2001 ARRL DX CW Contest (W4PA opr)

K5ZD (W4PA opr.), Single Op All Band, High Power

                ARRL INTERNATIONAL DX CONTEST -- 2001

      Call:      K5ZD
      Category:  Single Operator
      Power:     High Power
      Band:      All Band
      Mode:      CW 
      Section:   MA


      160       84      252   3.0       40
       80      328      984   3.0       60
       40      949     2847   3.0       81
       20     1192     3576   3.0      103
       15      964     2892   3.0       93
       10     1004     3012   3.0       87

     Totals   4521    13563   3.0      464  =   6,284,880


Pre-contest:   Flew up to Hartford from Knoxville early Friday morning, got a rental car from National and made the 90 mile drive to Randy’s house.  Not as convenient as flying into Providence, but US Airways was running an R/T special Knoxville-Hartford and I actually got the plane ticket and a 3 day car rental cheaper than flying R/T to Providence.  This also eliminated the need for Randy to R/T me to the airport twice.   About 2000Z we started looking at the station, made sure TR Log was working (Randy uses WriteLog) and hooking a few things up.  The antennas were pretty straightforward and all the switching was stuff I’d used before.    Rigs: #1 my Omni-VI Plus with Randy’s Ameritron AL-1200.  Rig #2 Randy’s FT1000D and Alpha 76.

2120Z Friday:  Nap time.  I have had 8 to 10 hours a night sleep for two weeks previous except for the night the CW Sprint ran, including 9 hours Thursday night.  Randy agrees to wake me 30 minutes before the contest.  I am planning to go 48 straight, if I can make it.  I make a mental note to check how I feel after 24 hours, as I usually start running out of gas after dark on Saturday night.

0000Z:  After looking over last years rate sheets and some querying of Randy about low band strategy, I am off to the races.  The Omni-VI Plus is parked on 7017 to kick it off and it goes with a bang, with 23 QSO’s in the log in the first 10 minutes.

0004Z: First second radio QSO is on 20 meters with MD/DL5AXX.

0100Z: First hour is 134 Q’s, including 8 on 20m on the second radio.  I keep in mind that while 20 is open good and is easy pickings, these are Q’s that can be had later.  I move the second radio to 80 meters while continuing to run on 7019.6 and work second radio QSO’s on 20, 80, and 160 in the next couple of hours.

0220Z:  I am watching last year’s rate sheet and notice a drop off in 40 meter QSO’s – ­ the same thing is now happening this year as I vacuum up the available people to work.  It’s also in the middle of the night in Europe.  3539 is open and I start CQing with immediate, but slow, results.  Boy are the Europeans ever loud in W1 on 80!  Working them from Tennessee is a head-in-hands, volume-maxed experience trying to separate weak CW from band noise.  Up here it’s nice signals from S5 to well over S9.  Wow!

0315Z:  Still running them on 80, but try 15 meters “just in case” on the second radio and work a very weak T32RD.  Only other signal is KC1XX.  Immediately go from 15 to 160 on the second radio and make 6 QSO’s for 6 mults in 7 minutes while continuing to run on 80 meters.  This is definitely not Tennessee, and to boot, I am beating absolutely everyone out on every European I call on 160.

0344Z:  80 is slowing after an hour and a half and I go back to 40 to start running again.  The band is absolutely packed with loud signals and I get kicked off of a couple of frequencies before finding a spot open at 7040.7.  28 QSOs in the next 15 minutes.

0400-0500Z:  Continuing to alternate runs between 80 and 40 and pick off multipliers on 20 and 160.  I keep checking 15 but hear nothing.   There seem to be quite a few UAØ and UA9’s to work on 20 that are not weak and watery.  This tells me that there is solid gray line and I am betting that a good European sunrise opening on 20 is going to happen.

0505Z:  In our pre-contest chat, Randy told me if 160 was not noisy to try CQing there prior to EU sunrise. I decide this is the moment and work 19 Europeans on 160 in the next 22 minutes, then at 0527 go back to 40 meters to kick off some of the EU sunrise.  C4A calls me on 40.  32 Q’s on 40m in the next 20 minutes.

0557Z:  OD5/OK1MU calls in on 40.

0600Z-0640Z:  Continuing to run on 40 meters while picking off mults on 80 and 160 on the second radio. I am hearing good Russian signals on 20 but am not bothering to work them, as I figure the opening is going to continue for a bit and 40 is going fairly well.  Finally, at 0640 I decide the rate is slowing enough on 40 that going to CQ on 20 may be worth a shot.  I was wrong.  I worked 4 Q’s in the next 8 minutes and went back to 40.  Even though 20 was good, most of the DX was sticking to 40 and I go back down there and find a new run frequency.

0700-0800Z:  a 92 hour between running on 40, working mults on 80 and picking off some random EU CQers on 20.  80 is rapidly dying as the sun comes up in Europe and I’m watching the greyline on the GEOCLOCK computer.   Last 80m EU QSO of the night will be GM3YTS at 0821Z.

0840Z:  40 is now down to western Europe and the signals are getting stronger on 20.  I expected they were going to be louder a couple of hours earlier but that was not to be the case.   It’s definitely time to get up there to CQ and with a twist of the knob the Omni-VI Plus is on 14.047.   I put out a CQ and am immediately rewarded with a roaring pileup of Europeans.  It gets to the point where I have the RIT +/-300 Hz just to separate them.   I am amazed. There are 6, 8, or 10 callers after every QRZ? and I fear the rate is slowing because I simply can’t pick whole callsigns out of the roar every time.   I shut off the audio on the second radio and work 167 Europeans in the next 60 minutes.

0950Z:  The rate is incredible ­ but I am going to be sorry if I don’t try to pick off some low band multipliers before the high band openings start shortly.  C6, KH6, and P4 are quickly in the log on 40 as the roaring pileup on 20 continues unabated.

0940-1040Z:  The second radio is abandoned as the roar continues for a 143 hour from 0940-1040.  I have moved the second radio to 15, shut off the CW filters and am watching the S-meter for an indication that it’s time to jump from 20 to 15.  EU is there, but not numerous or loud enough to yet make the switch.

1040-1057Z:  38 Q’s in 17 minutes for a 134 rate. This is not good enough to stay on 20 and I immediately jump to 15 meters.  The next hour on 15m will be 165 QSO’s.

1158Z:  GM3POI is first in the log on 28 MHz as I have now moved the Omni-VI Plus to 10 while continuing to run Europe with the FT1000D on 15.  I am again trying to assess at what moment I can crank the rate even higher by jumping from 15 to 10.

1200Z:  Turns out that moment was exactly two minutes later as I quickly find an open spot at 28.040, make one CQ and OH6RX answers.  The 15m audio is shut off as I focus on running Europe with the Omni-VI on 10 meters.

1210Z:  FR5FD on Reunion Island calls in on 10.

1200-1500Z:  Hours of 153, 120, and 106 follow using both radios.  Anytime no one answers a CQ ­ I am immediately tuning for someone on the second radio. 10 is dying rapidly going into the 1500 hour and at 1509Z I go back to CQing on 15.  I think that the slowdown on 10 is more related to there being so much activity that the callers are spread thinner.  At 1541Z I’m back on 10 meters again CQing with the rate having picked back up.

~1500Z:  Somewhere during the runs, Randy has poked his head into the radio room to tell me he is leaving to drive over to K1EA to operate at the K1AR Multi/2 and will be back sometime before the end of the contest.   I remember mumbling something in response and then hearing the car pulling out of the garage.

1540-1640Z: 115 hour between CQing on 10 and picking off stations on the second radio on 15 and 20.

1721Z:  The rate has begun to trickle off on 10 and my final CQ of the morning there will be at 1720Z.

1720Z-2025Z:  132 hour on 15 with some Q’s on 10m off

the second radio.   The rate is softening a bit, with

121 on 15m from 1820-1925, when I decide to drop down to 20m with the Omni-VI Plus.  The rate hangs in there with a 119 hour on 20 from 1925-2025Z.

2100Z:  From looking at the previous year’s rate sheet, I can tell that shortly I am going to have to drop down to 40.  The rate on 20 isn’t going too well and has slipped below 100/hr by this point despite good signal levels.

2110Z:  Having decided to drop to 40 meters, I take a quick break to get up and eat something.  I skipped dinner on Friday night and have only minimally ate anything to this point.  A couple of bagels, a banana, two cartons of yogurt and a big glass of apple juice and I am back in front of the radio.  This will be the first of only two 5 minute breaks that I will take over the course of the 48 hour contest.

2116-2302Z:  7019.7 is open and PA5WT immediately answers my CQ there at 2116Z.    Nearly two hours of CQing on 7019 while picking off mults on 10, 15, and 20 ensues.  At the end of this 1 hr and 45 minute stretch, a total of 169 more QSO’s including 16 multipliers.  9V1YC calls in on 40 at 2300Z and I try to move him to 10 but he doesn’t want to budge. Signals on 10 from Asia are starting to come up over the last hour or so and at 2302Z I decide to try running JA’s on 10 meters.

2312Z:  The JA run is not working out on 10.  10 QSO’s in 10 minutes followed by a three minute gap with no answers.  Ugh.  Back to 40 meters with the CQ machine.

0000Z: Still CQing on 40 while picking off QSO’s on 10, 15 and 20 with the second radio.  This is assessment time.  I decided I was going to try and go 48 straight if it looked like things were going well at the halfway point and I was physically feeling good.  The line score was 2710 QSO’s and 2.93 million points.  A little quick mental calculating gave me a score prediction in the mid to high 5 million range.

This would possibly be good enough to beat the single op high power record of 5.5 million.  I usually start getting tired around 0200 or 0300Z Sunday but tonight I am feeling good and decide I am going to tough it out and go all 48.  I would hate to lose a shot at breaking the record because I wanted a two hour nap.

2355Z-0104Z: 40 meters has started to tail off. Running out of fresh Europeans and the casual ops in central and eastern Europe are in bed in the 2 am-4 am local stretch there.  Change bands to 20 for CQing to pick up some of the Siberians and am rewarded with several great mults calling in right off the bat:  3W, 9M2, HS, BV, 9V1YC, DU and YB all answer the 20 meter CQ as well as a couple other garden variety mults like KH6 and VK.

0106Z: Flip from 20 down to 80 and start CQing on 3524.  Work 60 Europeans on 3524 in the next 46 minutes while continuing to pick off Asia on 20 meters.  Move the run frequency to 40 at 0152Z.  40 isn’t going that well and after only 15 QSO’s in 29 minutes there I’m back CQing on 80 again at 0221Z.

0221Z-0327Z:  This was a mixed bag of alternating CQing on 40 and 80 and picking off multipliers on 20, 40, 80, and 160 during the same stretch.  Trying to keep the rate up anyway possible but this is usually a fairly slow time anyway.  Europe is in bed, I’ve worked a lot guys already, etc.  I keep peeking at 15 meters but hear nothing interesting to work.

0327Z:  The Russians over the pole are coming in nicely again on 20 with a minimal amount of flutter. GEOCLOCK is showing greyline to eastern Russia and western Siberia.  Good time for some CQing, likely. The band is relatively uncrowded and I find an open spot in the “power alley” at 14.004.  This quickly turns into a solid mini-run of 67 UA’s and JA’s in the next 45 minutes.   I’m continuing to pick off mults and Q’s on 40 and 80 on the second radio.

0417Z:  Keeping in mind Randy’s missive about occasionally CQing on 160, I call for 7 minutes and work 4 QSO’s, and grab WP2Z and LZ2JE for two quick mults before QSYing the run radio to 80 meters.  80 doesn’t work out too well in the next few minutes and I go back to CQing on 20 at 0434Z.  I continue to alternate until 0512Z between CQing on 20 and 40 and picking off stuff on 80 with the opposite rig.

~0500Z:  I am getting tired.  We’re 29 hours into the contest and a couple of hours past the point where I usually am running out of steam.  I am absolutely determined I am going to make it all 48.  I catch myself a couple of times staring at the radios or the computer while doing absolutely nothing and realize I am slipping somewhat.  A fast run into the kitchen to make coffee ensues.   I feel pretty good, and I am not hallucinating like I was during the CQ WW at W4AN ­ I take this as a positive sign.

0539Z:  Still hopscotch CQing among 20, 40, and 80 just trying to keep mini-runs going while multiplier hunting on the second radio.  I find J38A, operated by my friend Bill K4LTA on 40 and move him to 20 for another mult.

0547Z:  It looks like the European sunrise opening that never really materialized on 20 at this hour yesterday is picking up some and I have put the Omni-VI Plus back up there to run some Russians and Europeans.  The next hour will be 80 QSO’s.

0700Z:  40 doesn’t sound too great ­ it appears the early risers in Europe are hearing that 20 is somewhat open and are choosing to go there rather than 40.  I am picking off some Q’s on the low bands, watching for the possibility of going back to 40 to CQ.

0716Z:  Hopefully we’re going to see another great 20 meter opening as happened around 0830Z yesterday, and with that thought in mind I have dropped back down to

40 to CQ.  I’ll stay on 40 until 0847Z, putting 106 QSO’s in the log in the next 91 minutes.

0847Z:  I’ve watching for the breakout moment on 20 and it’s been wide open now for about 15 or 20 minutes to Europe.  I elected to stick with 40 until the last possible moment as I am sure the runs on 20 are really going to be rolling after the 167 hour the previous day from 0840-0940.

~0930Z:  4:30 AM local time Sunday.  Randy has arrived home from K1EA/K1AR to get some sleep.   He comes in to check on me.  I am ­TIRED—but I manage a weak smile, say something incomprehensible to myself or him (not sure which), remember leaning on the desk and shaking my head.  I think I may have exchanged a few sentences with him but I am beyond comprehending anything but CW at this point.

1000Z:  The rate has picked up again on 20 as the roar of Europeans that happened at this time the previous night has resumed.  I work a 102 hour there from 0900Z-1000Z and then an 83 hour from 1000Z-1100Z.

1100Z:  It’s getting ugly inside my head.  I am having trouble copying callsigns now because of fatigue and am second-guessing my decision to have skipped a two-hour nap earlier in the evening.  I wonder if the decreased ability to copy callsigns now would have been overcome if I had taken the nap and lost 100 QSO’s doing so.   Would I have gained the 100 back with the nap?   I realize this is a stupid discussion to be having with myself.  I’ve skipped the nap because I wanted to go all 48, I certainly am not going to take a nap during the morning European openings and I push the thought out of mind.  But I am feeling ROUGH.

1120Z: FM/F2JD calls in on 20 and I quickly move him through 15 and 10 meters also.

1126Z:  Of 10, 15, 20, and 40, I am lowest on QSO totals on 15 and make the switch as soon as the band feels practical.  As usual, it’s already packed and I find myself way up at 21.056 ­ but the small pileup and the run starts immediately and I elect to stick it out up there.   I am instantly rewarded with a 123 hour.

1318Z:  I have ran through 100 more QSO’s on 15 in the previous 52 minutes, a 116 rate.  Not quite fast enough, and I bail to jump up to 10 meters.  Put out one CQ, RU6LWT is in the log and the rate meter flys over to the right.  A 117 hour from 1318-1418 on 10 while picking off random CQers on 15 on the other radio.

1500Z:  HZ1HZ had called me on 20 late Saturday and I set up a sked for 21.100 at 1500Z.  He doesn’t show ­ if he did it would have been hard for me to tell as two Europeans were CQing on top of each other on 21.100 at that exact moment.

1507Z:  I’ve been on 10 almost two hours and the callers are starting to dry up.  A quick pass across the band finds signals all the way past 28.200!   I decide to call CQ on 15 while S&Ping on 10 – I realize the phenomenon of band-open-let’s-casually-run-the-W’s has started and I am sure I can find a bunch of new QSO’s by dropping the CQ radio down to 15 and scanning across 10.  I start off at 28.183 with OK1AXB and slowly start my way down the band while CQing on 15. It takes about 25 minutes to run down the entire band and at 1543Z I go back to CQing on 10.

~1530Z:  Randy is awake and has come into the radio room to see how I am doing radio-wise and mental-health-wise.  He is more alert than I am to the fact that I have eaten virtually nothing since Friday at lunch and have drank only coffee and one glass of apple juice.   He delivers a full pot of coffee, a pitcher of ice water and a couple of items from my food stash before exiting to go back to the K1AR multi-op.

1638Z:  I am a spacing out.  I am doing things like staring at the GEOCLOCK monitor, forgetting to press F1 to call CQ, listening to people on the S&P radio run W’s and turning knobs on the radio for no apparent reason.  I have to take a break.  I get up for 5 minutes, walk around some, look out the shack windows into the yard and eat some yogurt.  This will be only the second break I take and I am back on the air at 1646Z.

1800Z:  The rate is not too great but not out of line for Sunday afternoon, with a 68 hour from 1700-1800 from CQing on 10 while picking off CQers on 15 and 20. At 1829Z, HP1AC calls in with 4 watts on 15 and I quickly move him through 10 and 20 meters as well.

1911Z:  The rate is hovering around 75 an hour, calling CQ on 15 and S&Ping on 10 and 20.  I am really tired at this point and am leaning heavily on the desk to prop myself up.   Confusion has set in as well as I can’t send CW with the paddle or even remember the callsign I am using.  I am sending “K5MA” “K5ZD” “W4PA” and who knows what else.  I decide to stop using the paddle and only send with the keyboard.  I have also made a large sign that reads K5ZD 5NN MA.

2006Z:  FR5FD calls in on 15 and I quickly move him to 20.

2033Z:  EA8/OK1DJG calls in on 15 and I quickly move him to 40.  It’s broad daylight at 3:30 PM but he still has about an S4 signal on 40.

