P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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ARRL DX CW Contest Notes – P40Y -- Feb. 2003

  • Strategy
    • Start on 15 and go to 20 when it slows a bit, then down the bands.  W2SC had suggested going to 160 at 0300Z (11 p.m. local).  Carl says go to 160 on each hour.
    • In retrospect, I did everything right except not putting in enough time on 80 and 160, and in particular, not moving mults to 160 (or also to 80 from 40).  Slowest times for off times are roughly 6-8:30 in the morning, though Carl says 160 is good at sunrise (around 6:30?). P40W suggests sleeping from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  I took 8 hours of off time, including 4½ Sunday morning – big mistake.
  • Software
    • CQPWIN ver. 9.3 worked great, and allowed me to do 200 plus hours on the high bands.
    • Suggested software additions
      • Add a feature to defeat the automatic sending of TU message, so that sometimes when search and pounce, or when asking someone to move, you can just log him (maybe Shift-Enter)
      • Want to be able not to work dupes (I did work them, but it would be faster not to when running stations).  Need a box on preferences to set initial mode (i.e., work/don’t work dupes), then show it on the logform.  Then should be able to toggle it with another command, like Alt-D, so that you can work a dupe if desired.
      • Consider adding an F8 window  to leave open that is updated after each key stroke to show calls in the current log, and/or in old logs that contain the text in the call box.  If only one, then a command should put that call in the callsign box.

