P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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Another fun weekend spent contesting! All the way through to the end, WPX offers the excitement of the continual flow of new multipliers. And the score goes up exponentially with QSOs. One of my other favorite attributes of WPX is double point for low-band contacts. This makes the contest competitive throughout the solar cycle, albeit tactics change.

This is my 11th consecutive year of doing WPX RTTY as P49X. Incredibly, it is also now my personal best. While I always strive to better my prior results, it gets harder to keep raising the bar. And, conventional wisdom would put little hope in a personal best at the solar minimum. But, of course, WPX is different with its premium on low-band contacts and that was the enabler for me this weekend. While my final score is 2% higher than any of my prior efforts, both the QSOs and prefix multiplier counts are lower than my two next highest scores. This is due to being able to achieve higher low-band QSO totals this time.

Here in Aruba 40 and 80 were in great shape. Signals were strong and noise was low. Saturday night on the low bands in any contest can be grueling as most of the louder stations have already been worked and more contacts have to be summoned out of the noise floor. Accordingly, I usually take my nightly sleep break sooner on Saturday night compared to Friday. Not this weekend! Just as I was thinking of knocking off around 05z Sunday, the QSO rate started increasing, so I stuck around “for a few more minutes’. That lingering stretched to 90 minutes because the sustained rate was 100/hour which equates to 200/hour on the high bands. I was pretty sure I couldn’t do 200/hour on 15 and 20, especially on Sunday. So I kept logging Qs on 80 and 40 until the rate looked like it really was dropping off to 60 and downward. That was just about the right guesstimate because I really struggled Sunday to maintain the 60-minute rate at 100 or more QSOs/hour.

Another personal best was set in QSOs per clock hour where my previous high was 167 in WPX RTTY. Friday evening on 40 and 20, the first two hours were 187 and 185 respectively. This is a lot lower than I’ve achieved in WW RTTY, probably due to the serial number exchange. All and all, it is gratifying to be able to improve at any point in the solar cycle.

After my sleep break following the decline of the low bands early Sunday morning, I had less than 6 hours left of my 30-hours scoring time, so there was no hurry to get started Sunday. During my first hour back on 15 and 20, I was disappointed in the QSO rate. It wasn’t much better than the 80/40 rate the night before, and with 50% of the point value. In frustration, I took an hour break, hoping that it might be different upon my return. It really wasn’t so I ran out the 30-hour clock with serial number 3836 at 2023z. As always, though, I was enjoying the operating so I continued on for another 45 minutes. I won’t get credit for those extra QSOs, but my QSO partners will. Those contacts are not reported in this 3830 Scores posting.

Thanks to all my QSO partners and especially the 150 who are in the log on all 4 bands. There is no multiplier credit for working the same station on multiple bands, just QSO credit and I really appreciate the additional contacts. Thanks to station owners Andy AE6Y/P49Y and John W6LD/P40L.


    Rigs: Elecraft K3s (2), K-Pods (2), P3s (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 12.14F 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)

73, Ed - P49X (W0YK)