2108Z:  The high bands have really slacked off and I have nothing to lose by going to 40 for some fresh QSO’s.  FR5FD is the first one in the log CQing on 40. 23 QSO’s in the next 24 minutes before returning to 20 meters.  I end up high in the band at 14.079 but am getting a slow steady stream of callers.   It is about this time that I am trying to remember what I am doing ­ I am wondering why these people are calling me and what “TEST TEST K5ZD” is.   I know it’s a radio contest but I don’t know WHY.  This goes on with me slowly getting worse as the hour goes on.

2212Z:  Total confusion.  I can’t concentrate on the 2nd radio anymore and I really can’t judge what band I should be on.  I hear lots of signals on 15, 20, and 40 but I don’t know what to do.  I am almost incoherent and I go into a mental freeze that lasts for a few minutes.  There is a gap from 2212 to 2220Z in the log as I sit in the chair, dazed.   No QSO’s, no CQing, nothing as I try to figure out what I am doing.

2220Z:  After looking at last year’s rate sheet, I decide to try just one radio on 40 meters and see if I can do anything.  The band, naturally is packed at I find a slot at 7020 and start running Europeans.

~2245Z:  W6XR is 200 Hz below me and is ticked off that I am close by.  Of course, with the Omni-VI Plus and a pair of 250 Hz filters I hear nothing but band noise.  No adjacent signal, no clicking and popping like you do with some other “top of the line” HF rigs.  He tells me to QSY a few times and then just comes on top of me and deliberately calls CQ right on top of me.  For some reason, I find this so funny that I am now shaking with laughter as I continue to run Europe through the QRM for the next few minutes.   On a break, I send WHY? to him and he sends CUZ UR A LID back.  I am cracking up and still CQing.  He eventually slides back down below me.

2330Z:  Sked arranged on Saturday with C4A for 2330Z Sunday on 3.565 comes off without a hitch.  I am missing some “easy” 20 meter multipliers but am still incapable of looking for them on the second radio in my mental state.  I strike a novel approach by shutting off the CW filters on the second radio and try to listen for guys either sending fast or a pileup.   I work TA and T48K quickly.  I need P4 and HC8.  I am answering a call on 40 when out of a dream I hear “brrazzzzznnnnttt” on 20 meters which I translate as “P49V” even though I am not paying to attention to radio #2.   Amazingly enough, that was exactly what it was.  I work him, and then P40R, and finally snag HC8N with one minute to go.

Post-contest:  4527/464 for 6,291,840 claimed score.

Good enough to top the single op, all band high power record by 800k.  What I don’t know yet is if I’m the only one to have made it to that point.  Monitoring 3830 after the contest, KQ2M reports a raw score of 6.5 million.  I’m ahead 100 QSO’s but down by 21 multipliers, mostly on 40 and 160 meters. Darn. Still, #2 will have to be good enough.  Took a shower, ate some food with Randy and his family and hit the sack for a 10 hour snooze.

Post-post-contest:  Got back to Tennessee on Monday night.   US Airways broke my Ten-Tec 963 switching power supply for the Omni-VI Plus on the way home by bashing the back cover in.  Oh well.  Back to work Tuesday morning.  Wait till next year!

A big THANKS for having me to Randy K5ZD and his family.


Scott Robbins, W4PA

Rate Sheet


HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....   126/30     8/8     .....    .....   134/38  134/38 
   1    10/8      4/4     74/10     4/4       .        .      92/26  226/64 
   2      .      54/20    28/3     16/9       .        .      98/32  324/96 
   3     7/6     43/7     20/0     11/6      1/1       .      82/20  406/116
   4    15/8     48/7      8/2      9/0       .        .      80/17  486/133
   5    22/3     18/5     49/3       .        .        .      89/11  575/144
   6      .      12/4     87/2      7/5       .        .     106/11  681/155
   7     5/3      5/0     75/1      8/5       .        .      93/9   774/164
   8     1/1      3/2     40/2     59/11    .....    .....   103/16  877/180
   9      .        .       3/3    155/8       .        .     158/11 1035/191
  10     1/1       .       3/1    132/6      5/5       .     141/13 1176/204
  11      .        .        .       2/0    164/31     1/1    167/32 1343/236
  12      .        .        .        .       3/1    151/38   154/39 1497/275
  13      .        .        .        .      22/1    111/8    133/9  1630/284
  14      .        .        .        .      16/4    105/2    121/6  1751/290
  15      .        .        .        .      53/3     54/1    107/4  1858/294
  16    .....    .....    .....     5/4     10/2    110/4    125/10 1983/304
  17      .        .        .        .      86/3     39/2    125/5  2108/309
  18      .        .        .        .     106/2     15/9    121/11 2229/320
  19      .        .        .      60/2     46/2      9/4    115/8  2344/328
  20      .        .        .     105/5      9/5      1/0    115/10 2459/338
  21      .        .      62/1     13/1      7/7      1/0     83/9  2542/347
  22      .        .      72/3       .       4/1     20/4     96/8  2638/355
  23      .        .      26/2     31/3      2/1     12/0     71/6  2709/361
   0     1/0      2/1      5/1     40/5     20/6      1/1     69/14 2778/375
   1      .      62/2      4/0     13/1       .        .      79/3  2857/378
   2     5/3     25/0     18/1      1/0       .        .      49/4  2906/382
   3      .      16/0      5/1     51/6       .        .      72/7  2978/389
   4     8/4     16/2      3/0     51/0       .        .      78/6  3056/395
   5     1/0     11/2     21/2     28/1       .        .      61/5  3117/400
   6     5/1      5/1      7/1     62/0       .        .      79/3  3196/403
   7     1/0      1/0     36/0     25/0       .        .      63/0  3259/403
   8     2/2      2/2     61/3     20/0     .....    .....    85/7  3344/410
   9      .        .       2/1     99/2       .        .     101/3  3445/413
  10      .        .       7/3     75/0       .        .      82/3  3527/416
  11      .        .        .      32/3     66/1      3/1    101/5  3628/421
  12      .        .        .        .     113/6     16/2    129/8  3757/429
  13      .        .        .       1/1     26/2     79/1    106/4  3863/433
  14      .        .        .        .       6/1     97/4    103/5  3966/438
  15      .        .        .        .      33/1     39/1     72/2  4038/440
  16    .....    .....    .....     2/0      4/1     68/0     74/1  4112/441
  17      .        .        .       4/0     18/1     46/0     68/1  4180/442
  18      .        .        .       1/1     55/1     15/1     71/3  4251/445
  19      .        .        .      11/2     49/1      4/1     64/4  4315/449
  20      .        .       1/1     11/1     28/1      4/2     44/5  4359/454
  21      .        .      18/1     27/0      9/1       .      54/2  4413/456
  22      .        .      40/0      7/0       .       3/0     50/0  4463/456
  23      .       1/1     48/3      5/3      3/1       .      57/8  4520/464
DAY1    61/30   187/49   673/63   625/77   534/69   629/73    ..... 2709/361
DAY2    23/10   141/11   276/18   566/26   430/24   375/14      .   1811/103
TOT     84/40   328/60   949/81 1191/103   964/93  1004/87      .   4520/464

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

1999 ARRL DX CW Contest (W2SC opr)

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

By Tom Georgens, W2SC

Summary Sheet


  Call: K5ZD (W2SC op)            Country:  United States
  Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator


      160       44       29     GP      
       80      218       54     Inverted V      
       40      723       70     402CD
       20      815       77     5/5, TH7        
       15     1044       89     5/5, TH7        
       10      825       85     6L, TH7

     Totals   3669      404  =   4,446,828

The Contest

This year’s ARRL DX story begins at 5AM Wednesday morning when I wake up to catch a flight to California for an important business review with my pseudo board of directors. Many days of preparation go into the meeting and it goes well but is a very intense 5 hours. When it is over, I get a page offering me tickets to the Warriors game, but I pass in recognition of a big weekend ahead. The next morning, I am up again at 5 AM for the cross country trip to K5ZD’s and arrive in Boston at about 4:30 PM. The car rental counter and rush hour traffic are relatively painless and I get to Randy’s station at about 6:30.

After the CQWW SSB debacle, I was determined to be ready for this contest and was pleased that Randy had almost everything working before I even arrived. A couple weeks earlier he picked up my AL-1200 from my old station for use with the second radio and had set up the two radio switching box I built last summer. Randy debugged the radio interface box for the second radio and I replayed the traditional ritual of remembering which LPT bit controls Radio 1/Radio 2 in which version of CT. In relatively short order, everything was working and seemed ready to go and it was time for some desperately needed sleep.

After being in bed for a few minutes, I hear some rustling but figure it is just the dog in the hall. The next thing I know something is hitting me on the head and it turns out to be one of Randy’s cats. I reach for the cat but it runs and hides. A while later, I wake up to a cat standing on me. This time I grabbed the cat, put it in the hall and went back to bed. Minutes later, another cat jumps on me. That cat was also captured, put in the hall, and I returned to bed for a good night’s sleep.

The next morning I was checking the bands for propagation in light of the disturbed conditions that were predicted. The bands indeed were as bad as the numbers would indicate. I started to set up CT (cty file, master file, etc) when I discovered that I could not key the radios. It appeared that CT could not talk to LPT2, and LPT1 was already used for the Radio1/Radio 2 switching. Several calls to Randy led to the conclusion that the port was disabled in DOS and neither of us knew how to turn it back on. Much to Randy’s displeasure, I decided to take apart his W1WEF keying interface and merge the radio control and CW bits and use LPT1 for both functions, which worked fine all weekend. As much as we try to not have to rewire the station to suit our individual tastes, it never works out that way.

It is now around 17Z and I have some personal errands to run as my old house in Massachusetts has just been put up for sale and there are a number of things to resolve. I return around 1830Z to get a nap before the contest. When I wake up, I check my messages at work and things are relatively quiet. I make a mental note that this is the first time I can remember that there were no burning crises keeping me on the phone until minutes before the contest.

As I sit in front of the radios, it seems like everything is ready. My only concern now is myself. I have not operated CW since last ARRL at 8P9JG and the time before that was the 1997 ARRL DX. I felt very rusty when listening on the bands and, particularly, when sending. I had not sent code with a paddle in two years. I did not think running would be a problem (as it wasn’t from 8P) but I figured that S&P’ing on the second radio would be an issue. Nonetheless, I would just make the best of it and hope it came back quickly.

With conditions the way they were, there was little alternative other than to start on 40. When the contest started, 40 meter signals did not sound anywhere near as strong as they had earlier in the day and the response to my initial CQ’s were sporadic but still decent. After 30 minutes, I had 50 Q’s but did not feel very strong. From there the rate dropped and I started combing 20 and 15 for multipliers. The first hour ended with an unimpressive 78 Q’s. The next hour was spent multiplier chasing combined with relatively unproductive CQ’ing on 40 and netted an anemic 68 Q’s.

In the next hour I tried 80 for the first time, and it was miserable. Signals seemed very weak and the noise was deafening, even with the beverage. 160 was not much better as the noise was equally bad on top band. While the Caribbean stations were especially loud, the noise blanketed all but the strongest Europeans. It was clearly going to be a long night on the low bands. My apologies to the stations calling on 80 that I simply could not pull through the noise.

A couple hours into the contest, the second radio started to act strange. At first I thought I had serious interstation interference but the problem persisted even when I was not sending. I knew that Randy had been having problems with the radio but never did it impact a contest. Throughout the night, the radio would work some times but not others and I could not figure out the pattern. I more or less resigned myself to the fact that it would be a one radio weekend. However, around 0730Z Randy stopped by before going to bed and I told him about the radio. He was surprised since the problem usually dissipates after a warm-up period, but he added a critical bit of information, it was only a problem on 20. This explains why it seemed to work intermittently. With that information, if I ran on the second radio on all bands but 20, I could once again use two radios.

In contrast to most of the night, 40 turned productive around 07Z and Europeans were runnable to 09Z. The next 90 minutes were spent chasing multipliers and was capped with a first ever (for me) JA “run” on 40 up to 1030Z. At this point I had a disappointing 588 Q’s, mostly on 40, and it was time to see if the high bands would rebound from the storm.

Twenty was hot from the first CQ and was the start of 9 consecutive 100 hours in which 1200 stations were worked. After a quick 152 Q’s, listening on the second radio, signals were strong on 15 and it was time to jump even though the rate meter was over 170/hr. 15 proved to be even more intense and the subsequent 60 minutes were a Qrate best of 186/hr. 181 Q’s later, 1235Z, 10 started to sound good and I jumped 10 with rate meter once again hovering around 180. I was nervous about this transition since ten did not play well at all in the CQWW SSB and the new 6 element at 25 feet was unproven.

Ten performed reasonably well. It was not the frenzy of 20 and 15 but was consistent and I finished the 11Z and 12Z hours with 173 and 179 Q’s respectively. It was my best single and consecutive hours ever from a stateside QTH. I could not maintain the pace on 10 and the rate slowly dropped, but was still respectable. After 530 Q’s the band seemed to be losing some volume and despite still being runnable, it seemed time to go back to 15 so I QSY’d at 1538Z. Rate was still strong at about 2/minute and at 1635Z I made my first second radio QSO in nearly 6 hours. With more second radio Q’s finding their way into the log I went back to 20 at 1839Z. I remember contests from here where I made 2/3 of all Q’s on twenty, but this time I felt that I was neglecting the band. The rate picked up again but my string of 100+ hours was snapped at 20Z with a 97 hour.

At 2140Z it was off to 40 meters to grab the early 40 meter opening but it was not to be. Two separate trips to 40 were not fruitful as the usually big hours never materialized. At 2311Z I worked a JA on 10 but did not hear much else and could not get a run going. However, when tuning on 15 I heard a pile of JA’s calling W1WEF so I tried to run a few JA’s, while simultaneously hoping for some good multipliers to call in. As it turned out, there was an excellent opening and I ran off 170 stations plus another dozen on the second radio. This was easily my best JA run ever and had the bonus of HL, BA, DU, and KL7 thrown in.

At the half way point I had 2121 Q’s and 321 multipliers for just over 2 million points. The high band totals looked good but I had less than 100 Q’s on 80. Also, the multiplier totals were pretty poor and I was very concerned. As it turned out, I would never get my 40 and 20 meter multipliers to a reasonable level. Randy has a rule of thumb that the final score is two times the 24 hour score plus 10% which would put my estimated final score at 4.4 million.

As the second day began, I knew I had to regain ground on 80 and was hoping for better propagation on 160 as this is a strong band from here and would give me a chance to get some extra multipliers. As it turned out, the noise levels on 80 and 160 were down dramatically but signal levels were still not that good. I spent the next six hours slugging it out mostly on 80 and 160 with moderate success. However, the 07Z and 08Z hours on 40 were even better than the night before. 09Z on the second day is never a pleasant hour and this year it was no different with my only sub-10 hour of the contest. At this time I debated whether to to take one of my usual 15 minute naps but decided to just push on.

The Sunday rotation went as smoothly as the day before and 11Z, 12Z, and 13Z all produced 100+ hours. At 1555Z, it seemed like it was time to return to 15 meters but, upon returning to the band, I just could not get anything going. A similar event occurred in the CQWW SSB where I lost propagation on 15 about this time. I qsy’d back to 10 for another hour before returning to a healthier 15 meters. The remainder of the contest was spent running on 20, looking to add to my lowly multiplier total, and hoping for a good stint on 40 before the contest was over. Unfortunately, 40 never produced for me and I ran out the contest on 20.

When the contest was over I finished with 3669 Q’s, a new record for me, and 404 multipliers, which was sure to be problematic. I also felt great despite being up for the full 48 hours. I think the lack of pre-contest stress made a definite difference and I did not feel mentally or physically tired. While I was hardly 100%, it was, by far the best I have ever felt after one of these events.

When the contest was over, it was time for the 3830 ritual. However, the frequency was busy and the inhabitants were not eager to cede the frequency. This only served to incense a pack of loud, tired contesters and chaos ensued. Randy and I got a huge laugh out of mild mannered K3ZO mixing it up with these guys. Even K1AR was yapping at them. In the end, after spending 48 hours operating with 250 Hz of separation, a clear frequency was not found and the scores were not taken. In fairness to the rag chewers, had they plopped down on my run frequency during the contest, I would have been just aggressive about running them off.

About a half hour after the contest ended, the phone rings and a very tired sounding K1DG is on the other end. He drops the surprising news that he is also SOAB and wants to know my score, having already talked to W4AN and N2NT. It turns out that we are virtually tied with only 1% separating our scores. In a few minutes it was clear that I really hurt myself by not aggressively moving multipliers between bands. Similarly, I suspect Doug wished he did not take three hours sleep. Nonetheless we had a good conversation and I hung up thinking that I sure felt better than he sounded.

When the cone of silence is lifted from K1ZM’s score, I suspect that he will be the winner and I offer my congratulations. It was also great to see many class op’s return to SOAB and dramatically increase the competition.

All in all, despite the rust and mild disappointment in my score, I had a great deal of fun. I would like to thank Randy (K5ZD) for the use of his fine station and his wife Connie and son Andrew for their tolerance and hospitality. Also, thanks to the other fine operators who continually raise the bar on the competition and, especially, all of the stations who took the time to give me a QSO.

