80m elevated GP
160m shunt fed tower.

500' Beverage to NE


For every serious competitor, the contest begins well before 00Z.  I have been very involved in a software start-up for the past 4 years and didn’t realize how much I had put station maintenance on the back burner until I started to try to catch up.  It was even worse to realize that this would be my first 48-hour single op in more than 2 years.

Repairs included:

– Replace the top 15m beam so that both antennas of the stack would be the same.

It feels like it made a small improvement.

– My 160m ground plane had been taken down by some tree cutting so put it back together.  Added 4 more radials for a total of 8.  This was a result of reading the ON4UN low band book where he suggested 8 or more radials will equalize the current flowing in each radial.

– Sent the IC-765 off for repair.  It was having phase noise problems due to some aging capacitors.

– Fixed the speed knob on the Kansas City Keyer.  A small thing but it removed a long-time annoyance.

– Last-minute experiment with feeding my 6-el 10m Yagi at 20′ with a TH7DXX at 90′ using a WX0B StackMatch.  I am sure it is not perfect, but it did seem to fill in some of the holes and my 10m rates were better than ever before at this station.

The only thing that didn’t get fixed is the indicator on the 20/40m rotator.

I could tell when it turned through north and then could count one thousand one, one thousand two, to estimate where it was pointing.  Does anyone know a source of spare parts or service for Create RC5 rotators?

Other than that, I had everything ready to go the weekend before the contest.  What a great feeling!

I am a believer that you must bank as much sleep as possible prior to the contest.  A trip to visit the in-laws for Thanksgiving day was just what was needed.  I slept in as long as I wanted on both Thursday and Friday morning.

The only cost was a 3-hour drive back home on Friday.  I was so well rested that I couldn’t really make myself sleep more than a few minutes at a time on Friday afternoon.

Between football games on TV, I took a few minutes to go back and read comments about the contest on the 3830 and cq-contest e-mail reflector archives.  This is a great way to get some idea of what conditions were and what kind of experiences people had.  The two most helpful to me from 1999 were by K3ZO and W4AN.  I couldn’t find anything from W2SC who had operated my place last year.  I was sure I would find a rate sheet when I got home, but I couldn’t.  That left me flying totally blind as far as expected bands, times, and rates.  Kind of like being a guest op at my own station.

The Contest

After leaving incredibly good conditions when I last listened on Wednesday, it was a real disappointment to turn on the radio at 22Z Friday and hear lots of flutter and poor signals from Europe.  The propagation forecasts were full of warnings and I was sure the worst had happened.  The only band that was open to Europe without flutter was 80m!

I tuned everything up, wrote down all the settings, made sure the computer was ready to go, and then went off for dinner.  I returned at 2345Z and started listening to see where to start.

The bands still didn’t sound great.  15m was open to Europe, so I figured there must be some ionosphere left.  I chose to start on 20m with the thought that this is the one time of the weekend when there would be the greatest activity there.  I began running on 14007 while tuning 15m with the second radio.

I was immediately in the groove.  It was almost like the Sweepstakes CW contest two weeks earlier had never ended.  I worked 104 stations on the CQ frequency while working 27 on 15m on the second radio.  I felt I was off to a great start!  Mostly Europeans on 20 and all continents on 15m.

The second hour continued the 20m run with some goodies such as ZC4DW, HS0ZCY, VU2PAI, and many UA9 calling in.  I switched the second rig to 40m and started looking for a place to go.  I made the jump to 7050 at 0130Z and then started using the second radio to chase multipliers on 20.  The rate on 40 wasn’t good so I search and pounced down the band until I finally found a spot at 7022.  In the early hours of a contest like this, I was desperate to find a CQing frequency.  Any time you are S&P on the main radio, a little voice is constantly saying, “You’re losing.”

During the third hour, I decided to do a quick check of 160m.  I had noticed during CQ WW Phone that the band opened best well before European sunrise.  At 0316Z I worked 9A7R for my first QSO on 160.  Since signals on 160 tend to be weak and difficult, I stopped CQing on 40m and concentrated completely on one radio.  After quick QSOs with DF0HQ, S50U, and RA6AX, I knew that the Europeans were hearing much better than they normally do.  This was a band that needed to be mined for multipliers while it was open.  At this point in the sunspot cycle, anything I could do here was an unexpected bonus.  I stayed for 22 minutes before heading up to 80.

