CQ WW DX Contest SSB 2011

Hello, today I’d like to write here something about my participation in last weekend’s SSB part of CQ WW DX contest. I enjoyed the contest a lot and even managed to make much more QSOs than in any contest before!

I decided to take part in SOAB LP category, since I had an equipment for all bands except for 160 meters. Here’s the list of what I used:

On Friday evening, I prepared a plan for the whole contest. For every hour I set a certain QSO count I’d like to make during that time. Planned total was 850 QSOs and as it later turned down, it was very realistic.

CQ WW DX SSB 2011 - QSO map

CQ WW DX SSB 2011 - QSO map

After that I went to bed for a few hours and woke up half an hour before the contest, at 23:30 UTC (01:30 CEST – my local time). After turning on my TRX I noticed there are already a few stations CQing on both 80 and 40 meters. The first station I found on 40m was from Canada, and copied my callsign after first call. That made me very happy, because so far, I’ve had a lot of problems with this band, and never made there a lot of QSOs.

My QSO nr. 1 was with Aland Islands on 80 meters, just 45 seconds after contest began. And few more quickly followed. During the first hour, I made 40 QSOs – not a lot, but 5 more than planned, so OK. At 01:00 UTC I went to 7 MHz band. Stayed there just about 20 minutes (then changed back to 80m), but managed to make some interesting QSOs, e.g. to United States and to Puerto Rico. At 04:20 (okay, from now on I won’t write UTC – all times will be in UTC), when I took a break, I had 141 connections in my log (plan being 135).

At 6:45, after a little longer break than expected, I returned back to TRX. I started using the daytime "strategy" that lasted me almost during the whole contest – after s&ping 20 meters, i switched to 15, then to 10 and then back to 20 again. That way, I always made at least some QSOs. Only disadvantage was, that I never spent enough time on one band to thoroughly look for multipliers.

Before noon, I had 272 QSOs in my log (plan: 270). Most of them were to Russia (both European and Asiatic), but there were also some more interesting DXCC entities, including Gambia and Vietnam (to my surprise, station from Gambia was operated by Czech operator and Vietnamese one by Slovak operator!)

From 10:00 to 12:00 I took a lunch break and went to restaurant with my parents. I really needed the pause, I don’t understand how some SO operators can be on air 45 hours or even more!

After returning from the restaurant I got back on air. I started on 15 meters band and also spent there the most time during afternoon. Now it seems to me as a mistake, it probably would’ve been better to be on 10 meters. But thanks to low solar activity of previous years, I wasn’t used to make a lot of connections on that band. In fact, since 2003 when I was licensed, I made only 94 QSOs on 28 MHz!

When "daytime" bands closed at about five o’clock, there were 405 connections in my log, which was 20 more than planned! This number even increased during night, when I slept just 6 hours instead of 5, and so at 5:15, when switching to upper bands, I was 35 contacts ahead of my plan, having 560 QSOs.

One hour later, on 28 MHz I managed to make 2 longest contacts of the whole contest. The first one was to Australia and the other one via longpath to Hawaii! I was extremely happy, because I’ve never even heard any KH6 station before! I even couldn’t believe it, since the whole Europe was calling him and he answered me after just a few attempts. However, at the moment, this QSO is still unconfirmed…

On Sunday, I was already very tired and had to take at least short breaks quite often. But despite that, Sunday afternoon was probably best part of contest for me. I spent most of the time on 10 meters and made there quite a lot of QSOs, especially to USA, but also to Canada, Argentina and Mexico (new DXCC, and confirmed – thanks a lot to XE2X!). I was amazed how many stations there were on the band – some of them even above 29 MHz. By the sunset, my QSO count increased to 794 (plan: 770).

On 80 and 40 meters I finally managed to make 57 contacts, fulfilling my plan and gettting to 851 total! My last contact was at 21:43 with DR15ZBAY. I thought that such a long call must be some kind of sign for me to end…:-) Plus, I was really too exhausted to continue…

Band [MHz] QSOs Points CQ zones DXCCs
3.7 164 172 9 43
7 172 234 13 53
14 160 226 11 50
21 176 358 22 46
28 179 473 24 41
Total 851 1463 79 233
Claimed score 456 456

As I said here on the beginning, I enjoyed the contest very much and am very happy with my results – 851 QSOs, 100 unique DXCC countries (4 new – Bhutan, Panama, Mexico and Hawaii), 29 unique CQ zones and claimed score of 456 456 points! for a lot of them I must thank very much to my dad, for his great help with repairing and setting up of INV VEE antennas. Without them, my score would have certainly been much lower.

Thank you for reading whole article up to here and see you next year – or in CW part!

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