73 and I also love this game,

Tom W2SC

Continent Statistics

                     160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America   CW    16   22   20   23   23   22  126     3.4
South America   CW     2    2    5   13   19   20   61     1.7
Europe          CW    25  188  633  732  766  749 3093    84.3
Asia            CW     1    1   50   33  224   22  331     9.0
Africa          CW     0    1    5    5    6    6   23     0.6
Oceania         CW     0    4   10    9    6    6   35     1.0

Rate Breakdown

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....    .....    76/29     2/2     .....    .....    78/31   78/31 
   1      .        .      44/5     20/15     4/3       .      68/23  146/54 
   2      .       8/6     66/6       .        .        .      74/12  220/66 
   3     3/3     20/14    26/4       .        .        .      49/21  269/87 
   4      .      23/6      9/6      6/3       .        .      38/15  307/102
   5     7/5     10/2     40/1       .        .        .      57/8   364/110
   6      .      17/5     36/1       .        .        .      53/6   417/116
   7     5/5      5/4     53/4       .        .        .      63/13  480/129
   8     1/0      7/4     52/2     .....    .....    .....    60/6   540/135
   9     2/2       .      24/3      1/1       .        .      27/6   567/141
  10     1/1      4/3     10/0     67/22      .        .      82/26  649/167
  11      .        .        .      91/13    82/27      .     173/40  822/207
  12      .        .        .        .     100/11    79/32   179/43 1001/250
  13      .        .        .        .        .     146/10   146/10 1147/260
  14      .        .        .        .        .     137/6    137/6  1284/266
  15      .        .        .        .      50/3     67/1    117/4  1401/270
  16    .....    .....    .....     1/0    112/3      4/4    117/7  1518/277
  17      .        .        .        .      98/3     10/3    108/6  1626/283
  18      .        .        .      45/2     57/1      4/1    106/4  1732/287
  19      .        .        .     114/4     10/3       .     124/7  1856/294
  20      .        .        .      91/1       .       6/4     97/5  1953/299
  21      .        .      16/0     14/0     16/10     7/1     53/11 2006/310
  22      .        .      26/1       .      15/4      1/1     42/6  2048/316
  23      .        .       2/0      2/2     68/3      1/0     73/5  2121/321
   0    .....    .....    .....     1/0     77/1     .....    78/1  2199/322
   1     3/2     13/2      6/0       .      38/0       .      60/4  2259/326
   2     4/3      8/1     21/0      5/2       .        .      38/6  2297/332
   3     8/5     17/1      1/0       .        .        .      26/6  2323/338
   4     2/0     15/1     18/0       .        .        .      35/1  2358/339
   5     8/3     20/3       .        .        .        .      28/6  2386/345
   6      .      47/1     20/0       .        .        .      67/1  2453/346
   7      .       2/0     72/2       .        .        .      74/2  2527/348
   8    .....     2/1     63/1     .....    .....    .....    65/2  2592/350
   9      .        .       6/3       .        .        .       6/3  2598/353
  10      .        .       1/1     78/2       .        .      79/3  2677/356
  11      .        .        .      28/0     82/0       .     110/0  2787/356
  12      .        .        .        .      85/2     27/3    112/5  2899/361
  13      .        .        .        .        .     101/6    101/6  3000/367
  14      .        .        .       3/1       .      92/1     95/2  3095/369
  15      .        .        .       1/1      4/1     53/3     58/5  3153/374
  16    .....    .....    .....    .....    18/2     60/2     78/4  3231/378
  17      .        .        .        .      70/3     12/1     82/4  3313/382
  18      .        .        .       4/1     42/2      7/1     53/4  3366/386
  19      .        .        .      72/1      9/1       .      81/2  3447/388
  20      .        .        .      60/0      1/1     10/4     71/5  3518/393
  21      .        .        .      49/0      5/4       .      54/4  3572/397
  22      .        .      35/1     14/2      1/1      1/1     51/5  3623/402
  23      .        .        .      46/2       .        .      46/2  3669/404
DAY1    19/16    94/44   480/62   454/65   612/71   462/63    ..... 2121/321
DAY2    25/13   124/10   243/8    361/12   432/18   363/22      .   1548/ 83 
TOT     44/29   218/54   723/70   815/77  1044/89   825/85      .   3669/404

BREAKDOWN in mins/QSO's per hr
DAY1  0.8/25   2.3/41   7.7/62   4.0/115  5.3/115  3.8/122   .....  23.8/89 
DAY2  1.4/18   2.8/44   4.0/61   4.9/74   5.2/83   4.3/84      .    22.6/68 
TOT   2.1/21   5.2/42  11.7/62   8.9/92  10.5/99   8.1/102     .    46.5/79

1998 CQ WW CW Contest ZW5B

ZW5B (opr. K5ZD), Single Op 28 Mhz, High Power

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

Summary Sheet

                   CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1998

      Call: ZW5B (opr. K5ZD) @PY5EG   Country:  Brazil
      Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator
      Zone: 11                                 28 Mhz, High Power


       10     3869    11467     2.96     37     148

     Totals   3869    11467     2.96     37     148  =>  2,121,395

Operating Time: 46 hours (20 minutes sleep)

Equipment: FT-1000D + Alpha 77 to 7/7 stack @ 20m/10m

The Trip

After years of business travel in all types of domestic and foreign conditions, I deserved one like this! I had originally planned to visit our parent company in Israel and do the CQ WW CW from there. At the end of October, my boss informed me that our Brazilian distributor was holding a conference Nov 25-27 at a resort hotel on the coast. He felt bad that he was asking me to be gone over Thanksgiving… but I knew I already had my wife’s clearance for the Israel trip!

I immediately thought of CQ WW CW and hit the e-mail to track down a station. Oms, PY5EG, gave an immediate invitation and I accepted it. I really wanted to do single op all band, but Oms had already promised the station to Marcelo, PY1KN. Jim, N5FA, was very helpful in making phone calls and giving me some background info. He recommended that I do 10 meters single band as there was a real chance to claim the world record.

I flew from Boston to Rio de Janeiro on Monday night Nov 23. Plane was almost empty – everyone on board got their own row for sleeping! Most of my flying is East-West so it was a pleasant surprise to get off of a 10 hour flight and not be jet lagged out (Rio is only 3 hours ahead of Boston).

Spent Tuesday afternoon walking around Copacabana beach. Nicest beach I have ever seen and it is right in the middle of a huge city. PY1KN lives in Rio and we met for dinner. It gave us a chance to get better acquainted. Marcelo is an avid CW operator and contester who normally operates low power. 15m is his favorite band so we had no trouble deciding who got what band.

Wednesday I took a bus to the resort hotel where the meeting was. All of the first day was in Portuguese, so I went horse back riding instead. Thursday (Thanksgiving day) I went sailing in the morning. Then sat on the beach and enjoyed a book all afternoon. My two presentations were in the evening and went without a hitch. The dinner buffet even included turkey!

Friday morning I went sailing again. Wind was fairly quiet so it was very peaceful drifting around the bay looking for breeze. I know that I have NEVER been this relaxed and rested before doing a major contest.

It was 3 hours back to the airport in Rio where I met Marcelo at the airport. We flew together on the one hour flight to Curitiba where PY5EG is located. Curitiba has a beautiful new airport and Oms had someone waiting to drive us over to his station which only takes about 20 minutes. We arrived there about 7:30PM local time, with the contest starting at 10PM.

Setting Up

Arriving at PY5EG is quite impressive. You don’t see any antennas on the way. You drive under huge electric transmission lines and wonder how you are ever going to hear anything through the line noise. About a half mile up the drive way you arrive in a clearing with five towers. Each tower supports big big antennas that are perfectly straight. You immediately recognize that this is a well engineered place.

The PY5EG “shack” is a large cabana located next to the swimming pool. It is a 10m by 8m room with the radios in one corner. There is a pool table in the middle of the room (when rates get slow?…) and a fire place in one corner.

There were two FT-1000 radios with amplifiers set up and ready to go. Each had Top Ten band decoders. Either station was wired to get to any of the monobanders outside. Any category would have been easy for us to do.

The computers had Windows 98 installed and a batch file to start CT as a full size DOS window. CT was version 9.10A with an old country file. In the rush to leave home I had forgotten to bring new CTY and Master.DTA files.

We had just under two hours to get ready. Oms was away on business and was expected to arrive soon after the contest started. I listened to 10m and it sounded really strange. Signals were weak and fluttery from the US. I thought it was going to be a long weekend.

N5FA had warned me that I might want to bring a keyer if I had any special requirements. I didn’t want to carry the extra weight and figured I would just wing it. The radio had a Bencher paddle wired up to the internal keyer and a W1WEF keying interface, but you couldn’t use them together. I had brought some cables for getting from the computer to the radio so it didn’t take long to get where the computer could send CW. But now I needed a keyer.

PY5CC showed up to help us get set up and pulled a Morsematic MM-3 out of a closet. The setup was kind of funny so I pressed the overall reset command. Only to discover that the keyer paddles were now wired backward! No manual in sight. I recalled that this keyer had a way to reverse the paddles through the keypad, but couldn’t figure out the command. Contest starts in 45 minutes!

Above my head on a shelf were 7 rotator control boxes. Two were marked for 20 and one for 40. That left Marcelo and I trying to figure out which pair was which for the 10 and 15 stacks. I went outside, looked up at a pair of 8 over 8, and just “assumed” that had to the be the 10m stack. I figured out which box turned them and was ready to go.

With 10 minutes to go, N5FA calls on the phone to see if everything is OK. I tell him about the MM-3 paddle problem and he says, “I have a manual for one of those around here.” Wow, probably the only guy in the world that can help and he calls me! Command was something like *7612. I would have never guessed it. I couldn’t figure out how to program a message into the keyer, but decided I could just use the computer.

Marcelo set up on the second station which was about 10 feet away. He would have to get up to reach the rotator controls. We were facing away from each other so there wasn’t much visual interaction between us as we were operating. It really was two completely independent single band efforts. We probably shared about 10 sentences all weekend.

The Contest

zw5b_k5zdFinally ready to go just as the clock ticked 23:59. That gave me one minute to find a frequency and start CQing. The run was immediate even though signals were very fluttery. The USA East Cost was very weak. Had a few Caribbean stations call in that I never heard again – V47KP and FG5EY. Very quickly the band started to go to JA. 9M2TO called in for another good mult. Near the end of the first hour, RU0LL, DU3NXE, ZM2K, and BV4QW were some nice surprises.

Stateside was gone after the first hour and it was mostly JAs on the band. JA is almost at the antipode from PY5EG and N5FA had warned me that they would come in all night. I took a spin across the band and worked XX9X who had a good signal and XU2A.

Around 02Z, the band went even deeper and I worked 3W5FM, HS0AC, and a weak AT2UR. Worked about 15 BV and BY stations which is more than I even knew existed. They had great signals!

At 03Z I snagged 8Q7DV. A few minutes later A61AJ came in. In between all of this DX were more JAs. It seemed that if I called CQ they could work me. But with all the flutter, if I called them they could not get the call correct. 7W5B is not right! Only 16 QSOs this hour but they were interesting ones. A small JA run erupted in the 04Z hour. I would tune around occasionally and it was wild to hear an almost quiet band with things like XZ1N and A45XR coming in. XZ1N always had a huge pile-up every time I heard him.

During the 05Z hour, it seemed like the band was almost dead. I decided to visit some of the other bands to see what they sound like. YCCC was really pushing to make a big club score and I figured I could build up a few extra points for the club. I went to 40m from 0534-0601Z and worked 51Q/12Z/15C. The band was packed and it was a real battle to dig out calls compared to 10m. Decided that I better save my energy.

Back to 10m where I found CP6UH for a multiplier at 0612Z (that’s 0412 local time!). Not much else around so I listened down on 80m and realized why SOAB is difficult from deep South America. It was noisy and signals were weak. It would have been a real struggle to make much of a low band multiplier.

After a short break, I was back on 10m during the 07Z hour. Found JT1A with a big signal. Started a great run of Europeans about 0730Z. At the time, I thought they were coming in from the Northeast on direct path. Rates were really good in the 08Z and 09Z hours. Local sunrise was about 0750Z.

At 10Z it was like someone threw a switch. I couldn’t get any answers so had to do some S&P. The OH gang was booming in, but not much else. Worked OH0RJ for a good one. I really thought we had experienced a SID event and had no idea what to expect. At this point I felt any chance at a record was slipping away. The 11Z and 12Z hours were in the 50’s. It was obvious that the path from the USA to Europe was great! Tuning around I was lucky to find TA2IJ for a new one.

About 1245Z the band started to recover and I could get a run going into Europe again. 9G1TB and HZ1HZ called in. Plus 4K7Z, TZ6DX, GD4UOL, and 5H3US (my only zone 37) during the 14Z hour.

Things slowed down during the 15Z hour so I took the opportunity to run up the band looking for multipliers. 3V8BB and CN8WW were easy. Back to running Europe during the last half of 15Z and all of 16Z. GM0TTY gave me Shetlands. ZB2EO caught my attention in the pile-up for another good one.

The first USA stations started to come through about 1645Z. I kept the antennas on Europe figuring I would have plenty of time for USA later. 17Z was a mix of Europe and NA. With Europe going out, I took from 1745Z to 1800Z to scan for multipliers. I was rewarded with ZP9X, EA9EA, HI8/DL1HCM, and P40W. The Caribbean guys were weak all day and there were many of them that I called that I just could not break through the big NA pile-ups.

18Z and 19Z are when the real fun began. Having 199 and 192 hours back to back was a thrill. No question that the USA ops are the easiest to run in the world. They send things only once, they are loud, and they are fast. 5N3CPR and VP5M each called in to give me new ones. At 1911Z VE2/N6ZZ helped me out with zone 2. That was a relief. At 1941Z KL1R gave me zone 1.

The 20Z and 21Z hours continued to be big. I had Geoclock running on my laptop and could almost watch the band close as darkness moved across the USA. JJ1DJW became the first JA of the evening at 2133Z. The next hour was a mix of JA and USA signals – all about the same strength.

The 23Z hour was mostly USA West Coast plus JAs. V29QQ gave me a very good multiplier.

Somewhere during the 23Z hour, Oms walked into the shack and noticed that Marcelo was turning the “wrong” rotator. I could have died – we had just worked the first 23+ hours with me turning the 15m rotator and Marcelo turning the 10m rotator. What a low point. I think it was just coincidence, but immediately upon recognizing the problem the JA signals came up and a nice run started!

I felt really bad for Marcelo. Since he had to get up to turn the rotators, he usually pointed them at Europe and NA and left them. Since I was sitting right next to them, I would often turn the high beam in some unusual direction just to see what might be out there. When you are dealing with such big antennas, the wrong direction is like putting the lights out! What was amazing to me is that I had not missed a multiplier that I had heard up to that point.

Side note: I knew my competition during the contest was LU5CW at LT1F. We did not compare any scores until the end of the contest, but I was worried that I had lost at this point. It took all my concentration to keep pushing. I actually tried to use it to my advantage as a motivator. At the end of 24 hours, LT1F was 289 QSOs ahead of me. I am very happy I did not know this!

Day 2

At the half way point I had 2208/35/125. The record required something like 3750 QSOs and I didn’t see any way this could be reached. Since I usually do all band where there are lots of multipliers, it was agony to realize that in a single band effort, each QSO was only worth about 480 points. Nothing to do but keep running and looking for countries.

The 00Z and 01Z hour were mostly JA with a few West Coast and some Pacific. I got YB5QZ at 0148Z. I took 30 minutes out during the 02Z hour to go take a shower. This is midnight local time and I was still surprisingly awake. I figured I would catch a few hours of sleep after the shower.

Back on at 0245Z with big signals from 9M6NA, B7K and BD4EG. Just wild to hear all the loud Asians in the middle of the night. The next two hours were slow, but JAs kept calling so I postponed going to sleep. Worked N5XT at 0446Z so you never know when the band will be open to where. Now that I knew where the antennas were really pointing I could get a better idea of where the openings were actually coming from.

During the 05Z hour the band began to open to the middle of Asia. Mixed in with the JAs were EX8MZ, AT2PTT, and UK8OM. Then it went deeper into European Russia about 0530Z. I finally figured out that this opening was via the long path beaming over the South Pole. The next two hours were good rate and had a very interesting sound to them. The log is almost all zone 16 and 17 with a few JAs mixed in.

At 0900Z it stopped. Instantly the band just went away to Europe. Signals from zone 26 were still booming in, but not much QSO volume there. I took a quick spin up the band and caught 3A/N9NC just before he faded out. Heard VQ9IO but could not figure out what path he was coming in on. He was the same strength in almost every direction! This was the only multiplier I heard and could not work all weekend — and it would have been a double.

About 0915Z I decided there was little I could do except put the CQ repeat function on and wait for the band to recover. Must have dozed off because 20 minutes later I wake up to find Z31RB calling me. NH0E is my only QSO for the next 30 minutes. For those scoring at home, that is a 6 hour during 09Z!

Things finally return about 1030Z and I get a run started to Europe. The 11Z and 12Z hours are great and give me some hope that I can still catch the record. UA2AW and OY1CT give me a lift.

At 13Z things die again. Probably the result of the USA to Europe opening. I tune around and work D44BC and the loud Europeans who are CQing. Decide to do a serious multiplier sweep and start at 28000 and go up. 6V6U, 3DA0CA, TU2MA, and JY9QJ are the reward. Again there are a lot of Caribbean guys that I can’t break through. I know there are 10 easy multipliers that I am missing. Work my last QSO up on 28160.

Probably wasted some good rate time because had no trouble getting a run going at 14Z. Worked Europe the next few hours. SP1NY/MM gave me zone 40. As loud as the OH’s were all day, I was surprised it took so long.

Took another multiplier sweep at 16Z and got 4U1VIC with a nice signal, JX7DFA who was working split, and ZF1A. That took 10 minutes and I was back to running.

The 17Z hour was a mix of Europe and USA. I was prepared to just run out the contest since my math indicated that QSOs were the only hope of getting to the record. With 6 hours to go, I had 3494/36/141. Still needed about 350 QSOs for the record so I was hoping for some good USA runs like the day before.