It seemed like all the Europeans I called on 80m were hearing me well, so I quickly found a run frequency at 3539.  This enabled the second radio to come back into play and I spent time S&P for the big signals on 40.  The 04Z hour was a continuation of the same.  80m is not one of my strengths, so as long as I could make some QSOs there I was happy to stay.

At 05Z I started CQing on 7038 and used the second radio to tune 80m.  This switching of bands is a great way to sweep for multipliers without giving up the rate.  At 0502Z, ZS4TX called me on 40m well past his sunrise.  It was my only ZS/38 on 40m all weekend.

At 0527Z I finally made it back to 160m.  Signals weren’t loud, but Europeans were everywhere on the band.  Best catches were LX/DL4SDX and OH0Z.  At 0554Z I started CQing on 1813 and was able to get a small run going.  No doubt thanks to the European packet cluster.  This run produced a number of multipliers that I would not have obtained otherwise.  It was also great fun!

I stayed on 160m until 0639Z.  Even with some good multipliers on 40, I knew I was probably doing too much 160m DXing and possibly hurting my score.  But it is a place where I have some signal and receiving advantage over my single op competitors so I wanted to maximize it while the band was open.  I was immediately CQing on 3546 with some good rate.  The low bands were so quiet that it was almost like running on 20m.

At 0700Z I found a very loud TZ6DX calling CQ on 40m.  The only time I heard him all weekend.  I finally made the move to 40m at 0726Z.  Again, the radios reversed and I was able to seek out 80m for multipliers while getting answers on 40.  This continued throughout the 08Z hour.  I had noticed that 20m was still open (I should probably not have left it for so long but couldn’t afford to miss the low band multipliers).  Moved EA6/DL9GFB from 40 to 20 at 0853Z.  I got up from the radio for 2 minutes or so to make a quick bathroom break during this hour.  It was my first time up from the chair since the contest started.

At 0912Z I started a nice run on 14032.  This gave me time to cycle through 40m for multipliers when I wouldn’t get an answer on 20m.  Very happy to work RA0CG and VK3TZ on 40m.  The 20m run fizzled at 1020Z and we were fully into the predawn doldrums.  I concentrated most of my energy on one radio.

On 40m, I was happy to snag KL7RA, a few JAs, TF3IRA, A35RK, and OX/N6ZZ.

Spent the last 15 minutes of the hour on 15m chasing very loud zone 33 stations and assorted southern Europeans.  Probably should have concentrated on the LF bands, but it was good to enjoy some peace and quiet and get a lot of these guys out of the way.

At 1101Z I took a quick listen on 160m and was surprised to hear a very clear signal send 5NNT1.  I called and immediately got through.  I think it is the first time I have ever worked Alaska on 160m from here.  The only problem was that it took another 3 minutes to get his call.  If I have a complaint about packet, it is that it allows many DX stations to avoid having to give their calls as often as they might otherwise.  This brief joy of 160 DXing was tempered by the fact that the sun was already coming up and I was not in the place I should have been.  I checked 80m quickly, worked KH7R for a double mult, then went to 14019 and started running Europe.

I continued to dial around 80m when the rate on 20 allowed.  Worked C6A/WA3WSJ for a new multiplier.  I had heard a few JAs but none that were workable.  At 1129Z I clearly heard JH7PKU call CQ so I dumped my call in just for fun.  I was amazed when he immediately replied and I had a very good double multiplier in the log!  That finished my interest in the low bands and I quickly moved the second radio to 15m.

15m was wide open and I was afraid that I was behind the MUF.  My first CQ on 21027 at 1147Z was rewarded with RW9DX and I was off to the races.  I worked 35 stations in the next 13 minutes.

With 15m so good, I moved the second radio to 10m and realized that it was already going full blast.  I didn’t even take time to do a quick scan for multipliers before starting to look for a frequency.  In retrospect, this may have been a small error, but rate is king at this time of the day.  I wanted a frequency that was up in the band and wouldn’t get a lot of pressure or competition from others.  At 1218Z I started up on 28040 and this was my home for the next 5 hours.

