Eva Borušovičová wrote: “Family members of amateur radio know, that there are dates in the calendar, when they can't celebrate a birthday, marry or die suddenly, because the amateur radio will not be present at the family event, but climbed on a pole to calculate, how the signal quality is affected by the eruptive activity of the Sun.” Such a date is the date of the CQ WW DX SSB Contest, which is the last weekend of October.
However, the family-based radio amateur has a hard time - he contests in two fields at the same time. This is also my case, where harmonic (2 a 9 years) create QRMs and tactics must be used, if the amateur radio wants to succeed in the field of ether. But it is practically impossible to compete in all bands. The selection remains daily (20m – 15m – 10m) and night zones (160m – 80m – 40m).
Last year, Oliver OM0RX and I tested the 100W category with multiband antenna Diamond W-8010. But in the summer I managed to implement RDM-12 mast fitted moxon antenna on the three upper bands a inv.V to 80 m. Unfortunately before the CQ WW DX SSB Contest it turned out, that the rotator does not rotate the antenna and is fixed to Japan. Thus, the choice fell on 80m pásmo, which, after all, is somewhat easier to combine with family activity. And that I will try qrp. I do not have the final stage of contest parameters available and the 100W category did not attract me.
Most QRPs take part in races for the pleasure of it, that even with 5W they manage some connection and do not look at the overall result. With 5W you will almost certainly not enjoy a race like the CQ WW DX SSB Contest pile-up. Wrong premise.
My habit is to listen to traffic a few days before the contests. Ears "tune in", I try the technique and prepare a diary. I have been using N1MM for years, but it's still good to have everything tried. I use a Yaesu FT-1000MP transceiver with an Inrad roofing filter and a home made SDR spectroscope. The transceiver can be switched in the menu to a maximum power of 100/50 / 10W and refined by setting on the front panel.
Reports speak of a solar flare and possible aurora borealis on Saturday. This may not be good for the propagation conditions in the lower bands. So I'm changing my plan to skip the first night.
I'll be back on time on Friday, O 20.30 I'm already in bed. I will be heard fifteen minutes before the start of the contest and to my surprise I also want to get up.
Start of the CQ WW DX SSB Contest
Not surprising, that the band is full of signals. But it is not crowded as the 40m band is. I proceed simply - whom I hear well, I try to call it a maximum of 5 times. If you can't call, I'm tuning to another station. Sometimes I listen first, who calls the station. Such 3A3A Dozens of stations are calling - I'd rather not call there. The proverb says, that a sparrow is better in the hand than a pigeon on the roof. So better two Polish stations than one unmanaged Monaco.
The 5.51 UTC I even try on 3736,5 kHz custom challenge. LY7M it even sends the spot to a DX cluster, which will immediately bring several calling stations. However, it is not possible to last long with QRP on such a frequency thanks to the spot.
In the morning I end up connecting with OH0V O 06.03 UTC. The logo is 137 link.
DX cluster a spoty
Using a DX cluster is different for QRO stations than for QRP. The behavior of stations monitoring the DX cluster is as follows, that if a new spot appears on a possible connection, which they do not yet have, so they click to retune and call. Toto with QRP v 99% does not work.
The reason is, that at the moment, when several stations receive information about a possible connection at the same time, so they start calling in parallel. And in such competition, QRP cannot succeed.
But 5-minute DX spots can be interesting. These are spots, to which the first influx of calling stations has already passed. The caller thus remains on frequency, but no one is calling him at the moment. Then you can also succeed with QRP. But it only works on spots of more common stations. As for the DX spot station, which is rare, So succeeding with QRP is difficult.
The second thing, however, is the possibility of sending DX spots. According to which the competitors choose, which spot they send? If I compete with 100W or more power, so I send the spot only for rare stations or such a spot, which signals an unusual opening.
In the case of QRP, however, I send a spot for almost all connections. I take it as a form of thanks for the connection. Many stations certainly have a weak signal (QRP is o -13 dB weaker than 100W) bothered and I believe, that the DX spot will please them. I sent during the CQ WW DX SSB Contest 295 spots. You do the same?
Long night CQ WW DX SSB Contest
Night broadcasting is tiring for me. Sit by the station, tune, to listen, to call, to listen, to call, to listen, to repeat,… However, they uploaded the distribution terms. team, that there was still something to do in the upper bands, so at 80m, other stations were given space to challenge.