At 1803Z I just about fell out of the chair when a very loud 5A1A called and gave me a double mult. I quickly switched the antennas to make sure he was coming from the correct direction. He had the right sound. Wow, never expected that. Ten minutes later GJ3YHU hands me another surprise. At 1830Z I decide to search for Caribbean stations again. Work P40E, 8P9Z (beautiful job of digging me out on a tail end), and HK6KKK. I heard TF3DX calling the HK6 in the pile-up. So as soon as I worked KKK, I moved up half a KHz and called the TF3. TF3DX came right back. You have to love it!

Decide I better get back to CQing and am astounded when OX3SA answers my first press of F1. Four new countries in 10 minutes.

The next several hours aren’t fast but they pull me closer to my goal. It is almost all North America stations in the log. At one point, I can actually watch my appearance on packet as it moves around the country. First there was a little burst of W8’s, then some W9’s, then some W3’s, and finally up to W1. Really cool to hear.

Band almost dies about 22Z. Ernesto at LT1F stops by to ask how I am doing. I tell him 2 Meg. He tells me he has 1.9M. Because of the low points for each QSO, I figure this puts me about 200 QSOs ahead of him with 2 hours to go.

Band doesn’t seem to be quite as good to JA as it was on Saturday. First one in the log is JO1VRL at 2218Z. I am getting anxious and bored and get the crazy idea that I would like to get one big rate hour on 20m before the contest is done. I toy with this thought for awhile, and then at 2253Z make the decision to go for it. From 2254Z to 2311Z I work 52Q/8Z/9C on 20m. It wasn’t as much fun as I expected and I started feeling guilty that I might loose the contest while I was playing.

Made 51 QSOs on 10m in the last 45 minutes of the contest, mostly JAs, and realized that I should have never left. Lesson learned!

Finished with 3869/37/148 for 2,121,395 points. Breaks the 1990 world record of 1,890,607 set by CX0CW (op CX8BBH). The high country count was the difference for both the record and beating LT1F.


  • ZW5B is not the best CW call in the world. Didn’t seem to be much of a problem when I was running but it was funny in pile-ups. You could almost see the other op as he tried to figure out what was calling him. They almost always came back to Z? or ZW? or 7W? Then it would take as many as 10 repeats to get the call correct. I really appreciated the good guys who could copy it correctly on the first try.
  • I don’t think I sent faster than 38 WPM all weekend. I felt that people would really blow the call if I went too fast. I usually sent my call after every QSO. At one point on Saturday into the USA, I finally had the pile-up to the point I felt I could send my call every other time. So after a QSO, I just sent TU. Sure enough, my next QSO is N2MM who asks me for my call!
  • PY5EG is about the same south latitude as Orlando, Florida is north. Why don’t we see these all night openings and long path from W4? Brazil has the fortune to be almost due south of both major radio population centers and at the antipode of the third. When you get great conditions like this, it is a hard place to beat! (see comments below)
  • Neat trivia: The beam heading from PY5EG to Europe is 30 degrees. For the USA/JA it is 330 degrees. Almost like being at home in W1!
  • All night, when the band was really open to zone 24 and 26, I felt like I was operating a CW contest in the middle of the phone bands! SSB, AM, and FM signals were everywhere. Didn’t really cost me any QSOs, but there were a few times I had to move my run frequency a kHz or so to get away from a heterodyne. I suspect we are going to discover new levels of encroachment this sunspot cycle – even greater than we could have imagined.
  • Oms has an awesome station. There was no interference between Marcelo on 15m and me on 10m. There is no local noise. Running JA on Saturday night I was amazed at how weak signals could be easily copied. One of the quietest places I have ever operated from.
  • I was surprised at how awake I was during the contest. Other than the 20 minutes where I crashed, it was really easy to stay awake. I suspect this is due mostly to the relaxed nature of my week leading up to the contest. It also could be due to only using one rig on a very quiet band — didn’t have to waste much brain power digging weak stations out of the LF QRN.
  • Am I hooked? The experience of operating outside the US is a seductive one. I can’t get the thought out of my head that I want to do something like this again!
  • I don’t handle any QSL cards for the operation. Send them direct to Oms.

View a photo tour of PY5EG.


Randy Thompson, K5ZD

Continent Statistics

                    160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America   CW    0    0    0    0    0 1432 1432    36.3
South America   CW    0    0    0    0    0   63   63     1.6
Europe          CW    0    0    0    0    0 1805 1805    45.7
Asia            CW    0    0    0    0    0  574  574    14.5
Africa          CW    0    0    0    0    0   26   26     0.7
Oceania         CW    0    0    0    0    0   46   46     1.2

Rate Sheet

HOUR    160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

  0    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....   115/41   115/41  115/41 
  1      .        .        .        .        .      51/13    51/13  166/54 
  2      .        .        .        .        .      27/10    27/10  193/64 
  3      .        .        .        .        .      16/4     16/4   209/68 
  4      .        .        .        .        .      47/9     47/9   256/77 
  5      .        .        .        .        .       5/1      5/1   261/78 
  6      .        .        .        .        .       1/1      1/1   262/79 
  7      .        .        .        .        .      85/22    85/22  347/101
  8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....   141/8    141/8   488/109
  9      .        .        .        .        .      93/5     93/5   581/114
 10      .        .        .        .        .      65/7     65/7   646/121
 11      .        .        .        .        .      50/7     50/7   696/128
 12      .        .        .        .        .      58/3     58/3   754/131
 13      .        .        .        .        .     107/2    107/2   861/133
 14      .        .        .        .        .     139/6    139/6  1000/139
 15      .        .        .        .        .      58/3     58/3  1058/142
 16    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....   164/3    164/3  1222/145
 17      .        .        .        .        .     101/5    101/5  1323/150
 18      .        .        .        .        .     199/3    199/3  1522/153
 19      .        .        .        .        .     192/4    192/4  1714/157
 20      .        .        .        .        .     156/1    156/1  1870/158
 21      .        .        .        .        .     166/1    166/1  2036/159
 22      .        .        .        .        .      95/0     95/0  2131/159
 23      .        .        .        .        .      77/1     77/1  2208/160
  0    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    79/0     79/0  2287/160
  1      .        .        .        .        .      37/1     37/1  2324/161
  2      .        .        .        .        .       5/0      5/0  2329/161
  3      .        .        .        .        .      28/0     28/0  2357/161
  4      .        .        .        .        .      25/0     25/0  2382/161
  5      .        .        .        .        .      59/3     59/3  2441/164
  6      .        .        .        .        .      92/0     92/0  2533/164
  7      .        .        .        .        .      90/0     90/0  2623/164
  8    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    92/1     92/1  2715/165
  9      .        .        .        .        .       6/1      6/1  2721/166
 10      .        .        .        .        .      66/0     66/0  2787/166
 11      .        .        .        .        .     172/1    172/1  2959/167
 12      .        .        .        .        .     142/1    142/1  3101/168
 13      .        .        .        .        .      21/4     21/4  3122/172
 14      .        .        .        .        .      73/1     73/1  3195/173
 15      .        .        .        .        .     103/1    103/1  3298/174
 16    .....    .....    .....    .....    .....    78/3     78/3  3376/177
 17      .        .        .        .        .     118/0    118/0  3494/177
 18      .        .        .        .        .      71/7     71/7  3565/184
 19      .        .        .        .        .      56/0     56/0  3621/184
 20      .        .        .        .        .     122/1    122/1  3743/185
 21      .        .        .        .        .      50/0     50/0  3793/185
 22      .        .        .        .        .      25/0     25/0  3818/185
 23      .        .        .        .        .      51/0     51/0  3869/185
DAY1   .....    .....    .....    .....    ..... 2208/160    ..... 2208/160
DAY2     .        .        .        .        .    1661/25      .   1661/25 
TOT      .        .        .        .        .   3869/185      .   3869/185

Top Countries

    K           1303        
   JA            405         
   DL            331         
   UA            191         
    G            122         
   UR            115         
    I            103         
    F            102         
   OK            101         

QRATE Report

1704:    5 per minute (300/hr)
1819:   41 per 10 minutes (246/hr)
1912:  223 per hour

1998 CQ WW SSB Contest (W2SC opr)

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

By Tom Georgens, W2SC

Summary Sheet

          CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1998

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


 160       59         11      30	GP with raised radials
  80      338         19      77	Inverted Vee
  40      317         24      83	402CD @ 110'
  20     1060         35     116	5/5  100'/50'
  15     1070         32     110	5/5   
  10      264         25      76	TH7 @ 90, TH7 @ 45

Totals   3108        146     492  =>  5,683,304

The Station

  • Radio 1 – FT-1000 + Alpha 76CA
  • Radio 2 – IC-765 + Drake L-4B

Tower 1 – 100′ Rohn 45G

  • 40-2CD @ 110′
  • 205CA @ 100′ / 50′
  • 5-el 15 @70′ on rotary sidemount
  • 6-el 10 @75′ fixed south
  • 80m Inv Vee with top at 95′
  • 160m 1/4-wave GP with 4 elevated radials

Tower 2 – 90′ Rohn 25G

  • Stack of TH7DXX at 90’/45′ using WX0B StackMatch
  • 40m 1/2-wave sloper to west
  • 80m 1/4-wave elevated GP with 4 radials
  • 160m Inv Vee with top at 88′

The Story

Early this year Randy asked if I was interested in defending my CQWW SSB title from his station and it did not take long to say yes, as last year’s CQWW was probably the best contest I had ever operated. The station worked well as usual, I made good decisions, and used the second radio as well as ever. In the end, I finished with a big lead in Q’s and multipliers. This year K1AR would be on and I was looking forward to the challenge. Unfortunately, as it turned out, the weekend proved to be full of poor preparation, operating blunders and I ended up not much of a match for K1AR.

Living in Kansas without a station makes it hard to get a feel for the bands. My only operating this year was ARRL CW as 8P9JG and about an hour in the NAQP. The last DX QSO from the US was at 2359Z in last year’s CQWW. I had been told that 10 meters would be open but had little other insight into what to expect.

This year I needed to be in California for a full day meeting on Tuesday so any possibility of arriving on Wednesday night was eliminated. In addition, Randy had a trade show in Texas and would not be home until Saturday night so it was not appropriate to arrive any earlier than necessary. Randy’s wife Connie was remarkably accommodating and I really appreciate her tolerance of my operating.

I arrived Thursday night and began the setup. I had built a two radio switching box over the summer that I had sent ahead for Randy to setup. When I arrived, Randy had the computer set up and most of the switching was ready. After a minor cable change to get the two radio switching to work with CT, it appeared that everything was ready. I also spent some time learning the new antenna switching scheme. We had added a second TH7 this summer for 10 and Randy bought a WX0B SixPak to allow any antenna to reach either radio. His station had been relatively intuitive and now it was even easier.

I eventually cycled through all of the antenna/radio/amp combinations to check for RF and interstation interference especially now that there were several new combinations. Every combination seemed to work OK except that the secondary antennas on 80 and 160 would trash the audio. Randy called that evening to see if everything was all right and I let him know the issues. I also had a minor computer problem and, having had a bad experience with this in the past, I let that go and focused on the RF issue. Randy had a couple of ideas but we agreed to wait until morning to finish the job.

After several hours of troubleshooting I managed to solve the problem by isolating the grounds and using Randy’s audio transformers. However, once I had everything fixed, the audio on the second radio was trashed on every band. This time is was not RF or switching related and would work great when the compressor was off. I was getting tired by then and I was concerned at the energy I had been expending and decided that I would just go without the compressor on radio 2. I also spent a fair amount of time debating whether to drive to my old house and get my AL1200 to replace the L4B as the second radio amplifier. I eventually decided not to add anything new and just take a nap. In the end, I never used the secondary 80 and 160 antennas but I had major problems all weekend working guys on the second radio.

I had a good nap and was well rested. I had a number of issues at work to resolve so I spent the next couple of hours on the phone. Despite being a great HF location, Randy’s place is not very friendly to cell phones. Around 6PM local time I told the people at work that I had to go and I would be “in-communicado” the rest of the weekend. I smiled at the irony at that statement and resumed my focus on the contest ahead.

Around 23Z Randy gave a final call to see if everything was ready. I told him about my plan to not use the compressor on the second radio to which he replied “that sounds like a bad plan.” He said that the 765 has good but very thin audio with absolutely no punch and I would have a problem in the pileups. He was right. I hung up with Randy and settled in to radio room. I was listening to K1AR warming up on 20 to get some sense for the propagation, which was not good. I eventually gave John a call. He was his intense self and told me that we may be tied for now but it would not be that way for long. I kind of felt like Rocky before a fight when Apollo Creed said “You’re goin’ down.”

0Z finally rolled around and I was CQing on 20 and trying to pick up mults on 15 with the second radio. I ran off a few stations but the rate went zero after 10 minutes. I did not have any luck with the 0Z 15 meter pileups last year and this year was no better. After about a half hour I went to 40 to run and managed to get some calls in the log and worked 20 with the second radio. After an hour I had 60 Q’s on 40 but it was slowing down so I went to 80 earlier than usual. 80 proved to be the money band all night long with a 78 hour at 3Z (plus 8 second radio Q’s on 160 and 20) and over 250 Q’s the first night. 160 was a disappointment. I was hoping for a good European opening since this was the one band where I had a major advantage over K1AR but it was not to be. I cycled back through 40 and waited for the high bands to open. I was reasonably pleased with the first night, with the exception of 160, but I was a little behind last year’s multiplier total.

In the 10Z hour, 20 became runnable and I was working guys but the on-frequency QRM was unbearable. On the second radio I heard ‘AR CQing on 15 and getting answers so I decided to QSY for a better frequency. It took a little while to get going but the rate finally picked up. At the time, I was angry that prematurely left good rate on 20 for lesser rate on 15 but the breakdown shows a 139 hour at 11Z.

I was very concerned about missing the 10 meter opening so I listened intently on the second radio. Twice I convinced myself that the stations were loud enough to be runnable and made the band change to 10. Unfortunately, each time I worked a few stations but could not get anything going and had to go back to 15. Finally, around 14Z the band did open but I could manage no better than a 98 hour. The two TH7’s at 90/45 feet did not seem to be even remotely dominant. Eventually 10 ran out and it was back to 15 for two unremarkable 90 hours. At this point I was pretty disappointed in my poor decision making and inability to get big rate on 10 and 15. To compound things, I was having a very difficult time breaking the 10 meter pileups with the second radio. All things considered my frustration level was very high.

In the 17Z hour I went back to 20, the money band at K5ZD, and the rates went back up to 148, 151, and 128 in consecutive hours. It was this period that QRATE measured a best 60 minute rate of 182.

In the next few hours, I completely botched the JA opening. When running JA on 20 I heard JA’s on 15 on the second radio so I decided to QSY to 15 to capture the opening. When CQing on 15 I heard JA’s on 10, an opening I did not expect, so I tried CQing on 10 for a while. Basically, I was not expecting a JA opening on 15, let alone 10, and I ended up working the bands in reverse. When it was all over I could not help but be concerned about how many multipliers I probably missed.

I finally reached the halfway point with 1990 QSOs but a multiplier total that was far less than last year. The halfway point is always a low morale point for me and requires a full mental effort to maintain my motivation. In assessing my performance, I knew that I had made a number of bad decisions and had a poor multiplier total so I gave up hope of competing with K1AR. I knew I would have to be perfect to compete and I certainly was far from perfect. As it turns out, after looking at K1AR’s breakdown post contest, I was actually ahead of him by 77 Q’s but he had 70 more multipliers. My multiplier fears were well founded.

At 0Z, I had a 54 hour on 40 and settled in for the inevitable slow hours that lie ahead. The next 9 hours consisted of rapid band changes and determination to squeeze out every QSO. 160 was much better the second evening but was never runnable. I picked up some good multipliers but it was clear that I would not get full benefit of my 160 advantage. Around 08Z I took my traditional 10 minute nap and the 09Z hour produced the only sub 10 QSO hour of the contest, but with 6 multipliers.

Determined not to repeat the previous day’s mistakes, it was time for the high bands to open but this day was to be more bizarre than the previous. 20 was very slow to open in the morning, the 10Z hour was generally unproductive and 11Z was not much better, but 12Z finally produced a 139 hour. It was clear that the bands were down from the previous day and 10 meters never was really runnable.

After an 89 hour in 14Z, the bottom started to fall out or 15. The stations seemed to be getting weaker and it was getting more difficult to pull them through the QRM. All the while 10 was swimming in African multipliers which I just could not work with the second radio. With rate failing on 15 I gave up and took the main radio to 10 to pick up 5A, 9J, and FR which I had been trying to work for a half hour. Upon returning to 15, I could not build any rate so I tried 20 but it was too early.

At this point, I totally lost my grip and tuned the bands for a while trying to figure out the propagation. In the 16Z hour, I relinquished my QSO lead which I had held for nearly 40 hours. I went back to 15 and simply CQ’d at slow rate while I sought multipliers on the second radio. During this period, K3LP/J6 actually moved *me* to 10. I simply could not buy a QSO as the rate plummeted. Looking at the post contest results, it does not seem as though anybody else suffered to the same degree. In retrospect, I wonder if fatigue took over or if the propagation simply did not favor any of my available antenna combinations. I wish I had this period on tape for review.

Ultimately, 15 never recovered for me and I QSY’d to 20 at the normal time and some semblance of rate returned. I tried one QSY to 40 later on but it was not productive and I mostly ran out the string on 20.

When it was over, I knew I was desperately short of multipliers particularly on 10. On 3830 I listened to the multi scores trying to figure out how I did but nothing made me feel positive about 10. Randy had food on the stove upstairs and was running down to hear the scores. Finally it was time to report single op scores and with the confusion, K1AR slipped in ahead of me to report his score. As he ran through his breakdown I was doing OK until he got to 20 meter mults and it was downhill from there. He took me by about 100 Q’s and 1 million points. I dumped my score in next and I am sure he sweated a little over my low band scores but he got the last laugh in the end.