The rates were better than anything I have experienced before.  Stations just kept coming and coming.  Often there would be enough calling that it was impossible to get a full call.  This added some extra time as stations had to send their call several times and I had to repeat it for confirmation.  Even so, it was the best run I have ever had.  While 10m has been this station’s weakness, I knew I was doing well enough that I couldn’t be falling too far behind.

I kept trying to get time on the second radio where possible.  Occasionally there would be a minute or so without an answer, and I could devote some time to listening and calling stations on 15m.

The big morning hours are incredibly fun and exciting.  But they require a different skill than two radio multiplier chasing.  As the last 100 rate meter hung around the 150/hour mark, I kept thinking this must be what it is like at P40E or EA8BH.  I couldn’t even imagine the concentration and stamina those guys must have to handle big rates for every hour of the contest.  I was tired after just a few!

During the 15Z hour I was getting more comfortable with handling the rate and started to spend more time tuning on the second radio.  At the K1KI multi-single last year, I remembered that SU9ZZ liked to operate very high in the band.  I set out to see if I could find him.  Found OD5/OK1MU on 21112 for a new mult, and then SU9ZZ on 21129.  If not for my experience last year at K1KI, I would probably have never made a point of looking this high.  As an added bonus, worked 4Z5RW on 21132 a minute later.

Toward the end of the 16Z hour, 10m started to slow down and a look at Geoclock showed much of Europe entering darkness.  In his comments about the 1999 contest, K3ZO had said something about needing to run Europe on 15m even while 10m was still open.  I took his advice to heart and made the jump to 21031 at 1704Z.

15m brought the rate meter back up and gave me a chance to tune through 10m. Europe was mostly gone, and I was only able to work a bunch of Caribbean and Central America multipliers.  I knew this meant there would be pressure to work the European contest expeditions on Sunday morning if I was to have any kind of 10m multiplier.

At 1748Z I made QSO number 2000.  The line score was 2000/111/367 for 2.7 Meg.  That is an average rate of 112 QSOs/hour to this point.  With 10m so good, I could only imagine what kind of numbers K1AR and KQ2M were at.

At 1902Z, VP9/NC8V called me on 15m.  I asked him to move to 14104 thinking it would be an easy QSO.  Never heard him, but while calling CQ there and waiting, I was called by IK4EWX.  This alerted me to how open 20m was.  I immediately slid down to 14021 and called CQ.

This is a great time period for us in New England.  Much of the rest of the USA is still up on the high bands, yet conditions to Europe on 20m are excellent for us.  I established a very clear frequency and had a great two hour run.  I probably would have missed much of this if not for the attempt to move the VP9.  Each time I do this contest I am fooled by how early this opening occurs.  The secret to spotting the timing is to watch darkness as it passes over Europe.

At 2140Z I took my second break.  This one was long enough to hit both the bathroom and the refrigerator.  I returned to the radio and moved to 40m.  I knew I was just a bit late for 40m LP to Japan, but was hoping I might find a VK6 or HS0.  I never heard any LP signals either day, but I was rewarded with CX5BW, LX/DL4SDX, UP0L, and 9G5AA.  At 2155Z I set up shop on 7033.

This frequency would be home base for the next 4 and a half hours!

It was also the source of some consternation.  I began to notice that the keyboard was not always responding to what I was typing.  It would occasionally supply extra characters or start erasing ones I had entered.

The rate was too good to stop, but I was worried I had found some kind of software bug.  While I tried to avoid panic, and run guys, I started trying to troubleshoot.  I logged on paper while I rebooted the computer.  No difference.  I then realized that the problem had started when I went to 40.

The amplifier and the computer are right next to each other on the table, so I began to suspect RF.  I looked over at the amp and saw it was drawing a little extra grid current.  I retouched the tuning and suddenly the keyboard problems went away.  Whew, that was a relief!

At 2239Z I worked JA3XOG for my first JA on 10m.  JA signals were very loud but there were only a few of them calling CQ.  With such a good frequency and rate on 40m, I knew it was not good strategy to try to run Japan on 10.

I settled for going up and down the band calling stations.  This had the side benefit of uncovering a number of interesting multipliers including T88JA, RA0FN, VK5GN, HL1XP, and NH0S.  Probably should have also checked 15 during that two hour period, but it was too easy to stay where I was.

