P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

Back to P40L-P49Y Contest Page







Callsign Used:





When we decided to do ARRL DX CW this year from Aruba, we gave little thought to the likely propagation conditions.  We had a vague notion that 10 meters might not cooperate given the low sunspot numbers.   We were in for a pleasant surprise! 10 meters opened strongly for about five hours on both days.  Also, low band conditions were very good on Friday night (but not Saturday night when the bands were very noisy).  As a result, we had the unusual combination of good conditions on both the low bands and high band over the weekend, which, in turn, made excellent results possible in this contest.

This was my first full time radio contesting effort in over 19 months, with work and other commitments having severely limiting the opportunities for a serious effort.  The prospect of a 48 hour effort, however, was not that exciting to me at this time, so I reached out to Ed, W0YK/P49X, about six weeks before the contest to see if he might be interested in extending his visit for the WPX RTTY contest from the prior weekend for a multi-single ARRL DX CW effort.  He was able to do so, so we had the makings of a plan.

This greatly simplified matters.  Among other things, by the time I arrived the Tuesday before the contest (actually very early Wednesday due to travel delays), Ed had already taken care of most of the radio room set-up, having modified his two radio RTTY set-up from the prior weekend, leaving a couple of days to fine-tune things and to do a bit of tower/antenna work.

The station was set up with two K3s/amps on a SixPak antenna sharing switch. Each radio had its own networked PC, all of which made for quick band changes, mult passing and monitoring band conditions/activity.  We also networked in a third PC with a barefoot Icom 756Pro2 with a dedicated 10-meter antenna.  We envisioned being able to spot openings/activity with its bandscope.  In reality, we knew much more about 10 meters long before anything showed up on the bandscope.  The second op constantly monitored other stations, such as the PJ2T, PJ4X and 6Y1LZ multi-twos, for rate and signal strength (of NA stations) and was able to catch the upswing of the opening.

With simple audio switching, the second op could listen with the run operator, listen on the second K3 or listen on the second receiver in the run K3 to be able to listen in slightly different parts of the pileup or set up for a mult-grab on the run band.  All of this created enough interest and activity that we still managed to sleep-deprive ourselves!  We have a keen admiration for the 46-48 hour Single Ops that maintain performance throughout the weekend.   More physical conditioning is in order for our future efforts.

This was the first time for both of us doing ARRL DX outside the country.  We looked at P49Y's (AE6Y) logs from this station in 2004-2007 ARRL DX CW and 2009 ARRL DX Phone to get an idea of what to expect.  We also looked at P40W (W2GD) recent performances in ARRL DX CW.  We assumed that with two ops we could alleviate the physical challenge of staying at peak performance for 48 hours and get close to top SO results.  (Speaking of which, ZF2AM did an incredible job ... congrats, John!)  After the contest, Carl (AI6V/P49V) was excited about our performance, saying we broke “the record”.  Ed and I looked at each other, “Record?”  It was only after our post-contest dinner that we searched the ARRL web site to find the records for this contest and glean an understanding of MS in ARRL DX CW.

P4 was well represented in this contest as usual.  Carl, AI6V/P49V and Dave, K6RC, had planned a multi-single as well, hoping to beat their 1995 record setting results (which they accomplished).  Joop, P43JB, and Andy, K2LE/P40LE, also were quite active.  We had an enjoyable post-contest dinner with Carl, Dave and Sue (AI6YL/P40YL/P41YL) during which we had a chance to compare notes and swap stories.

Thanks for all the Q’s and congrats to the many fine multi-two and multi-single efforts, including the PJ2T, 6Y1LZ, V31TP, PJ4X, EE5E, EF8M, CR2X, CR3L and P49V teams.

John, W6LD/P40L

Rigs:  Elecraft K3s (2); Icom 756 Pro II
Amps:  Alpha 86, Ten-Tec Titan 425

C31XR at 43 feet
2 elements 10 meter at 55 feet
5 elements 15 meter at 55 feet
4 elements 20 meter at 68 feet
2 elements 40 meter at 76 feet
1 element 80 meter Sigma 80 at 64 feet
160 meter vertical at 67 feet
Four 500 foot beverages using K9AY switching box/preamp
Logging software:  WriteLog on three networked computers
DSL Internet for Packet