Contemplating the results, there was a lot of fault to be found. My preparation was poor. I should have swapped amplifiers, I should have fixed the audio problem before going to bed Thursday, and I should have prepared myself better for the 10 meter openings. Likewise my operating technique was not good, many bad decisions and not enough use of the second radio. It was going to take a super effort to compete with ‘AR and I did not even measure up to last year. No excuses, I did not do what it took to win and the better operator prevailed. Congratulations John!

The next morning I left early for the airport just to be sure. Upon arriving at the counter, I was informed that my flight had been cancelled but I had been rescheduled on an earlier flight and they would still honor my free upgrades. I muttered that I finally caught a break this weekend and it is after the contest is over. The guy behind the counter did not understand but I just shook my head without giving an explanation.

Once again I would like to thank Randy for the use of his fine station and for allowing people the privilege of guest op’ing. I especially wish to thank Randy’s wife Connie for allowing me to hang around the house and operate the radio even though Randy was away. Their collective hospitality takes the stress out guest operating and makes me look forward to the next one.

Tom Georgens, W2SC

Continent Statistics

                       160   80   40   20   15   10   ALL   percent

North America     SSB   28   49   35  103   52   36   303     9.7
South America     SSB    2   10   16   53   24   34   139     4.5
Europe            SSB   23  270  240  795  927  168  2423    77.9
Asia              SSB    0    3    6   59   45    5   118     3.8
Africa            SSB    6    5    9   34   13   18    85     2.7
Oceania           SSB    0    1   11   17   10    3    42     1.4

Rate Sheet

HOUR   160      80       40       20       15       10     HR TOT  CUM TOT  

 0    .....    .....    35/17    21/14     3/3     .....    59/34   59/34 
 1      .        .      44/11    20/15      .        .      64/26  123/60 
 2      .      46/23    22/4      8/5       .        .      76/32  199/92 
 3     1/1     78/17      .       7/3       .        .      86/21  285/113
 4     4/3     53/4       .      13/6       .        .      70/13  355/126
 5    22/10      .        .       2/1       .        .      24/11  379/137
 6     2/2     48/4      1/0      4/2       .        .      55/8   434/145
 7     3/1     10/8     22/8      4/0       .        .      39/17  473/162
 8     1/1      8/6     26/9     .....    .....    .....    35/16  508/178
 9     2/2     12/6     12/9       .        .        .      26/17  534/195
10      .       1/0      1/0     70/18    12/7       .      84/25  618/220
11      .        .        .        .     133/22     6/5    139/27  757/247
12      .        .        .        .      88/7     14/4    102/11  859/258
13      .        .        .        .      54/3     62/18   116/21  975/279
14      .        .        .       5/5      3/0     98/10   106/15 1081/294
15      .        .        .        .      91/5      4/4     95/9  1176/303
16    .....    .....    .....    .....    92/8     11/7    103/15 1279/318
17      .        .        .     121/14    26/1      1/1    148/16 1427/334
18      .        .        .     151/7       .        .     151/7  1578/341
19      .        .        .     119/6      9/9       .     128/15 1706/356
20      .        .        .      80/3      9/8       .      89/11 1795/367
21      .        .        .      66/1      7/4      4/4     77/9  1872/376
22      .        .        .      64/8      4/1      6/3     74/12 1946/388
23      .        .      15/1      5/1     23/2      1/1     44/5  1990/393
 0    .....    .....    54/6      8/0     .....    .....    62/6  2052/399
 1     6/4     11/0     13/2      2/0       .        .      32/6  2084/405
 2     2/1      4/0     18/3      4/2       .        .      28/6  2112/411
 3     2/1      6/2      7/1       .        .        .      15/4  2127/415
 4     2/0     15/1      5/2       .        .        .      22/3  2149/418
 5     9/5     23/2       .        .        .        .      32/7  2181/425
 6     3/2     12/1      3/0      2/0       .        .      20/3  2201/428
 7      .       4/2     21/6       .        .        .      25/8  2226/436
 8    .....     4/2      8/2      1/0     .....    .....    13/4  2239/440
 9      .       3/3      5/3      1/0       .        .       9/6  2248/446
10      .        .       4/2     29/0       .        .      33/2  2281/448
11      .        .        .      13/0     55/7      1/0     69/7  2350/455
12      .        .        .        .     139/5      1/0    140/5  2490/460
13      .        .        .        .      92/2      3/3     95/5  2585/465
14      .        .        .        .      86/1      3/2     89/3  2674/468
15      .        .        .        .      38/1     15/6     53/7  2727/475
16    .....    .....    .....     8/0     14/0      5/2     27/2  2754/477
17      .        .        .       3/0     40/1     14/2     57/3  2811/480
18      .        .        .       2/0     20/4     10/3     32/7  2843/487
19      .        .        .      60/2      6/4       .      66/6  2909/493
20      .        .        .      43/1       .       4/3     47/4  2956/497
21      .        .        .      71/2      4/3      1/0     76/5  3032/502
22      .        .       1/0     22/2     13/4       .      36/6  3068/508
23      .        .        .      31/3      9/2       .      40/5  3108/513
DAY1  35/20   256/68   178/59   760/109  554/80   207/57    ..... 1990/393
DAY2  24/13    82/13   139/27   300/12   516/34    57/21      .   1118/120
TOT   59/33   338/81   317/86  1060/121 1070/114  264/78      .   3108/513

BREAKDOWN in Hours/QSO's per hr

DAY1 1.5/23   3.8/68   3.2/55   7.5/102  5.6/99   2.2/95    .....  23.8/84 
DAY2 1.3/18   2.7/30   3.2/44   5.9/51   6.4/80   1.4/40      .    20.9/53 
TOT  2.8/21   6.5/52   6.4/49  13.3/79  12.1/89   3.6/73      .    44.8/69


1998 IARU Radiosport

K5ZD, Single Operator CW Only

By Randy Thompson

Summary Sheet

          IARU HF Championship -- 1998

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


 160      31      63     2.03     10      6   1/4-wave GP
  80     141     399     2.83     19     17   Inv vee @ 95', 1/4-wave GP
  40     480    1788     3.72     29     24   40-2CD @ 110'
  20     816    3478     4.26     30     25   Stacked 205CA @ 100'/50'
  15     755    3281     4.35     36     24   Stacked 5-el @ 70'/35'
  10      34      78     2.29      6      5   TH7DXX @ 90'
Totals  2257    9087     4.02    130    101  => 2,099,097 points

Radio 1 - IC-765 + Alpha 76
Radio 2 - TS-930S + L-4B

The Story

It has been awhile since I did a contest for real (SS CW last year!). Aborted efforts in CQ WW CW and WPX CW plus a multi-op in ARRL CW and a guest op for ARRL Phone left me itching to see if I could still do a competitive effort. With its 24 hour format and funny summer time conditions, IARU looked like it would be fun. I decided to do CW only so that I wouldn’t have to worry about microphone and keyer switching, and it would be much quieter for other members of the household.

I searched my files and the Internet but found little info on what the strategy for this contest should be. W2SC had a big score two years ago with 1900+ QSOs and 165 mults. I figured this would be a worthy goal. I also suspected W4AN and some of the other CW only types would be trying hard as well.

Woke up Saturday morning just like going to work. Took the dog for a walk, ate breakfast, then got the station ready. The contest starts at 8 AM local time so it was just like sitting down at my desk for a day at the office.

Tuned the bands in the hour leading up to the start. It was too late for 40m. Twenty sounded strangely empty. When I heard S59AA at 599+20db on 15m, I knew where to start.

Set up on 21024 and it was off to the races. I got blown off my frequency about 14 minutes into the contest and searched frantically for another. Two minutes later 21001 sounded clear and I was running again. Literally! I have never experienced such rate to start a contest. The first four hours on the run frequency were 169-134-113-123. Almost all European and Asian stations.

I managed to sneak in a few second radio QSOs on 20m just because I didn’t want to miss any multipliers. It was obvious all the activity was on 15m because there was hardly anything on the other bands.

Some of the more interesting callers on 15m in the first two hours included RA9YN in zone 31, a bunch of zone 30 stations, PU1KDR, H20A (who I thought was S20A every time he called me), SV1SV (a surprise HQ mult), VR98BG (wow!), and LU1VZ.

About 14Z I started hearing a few stations on 10m. I spent about 15 minutes calling CQ on 10m while I tuned around with the second radio on 15m. Nothing really interesting called on 10m (bunch of zone 8 stations) but I did manage to snag a zone 7 and zone 6 (the only time I heard anything out west). The mult hunting on 15m was productive as well.

I got back into running on 15m up around 21046 and was rewarded with instant rate again. Plus UA9KJ in zone 21 followed by YB0ECT! Like VR98BG, the YB0 was watery, but easy to copy and just as big of a surprise. I was amazed at the amount of activity from Eastern Europe and Russia. Worked lots of zone 29 stations. PA0LOU called in to give me my only ‘special’ multiplier of the weekend. A second YB called in more than one hour after the first.

About 15Z I recaptured 21001 and kept running. Somewhere about this time the bands started to develop a bad sound. The northern Europeans who had been booming in began to show some hollowness and the auroral buzz came up on the backscatter signals. Even so, the rate continued to be excellent and I kept working the second radio for mults and QSOs on 20m.

The first LU showed up on 10m about 1630Z. I also was amazed when YU0HQ heard me on skew path. I heard CT1BOH work P40HQ, but I never got a shot at working Jose.

At 1700Z I made the jump to 20 meters expecting some big rates as I rework all the activity from 15m. It didn’t happen. The band just didn’t sound that good. The rate felt slow, but that was probably just due to the return to more ‘normal’ levels after the excitement of 15m!

While CQing on 20m I fell out of the chair when I heard JA6ZLI on 15m at 1711Z. He was the only JA I could hear but easy to work. That’s something like 2AM in Japan! I found TF3IRA on 15m about 30 minutes later for another interesting mult. At 1833Z I found EP2MKO at the very bottom of 15m. I would later work him on 20m as well. XE1RGL was another second radio catch on 15m (and my only XE of the weekend).

Meanwhile, I kept running on 14004. Around 19Z I caught 8P0V and W1AW/0 on 10m for two nice multipliers. I revisited CQing on 15m about 1915Z and found a few straggling
Europeans, 7Q7EH, and ES9A. The rate was slow, but the Europeans were quite loud well past 2000Z when I returned to 20m. I made QSO #1000 at 8:10 into the contest.

TU2XZ called in for another interesting African multiplier. When you figure the competition is going to work the same common zones and HQ stations that you do, those rare African and Asian zones are doubly precious! As are those HQ stations that call you, such as SV1SV for a second band. TL5A had a roaring pile-up on 15m but was listening up 1 kHz which made him easy to work. PY7OJ called in on 20m to give me my only zone 13.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about a 24 hour DX contest is the feeling that you can’t let any opening get away. This is really clear when you realize that from W1 we only share one hour of darkness with zone 29 and three hours with zone 27!

I made my first excursion to 40m at 2149Z and worked YU0HQ and W1AW/0. Then I heard TU2XZ calling someone on what sounded like a sked or a pass. I called him and he gave me a moral boosting multiplier. Still daylight outside! I was hoping that was one that W4AN wouldn’t find. I returned to 20m after a few minutes as it was obvious the band wasn’t really ready yet.

I finally made the move to 40m at 2249Z by CQing on 7004. I was getting answers but the rate wasn’t that great. After 15 minutes, I took a walk up the band and captured goodies like TL5A, R3HQ/6, ER7A, RN1AM (19), RZ9SWR, and YW5LB before going back to 20m at 2330Z.

The Europeans were more runnable on 20m, but it was obvious the time was getting rather late over there and activity was beginning to drop. RW0A gave me a thrill and zone 32. I found WL7KY and KL7Y both booming in on 15m about 2350Z. This gave me some hope for a JA opening. I managed to work 3 JAs between 2353 and 2357 and the opening was over. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Back to 20m for more CQing.

Local sunset is around 0030Z. I went to 80m about 0012Z and was surprised to find the band very quiet (i.e. no QRN) and a number of good European signals. I was able to work RW3XW for zone 29 and OH2AQ for zone 18. Plus R3HQ/6 and some of the other big HQ guns. I couldn’t get any answers to CQs, but I could be heard if I was patient and kept calling. My first 30 minutes on the band resulted in 14 multipliers.

At 0042Z I went to 160 just to see if I could hear anything. VE1ZZ gave me zone 9 and I tried calling a number of Europeans. Only DL1IAO (who had a good signal) was able to copy me. After 10 minutes of frustration, I took a scan across 40m and worked a number of QSOs and multipliers. I felt the next 2 hours were critical from a multiplier standpoint and I didn’t want to miss anything. I tried to constantly keep moving. At 0103Z I found a weak, watery, and very lonely TF3IRA calling CQ on 7026. That felt like a good one and kept me pushing.

I finally got a run started up at 7033 kHz. The rate was good but with few multipliers. JY9QJ gave me zone 39. Not wanting to miss anything, I broke off a clear frequency and 100+/hr rate to check 160m again. More fruitless and frustrating calling of European alligators! Then back for a spin across 80m.

At 0203Z I finally cracked the European barrier on 160m by working OL8HQ, PA6HQ, DA0HQ, and YU0HQ (six bands!). The increasing number of HQ stations is definitely tilting the multiplier advantage in favor of the East Coast.

Back to 40m for more CQing. There were some excellent signals on 20m, but I didn’t want to give up the possibility of low band rate and multipliers so stayed put. EM5HQ and ES9A called in to give me two new ones.

I tried 160m again at 0245Z but signals were going down. The peak of the opening was well before Eu sunrise. I scanned across 80m and captured a few more HQ stations. My inverted vee works well enough that I can call stations, but not well enough to allow me to CQ successfully on this band. Even so, one brief run did get EA4URE and LZ98HQ to call in. One more listen to 160m at 0319Z (nothing happening) and it was back to 40m.

I snagged HC8A through a big pile-up, then found KP4Y and IY2ARI for new ones. I finally squeezed in at 7019 about 0330Z and set up shop. The rate was excellent and I marveled at how loud the Europeans were as much as 2.5 hours past their sunrise. It sounded more like November than July! About 0345Z I realized I was missing zone 27 on 80m, so I put the second rig there and started looking. Luckily found G8G within 2 minutes and got him for the mult without missing a beat on the 40m run frequency.

I was still running on 7019 at 0513Z when EA8ASJ called in to give me a new zone. CT1BOH called me there at 0534Z and I noticed that it was right at his sunrise. I asked him to try 160m and we made it! Unfortunately he then went back to 40m and moved my competition W4AN to 160m also…

With 40m all but gone to Europe, I spent the next several hours tuning across all of the bands and chasing multipliers. KH7R and LT1F responded to two of my few CQs on 80m. I moved WB0O from 80 to 160m so I could get zone 7 (really!). R1ANL (where is that guy located?!) called me on 40 for a rare zone. I worked PA6HQ on 40m at 0624Z and he was still well over S9 – wow!

I was amazed to work K6XX on 160m at 0630Z. I moved 8P0V from 20 to 160m for a multiplier – thanks Dennis. Found 20m was mostly gone to Europe, but there were still some QSOs to be found. Turned the beam North and was surprised to find a few loud JAs. Worked JA7DLE for a new mult on 20m at 0646Z. At 0700Z I was able to call CQ on 40m and have a few more Europeans answer. I moved VX4YU from 40m to 160m for a new mult (he was my only zone 3 but got him on 5 bands – thanks OM!).

Last Eu on 40m was ON4ASW at 0719Z. That’s only 4 hours 20 minutes past his sunrise!Got a little bit of a run going on 20m around 0745Z. It kept me from falling asleep and allowed me to keep looking for low band multipliers on the second radio. TF3IRA called me at 0830Z for a new one on 20m.

At 0857Z I lucked out and was able to work JH7XGN on 40m. Not sure he would have gotten the call except that someone called me and he was able to figure it out. The flutter was pretty bad and signal levels were low. KH8/N5OLS had a great signal on 40m and thought about trying to move him to 80m but he seemed kind of busy at the time. At 0903Z was happy to get through to XK7SZ on 160m for a new mult. Then worked EA8ASJ on 15m at 0910Z (first signal I heard on the band). Called CQ on 80m at 0915Z and had ZL1AIZ answer. Not a bad 30 minutes in the multiplier and propagation department!

The bands just didn’t want to open with the sunrise. I had noticed the same on Saturday, but it was even worse this morning. GB5HQ and IY2ARI helped the score. Ran on 14018 from 0936Z to 1036Z. R1ANL called in for another multiplier. Found P40HQ on 40m with the second radio well after my sunrise.

At 1100Z I made the jump to 15m hoping to repeat the magic of the day before. The band was just barely open and it took a lot of CQs to get each QSO. OM8HQ called me (I thought I already had him). I took advantage of the slow rate to also tune 20m on the second rig. Called and worked RT3A and then had OZ7D call me for a final HQ mult.

Final Comments

For those of you still reading…

24 hours is a great length for a DX contest. The strategy decisions and pressure not to miss an opening really keep the excitement level high. Plus it doesn’t hurt so bad the next day.

Propagation was unusually unusual. We expect funny high band openings in the summer when the North pole is always seeing the sun, but who would ever expect the low band conditions we got. It was better than many winter nights!

I logged the contest using WriteLog for Windows by W5XD (http://www.writelog.com). I also used it for WPX CW. WriteLog performed flawlessly for both logging and scoring and it is nice to be able to stay in the Windows 98 environment for logging and access to Geoclock. I did convert the log to CT so I could present the breakdowns in familiar format.