At the end of 24 hours, I was in exciting new territory.  The line score was

2706/129/415 for 4.3Meg.  My usual score prediction method at this point is to double the score and add 10 percent.  This gave a number of 9.4 Meg which seemed unbelievable.  Even just doubling the score was going to break W4AN’s 1999 record of 8.2M.  Yikes!  My goal and motivation were now clearly set. This is a key component for getting through the second half of the contest.

At 0028Z I moved the second radio to 15m.  Still running on 7033, which was being amazingly quiet and productive.  Worked 9M8YY and some JAs, then DU3NXE.  V8A always had the most unruly and messy pileups.  Dumped my call in just for grins and was surprised when he came right back.  Those small victories always provide much needed adrenalin shots.

Moved CT1AOZ from 40 to 80m at 0115Z for a new country.  Why is Portugal so easy to work in some contests and not in others?  Went back to running on 7033 and tuning 15m.  At 0153Z I found BW2000 on 15m for a double multiplier.  That has to get my vote for callsign of the contest.

At 02Z I took a scan of 20m with the second rig.  The band was very open to Asia and the Pacific.  Worked JT1R who had a booming signal.  Only time I heard him all weekend.  Found A35RK for another good one.  About 0230Z the wheels kind of came off of everything.  I decided to try calling CQ on 20m so I could tune across 40m.  That didn’t do much, so put all my energy into making a sweep across 80m.

30 minutes later (0330Z) I was back on 20m CQing toward Japan.  The pace was rather sedate, but it gave me a chance to do some second radio work on 80m.

At this point I was starting to struggle a bit with staying awake and anything that could produce QSOs and keep my mind engaged was welcome.

At 04Z I took a listen to 160m.  Worked PI4ZLD, OM7M, V26K and ZB2X in a 20 minute period.  Obviously got a bit into DXing there.  May also have taken a quick break.  Settled in on 3547 at 0427Z and started a good run.  It was mostly Russian and Ukraine stations with excellent signals right at their sunrise.  There were no second radio QSOs this hour, which indicates the difficulty I was having fighting sleep deprivation.  Passed the 3000 QSO mark at 0443Z.

I happily continued running on 3547 for the 05Z hour as well.  Checked 160 just before 06Z and worked KH6CC and OZ1LO.  Wasted another 10 minutes looking for more before heading back to 80.  Spent the whole 06Z hour on 3548 running mostly Western Europe.

I needed to do something to wake up.  I visited the refrigerator for 2 Diet Dr Peppers.  This was my first hit of caffeine for the weekend.  It did seem to energize me a bit.  To get my mind back, I spent the first half of the 07Z hour tuning.  I scanned across 80m, then went to 160m and chased G stations.

Reestablished CQing on 7032 around 0730Z where I would stay until 10Z.  Kept the second radio on 160 because the band was good and I needed easy things like GW, GJ, GD, GI, EI, etc.  None of them showed but did work OY9JD for a new multiplier.

At 0840Z I worked TF3DX and TF8SM on 80m with good signals.  Kept looking for OX/N6ZZ but no luck.  EI8IC gave me country #71 on 80m at 0855Z.  Worked TF3IRA on 80m at 0911Z.  Around 0930Z I moved the second radio to 20m and started working Europeans in between 40m CQs.

At 10Z I took a listen to 160 just in case any of the Caribbean guys showed up.  Worked KV4FZ who had not been able to hear me earlier in the evening. Unsuccessfully called TI5N.  Worked a second zone 3 station for insurance.

Then went to 80m and worked what I could.  When I found TI5N there, I told him I was hearing him well on 160.  We went back down and made the QSO.

To celebrate, I found a frequency on 20m and started CQing again (14035 at 1033Z).  I was missing a lot of easy multipliers on 40 so spent some time with the second radio there.  Success in finding P40E, ZL3CW, ZK1VVV, YJ0V, VE2IM (zone 2), and VK9NS.  VK9NS was a great catch because I heard him work someone else first.  I sent “Up Up” and then moved up 1 and called him.  He came right back with a good signal.  A great way to end the 10Z hour!

The run on 14035 was continuing and I spent most of the 11Z hour there.  The rate was steady and much better than I would have expected for a second day.

I used the second radio to tune 15m and work random QSOs.  I did take some quick listens on 160 and 80.  Heard some good JA signals on 80, but they weren’t hearing me.  Reminded myself that I did not want to get caught DXing when I should be running with the MUF.

