Sunday, February 22, 2015

ARRL CW Contest done QRP style

Oliver is asking……"Ahhhh dinner!!!
I took part in the ARRL CW contest this weekend in a part time way, I was not able to go full tilt as I had things around the house that needed to be done. I skipped the Friday evening as it's most of the big guns going at record setting CW speeds. I operated QRP, single band, non assisted, single transmuter and with my MFJ 1788 magnetic loop antenna. The bands were alive with CW and you would never think we were in the downswing of a solar cycle! Then conditions over all were great on 15m I was able to get on from early morning into the early evening. In the morning the bands were filled with
The rig setup
Europe and as the late afternoon rolled around the South Pacific started to boom in along with Central and south America. Some of the standout locations I heard were Bangladesh, Guam, Japan, New Zealand and South Sudan. None of which I was able to contact the pileups were HUGE!! Some of the highlights for me were contacting Hawaii, Cuba,  and grabbing a new DXCC Dominican Republic.
Score rundown is as follows
Contacts        DXCC's      Points
81                   39                9360

The equipment  used was the Elecraft K3 with 500,400 and 250 inrad filters, the Elecraft P3, Begali Contour Key and the Flex control external VFO knob and last but not least the MFJ 1788 Magnetic loop antenna. The software used were N1MM+ contest software, N4PY rig control software and MRP40 CW code reader for the chain saw speed code. I never had Murphy pay me any visits during
The contest software
the contest which really is a first time. I found 15m to be a great band very low noise floor and lots of action. I did venture up to 20m for a listen and from my location it was very noisy and I was glad I decided to stick with 15m.  Sunday seemed to be an easier day for making contacts I had far less repeats to do, Saturday I really had to work for each and every contact. Looking forward to the next CW contest!

9 comments:

  1. You sure have an awesome station there, Mike! Great job! I did not even try to hook anything up on Friday either. Like you, I'm looking forward to the next CW contest. Need to get my code speed back up to a respectable speed ;0) 72 de AK7DD

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    1. Top of the evening Phil, for me there are just not enough CW contests for my liking! As for the code speed it will come as you know with time and practice.
      Mike

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  2. Hi Mike,
    I wonder did you work EI7M at all? I was down there helping out, grabbing mults, relief op. when it was very quiet etc..
    Cheers
    John
    EI7Ig

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    1. Good evening John, I did get EI7M in the log on the 22nd at 1640 UTC on 21045!

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  3. Glad you had fun, Mike. My effort was pretty much a mirror of yours. I haven't counted them up, but it was somewhere between 80-100 QSOs and about 40 DXCC entities worked. Not bad for the limited time I was able to put in. And like I've said so many times before, the ARRL DX Contest, with it's simple exchange and its broad audience is the perfect place for a beginning QRP DXer to launch their effort. Not that we're in that category, but I think we've both shown that pretty well.

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    1. Good evening Larry very nice to hear from you, I too like the ARRL contest as it's very well attended and as you said the exchange is very easy. Have a great week.
      Mike

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  4. Great job Mike - Much the same here with the time allotments. I was amazed at the contacts I made on 40 meters with my simple antenna. I worked a total of 33 in my spare time. I was able to put two new DX entities in the log book. Makes a total of 111 now.

    Working this contest with QRP power was a challenging and worthy activity. I wonder how many European stations realized they did so as they added us to their log books?

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    1. Good evening John, I was very pleased with the action on the bands. It amazed me that amount of stations using 1KW and I was able to contact them with only 5 watts. But then again I am not trying to place real high in the contest standings.
      Mike

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  5. Is that the CAT that connects your radio to your computer? De ZL2AL

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