P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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This was a lot of fun, thanks to all the participants! In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I operated until the end of the 30 hour contest period, even though this was about 30 minutes past my 24-hour scoring period. (For those who may be puzzled by this statement, you can always operate past any time limit. The time limit only applies to scoring the log. However, it is vital that every QSO made in the contest is left in the log, even if cannot be included in the score. If QSOs are removed, then the other stations will get lose credit, plus possible penalty reductions, in their score.)

From Aruba, 80/40/20 were in great shape. Signals were strong and clear. Although rate dropped off, 80 and 40 were still performing great when I knocked off at 0730z. At 0600z, 6% more QSOs were logged than my prior personal best. Hourly rates stayed above 200 for the first 4 hours for the first time, with a new personal best hour of 240. This exhilaration is what keeps getting me back here. Of course, high rates can’t happen without great operating on the other side of the QSO where exchanges are kept reasonably short.

15 was OK, but not great. It seemed great Saturday afternoon during the initial rate fest, but the truth emerged Sunday morning when 15 didn’t open sufficiently until late morning to Europe and then NA. And, the Sunday rates were down from just a few years ago. The nice lead I had at the half-way mark eroded back to a 4th place high QSO count in my 13-year string. The multiplier count was also 4th highest, resulting in a raw score that is 6th place among the 13.

When I went to 10 early Sunday afternoon, the bandscope suggested the band was dead, but it was only dead from lack of activity -- no one was transmitting! Once I started CQing, there was a steady stream of callers from all states and provinces throughout the afternoon. But, there was no pileup and some experienced deep QSB. I might have made more QSOs on 20 during that time, but the people on 10 seemed to enjoy it and so did I. By late afternoon, 10m looked “active” on the bandscope. This was probably not the same picture in the northern latitudes.

This is the first year I had a period of time (first thing Sunday morning) where I couldn’t run well on 2 bands. Before 15 opened, I had no choice but to be on 40 for a few minutes at much lower rates. This is new, and frustrating, to me at this QTH. During the solar maximums, 15 (followed shortly by 10) open strongly to Europe rapidly after local sunrise. So a 5-6 hour off-time works well to bridge time when rate falls off on 80/40 to when 20/15 are wide open.

Thanks to everyone who called in and especially those who did so on multiple bands when there is no multiplier credit for additional QSOs. There were 62 stations that worked P49X on all 5 bands. More stats are in the CBS analysis below. And, thanks to John P40L/W6LD and Andy P49Y/AE6Y for sharing their station with me.

Rigs: Elecraft K3 (2), K-Pod (2), P3 (2)
Amps: Alpha 86, Alpha 91B
FilterMax III low power band pass filters (2)
4O3A high power band pass filters
SixPak, StackMatch (2), BandMaster III decoder (2)

Tower 1: C31XR at 43 feet
Tower 2: 2 elements on 10 meters / 5 elements 15 meters at 55 feet
Tower 3: 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 \"Double L\" vertical at 67 feet
Four 400-500 foot beverages using K9AY switching box/preamp (JA/W6, W1, EU and

Logging software: WriteLog 12.12C on three networked PCs

RTTY Decoders (each K3): MMTTY, 2Tone (2), Hal DXP-38 on main receiver
                         MMTTY, 2Tone on second receiver
                         (setting both receivers on same frequency yields
                         6 parallel decoders)


Ed - P49X (W0YK)