Tried scanning 15m for multipliers while running on 20.  Found EX/UA3AGS for a good one.  Before I had covered even half of the band, it was obvious that it was time to move.  Landed on 21037 at 1157Z and the rate took off.  I took advantage of the opportunity to tune across 20m and did find a few QSOs and multiplier (OH0Z), but the rate was too good on 15m to do this job well.

At 1220Z I decided it was time to make the jump to 10m.  Found a clear frequency and tried a few CQs with no answer.  Then a DL just started calling CQ like I wasn’t there.  This was momentarily puzzling, until I looked over and noticed the amplifier band switch was still on 20m.  Had to find another frequency and start over again.

At 1226Z I settled in on 28016, just 1 kHz up from VP5GN.  The run for the next hour was strange.  I would get a pile-up of 3-8 stations calling at one time.  Enough so that it was difficult or impossible to get anything but a letter or two.  I would then sort this out, make a QSO, and find one or maybe two stations had stayed around.  I would work them, and then not have anything for 5 or 6 CQs.  It was almost like the rate was coming in waves.  Overall, the rate was OK, but it could have been much better if the answers had been more evenly distributed (this is not a complaint!).

Had the second radio going on 15m.  Found ZC4ZM for a new one.  When ES9C called me on 10m, I suspected they were multi-multi so I asked him what their 15m frequency was.  Two minutes later I worked them on 21117.  Found OX/N6ZZ on 21099 at 1358Z.  Three minutes later I heard A45XR for the first time all weekend.  Worked him on 21092 and then almost immediately found HC8N on 21090 for band number six.  Was starting to worry I might miss them on a band.

Noticed late in the 14Z hour that 10m (I was still running on 28016) was starting to get quiet.  15m was way behind in QSO count and I knew I needed to do some tuning across 10m for multipliers.  At 1444Z I jumped to 21048.

The band was open very deep and I was working from Europe all the way into UA9.

I started tuning up 10m as I had time.  Found 3V8BB, A61AJ, and FY5KE in between others.  Even on 15m the rate was coming in waves.  I would work 10 stations in a row on 15m, and then 3 on 10m that I was calling.  Funny how that works out sometimes.  Took me 45 minutes to cover 40 kHz on 10m and find ZF2NT.  At 1542Z, VK4EMM called me on 15m for a double multiplier.  Not sure what path he was coming in from, but assume long path.  It took another 30 minutes to go 30 kHz and find PJ2T on 28087.  This is mostly due to the steady rate on 15m.  Another 30 minutes to get to 9H0A and PY0FZ on 10m.  I have now taken almost 2 hours to cover  120 kHz on 10m.  If the rate had been any less on 15m, I might have been better to put both ears on the job for a one time scan through 10m.  I don’t think I ever tuned higher than 28145 all weekend.  That decision is all part of the game.

I passed 4000 QSOs at 1620Z.  I had never broken 4000 QSOs in one weekend before, so this was a great personal milestone.  By this time I had the W4AN record in sight and was doing the math on what kind of QSO total might be possible at the current rate.  I was dreaming big at this point and actually thinking that I might be competitive with K1AR and KQ2M.

Around 1645Z, the rate on 15m seems to dry up.  W1WEF stops by and asks if we had a flare.  At the time, I had not even noticed except that the rate was slowing (seemed normal for a Sunday) and that the band was a bit quieter (I thought this was just my good luck with the frequency).  As I listened around, it did seem like something funny was going on.  From 1648 to 1656, I made 1 QSO.

I took a quick bathroom break and tried think of what a flare might mean based on where my score was at the time.  I had a lot of QSOs on 10m, so I was happy with that.  I knew I just needed to fill in on 15, 20 and 40.  I assumed the MUF would dive and it would be a 20m slugfest to the end.

When I sat down at the radio, I switched to 20m and listened.  There was not a single signal on the band.  Wow.  But there were still signals on 10m – some of them loud.  I decided that I had come this far, I had to continue even if it meant only working stations at a very slow rate.  I started at the bottom of 10m and worked each new station I could find.

