CQ WPX Contest SSB 2012

Last weekend, just like on every last weekend of March, I participated in SSB part of CQ WPX contest. This time, unlike the year before, I decided for SO AB LP category (TB-WIRES category overlay).

Screen of my log (N1MM) at the end of the contest

Screen of my log (N1MM) at the end of the contest

My best result before this year’s competition was quite low, only 415 QSOs and 280 694 points, so this time I was determined to take the contest a little more seriously – and set my goal  to 700 QSOs.

I started at 00:00 UTC on 80 meters band. To my pleasant surprise, conditions seemed really good. I could hear a lot of stations and had no problem calling them. After first four hours, there were 135 QSOs in my log and more than hundred of them from 3.7 MHz. 40 meters band wasn’t so good, even though I liked a lot e.g. QSO to HK1T from Colombia!

At 04:00 UTC I took a two hours long nap and then switched to higher bands. CONDX didn’t seem very good to me, but I was still able to keep up with my usual rate of 25 – 35 QSOs per hour (S&P, not CQing).  Most of the contacted stations were from UA or UA9 or, but there were no JAs, VKs, or other “more interesting” DXes. Afternoon was very similar, with a lot of contacts to EA and I, but surprisingly few to the U.S.

At 18:00 UTC I switched to forty meters. Even though it was relatively early, I didn’t regret it – with most of people still on higher bands, CQing stations had no problems taking my callsign and I quickly made quite a lot QSOs. Of course I went also to 80 meters, but not for very long, since I was quite tired and at half past eight decided to go to bed. At the time there were 450 contacts in my log.

I managed to woke up at 4 a.m. (luckily my alarm clock handled transition to Daylight Savings Time / Summer Time well) and continued for a while on lower bands . Also, for the first time in a bigger contest I was calling CQ and made 15 QSOs on 80 meters. Not a lot, but it’s a start… hopefully next time it will be better:-)

However, the most interesting thing on Sunday morning were the conditions on higher bands. I can’t say they were very good, seemed more like “strange” to me. While I had problems contacting Japanese stations, at the same time I made QSOs with some very strong Brazil and Caribbean stations. Plus without any problems I logged three (for me) best DXes of the whole contest – Alaska, Hawaii and New Zealand!

Despite that, my most favorite part of the contest was probably Sunday afternoon, when I made many contacts on 10 meters to South America – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay…

I finished contesting at 18:00 UTC, when I managed to fulfill my goal of making 700 QSOs. I know there was still time to go on and make a better result, but at the time I was just too exhausted to continue.  That makes my total 700 QSOs, 433 WPX prefixes and claimed score of 637 376 points.

I’m quite happy with the result. I’d probably say very happy, if I hadn’t known result of my high school classmate, Standa OK1CID. With similar, or maybe a little worse equipment he reached twice as high score and made 400 more QSOs than me! (Once again, congratulations!) Main reason was that while I spent almost all the time S&Ping, Standa was calling CQ a lot. Until next time I must learn how to quickly find a CQ frequency, even when bands seems to be full of much stronger stations….

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