Monday, November 28, 2011

CQWW CW at 500mW's

Contest time
Well another CQ WW DX CW contest is in the books here at VE3WDM many out there who participate in contests like to set goals. I'm no different but before I set my goals I like to make sure I understand reality first. I am never going to win in these world wide contests I just don't hang in there long enough to get a world class QRP score going. Also I just don't have an "out of this world" antenna setup, I am running with an indoor attic fan dipole. So with that understood my goals for this contest were as follows...
1. Relax and have fun contacting hams all over the world.
2. Run most if not all the contest QRPp at 500mW's.
3. As I finish a contact check out the ham on QRZ.COM and learn about them and their station as I cruz for another contact.
4. Beat my miles per watt record of 8325 miles per watt.
5. Try to beat the 300 contact wall.........never stood a chance as I was doing to much of goal number 1 and 3!!!

So how did things go???
I got a late start on Saturday around 10:30 a.m local time, yes the contest did start on Friday but that was dinner and a movie at home with Julie. I was very impressed  how open the bands were like 10m and 15m's those two bands were my staple bands for the whole contest. Below is a highlight of the top contacts for the weekend all with 500mW's.
contact                     Miles                Miles per watt (.5 watts)                  Kilo's

1. ZS4TX                 8368                16737.20                                        26935.91
2. EM2T                   4742                9484                                              15263.91
3. 4O3RR                 4695.2             9390.32                                         15112.26
4. IR8C                    4568                 9137.34                                         14705.12
5. HG1S                   4415                 8831.18                                         14212.41
6. 9A1P                    4360.22            8721.85                                         14036.46
7. S50K                    4358.0              8717.05                                          14028.74
8. IR8C                     4290.22            8580.43                                         13808.86

Keeping track of mileage

 Over all I made 106 contacts out of that 84 contacts were made with 500mW's 21 with 5 watts and one contact on 40 meters with 50 watts. It seems that on 40m I just was not cutting it and to make a contact I had to raise the power to 50 watts. So that was the last contact on 40 meters. As for beating records I was thrilled to contact ZS4TX which got me 16737.20 miles per watt!!!!! Not only that in this contest I was able to make 30 contacts that topped my 8325 watt per mile record. Now running 500mW's did bring my QSO count down as there was lots of repeats I had to do. I just want to thank the op's out there who stuck with me and asked over and over again for my call instead of just moving on.

Earlier I did say that I was never going to win a contest but in closing I have said this before in the blog..............there should be a QRPp category. There is QRP but running 5 watts is  different from pumping out Milli-watts. Well change does take time and maybe in time there will be a spot just for QRPp. 

The contest ended for VE3WDM as follows
Number of QSO's                        Multipliers                       Total points
        106                                             77                               23,408


  1. Excellent, Mike - ZS with 500mW and an indoor!

  2. Good evening John, to double check I emailed Bernie to make sure it was not a dream. He emailed back to confirm and also to share his surprise. He asked what type of mega antenna system I have....I directed him to my blog for the shock.

  3. Well done and congratulations !

    I was QRP (5W) for much of the contest and had a good "run" into the USA on Saturday 18:00 to 19:00 UTC. I see I worked VY2LI at 18:15 UTC.

    I think Bernie ZS4TX might have been operating from the ZS9X contest station.

    73, Pierre ZS6A

  4. John,

    I think I had my facts wrong about ZS9X. Bernie has his own serious antenna farm.

    de Pierre ZS6A

  5. Hi Mike:
    Seems you have a realistic attitude towards contesting with a modest set-up - I am thinking of getting back in and doing some contesting again, main thing is the fun of trying to beat your own previous !! Interested to know which logging S/Ware you run Mike - I am playing with SD here but I do not like the command line method of accessing the various functions of the program - I want something SIMPLE without the frills...
    Good Job Mike.

    73' Peter

  6. Good morning Pierre, thanks very much for stopping by the blog. Yes the conditions have been very good lately and it has made contesting a full house.

  7. Good morning Peter, the program that I have used from day one is N1MM logging software. I have found it to be very stable and it has never let me down. One thing I have learned is N1MM does come out with many updates and the support is very good...but....don't do what I have done in the past and that is download a new version just before a contest. I have found that some functions have changed around (for the better) but it's not at contest time you want to find out about these changes. As for my goals in contesting it's true trying to top last years efforts also adding 500mW's to the mix and see how I do is fun as well. Any questions about N1MM let me know.

  8. Hi Mike, very impressing. You did a really good job. 73 Paul

  9. Hi Mike,
    Some great Km/Watt there, well done indeed. I hope you had as much fun chasing them out as I did, all the best.


  10. Good morning Steve, yes I did have a great time very relaxing. I was very happy to see how far 500mW's was getting me for sure.

  11. Hello Mike - I will admit, my first reaction to someone contesting at 1/2 watt was to recall an audio snippet I heard a while back of a fellow running QRP in a major SSB contest. He caused so many repeats and slow downs that I really came away thinking that it was a selfish thing to do. Proving that it can be done is one thing, causing traffic jams and aggravation is another. I was shocked at the number of ops who stuck around and dug him out of the noise level. I think I would've been tempted to just move on to someone stronger.

    On the other hand, CW is a different animal entirely and your efforts really illustrate why it is the preferred mode of many. Out of curiousity, were you able to make most of your 1/2 watt QSO's at 'contest speed', or did they require a fair amount of repeats? 73, Ed

  12. Good afternoon Ed, I was very shocked there were very few repeats and yes I did operate at contest speed (34 wpm) The repeats I mainly had to do was because a stronger station made the contact over me ( not intentional) so I had to call again. I was slowed down by having to wait sometimes until all stations made their contact. Thanks for your input Ed and have a nice weekend.

  13. Hello Mike, Great to see the photograph of the list with distances. You feel very proud. I know this feeling all to well. But be careful, QRPp a and 1000 MPW is very addictive. hi. Yes, the propagation on 21 MHz was great. I worked Canada and the USA with 360 mW. I worked VO1TA and N2NT with 80 mW. N2NT was S8+10dB.
    Good luck with QRPp, 73, Bert

  14. Good evening Bert, this QRPp sure is a blast and it's a nice challenge for me during the contest. Maybe next time I will experiment with lower power.