Since some signals on 10m were loud and I knew I should be running, I selected a quiet 28050 and started calling CQ. On the second radio, I could hear K1AR and KQ2M CQing on 15m, so I wasn’t sure what the right strategy was. My hunch was that most people would be on 10m trying to figure out what happened and so this was the place to be.

It worked out well for me.  I was called by new multipliers C6AKP, CT1DJE, OX/N6ZZ, VQ9GB (double mult), and ZS0E (double mult).  I stayed on 28050 until 18Z when it seemed like time to try 15m.  As I listened on 15m, signals were incredibly strong.  OK5W was more than 40db over S9!  The flare seemed to have removed some of the activity from the band, so it was easy to find a spot at 21027.

I used the opportunity of running on 15m to do another scan of 10m with the second radio.  With less activity, it was easier to find new stations to work.  Multipliers found on 10m included VP2EST, YV7QP, HK0ER, 4B1BEF (double mult and the first XE station of the weekend!), CE3F (another double mult and first zone 12 of the contest), and ZB2X.  That got me to 30 zones and 101 countries on 10m.

Meanwhile, 15m had continued to run well through the 18Z hour.  At 1924Z, I tried to repeat the success of the previous day by going to 20m.  I landed a beautiful clear frequency on 14014 and got off to a quick run.  I put the second radio on 15m and started hunting for multipliers.  HK6KKK was an immediate success.

I passed the W4AN record at 1938Z when I completed a QSO with I6FDJ.  Line score at the time was 4291/154/507 for 8.27 Meg.  At least now if I lost, I could have the satisfaction of having entered rarified air.  Eleven years ago I had won the contest and set the USA record from K3TUP with 3214/155/432 and 5.5 Meg.  What a difference a sunspot cycle makes!

At 1953Z, VQ9GB called me on 20m for a new multiplier.  I thought about asking him to move to 40, but it seemed a bit early.  4Z5LF gave me another new one a few minutes later.  ZL3CW also called in on 20m via the long path.

At 2018Z, NP2L called me on 20m and I asked him to move to 15m.

Unfortunately, he said he just came from there and refused.  Never hurts to ask!  HB0/DJ0IP then called and gave me country #100 on 20m.  Meanwhile, I found FG/N0JK, XE2/K7ZS (double), and FY5KE on 15m for new ones.  I was now at 100 countries on 15m.

I asked OX/N6ZZ to move from 15m to 20m, but he said later.  I gave him the frequency I was CQing on just in case.  It was a pleasant surprise when he answered me about 15 minutes later at 2051Z.

The rate on 20m during this period was slow (relative to the rest of the contest) but steady.  I had an incredibly clear frequency and this made multiplier chasing on the second radio much easier.  Sleep deprivation is a funny thing and you never know how it will manifest itself.  I started having funny thoughts about the stations that were calling me on 20m.  I keep thinking they were out there working up the courage to call.  When they did call and were puny weak, I would think how they were not strong enough to beat me in a battle.  I guess you had to be there to fully understand. 🙂

At 2230Z, 20m had finally slowed to the point that it was time to do something else.  I had just worked a bunch of multipliers on 10 and 15, so 40m seemed like the next target.  I started to look for a place to call CQ.

I heard K1RX working VQ9QM.  K1RX asked QM to move to 3549 so I followed them down.  They worked and then QM started running Europeans.  It took me a few minutes to break the pile-up and get the double multiplier on 80.  Since QM had been loud on 40m, and we have known each other for a long time, I asked him to go back to 40m.  He did and I was able to work him for another double mult.  Only after our QSO on 40m did I realize that I had forgotten to change the antenna switch from 80 back to 40m.  Chasing VQ9QM on 80 resulted in the only period of the contest where I went more than 10 minutes without a QSO.  It took 14.

With just 70 minutes left in the contest, I was hoping to end with a run on 40m.  I wedged in at 7019 but the rate just wasn’t happening.  After the contest I would figure out the beam was pointing at 90 degrees instead of 45. Need to get that indicator fixed!  I kept chasing multipliers on the second radio.  Moved TI5N from 15m to 10m for a new one.

At 2308Z, I decided that I wasn’t going to get a free ride home and would have to do some work.  Since I had been running most of the contest, it seemed that I should be able to search and pounce for some easy QSOs.  I found JY9NX on 7051 with a messy pileup that I somehow made it through.

