ARRL DX Contest SSB 2012

Just two weeks after CW part of ARRL DX Contest, it was the time for SSB part. I was determined to try for my best result in SO AB LP category, but it didn’t start well.

After the contest start, I could hear only a few U.S. stations, but not very well and they couldn’t hear me. After about 20 minutes I gave up and went to sleep, having my alarm clock set for 2 a.m. However, CONDX on the band were even worse then before! After short lookup on the Internet I learnt that reason was probably M Class Solar Flare and decided to go to bed.

ARRL DX SSB 2012 - QSO map

ARRL DX SSB 2012 - QSO map

Mistake was that I woke up quite late, after 7 UTC. My friend told me he managed to make a few QSOs between 4 and 6 o’clock… At about half past seven I managed to make only 2 QSOs, to Pennsylvania and Maryland – and just hoped higher bands would be better…

I started on 20 meters band shortly before 12 UTC. During half an hour I contacted 16 strong stations, then switched to 15 meters – and stayed there for the rest of the day (with just a few exceptions). Working on 15 meters was much easier for me than on 20 meters, even though the conditions weren’t very good. At 18:15, there were 77 QSOs in my log – not very good result, but at least some of contacted states were interesting, e.g. South Carolina, Washington and Northwest Territories, that were new to me!

On Sunday I woke up after 3:40, to try again lower bands. Once again I had problems with 40 meters, where I made only 2 QSOs. 80 meters band was a little better, I managed to make 11 contacts there. Not a lot, but I’m glad for any QSO to USA/Canada on 3.5 MHz SSB…

Due to bad results on lower bands, I was once more looking forward to the afternoon and 15/20 meters. This time I started a little earlier, at half past eleven. Unlike the day before, 20 meters band was better for me than 15 meters. My most favorite part evening, after half past four – in a short time, I made a lot of QSOs to West Coast, e.g. to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

During the whole contest I made 150 QSOs to 30 U.S. states and 7 Canadian provinces (1 new – Northwest Territories). My claimed score is 27 900 points, which is my best result so far. That means I fulfilled my goal and so am quite happy with the result. Just wish 10 meters band opened…

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  1. Posted March 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Hey great post. Congratulation on your contest effort. I ran SOAB QRP. With 5W I got many good reports from US stations mainly on 15m. I ended up with little more than 30 QSOs. I really think it was a good effort given the limited amount of time and also the poor operating condxns.

    Keep contesting and hope to meet you again
    Stefano IZ3NVR – KD2BGM

  2. Ondra OK1CLD
    Posted March 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks! I’ve never tried QRP category, but I should… Even though I’d probably choose CW contest for QRP… Phone must’ve been very hard and even 30 QSOs sounds good to me…

    Good luck in contesting and 73!
    Ondra OK1CLD