    Contest Chronology

  • First hour good start 197/44 on 15.  Fun to work K6III while keeping W3LPL waiting.  Qso 500 with 49 mults on 20 at 0228Z. Would go to 40 but overall rate is 202. 
  • Hard to find a 40 freq.  Go down to 7014, pileup is difficult to sort out; it takes about 65 contacts for it to slow down.  Finally stop on 40 at 0332Z (2332 local) at183/43 (rate 180/hr).  Total 689/140; hate to go but afraid not to try 160.
  •  It’s hard to copy on 160 though the beverage helps (not the second night).  Turn keying speed down from 31/32 to 28 wpm.  Good freq at 1829.  Leave at 0424, having worked no 6s or 7s and few 0s (it’s only 8:24pm on the West Coast).  I’m at 79/29 on 160 for a 94/hr rate on 160.
  • Time to go to 80 then back to 40.  Steady 175/hr rate on 40 though things start to slow down at 282 contacts.  Just got 50th mult (ID).  The rate stays steady at 175 on 7025.4 for an hour, then decide to leave 40 at 0612Z (0212 local) at 426/52.   
  • 160 is discouraging with high noise and no help from the beverage.  Rate is slow and only get 2 new mults.  Try 80 at 0641, with 160- at 104/32.  K6XX is booming in solid S9 on 80.  Leave 80 at 0726Z with 159/42.  To 40 for ten minutes, then back to 160, where I get W2VJN in OR for the first West Coast mult.  Then suddenly 3 more: SD, MN, CA (W6UM, whom I can barely hear).  Back to 80 at 0804Z, then to 40 after 40 minutes.  (237/47 on 80).
  • Work VY2TT on PEI S&P low on the band for mult 53.  Get 4 new mults on 40, so go back to 160 at 0913 (487/56).  Get a few Qs on 160, so go to 80.    I hear W4FIN, whom I know to be KY working P40T, so I start CQ’ing a few kHz above, and he calls me shortly thereafter for a new one.  With things really slowing down, I call it a night at 0944Z, 0544 local [should have checked 160—this is just before sunrise].  1378/238 at this time.  I set the alarm for 8 am.  Mults are 15:48; 20:49; 40:56; 80:49: 160:36. 
  • Back on at 1217Z (0817 local) after two hours of sleep, a bowl of frosted flakes and coffee.  I start on 28037 but the action is slow, mostly calls from the M/Ms like W3LPL and KC1XX,  so go to 15 after 6 minutes.  Slow going, mostly East Coast, lots of NY.  Then slow going on 20 as well.  I switch back and forth between the 4 el, pointed 330 degrees and the C31 pointed north, and try varying keying speeds.  Often switching antennas seems to help the flow, but it may be illusory. 
  • To 10 at 1332, camped out on 28038.6.  EU is very loud, so I guess that is what the East Coast is working, and the West Coast can’t hear me yet.  The propagation slowly improves and moves west.  My 250th mult is MI on 10, then at 1348Z (0948 local) VE1KC in NS calls for the first VE on 10.  The first seven is W7USA at 1408Z in AZ.  First Calif is at 1450Z (N6CW).  The next hour is a steady 145 rate.  First Northwest station  at 1632Z is N7TT in WA.  I now have exactly 49 mults on each of 10, 15, 20 and 80.  I reach 2000 Qs at 1653Z, with 291 mults and 1.7M points.  Pass 2M points at 1434 local.  Great rate on 10 for 5 hours, but it finally is slowing   down at 1846Z (1446 local).  At 847/56 on 10.  Brief biology break then to 15.
  • Using the C31 on 15, I can load to a KW with 70 watts reflected, but with the 4 el can go to 1.5 KW with 30 watts reflected.  At 1945Z, KE3VV in DC calls in on 10 and I move him to 15 and 20.  Without a second radio, I just ask him to QSY to 21080 and 14080 and call him on top of whoever is there.  This gives me 300 mults.  At 989/59, things are slowing on 10, so decide to go to 15.  I treat myself to an apple and a few licorice drops.  Carl cleverly suggests using vox so that when sending with the hand key, I don’t need to use the footswitch.
  • On 15, there is a furious pileup and I get a 202 hour.  At 2149Z the rate suddenly slows down after nearly two hours at 200 per.  I take a brief break at 1857 local (2257Z) after 3 hours and 5 minutes on 15, where I  now have 851/58.  Total is 3003/308 for 2.746M points.  Go to 20.  At the end of Day 1, I have 2.950M points 3200/312 in 21hours and 20 minutes  operating time.
  • At 2122 local taking a short break to attack the low bands.  Just moved a DE mult to 15 after working him for a new one on 20 also.    The average rate is 149/hr for first 22 hours and 43 minutes.
  • At 0301Z, I’ve been on 40 for an hour and 25 minutes having a nice run.  I’m loathe to give up a nice freq (7043.2) that I’ve managed to clear out.  Couldn’t hear anything on 160.  Got a nice pileup on 80 at 3524.  The pileup there is difficult and more unruly than on any other band.  Went to 160 at 0500Z, as Carl had suggested, and worked 4 new mults immediately: AZ, MT, WY, MS.
  • At about 0630Z (0230 local) on about 7040 kHz, I suddenly am called by big guns with recognizable calls, and every one is a dupe!  I keep sending my call, but no one seems to listen.  I finally stop working dupes at all after about a dozen.  I must have been spotted with the wrong call – wonder how many of those who duped me were in single-op class?
  •  Short dinner break at 0646Z, at 3991/322 for 3.801M points.  I knock it off [here’s where I lose the contest] at 0730Z (0330 local) and set the alarm for 8:15 a.m., but awake at 0805 local after a completely motionless sleep.  After a bowl of cereal and a cuppa joe it’s back to the fray.
  • This is likely to be slow, but I’m starting on 15 at 1230Z.  Switch back and forth  with some good contacts on 20, but slow on 15.  At 1444Z, broke 4M points with contact 4203/322.  At 1447Z starting to get West Coast on 10, suspect they can’t work EU yet.  Break at 1755Z after unsuccessfully trying to move W0ZTL (ND) to 20 for the last US mult needed on 20.  Heard loud noises on the roof, and it seemed to be raining outside – the first rain I’ve seen on Aruba.  At 1933Z after a very good run on 15, W0ZTL called in again and this time the move to 20 was successful (I think the problem was that he was about 250 Hz high, so I might not have heard him the first time). Thank heavens for the automatic antenna switching and autotune amp.
  • Back to 20 at 2130Z (1730 local) with 2½ hours left in the contest.  An immediate big pileup and 200/hour rate.  It took 25 minutes to work down the pileup to a more normal rate.  Fewer dupes on 20 – I think I was spotted in error a few times on 15, causing a number of stations to dupe me.  W1KU is QSO number 5000 at 2157Z.  Score is 4.75M.    I stay the rest of the contest on 20, ready to move mults to 80, but nothing I need there shows up. 
  • After the contest, Carl and Jackie compared scores.  Jim Neiger at P40T, at Jackie’s station, beat me by about 10%, mainly by staying up all night.  He operated 48 hours to my 40.  Here are some comparisons with claimed scores.  WP3R and P40T are claimed one and two.  Three is D4B, then P40Y.


AE6Y at P40Y

K9PG at WP3R

N6TJ at P40T



PJ2T (M/S)

























































* The P40Y band totals include dupes, but not the final total.