Then found ZC4ZM for another multiplier.  Worked some JAs on 15m while pouncing on 40m.  Found 4X/OK1DTP for another new one.

With just 15 minutes left, decided to take another pass through 20m.

Immediately found XE1IDJ for a double multiplier.  Then found JY9NX again for another new one.  My last QSO was PJ5N for another new country.  What a finish!

Final Thoughts

– This was a great year for competition in the single op all band USA category.  I knew going in that K1AR, KQ2M, NT1N, N2NT, and W1KM would be the guys to beat.  This provided a powerful motivation and was one reason that I stayed in the chair.  It is funny that I hardly ever heard any of these guys during the weekend.  We were each in our own little world.

– This contest is so big and has so much activity that it actually gets harder for single ops to find all of the multipliers.  The list of scores on the 3830 reflector shows many very active stations that I never heard or only worked one or two times.  For example:

8P9Z – Never heard him all weekend except for our QSO on 80m Friday night.

A45XR – Only heard once on 15m.

GJ2A – Worked on 2 bands Friday night and never heard again.

MU2K – Only worked on 2 bands.  Missed GU on 10 and 160.

EY8MM – Never heard.

B7K – Never heard.

P29VPY – Never heard.

T88JA – Only heard one time when we worked.

V8A – Heard on 40m and worked on 10m.

A35RK – Only worked on 2 bands and never heard otherwise.

JX7DFA – He made over 2600 QSOs on 10m and I never heard him.

V47KP – Never heard.

To the question of 10 million for a single op from the USA, yes it is possible.  But it will take a year with lots of multipliers active and the combination of low and high band conditions we had this year.  The way scores continue to increase, I guess nothing can be thought impossible.

– My goal before the contest was 4000 QSOs and 500 countries.  During the contest, I was trying to make it to 1000+ QSOs on 40-10.  So close on 40 and 20 but couldn’t get over the top.  Making 4 band DXCC is cool.  Not sure it has been done before by a single op in this contest, but noticed a number of guys did it this year.  I remember when a multi-multi first made 5BDXCC in a weekend.  Can a single op do it someday?

– SO2R is a tool that helps me compete with bigger stations such as K1AR (@K1EA).  I worked a total of 550 QSOs on the second radio.  Some of them I would have worked anyway, but the ability to chase multipliers without having to give up rate can not be underestimated.  It is an acquired skill that adds to my enjoyment of the game.  It also has risk in that it can lead to mental fatigue and increased error rate.

– With all the “votes” in, we have K1AR at 9.32M and I am at 9.22M.  That is only a 1% difference.  This one is going to the log checkers for final determination.  The CQWW log checking is the best in the world and I will be comfortable with their decision in either direction.

– I felt like I had a very accurate weekend in terms of getting the calls of the stations I was working correct.  I asked for lots of repeats and confirmations.  However, I know that many stations copy my call as KH7D. This often results in a NIL for me (the computer doesn’t match K5ZD with KH7D).

That is one reason that I rarely sent over 36 WPM.  Too fast and the mistakes increase.  I can tell when the packet spot goes out for KH7D because the pile-up momentarily increases and people start sending “QSL via?” on the frequency.

Thanks to everyone for a great contest!  See you again next year.

Randy, K5ZD

Breakdown by Continent

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

EU      72    334    868    801    716   1039    3830    84.5
AS       0      4     21     91     58     68     242     5.3
NA      28     43     59     57     35     46     268     5.9
SA       2      6     12     19     25     19      83     1.8
AF       2      7     13     16     15     14      67     1.5
OC       1      2      8     13     11      9      44     1.0