This contest was fun! Any CW contest where you can work 2250+ QSOs in 24 hours is a winner in my book. I was in the chair for all but 5 minutes and never went more than 8 minutes without a QSO.

I tried to concentrate on 5 point QSOs and multipliers with multipliers being more important. The good conditions and growth of HQ stations shows up when you compare W2SC’s 165 mults of two years ago and my 231 this year.

Is this a new record? I think it breaks the USA record. It also breaks the highest world CW only score that I could find in the last 8 years (ZY1RL 2.05M). I expected 8P0V to be ahead of me and didn’t realize that LT1F and C40A were also CW only. Great competition and scoring all around! Thanks for the QSOs and see all of you again next year.

73 — Randy, K5ZD

Continental Breakdown

                    160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America   CW   25   77  173  167  133   23  598    26.4
South America   CW    0    3   11    7    9   10   40     1.8
Europe          CW    6   57  282  609  575    1 1530    67.5
Asia            CW    0    1    5   25   34    0   65     2.9
Africa          CW    0    1    4    5    4    0   14     0.6
Oceania         CW    0    2    5    6    7    0   20     0.9


HOUR     160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

  12    .....    .....    .....    10/5    169/14    .....   179/19  179/19 
  13      .        .        .      11/7    134/9      2/2    147/18  326/37 
  14      .        .        .       6/3    113/10    16/2    135/15  461/52 
  15      .        .        .       5/0    123/6       .     128/6   589/58 
  16      .        .        .      20/6     64/1      6/3     90/10  679/68 
  17      .        .        .      81/3     15/3      3/1     99/7   778/75 
  18      .        .        .     105/3     10/5      4/2    119/10  897/85 
  19      .        .        .      43/5     39/3      3/1     85/9   982/94 
  20    .....    .....    .....   121/4      6/1     .....   127/5  1109/99 
  21      .        .       5/5     94/3      2/1       .     101/9  1210/108
  22      .        .       8/5     70/6      6/3       .      84/14 1294/122
  23      .        .      31/13    32/1      8/2       .      71/16 1365/138
  00     6/4     20/14    21/4     13/0      2/0       .      62/22 1427/160
  01     2/2     23/4     62/4      1/0       .        .      88/10 1515/170
  02     9/4     16/7     49/4      3/0       .        .      77/15 1592/185
  03     2/0     30/3     78/4      7/0       .        .     117/7  1709/192
  04    .....     3/0     98/1      8/1     .....    .....   109/2  1818/194
  05     4/2     23/6     56/3     13/0       .        .      96/11 1914/205
  06     4/2       .      22/3     17/3       .        .      43/8  1957/213
  07     3/1      5/1     27/3     18/0       .        .      53/5  2010/218
  08      .       9/0     14/3     40/1       .        .      63/4  2073/222
  09     1/1     10/1      5/0     38/3      4/1       .      58/6  2131/228
  10      .       2/0      4/1     44/0      6/0       .      56/1  2187/229
  11      .        .        .      16/1     54/1       .      70/2  2257/231

 TOT    31/16   141/36   480/53   816/55   755/60    34/11      .   2257/231


1236:    5 per minute     (300/hr)
1238:   36 per 10 minutes (216/hr)
1259:  179 per hour


1997 ARRL Sweepstakes CW

K5ZD, Single Op, High Power

Randall A. Thompson, K5ZD

Summary Sheet

                ARRL SWEEPSTAKES -- 1997

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

      160        0        0        -
       80      183      366        -
       40      881     1762        -
       20      209      418        -
       15       56      112        -
       10        5       10        -

     Totals   1334     2668       79

               Score:  210,772

Equipment Description

Station 1

  • IC-765 and Alpha 76-CA
  • 5-el 15 at 65′
  • 5-el 20 at 100′
  • 2-el 40 at 110′
  • 80m Inv Vee at 90′

Station 2

  • FT-1000 and L-4B
  • TH7DXX at 90′
  • 40m sloper
  • 80m 1/4-wave GP


Since W2SC operated the CQ WW Phone contest, I was excited about doing SS CW without being “hung over” from a 44+ hour effort the weekend before. Conditions sounded great with big signals on 15 and 10 meters in the hours before the contest. I was ready!

I started calling CQ on 20. I don’t like to S&P at the beginning since you mostly just work the guys who are going to be on all weekend anyway. Twenty sounded almost deserted and I was not getting many answers. At one point in the first hour I was doing better on the second rig calling stations than the main one calling CQ!

At 2154Z I decided to try 40m. From the Northeast there are always QSOs available on 40! Again the band seemed strangely empty. I started CQing on 7038 while continuing to scan 15m on the second rig. The combined rate was less than spectacular and I was getting frustrated. After 20 minutes I moved up to 7044 to try to find a clearer frequency. Then 7030. I was working stations but it was tough to listen to the western half of the country just running away. When I looked at my rate sheet from the past two years I was already falling way behind.

In retrospect, it was obvious that the good high band conditions were changing the operating preferences of the “masses”! Everyone was seduced into the fun of having 15m (and even some 10m) openings. Once darkness started to kill those bands, everyone finally came down to 40.

At this point I was having the worst start ever in 20 years. I was over 150 QSOs behind the big scorers out west. Thoughts of quitting were seriously considered. N2NT was over 30 QSOs ahead of me and K1AM was 15 ahead (and he was using just one radio!). I kept going only with the goal of continuing my streak of consecutive years over 1000 QSOs (it’s now up to 21!).

About 0040Z I move up to 7058. It was clear and the rate started to improve. This frequency became home base for the next 6 hours. All of my 80m QSOs Saturday evening were made on the second radio. I was a bit surprised to read all the comments about how 80m was the key band for many in the east and how hard 40m frequencies were to find. I think I only had one or two challenges on 7058 all night and they were from W2’s who were within the skip zone.

It was raining all evening but I only had one stretch of about 40 minutes where rain static was a big issue. The S-meter just went to 20 over and stayed there. I didn’t want to give up the frequency and take a break so I listened using my European Beverage. It was quiet, and the Europeans were loud, but it wasn’t the best antenna for hearing Q-power W6’s. The band was also experiencing some very rapid QSB so I was forced to ask for a lot of repeats. Once the rain static cleared, the rate took off. Having 87 and 84 QSOs in the 03 and 04Z hours was amazing and helped improve my attitude.

Things really slowed down about 08Z. I was so worn out from work that I just couldn’t stay awake. I tried operating standing up and while running in place. It was just too tough. It used to be that you had to keep operating until at least 09Z because rates the next day were typically even worse. This is changing with the renewed activity of the PINS program. Now the daytime hours are the most productive. Since I was so tired (and a bit demoralized from being behind) I decided that 3 hours of sleep would be worth more than a few QSOs. I took my first off time at 0820Z and set the alarm for 3 hours later.

I got back on the radio at 1155Z. Last year I had tried to CQ on 40 and use the second rig on 80 all morning. In the process I had listened to W2PV and K1AM run away from me. This year I focused on CQing on 80 and tuning 40. It was definitely better! Having a 62 hour on Sunday morning was a first for me. Usually 50 is a lot!

I kept pounding 40m while tuning the other bands. I was surprised to hear how the West Coast stations had fallen behind. This is partially due to off times but they must also struggle on the low bands. N2NT was still about 30 to 40 QSOs ahead of me.

About 1700Z I started thinking about taking an off time. I was hoping to continue until about 1800Z but another rain storm came through and the static was horrible. I took it as a sign to take a break and get a shower. 50 minutes later the rain stopped for the weekend and I was refreshed and fed. Now it was just a sprint to the finish — except for the nagging
problem of still needing VY1, KL7, and VE2!

As I would tune the FT-1000 across 15m I noticed that any signal over S9 would create two additional phantom signals up and down 22 KHz from the main one. This caused me some frustration as I was tuning above 21050 and wondering why stations weren’t coming back to me (I was calling a phantom!). I never did figure out what was causing this (anyone have any ideas?). It did come in helpful later on.

About 1925Z VX2AWR called in on 40m to give me Quebec. What a relief! A bit later KQ2M stopped by to ask if I had a sweep. I told him that I needed VY1. He said he had worked VY1JA on 21027 several hours earlier. At least now I had a clue of where to look.

A bit later I heard VY1JA on 21027. He was not loud and the pile-up was a bit obnoxious. I kept coming back on the second rig but it was pretty hopeless. The op was sending slowly and seemed to be really struggling to copy. I decided that VY1 was not to be this year.

At 1952Z I was tuning 15m on the FT-1000 when I heard WL7KY give an exchange. He wasn’t loud and I thought it sounded like a phantom. Now I had to find where he really was! I quickly checked down about 22 KHz and there he was. One call and section #78 was in the log. Maybe this multiple receive thing has some value!

I spent some time in the afternoon CQing on 20m. I had pretty much worked 40 out and there were lots of guys out west that I still needed. Rates weren’t great, but 20 is a virtual bottomless pit of stations. Its also an overcrowded mess!

As I was CQing on 40m I took my last few scans of 20 during the 00Z hour. I was amazed and thrilled to find VY1JA booming in with his usual big pile-up. This sounded like a completely different operator. He was sending fast and keeping the pile-up moving. It took only a few calls to get him for the sweep! What a relief. Reading the Internet mail the next
day I now realize just how lucky I was. Still, that’s part of the game that keeps me coming back every year.

After that I just concentrated on making rate. The higher MUFs this year kept the skip relatively short on all bands which really helps on 40m. I usually try to kill some off time in the last 3 hours since rates are so low but now I am reevaluating that strategy. My rate stayed fairly constant right to the end which is a good sign that people are getting
involved in the contest and sticking with it!

The contest finished for me at 0230Z as I ran out of operating time. 1334 and 79 was a lot better than I thought I would do given the poor start. It wasn’t quite up to my previous best of 1362 QSOs, but the extra sections make this a new New England Division record (I hope). I took a break and then came back to listen to the scores on 3830. Fell out of the
chair when N2NT (op was N2NC) announced his score of 1330 and a missing section. Can’t wait to compare rate sheets and find where I caught up with John.

The efforts to put a W1 in the top ten of SS CW must continue. See you all next year!

Randy, K5ZD

Rate Sheet


HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM 

  21    .....    .....     7/4     49/22    22/9     .....    78/35   78/35 
  22      .        .      38/8     13/6     15/3       .      66/17  144/52 
  23      .        .      52/1     14/3       .        .      66/4   210/56 
   0      .        .      54/6      6/3       .        .      60/9   270/65 
   1      .       5/1     63/3      2/0       .        .      70/4   340/69 
   2      .      12/0     66/0       .        .        .      78/0   418/69 
   3      .       4/1     83/0       .        .        .      87/1   505/70 
   4      .      13/1     71/0       .        .        .      84/1   589/71 
   5    .....    11/0     52/2     .....    .....    .....    63/2   652/73 
   6      .      10/1     51/0       .        .        .      61/1   713/74 
   7      .       9/0     29/0       .        .        .      38/0   751/74 
   8      .       8/0      2/0       .        .        .      10/0   761/74 
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    761/74 
  10      .        .        .        .        .        .        .    761/74 
  11      .       6/1      1/0       .        .        .       7/1   768/75 
  12      .      52/0     10/0       .        .        .      62/0   830/75 
  13    .....    24/0     13/0     10/0     .....    .....    47/0   877/75 
  14      .        .      45/0      9/0       .        .      54/0   931/75 
  15      .        .      43/0      5/0      3/1       .      51/1   982/76 
  16      .        .      36/0      8/0      1/0       .      45/0  1027/76 
  17      .        .      10/0       .       3/0       .      13/0  1040/76 
  18      .        .      34/0      4/0       .       1/0     39/0  1079/76 
  19      .        .      30/1       .      10/1      2/0     42/2  1121/78 
  20      .        .       5/0     29/0      2/0      2/0     38/0  1159/78 
  21    .....    .....     9/0     26/0     .....    .....    35/0  1194/78 
  22      .       2/0      7/0      6/0       .        .      15/0  1209/78 
  23      .       6/0      8/0     27/0       .        .      41/0  1250/78 
   0      .       6/0     36/0      1/1       .        .      43/1  1293/79 
   1      .       9/0      8/0       .        .        .      17/0  1310/79 
   2      .       6/0     18/0       .        .        .      24/0  1334/79 

TOT     .....   183/5    881/25   209/35    56/14     5/0     ..... 1334/79


1997 ARRL DX Phone Contest (W2SC opr)

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

By Tom Georgens, W2SC

Summary Sheet


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


      160       45      29
       80      253      64
       40      288      72
       20     1466     114
       15      127      55
       10       35      10

     Totals   2214     344  =   2,284,848

Equipment Description:

  • FT-1000 + Alpha 76, IC-765 + L-4B
  • 160m 1/4-wave GP, Shunt feed 90′ tower
  • 80m Inverted vee @95′, 1/4-wave GP
  • 40m Cushcraft 40-2CD @110′
  • 20m Hygain 205CA @100′, 205CA @50′
  • 15m 5-ele @75′
  • 10m 6-ele @67′ fixed South
  • TH7DXX @90′

The Contest

After a narrow defeat on CW, I was ready to grit my teeth and go at it again on SSB. I arrived at Randy’s house on Thursday night and wanted to get everything set up before I went to bed. I had to partially reassemble the station and make up a few microphone cables to incorporate the DVP with my two radio switching stuff.

When I was complete, Randy told me that he had a new motherboard and related hardware for his computer and he proceeded to take it apart. After my experience in the CW contest I was remarkably calm through the entire process. I talked to W1KM on the phone while Randy worked his magic. Mercifully, everything came up OK and the station was set before midnight.

I had left a number of fires burning at work when I left and I knew that I would be spending most of Friday on the phone. I got about an hour’s sleep around noon but spent the rest of the afternoon handling work issues. This was probably the least amount of rest I had ever had prior to a 48 hour contest.

I had noticed during Friday that the bands seemed dead and it was confirmed just before the contest began when I overheard a conversation indicating that conditions were disturbed and the A index was 34. I started on 40 but signals seemed way down. I tried to run around calling guys but was getting pounded by W3’s, AA1K/3 in particular. After about 20 minutes I QSY’d to 80 where things started well. I finished the first hour with 49 on 80 and 61 overall. It went downhill from there as I could only manage 205 Q’s in the next 10 hours. The best conditions were on 160 but the QRN was nearly unbearable. Randy’s beverage works great on 80 but this night was a real challenge. When Randy got up in the morning he was horrified to see my low band score.

20 was slow to open and did not get active until well into the 11Z hour. After a couple of good hours I started to listen for a 15 meter opening but the band was really marginal. I tried a few CQ’s up there but could not work much, although I did have a C31 call. I decide to take a risk and hope for a rebound on 15 on Sunday. 10 meters proved to be more productive than I expected and I picked up 10 multipliers. 40 was very productive in the afternoon on CW and it worked well this weekend as well as I managed another 125Q’s before the band closed at 1Z.

At the midpoint I was 1347/280 and way behind last year. I heard lots of whining about the conditions but was not sure how well I was doing. I was hoping for better conditions the second night but it was not to be. 80 was slow but I could get sporadic callers throughout the night. 160 was so noisy that it was nearly useless. Randy had gone up to KC1XX to operate for a while and stopped by to say that he now understood why my score was so poor. Conditions were grim.

The whole night was a struggle with no 40 meter European sunrise opening. During the 7-10Z hours there was nothing to work so I took two 15 minute naps and a 30 minute slumber. One thing of note was the strength of the Pacific signals on 40 both mornings. The 20 meter opening started about the same time as Saturday but I had a tough time holding a frequency. The signals were weak and the QRM was brutal. I am usually very even tempered when I operate but my inability to pull stations through was causing great
frustration. As the morning wore on, I knew I was in trouble with 15 meter mults so I had to make an effort with the second radio to gather as many as possible.

15 was marginally runnable and I tried the band periodically most of the morning. I did not gather many Q’s but I did well with the mults. I was pleasantly surprised by a late opening and I worked 23 stations in the 16Z hour. I managed to shore up my pathetic multiplier number but I was very concerned about the guys to the south of me having a significant opening on 15 and making hundreds of extra Q’s.

When 20 shut down toward Europe, I went to 40 and combed twenty with the second radio. As it turned out, I could not get answers on 40 and 20 seemed pretty good to Japan so I ran around calling and running a few JA stations. After an hour I went back to 40 and this time was able to run another 60 stations before the contest ended.

After narrowly losing the CW contest on multipliers, I pushed the second radio as hard as I could all weekend and it seemed to help. Unfortunately, the low rates all weekend made this easy. The other notable difference on SSB was the large number of excellent multipliers that called on 20. 9L,5X,5H,7X,S9,XU,VU,CN,5N, VQ9,SU, and 9J quickly come to mind.

Although I had very little rest on Friday and conditions were relatively poor, I never really felt tired. These 48 hour contests seem to be getting easier as each one goes by. I think I have learned that the weak moments will pass and, if I can just push through them, I will catch a second wind.

Overall, after seven years of semi-serious contesting, it looks like I may have finally won one of these contests. I would like to thank Randy and his wife Connie for their hospitality and the opportunity to use his relatively simple, yet hugely effective, station. Randy’s station works like no other that I have ever experienced and I wish to state my sincere appreciation for his letting me use it.

I also owe my wife and kids thanks for allowing me to indulge myself with this contest stuff. Nonetheless, I am now burned out on radio for a while after two 5-day trips and 48-hour contests in a three week span. I have probably done all of my operating for 1997. Why are the ARRL contests so close anyway?