TA7OM v CQ WW DX SSB Contest-e 2021
I'm starting quite late, O 17.15 UTC. I also look at the multipliers a bit. Europe is rich in DXCC countries. It's different in such an Australia. A successful connection with 4U1A. Connections with TA7OM a MI5K however, they took over properly. Propagation conditions at 80m do not seem to be affected yet announced aurora borealis. At the same time, I monitor predictions and reports about its creation on the Internet.
– "What do you do?“
– "I'm waiting for the aurora borealis."
– „Aha, I broadcast ".
However, the connections are constantly increasing while waiting. The 22.45 UTC I'm looking at signal attenuation. As if someone had taken one decimal place from everyone's performance. Hear only closer stations. I'll last another half hour. I go to see, or aurora borealis invisible. Invisible. Then I take a sleep break.
The alarm rings at the set time, but I don't want to get up this time. But it wakes me up so much, that I can't go back. The worm gnaws: what if the aurora borealis, what if the distribution conditions are good? There is no aurora borealis, but the conditions of dissemination seem to be normal. The SDR spectroscope jumps merrily.
It's higher in the logo 200 connection and over 10 thousand points. In the morning, signals come again from across the Atlantic. Really strong. Well, it doesn't seem, that many stations would try to connect.
– “Whisky Three Lima Papa Lima, contest“
– „Oscar Mexico zero Alfa, Oscar Mexico zero Alfááá!“
– „The station with Alfa“
It doesn't bother me, There are a number of stations with "A" in the mark. The press…
– „Oscar Mexico zero Alfa, Oscar Mexico zero Alfááá!“
– „Is that Sugar Mexico zero Alfa?“
– “Osca is Mexico, Oscáááár Mexicóóóó, Oscáááár Mexicóóóó zero Alfa!“
– „Oscar Mexico zero Alfa five-nine zero five“
Apparently W3LPL my QRP didn't work out. On the other hand, the log subsequently repainted several other DX spots from green to another color. A few minutes later I added more KC1XX a K3LR. I also tried other 3-point stations, but it no longer worked.
There are more in the log 250 connection and 14 thousand points. Livescore revealed, that Dano also started broadcasting at night OM4AQP. He probably enjoyed a great pile-up for the first hour. But now is the time for us to rest.
Closing hours of the CQ WW DX SSB Contest
If I don't like night broadcasts, so I like closing hours even less. Imagine, that you are tuning in the band and you already have a logo for almost every station. The original intention was to use greyline conditions, but at dusk we were just returning from a short trip. The result looked good, so I didn't take it seriously.
I'm starting at 16.57 UTC. Yes, connections increase slowly. Pile-ups for multiplier stations are extreme. That would suit me so much MD4K! He went very hard. Maybe everyone called, therefore he took numbers. He still had a hard time (or did not manage).
I see, that Dano OM4AQP also started broadcasting again. I know Dana from the time of joint broadcasting in the multi category in the High Tatras. I don't want to let go of my skin easily, so I look for and collect the connection after the connection. Dano has more multipliers and let me try, so soon it overtakes me and in addition increases the lead.
I'm not tracking the number of connections and I'm missing, that I'm over a hundred. I take longer breaks. It has a pretty good effect - I'll get some rest and when you get back you'll find some new stations right away, which can be done.
The end of the contest is approaching. I will last until the end? I want to get some rest, so i find a free frequency 3605 kHz and I release the call from N1MM. It comes in a hurry RG2Y, which sends the spot. The rush of stations begins. When he looks, that it will subside, the second spot sends DF2RG. It's increasing in the last hour 38 connection - the strongest hour of the whole contest!
It's at the end 378 connection in the log, more than 22,000 points. There are several connections with OM stations. These are for zero points, but I called them, to greet them and send a DX spot.
List of DXCC countries, with which the connection was successful
E7 Bosnia and Herzegovina
EA6 Balearic Islands
GI Northern Ireland
OK Czech Rep.
PA The Netherlands
TA Turkey AS
UA Rusko EÚ
The CQ WW DX SSB Contest certainly did not disappoint. Thank you all for an exceptional experience!