Rate sheet

QSO/ZN+DX by hour and band

Hour  160M    80M     40M     20M     15M      10M    Total    Cumm   2Radio

00Z  --+--   --+--   --+--  104/58   27/25    --+--  131/83   131/83    27
01Z    -       -     54/33   46/14    7/8       -    107/55   238/138   19
02Z    -       -     99/16   31/17     -        -    130/33   368/171   30
03Z  17/17   22/21   31/6     6/4      -        -     76/48   444/219   11
04Z    -     84/21   18/5      -       -        -    102/26   546/245   18
05Z  28/15   21/7    18/3      -       -        -     67/25   613/270   18
06Z  36/8    20/2    19/9      -       -        -     75/19   688/289   19
07Z    -     37/14   47/3      -       -        -     84/17   772/306   18
08Z   5/4     3/3    74/3     8/2    --+--    --+--   90/12   862/318   15
09Z    -       -     15/8    74/3      -        -     89/11   951/329   16
10Z    -      3/2    11/11   24/2    16/13      -     54/28  1005/357    6
11Z   1/2     5/5      -     73/4    37/13      -    116/24  1121/381    5
12Z    -       -       -      4/0    39/8    101/34  144/42  1265/423    7
13Z    -       -       -       -      6/0    159/11  165/11  1430/434    6
14Z    -       -       -       -     16/3    149/9   165/12  1595/446   16
15Z    -       -       -       -     14/5    136/2   150/7   1745/453   14
16Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   13/6    128/5   141/11  1886/464   13
17Z    -       -       -       -    119/3     18/14  137/17  2023/481   14
18Z    -       -       -       -     95/5     22/11  117/16  2140/497   22
19Z    -       -       -    127/8     6/1      1/0   134/9   2274/506    4
20Z    -       -       -    108/1     9/6       -    117/7   2391/513    9
21Z    -       -     16/5    50/2    12/7       -     78/14  2469/527   12
22Z    -       -    103/5      -       -      10/5   113/10  2582/537   10
23Z    -       -     99/0      -       -      24/7   123/7   2705/544   24
00Z  --+--   --+--   74/4    --+--   12/5      4/2    90/11  2795/555   16
01Z    -      1/1    53/6     1/0    19/4       -     74/11  2869/566   21
02Z    -     11/2    30/0    19/6      -        -     60/8   2929/574   15
03Z    -     23/3      -     19/2      -        -     42/5   2971/579    7
04Z   3/2    46/1      -       -       -        -     49/3   3020/582    0
05Z   3/2    50/1      -      2/0      -        -     55/3   3075/585    2
06Z   1/0    49/2     3/0      -       -        -     53/2   3128/587    3
07Z   8/1    13/2    42/0      -       -        -     63/3   3191/590    6
08Z  --+--    3/3    80/5    --+--   --+--    --+--   83/8   3274/598    3
09Z    -      1/0    53/0     7/1      -        -     61/1   3335/599    8
10Z   3/3     3/3     9/6    22/0      -        -     37/12  3372/611    7
11Z    -       -       -     62/2    12/2       -     74/4   3446/615    8
12Z    -       -       -      3/1    54/2     85/4   142/7   3588/622    5
13Z    -       -       -       -      6/3    134/3   140/6   3728/628    6
14Z    -       -       -       -     37/3     82/4   119/7   3847/635   13
15Z    -       -       -       -     96/4     18/3   114/7   3961/642   18
16Z  --+--   --+--   --+--   --+--   73/1     14/2    87/3   4048/645    8
17Z    -       -       -       -       -      78/7    78/7   4126/652    0
18Z    -       -       -       -     89/0     17/3   106/3   4232/655   16
19Z    -       -       -     58/1    30/1      5/5    93/7   4325/662    8
20Z    -       -       -     51/4     9/7       -     60/11  4385/673    9
21Z    -       -       -     58/3     2/2      4/6    64/11  4449/684    6
22Z    -      1/2     8/2    31/0     1/0      5/2    46/6   4495/690    7
23Z    -       -     25/3     9/4     4/0      1/1    39/8   4534/698    5

Day1 87/46  195/75  604/107 655/115 416/103  748/ 98                   353
Day2 18/ 8  201/20  377/ 26 342/ 24 444/ 34  447/ 42                   197

Tot 105/54  396/95  981/133 997/139 860/137 1195/140                   550

Most worked countries

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

    DL      16     60    164    133    111    193     677
    OK       5     34     81     54     78     97     349
    UA       1     17     53     63     65    101     300
     G       9     11     56     57     36     52     221
     F       5     17     45     47     42     43     199
    UR       -     22     64     21     37     51     195
    SP       2     15     39     27     32     47     162
     I       -     12     20     45     32     41     150
    S5       2     11     36     28     23     30     130
    YU       1     11     24     27     22     32     117
    OH       -     11     18     32     20     22     103
    HA       1     10     22     18     19     32     102
    VE      13     12     22     27     10     16     100
    JA       -      1      4     34     27     25      91