73 and Thanks for all the QSO’s,

Tom W2SC

Rate Sheet


HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT 

   0    .....    49/22    10/7      2/1     .....    .....    61/30   61/30
   1     2/2     28/9      3/2      3/1       .        .      36/14   97/44
   2      .      16/4     19/11      .        .        .      35/15  132/59
   3    13/11     6/1      2/2      1/1       .        .      22/15  154/74
   4     9/4      5/0       .        .        .        .      14/4   168/78
   5    11/6      7/2      4/2       .        .        .      22/10  190/88
   6     3/2      4/4      4/4       .        .        .      11/10  201/98
   7     3/2      4/3     17/8       .        .        .      24/13  225/111
   8    .....     5/3     18/5     .....    .....    .....    23/8   248/119
   9     1/0      4/1      5/0       .        .        .      10/1   258/120
  10      .       3/2      1/0      4/4       .        .       8/6   266/126
  11      .        .        .      71/26      .        .      71/26  337/152
  12      .        .        .     120/7       .        .     120/7   457/159
  13      .        .        .     113/7      1/1       .     114/8   571/167
  14      .        .        .     100/3      9/4       .     109/7   680/174
  15      .        .        .     103/3      5/2       .     108/5   788/179
  16    .....    .....    .....    86/4     18/11    .....   104/15  892/194
  17      .        .        .      77/4      1/0     15/9     93/13  985/207
  18      .        .        .      64/5     13/10     1/0     78/15 1063/222
  19      .        .        .      69/8     10/3      1/0     80/11 1143/233
  20      .        .        .      37/3      4/1     16/1     57/5  1200/238
  21      .        .      21/5     11/9      2/2       .      34/16 1234/254
  22      .        .      50/7      6/4       .        .      56/11 1290/265
  23      .        .      44/9     13/6       .        .      57/15 1347/280
   0    .....    31/4     11/2      1/1     .....    .....    43/7  1390/287
   1      .      21/1      5/1       .        .        .      26/2  1416/289
   2      .      13/2       .        .        .        .      13/2  1429/291
   3      .      15/2       .        .        .        .      15/2  1444/293
   4     1/1      2/0      1/1       .        .        .       4/2  1448/295
   5     1/1      5/0       .        .        .        .       6/1  1454/296
   6      .      23/3       .        .        .        .      23/3  1477/299
   7     1/0      5/0       .        .        .        .       6/0  1483/299
   8    .....     1/0      8/0     .....    .....    .....     9/0  1492/299
   9      .        .       1/1       .        .        .       1/1  1493/300
  10      .       1/0      1/0      7/0       .        .       9/0  1502/300
  11      .       1/1       .      82/1       .        .      83/2  1585/302
  12      .        .        .      75/2       .        .      75/2  1660/304
  13      .        .        .      56/1      2/1       .      58/2  1718/306
  14      .        .        .      45/0     18/10      .      63/10 1781/316
  15      .        .        .      65/1      5/0       .      70/1  1851/317
  16    .....    .....    .....    43/1     23/5     .....    66/6  1917/323
  17      .        .        .      57/1      1/0      1/0     59/1  1976/324
  18      .        .        .      44/2      6/3      1/0     51/5  2027/329
  19      .        .        .      57/2      5/2       .      62/4  2089/333
  20      .        .        .      19/3      4/0       .      23/3  2112/336
  21      .        .       3/1     22/2       .        .      25/3  2137/339
  22      .        .      46/2      7/0       .        .      53/2  2190/341
  23      .       4/0     14/2      6/1       .        .      24/3  2214/344
DAY1    42/27   131/51   198/62   880/96    63/34    33/10    ..... 1347/280
DAY2     3/2    122/13    90/10   586/18    64/21     2/0       .    867/64
TOT     45/29   253/64   288/72 1466/114   127/55    35/10      .   2214/344

1997 ARRL DX CW Contest (W2SC opr)

Call: K5ZD (W2SC op)            Country:  United States
      Mode: CW                       Category: Single Operator


      160      102     46
       80      460     65
       40      834     87
       20     1432     92
       15      145     58
       10        2      2

     Totals   2975    350  =   3,123,750

Equipment Description:

  • FT-1000 + Alpha 76, IC-765 + L-4B
  • 160m 1/4-wave GP, Shunt feed 90′ tower
  • 80m Inverted vee @95′, 1/4-wave GP
  • 40m Cushcraft 40-2CD @110′
  • 20m Hygain 205CA @100′, 205CA @50′
  • 15m 5-ele @75′
  • 10m 6-ele @67′ fixed South
  • TH7DXX @90′

The Contest

When Randy, K5ZD, announced that he would not be operating the ARRL DX contests I immediately informed him that I would be glad to put his station on the air if he was offering.  He said that SSB was a sure thing and he would let me know about CW.  Ultimately, both weekends were available and I was not about to let the opportunity pass.

I flew out from my current QTH in Kansas on Thursday night to set up my FT1000D as the primary radio and his 765 as the second radio.  I also wanted to use my own two radio switching arrangement as I tried his split headphone solution in last year’s ARRL SSB and could never use it effectively.  I am impressed by those (K5ZD, N4VJ, et. al.) who can use this scheme.  It did not take long to get the stuff working and the station was more or less set.  Randy had two suggestions however. First, he wanted to use the computer to run the FT1000D.  I did not have the RS-232 interface for the FT1000D and did not think it was necessary for CW (On SSB it is invaluable for 40/80 splits).  Nonetheless, he had a KIY box and it worked flawlessly.  He also has a problem with his computer where the CT screen would mysteriously change colors at random times.  He suggested using my laptop at the computer to drive his keyboard and monitor.  Once again he had it running in short order.  Despite the warnings about Windows 95 and CT, everything looked fine.

On Friday, the plan was to do some errands in the morning, have lunch with a friend, and sleep in the afternoon.  When I returned to Randy’s house for the nap, I found that my key did not work and I was locked outside in the freezing rain.  I got pretty soaked as I repeatedly circled his house trying to find a lock where the key would operate.  No amount of swearing would make it work.  Not knowing what to do, I decided to drive to my house in a neighboring town that I have rented and asked the tenants if I could crash there for a few hours.  Everything worked out and we all had a good laugh when I got back to Randy’s.

Everything seemed all set to start the contest when the computer hung as I tried to program the CW messages.  I restarted the computer and the same thing happened.  At this point, it was minutes before the start and I was starting to get concerned.  After trying several things, I finally decided to go back to Randy’s computer notwithstanding the funny monitor colors.  It had now passed 0000Z and I was not ready.  When Randy’s computer would not send either, I started to panic. Just then, Randy came home from work and he got things working.  I had not made a Q yet and I was already mentally spent.

My first Q was at 0015 but I did manage 85 Q’s in the first hour.  40 essentially quit at 0130 and I was off to 80.  The 02Z hour produced 89 Q’s on 80 and I was starting to feel pretty good again.  Things played well all night on 80 and 160 but the 40 meter European sunrise opening was nearly non-existent.

20 opened at about 11Z and I managed to run off 1237 stations in the next 12 hours.  Around 13Z I started to listen to the multis attempting to run on 15.  The rate on 20 was huge and but I did not want to miss the 15 meter opening.  I lost last years ARRL SSB partly by passing on a mediocre 15 meters to run on 20 and not getting another chance at the multipliers when the band did not open at all on Sunday.  I finally jumped to 15 but could not get much going.  I had a good but not great rate.  I eventually went back to twenty and returned to 15 later.  As it turned out, there was to be no real 15 meters on the following day.

In the meantime, they kept calling on twenty.  The continuous action all day and the ease at which I could get and hold a frequency were incredible.  One time when Randy stopped by to check the score, I simply told him that his 20 meter signal was obscene.  20 wilted at around 1930 and it was off to 40 where I had only had about 200 Q’s the first night.  I worked around 400 Q’s on 40 in the next five hours.  I had 1850/272 at the split and things felt good.

I managed to keep things going on 80 and 160 including running about 30 stations on 160 in the 5Z hour.  The dreaded 8,9,and 10Z hours produced a total of 12 Q’s and 8 mults.  In this period I took a refreshing 15 minute nap.

Twenty returned at 11Z and things started hopping again.  It shut down a little earlier on Sunday I went to 40 shortly after 19Z (2PM local).  I knew that W1KM was going to be tough to beat so I promised myself not to let down and push full bore to the end.  The last few hours finished with 63, 59, 44, and 48 Q’s.

I left Randy’s not knowing W1KM’s score and my anticipation rose until mid-week when I learned the disappointing news that I had been beaten by about 70K points. While I had a 60 Q edge, I was 16 mults behind.  It was clear that I had not pushed the second radio hard enough.  All it would have taken was 8 more countries.

I actually got to compare notes with Greg on the Thursday before the SSB ‘test (a subject of another story).  After a contesters ritual of exchanging excuses (he had a computer crash during a 20 meter run, I lost 15 minutes at the beginning, he could only do 700 watts on 80, I did not have a gain antenna on 80, etc) we compared notes.  On the first day, he went to 15 early, got good rate, and worked many Q’s and mults that I never got.  At the midpoint, I had a slight lead but he had a big hour on 160 at 01Z and worked 30 mults.  I never had the lead again.

It is always fascinating to compare notes.  Although 48 hours is a long time, every decision is vital and all it takes is a couple of mistakes or missed openings to spell the difference.  It is clear that one must make every minute useful and repeatedly reassess whether you are doing the most productive (Score maximizing) thing possible.

In the end, there are no excuses, skill and experience prevailed, and that is the way it should be.  Congratulations to W1KM on a fine effort.

Rate Sheet


HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT 

   0    .....    .....    85/21    .....    .....    .....    85/21   85/21
   1      .      36/19    40/10     8/6       .        .      84/35  169/56
   2      .      89/12     1/1       .        .        .      90/13  259/69
   3    19/15    25/2      6/5       .        .        .      50/22  309/91
   4     9/6     26/2     10/6       .        .        .      45/14  354/105
   5     6/5     33/2      3/2       .        .        .      42/9   396/114
   6     3/2     45/5      1/0       .        .        .      49/7   445/121
   7     1/0      9/6     34/6       .        .        .      44/12  489/133
   8    .....     3/3     12/5     .....    .....    .....    15/8   504/141
   9      .       2/1      8/5       .        .        .      10/6   514/147
  10      .       2/0      4/0     24/16      .        .      30/16  544/163
  11      .        .       1/1    132/22      .        .     133/23  677/186
  12      .        .        .     143/7       .        .     143/7   820/193
  13      .        .        .     113/2       .        .     113/2   933/195
  14      .        .        .      38/1     60/22      .      98/23 1031/218
  15      .        .        .      61/2     32/4       .      93/6  1124/224
  16    .....    .....    .....    89/3     11/3     .....   100/6  1224/230
  17      .        .        .      86/2      8/8       .      94/10 1318/240
  18      .        .        .      78/1      5/4      1/1     84/6  1402/246
  19      .        .        .      63/2      5/2       .      68/4  1470/250
  20      .        .      65/9     26/1      4/2       .      95/12 1565/262
  21      .        .     125/0       .        .        .     125/0  1690/262
  22      .        .      86/4      5/4       .        .      91/8  1781/270
  23      .        .      66/0      3/2       .        .      69/2  1850/272
   0    .....    .....    54/3      3/1     .....    .....    57/4  1907/276
   1    10/4     31/3     11/1       .        .        .      52/8  1959/284
   2     3/1     30/2       .        .        .        .      33/3  1992/287
   3     8/3      7/0       .        .        .        .      15/3  2007/290
   4     4/1     33/1      1/0       .        .        .      38/2  2045/292
   5    30/5       .       3/2       .        .        .      33/7  2078/299
   6     4/1     46/1       .        .        .        .      50/2  2128/301
   7     1/0     23/1      1/1       .        .        .      25/2  2153/303
   8    .....     2/2      1/0     .....    .....    .....     3/2  2156/305
   9     2/2       .       2/0       .        .        .       4/2  2160/307
  10     2/1      1/1      2/2       .        .        .       5/4  2165/311
  11      .        .        .      75/1       .        .      75/1  2240/312
  12      .        .        .     110/2       .        .     110/2  2350/314
  13      .        .        .      81/2      1/1       .      82/3  2432/317
  14      .        .        .      72/1       .        .      72/1  2504/318
  15      .        .        .      65/1      2/1       .      67/2  2571/320
  16    .....    .....    .....    55/2      3/3      1/1     59/6  2630/326
  17      .        .        .      56/2      2/1       .      58/3  2688/329
  18      .        .        .      22/1      7/3       .      29/4  2717/333
  19      .        .      30/1     11/0      3/3       .      44/4  2761/337
  20      .        .      60/1      1/1      2/1       .      63/3  2824/340
  21      .        .      55/0      4/4       .        .      59/4  2883/344
  22      .        .      42/1      2/1       .        .      44/2  2927/346
  23      .      17/2     25/0      6/2       .        .      48/4  2975/350
DAY1    38/28   270/52   547/75   869/71   125/45     1/1     ..... 1850/272
DAY2    64/18   190/13   287/12   563/21    20/13     1/1       .   1125/78
TOT    102/46   460/65   834/87  1432/92   145/58     2/2       .   2975/350

1996 CQ WW CW Contest

K5ZD, Single Op All Band, High Power

By Randy Thompson, K5ZD

Summary Sheet

              CQ WORLD WIDE DX CONTEST -- 1996

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


      160      174      488     2.80     16      57
       80      343      961     2.80     22      81
       40      744     2170     2.92     33     112
       20     1138     3358     2.95     34     109
       15      725     2141     2.95     27      95
       10       25       59     2.36     12      16

     Totals   3149     9177     2.91    144     470  =>  5,634,678

Station Description

  • Radio 1 – Icom IC-765 + Alpha 76CA (connected to either tower 1 or 2)
  • Radio 2 – Kenwood TS-930S + Drake L-4B (connected only to tower 2)

Tower 1 – 100′ Rohn 45G

  • 40-2CD @ 110′
  • 205CA @ 100′ / 50′
  • 5-el 15 @70′ on rotary sidemount
  • 6-el 10 @75′ fixed south
  • 80m Inv Vee with top at 95′
  • 160m 1/4-wave GP with 4 elevated radials

Tower 2 – 90′ Rohn 25G

  • TH7DXX at 90′
  • 40m 1/2-wave sloper to west
  • 80m 1/4-wave elevated GP with 4 radials
  • 160m Inv Vee with top at 88′

The Story

I have a routine that I try to follow in preparing for a major single op effort in a DX contest. It includes getting plenty of rest during the week leading up to the contest, taking a 3 hour nap just before the contest, and having the station tuned and ready well in advance. I didn’t get to do any of these this time!

My company shipped our very first production product on Friday afternoon. Not without lots of last minute details and corrections of course. I arrived home in a rush at 2315Z and flipped on the equipment. A quick change of clothes, grabbed a sandwich, and I was in the shack writing down the amp tuning settings at 2345Z. Got the clock and computer set with just minutes to spare.

Started the contest on 40m because that is always the place to start. Almost couldn’t find a frequency and ended up at 7042. It was a strange beginning. The band was open, but not really. The big Eu stations were very loud, but it must have been so noisy and crowded that the little guys just couldn’t get through. I was tuning an almost dead 20m band on the second radio and caught some garden variety stuff. It was so slow calling CQ that I actually did some S&P for the last 20 minutes of the hour [thus violating the single op rule that says if you are not calling CQ during a rate period you are losing!].

40 was so bad I headed for 160 at 0100Z. First station I heard was OH1NOR with a good signal (he would be much louder later). Spent 10 minutes and worked a few other Eu before heading to 80m.

I was really feeling tired at this point and wondered how I would ever get through the full weekend. Experience told me that I would get over this feeling as I got more into the contest… I did, but not until sunrise!

80 CW is not my best band. My antenna, which seems to do fine on Phone, just doesn’t cut it on CW. I would get a little run going and then some European would sit down next to me and it was over. Very frustrating and resulted in lots of S&P work on 80. My first spin up the band went all the way up to 3578!

Back to 160 during the 02Z hour. Got a small run going on 1841 from 0220 to 0234Z. Nothing rare, but it got my confidence back. Went to 40 when I found ZD8DEZ while tuning on the second radio. Couldn’t find a frequency to call CQ on, so just tuned up the band for some high speed S&P. Worked multipliers all the way up to 7061!

At 03Z it was back to 80m for more tuning. Actually got a very small run at 3560 but then lost the frequency. Again I chased stations all the way up to 3579. If you haven’t been tuning up this high, there are lots of second level Europeans up here who like to call CQ.

I pushed 160 pretty hard during the 04Z hour. The band was filled with Eu signals but they were not hearing me as well as I was hearing them. No doubt due to the high QRM levels. Best catch was 4X4NJ at 0412Z. Had to wait for Riki to work a few Europeans first, but he eventually heard me. Never heard him again all weekend. Then I found RU6LWZ for another double mult.

At 0445Z it was back to 80m. I needed some QSOs so tried to call CQ as much as possible. Got 3506 for a few minutes and had WH6R call in (this is good since I usually miss KH6 on this band for some reason). Finally found a home at 3529 which was good for 30 QSOs or so. UA9FGR in zone 17 called in at 0507 and he was loud (well over S9)! That surprise was followed by LU4FD which was a nice double.

I spent the rest of the evening bouncing between 80 and 160. Anything for a QSO! The second rig was on 40m (using a sloper to the west) chasing Caribbean stations. I could tell the MUF was below 7 MHz so I invested my time on the LF bands.

Since I had not operated the contest last year (KM3T used my station) I didn’t really know what to expect. I had downloaded the K1AR multi-single and W1KM single op rate sheets from the contesting on-line web site. These gave me something to chase and I was falling behind on QSOs, but doing very well for multipliers. It seemed that everywhere I went I found more and more mults. Even still, it is amazing to see the scores on the 3830 reflector and realize how much stuff I missed!

Conditions to northern Eu were very good on 80 and 160. I have never worked so many OZ, LA, OH and SM stations!

At 0830, I finally found a good frequency to call CQ on 40m (7007). In the midst of the Europeans I was called by a weak and very fluttery VS6BG. A few minutes later I found JA1YXP with a very good signal.

The 09Z hour was very slow, but filled with lots of multipliers. Even at 10Z, the Eu big guns were still coming through on 40m. RZ9UA/0 in zone 18 was extremely loud (as he was all weekend!). At 1024Z I heard what sounded like a JA calling CQ on 80m. I dropped my call in just for grins and was amazed to have him come back with the complete call immediately. I had to ask JK1OPL for his call 3 times so he was hearing lots better than I was. That is the earliest and easiest I have worked JA on 80. That gave me a needed shot of adrenaline.

At 1040Z the Europeans started to come through on 20. I called a few of them but most were beaming east and couldn’t hear me. I was surprised to catch VK9NS on 80m at 1055Z. To celebrate, I stood up for the first time and made a 10 minute potty and food break. I came back to find N5OLS/KH8 and TX8FU on 40m for new ones.

At 1115Z I got to 20m to start the morning’s business. I got one of my favorite spots, 14026, and the rate was immediate. I worked 272 QSOs in just 94 minutes! All during the run, the receiver sounded intermittent. It was annoying, but the signals were loud enough that I could still copy even when it cut out. I finally decided something had failed in the 20m stack as I had not noticed the problem before.

At 1254Z I moved up 7 MHz exactly from 14026 to 21026. The rate was stayed in the incredible range with 273 contacts in 118 minutes. The receiver was still cutting out and it was driving me crazy. I took a few minutes to try and solve the problem by wiggling coaxes and removing the watt meter from the line but it quickly returned.

Just as happened in the phone contest, the rate went from high to low in just a short period. It seems that I have a 15m band opening only antenna. The rate slowed so much that I went back to 20m at 1520Z to get something going. It was almost impossible to find a frequency to CQ on. The fluttery backscatter signals were all very wide making it even more difficult to squeeze in. I finally found a crack at 14037 and stayed there from 1526 until 1803Z. I caught a few multipliers on 15m using the second rig.

During this run I had continued to try to figure out the receive problem. I finally realized that the amp relay had to be the problem. At one point during the night, while listening on the Beverage, I had transmitted into an open relay position. This probably burned the relay contacts. It took only minutes to pop the cover of the Alpha 76 and buff the contacts with some sand paper. Problem solved! That’s the first in-contest equipment failure here in a long time (knock on wood).

At 1809Z I decided I had better check 10m. First signal heard was W6NL for a zone 3 multiplier. K1KI was next and that was it. No other signals on the band!

Since I had spent so much time on 20m, I knew I really needed to hit 15 before it closed. It was almost too late for Europe, but there was still plenty of multipliers ranging from EA6IB to ZD8DEZ to AH8N to HC8N to D44BC.

At 1910Z I went back to 10m and caught P40W, a very weak 3E1DX, and some LUs. That was it for 10m on Saturday.

I got 14003 and started a small run. Looking at the previous year’s rate sheets, it looked like 40m was where I should be so I moved on down. At 1924Z I captured 7013. This was home for the next 2 hours and 140 QSOs. Best call in was TF50IRA for a nice double! The second radio was active on 20 catching goodies like 9U5DX and 3C5A. OX3SA called in a bit later to complete the zone 40 ‘run’.

At 2215Z, I realized that 20m was open to JA. Since the rate on 40 was going down, I decided to give it a try. This is the one place my K5 call is a disadvantage — the JAs are so busy chasing the W1/W2/W3 guys that they seem to ignore a less rare K5! After a nice run of 20 JAs it was over. The band was still open, but no one was calling.

I went to 15 for a quick multiplier scan. I was beaming west after just working VK2AYD when I heard JA5DQH on scatter. He was right at the noise level but I dropped my call in just in case. I didn’t think he had come back to me until I heard “Hi Randy”! I just about fell out of the chair. I worked ZM2K for my third double mult and then back to 20m to finish out the hour chasing multipliers.

The 23Z hour was all on 40 in a mix of S&P plus CQing. The only spot I could get in was 7039. Even there, it was tough to hold a spot. I have never seen 40m so crowded. It was impossible to get a frequency below 7020.

At 2336Z my wife informed me that dinner was ready if I wanted it. It sounded better than beating my head against a wall so I took my second real break of the contest. Just 13 minutes later I am back in the chair.

At the 24 hour mark, I had 1821/118/373 for about 2.58M. My ‘formula’ for determining my final score goal is to double this and add 10%. That would be around 5.6 Million which seemed rather incredible at the time. Most interesting to me was that I had 99 countries on 40m and only 81 on 20m.

My goal for the second night was to chase multipliers. During the 00Z hour I found TK5EP and T9DX on 160m, then ES6DO, VP5EA, and YO4WP on 80m. I was searching for 5V7A since I knew they had to be somewhere on the band. I finally found them on 3557 of all places, and the pile-up was big enough that they were listening up 1 kHz! The op was really good since he got me on the first call (isn’t that how you define someone as being a good op?)!

At 01Z I realized that 20m was open to JA again. Not runnable, but I spent some time chasing the ones that were calling CQ. The opening was rather narrow as I didn’t hear anything other than JA and some zone 19 UA0s.

When I returned to 40m I found ZS8IR working at a slow but steady pace. Amazingly, that is an all time new country for me! A few minutes later I am trying to establish a CQ frequency on 7034 when I hear 7Q7EH come on and call CQ. Another good catch in the log. Then I find YL3IZ/MM in zone 34 for a nice one. I finally end up with a small run on 7061.

At 0224Z its back to 160m. I am relying on 160m to get the extra multipliers I will need to make up for W1KM’s big 80m totals. I find CT8T, UU5J, OI0MEP, LZ9A, and LA8SDA for new ones. At this point I am up to 53 countries on 160 but I have heard lots of stuff that I didn’t work. Things like GD4UOL and 7Z5OO.

During the 03Z hour I end up with a slow run up at 3572 of all places! No multipliers up there but some much needed QSOs.

At 0417Z I start CQing on 1838. I finally break through the European QRM and get something going. The next 26 minutes has 21 QSOs including TF50IRA for a great double mult. When that runs out, I tune around and find GW, HB9, D44, and CT3.

About this point my head is dropping toward the keyboard every 5 minutes or so. I try operating standing up, while jogging in place, you name it. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought that W1KM won’t sleep — so I can’t either! I have also promised my 6 year old son that I won’t do any more contests this season so I decide that I had better do this one right.

About 0546 I get a good run going on 7006. Best call is from UA9KM who gives me the zone 17 multiplier. UN9LW calls in at 0604Z for a new country. At 0648Z CX9AU gives me a real unexpected surprise multiplier. This run of 92 contacts from 0546 to 0709Z keeps my attitude up and gives me a welcome break from the constant tuning. Although, in some ways it is much more difficult to run stations when you are tired than to tune around. I hate it when I fall asleep in the middle of a QSO and can’t remember what I am supposed to do next (do I push F1 or F3 or ‘+’???)!

This run probably decided the contest. Comparing with W1KM after the contest, Greg slept during this period and gave away these QSOs and multipliers! That’s why you can never doubt your goal or give up your motivation…

The next 90 minutes are just slow. On a quiet 20m band, KC4AAA in Antarctica gives me zone 39 which is a new one. ES5Q and GU3HFN are new ones on 40m. I unsuccessfully waste about 10 minutes in the V47KP and YV5JDP pileups on 160m. As well as my antenna works to Europe, it works inversely bad to the south!

I want to work zone 3 on 160m. I hear several of them but can’t get their attention. Find W6BA calling CQ but he can’t hear me. I then decide to call CQ W6 and hope for the best. Five minutes later W6DAO responds and gives me zone 3.

At 0836 I am feeling pretty good but decide that I should go to sleep so I will be fresh for the high bands. It appears that 40m is not going to do anything so the prospects for more QSOs are not too good. I have more multipliers on 40-160 than I expected so there is little more to be gained. I sleep from 0845 to 1020Z. I wake up without the normal sleep disorientation, have a bite to eat and get back on the radio.

I quickly scan the LF bands and am on 20m by 1100Z. It is all S&P (I catch 3V8BB, ED9EA, and C31LJ) until 1133Z when I get 14043 and start running. It’s a good spot worth 163 QSOs in 87 minutes. I break off the run when HC8N starts up about .5 kHz above me. I work him for a multiplier and then head to 15m.

The first open spot is 21010 which is just above W1KM. I spend the next 3 hours here and work 362 contacts. Mults that call in include GI3OQR, ZS8IR (double), GM0DJI/Shetlands, EK4JJ, VP5EA, HB0MX, ER1OA, and others.

Conditions sound so good that I keep an ear on 10m. At 1505Z J39A pops through followed immediately by 9Y4H. PY0FF is weak but comes right back. At 1525Z I find 3DA0NX working Europeans and USA. I get through on the first call which was a surprise and allowed me to keep the rate going on 15m. The next station I heard was G4BUO. I swung the beam and he kept getting louder. By the time our QSO was over, he was already getting weaker. Direct path Europe on 10m but only for a VERY short period! At 1841Z some sporadic E began and I worked K8AZ for zone 4. I also heard a VE3 but couldn’t get through the pile-up. At 1552Z I had RK9JWZ call in on 15m for a double mult. At 1600Z TI1C showed up with a big signal on 10m. Minutes later I found 5V7A for another double mult. I don’t think the op at 5V7A could believe it as it took several overs to confirm everything.

At this point the rate is slowing on 15m and I have to turn my full attention back to it. I make the jump to 20m to keep the rate up. Once again it is incredibly difficult to find a clear frequency. I have to tune the entire band twice. Then I find a wide open spot at 14031. Some real loud European must have just left because it was a very clear frequency. I spend the next 2-1/2 hours here for another 170 QSOs.

The second radio is busy on 10m and 15m. I know I am way behind on 15m multipliers so I push hard looking for new ones. I am chasing easy stuff like J6DX and J87GU on 15m and 8P9Z on 10m. Around 1840Z I take a quick spin across 15m while searching 20m for mults. I find 6W1AE on 20m. Then, while calling someone 20m I am called by A71CW! This is the only time I hear Chris all weekend. Was amazed to find afterwards how active he was in the contest. The CQ WW is so big that it is impossible for a single op to find and work even the most active multipliers.

I stay on the frequency where I worked A71CW and return to CQing. The band sounds like the sunspot maximum with strong European signals still coming in. I find JW5NM on the second radio with a huge signal on 15m. Then OD5NJ calls in on 20m. A few minutes later ZM2K calls in on 20m LP for a double multiplier. Then OH0JJS gives me another one.

I try to get something going on 40m around 1930Z. It doesn’t seem to be as good as the previous day so I give up after about 20 minutes. I go back to CQing on 14001 to work the last of the Europeans. They just keep coming!

I break off the run to chase FO5PI on 15m. Then I find JW5NM on 20m for another double, followed by J8, KP2 and HP4 for new countries. I go to 40m at 20Z and break a wild pile-up to 7X2RO who is as close to 7.000 as you can get. A few minutes later I get through to J45T (a pretty amazing feat in itself). I wedge in just above N6BV on 7019 and try to get a run going. I am getting answers but some kind of QRM makes copy difficult. 9K2/YO9HP gives me a smile.

At 2200Z I realize the JAs on 20m are the best I have heard all weekend. I can’t get them to call me, but they all come back on the first call. I search every kHz looking for rare stuff. I find W4NXE/DU3 underneath HC8N (sorry Trey). Then I work BV/JJ1TBB under VE7CA. Both are welcome double mults.

The rate is too slow and the band seems to be fading. I go back to 40m at 2245Z. I start CQing at 7061 (the only frequency I can find) and get a few answers. I finally give up and start searching down the band. At 2315Z I stumble across 7035 which sounds half clear. I call CQ and have the pleasure of a run that just keeps going faster and faster right up to the end of the contest. OD5NJ and T77WI give the score a final boost.

I get excited as I get close to my personal record of 5.57M set from K3TUP. I actually dig out the CQ Magazine records to see that the USA record of KM9P is out of reach at 5.8M. Never expected to be this close or might have given up the 2 hours of sleep! Maybe next year…

What a great contest. The competition from W1KM really kept me going and provides an extra satisfaction in winning.

Misc Notes:
I learn new things each contest. Looking back, I can say that it took me 5 years to really know how to correctly operate a DX contest. The value of experience and station maturity can not be overstated.

It actually seems to be getting easier to stay awake for the whole contest than I remember in the past. Do I need less sleep as I get older? Or am I just getting better at making sure I am more rested before the contest. I used to get so excited I could hardly sleep the night before a major contest. Now I can lay down and take a nap Friday afternoon without hardly trying!

CW is lots better than phone! It’s still hard to get a frequency, but the tempers aren’t quite as sharp and the pile-ups seem to be better behaved. I didn’t hear anyone going by call areas for example and the packet pile-ups weren’t quite as noticeable.
Yes, I really promised my son that I wouldn’t do any more contests this season (that includes next Spring). Station available!


Randy Thompson, K5ZD

Continent Statistics

                    160   80   40   20   15   10  ALL   percent

North America   CW   26   51   56   51   32   10  226     7.2
South America   CW    2    8   16   26   28   12   92     2.9
Europe          CW  141  273  627  961  646    1 2649    83.9
Asia            CW    1    3   19   79    6    0  108     3.4
Africa          CW    3    6   18   20    9    2   58     1.8
Oceania         CW    2    3   10    5    5    0   25     0.8

Rate Sheet

HOUR      160      80       40       20       15       10    HR TOT  CUM TOT  

   0    .....     2/2     77/29     3/3     .....    .....    82/34   82/34 
   1     8/8     57/27     4/4      5/2       .        .      74/41  156/75 
   2    25/12     9/4     33/22      .        .        .      67/38  223/113
   3    12/3     44/9      1/0      1/0       .        .      58/12  281/125
   4    36/8     20/4      3/3       .        .        .      59/15  340/140
   5    18/1     39/4      3/3       .        .        .      60/8   400/148
   6     1/1     38/7     27/9       .        .        .      66/17  466/165
   7     9/6      6/3     15/3       .        .        .      30/12  496/177
   8    .....    16/8     21/6     .....    .....    .....    37/14  533/191
   9     5/5      6/4      4/3       .        .        .      15/12  548/203
  10     2/2      4/3      9/1      7/7       .        .      22/13  570/216
  11      .        .       3/2    119/22      .        .     122/24  692/240
  12      .        .        .     155/10    19/11      .     174/21  866/261
  13      .        .        .        .     158/22      .     158/22 1024/283
  14      .        .        .       6/3    102/7       .     108/10 1132/293
  15      .        .        .      62/3     19/1       .      81/4  1213/297
  16    .....    .....    .....   114/7      5/2     .....   119/9  1332/306
  17      .        .        .     115/5      6/6       .     121/11 1453/317
  18      .        .        .      14/5     31/22     2/2     47/29 1500/346
  19      .        .      51/2     12/1      3/2      6/3     72/8  1572/354
  20      .        .      88/3      7/5       .        .      95/8  1667/362
  21      .        .      72/7      4/4       .        .      76/11 1743/373
  22      .        .      11/0     29/6      3/3       .      43/9  1786/382
  23      .        .      35/3       .        .        .      35/3  1821/385
   0     6/2     30/4     .....    .....    .....    .....    36/6  1857/391
   1      .        .       6/2     28/1       .        .      34/3  1891/394
   2    15/5      1/0     18/2       .        .        .      34/7  1925/401
   3      .      41/0       .        .        .        .      41/0  1966/401
   4    28/4      7/0       .       2/1       .        .      37/5  2003/406
   5     4/2     16/5     23/1      1/0       .        .      44/8  2047/414
   6      .        .      61/2       .        .        .      61/2  2108/416
   7      .       5/0     16/2      3/1       .        .      24/3  2132/419
   8     4/1      1/0     10/1     .....    .....    .....    15/2  2147/421
   9      .        .        .        .        .        .        .   2147/421
  10     1/0      1/0      1/0      1/1       .        .       4/1  2151/422
  11      .        .       2/1     70/5      2/1       .      74/7  2225/429
  12      .        .        .     108/0      2/2       .     110/2  2335/431
  13      .        .        .       3/2    128/4       .     131/6  2466/437
  14      .        .        .       2/0    130/6       .     132/6  2598/443
  15      .        .        .        .      87/2      7/7     94/9  2692/452
  16    .....    .....    .....    76/3      6/0      4/3     86/6  2778/458
  17      .        .        .      53/0      5/0      5/3     63/3  2841/461
  18      .        .        .      35/4     11/3       .      46/7  2887/468
  19      .        .      14/1     31/3      6/3      1/0     52/7  2939/475
  20      .        .        .      46/4      2/1       .      48/5  2987/480
  21      .        .      46/3      3/1       .        .      49/4  3036/484
  22      .        .      17/0     21/3       .        .      38/3  3074/487
  23      .        .      73/2      2/0       .        .      75/2  3149/489
DAY1   116/46   241/75  457/100   653/83   346/76     8/5     ..... 1821/385
DAY2    58/14   102/9    287/17   485/29   379/22    17/13      .   1328/104
TOT    174/60   343/84  744/117 1138/112   725/98    25/18      .   3149/489


DAY1   2.7/43   3.9/62   7.2/64   5.8/112  3.4/102  0.1/55    .....  23.1/79 
DAY2   2.2/26   2.7/38   5.3/54   7.4/66   3.5/108  0.3/65      .    21.4/62 
TOT    4.9/35   6.6/52  12.5/60  13.2/86   6.9/105  0.4/62      .    44.5/71
1 15 16 17 18