P40L-P49Y Contest Summary Information

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STATION - Sincere thanks to John P40L/W6LD and Andy P49Y/AE6Y for providing the opportunity to pilot their station again this week. I really had a super time.

Note: All of the P40L/P49Y towers are on a small 100 x 100 foot lot:

Rohn 45 tower (66’): Single boom 2-element shortened 40m interlaced with 4-element 20m (68’) (JK2040, long-boom version); 80m Inverted-V (65’); 160m Double-L center-fed vertical dipole (65’)

North Rohn 25 tower (56’): Single boom 5-element 15 interlaced with 6-element 10 (58’) (JK1015 configured for dual feed)

South Rohn 25 tower (45.5’): Tri -bander (JK Mid-tri)

Beverages: 4 beverages controlled by K9AY switchbox: West-US (800’), East US (500’), EU (800’)and East-West (AF and OC) (350’)

Rig: Elecraft K3/P3 + Alpha 91B 900 to 1000 watts Logging software: Win-test 4.28


Isn't it wonderful to have some sunspots again- after many years of suffering? Had multiplier gains on every band this time with the much improved propagation. Total multiplier in 2020 was just 629 compared a huge leap to 691 counters this year. There were more contest DXpeditions active this year than last, but travel constraints are still keeping many at home. I find working DX is still a big part of enjoying the game.

No significant station preparations required this trip following my visit just three weeks ago. It was fun to do some casual operating. Tuesday I installed an 80m vertical dipole to see how it might compare to the inverted V. Results are still pending but not encouraging. Spent Wednesday helping Art, N3DXX/P40XX @ P49V with getting things working on all bands. Goofed off completely the two days before CQWW CW.

Part of preparing is reviewing prior year's logs and developing (or refining) a personal operating plan which includes setting band goals. Doing well depends upon skillful execution, or in many situations adjusting on the fly to meet the current conditions. Fortunately there were no big propagation surprises this year, but being human the tendency to repeat prior mistakes is always a possibility. My personal addiction to 160 meter operation is something I've yet to successfully master and it is telling in my Friday night performance.

Opened on 40 meters with 224 and 217 hours which really got me pumped. Stations were loud from everywhere and the pileups were deep. I found sending my call after every contact kept things somewhat more disciplined but so many stations are zerobeat and calling without end slowed everyone down. Please - SPREAD OUT.

At 0200, went to 160 where I found the band quiet and full of EU stations. This is where my 160 addiction comes into play. For the sake of the rate/score I should have QSYed to 80 meters after just 15 or 20 minutes - not stay a full hour (actually 1:20). In my defense I put sixty multipliers in the log - but at the price of perhaps 300K points lost in score. Unfortunately I again did alsmost the same thing in portions of the 0400 and 0500 hours but rate to the US helped limit the score damage somewhat. Hey ... this is supposed to be fun, right?

Debated with myself on whether I needed to take a full 1.5 hour sleep cycle sometime before local sunrise, given I had screwed up pretty badly with too much time on 160 meters. Ultimately lay down for 40 minutes - it seemed enough time having slept nearly six hours Friday just prior to the contest. This was thankfully a rare CQWW contest during which I never suffered that involuntary urge to sleep.

Made up some ground with decent early morning rate on 80 and 40 before starting a very productive 217 hour at 1200 on 20 meters. But by 1320z found 15 meters fully open and made the move for to take advantage of early EU and AS propagation. Looking back, the 104 rate in the 1400 hour seems terrible, but the log shows over 50 mults were added during an extended S/P binge on 15 and 20 meters that hour.

The saga of ten meters on the first day started about 1600 and would last just a little over two hours. There were little mini-runs of EU callers embedded within the run but for the most part the action was dominated by NA callers. USA signals were LOUD and plentiful. But the good propagation to EU we enjoyed during CQWW PH on ten never materialized.

Finished out the first 24 hours with with a line score of 3650q 134z 426c for 6 million points. Envisioned the possibility of a finish around 13 million but I'd later come up somewhat short.

Perhaps one of the most exciting moments in the contest occurred at 2 a.m. local time Sunday morning. I'd been running on 80 meters and saw a few spots on 15 meters from Asia which didn't seem possible at that hour. Much to my surprise there were signals - and zones 19 and 26 were logged on one call each. As mentioned earlier, working DX is big part of the fun.

Started to suffer mild hallucinations in the 0600 hour and decided on a full three hour break from 0700 to 1000 z. My last QSO before sleeping was KH7M (N6TJ), a double mult for me on 160 meters. Went to sleep instantly and felt relatively refreshed with morning coffee as the sun appeared. Overnight there had been two heavy rain showers, the noise form the rain pounding on the metal roof made copying code impossible. Fortunately they passed quickly.

At 1200, left 40 and started a productive mult sweep on 20 and 15. When I got to 10 meters at 1220 I found the band open to EU - then felt like I had hit the mother load logging more than 30 multipliers within an hour. EU signals ranged from a faint whisper to 20 over 9. It was all very brief ... over in just 70 minutes. EU was never heard again on 10. At 1700 had a decent NA run and later in the afternoon picked up the ZL and VK double mults. Conditions (and catching the EU opening) had allowed me to double the multiplier count on day two.

Played out 15 for a few hours of average Sunday rate, mostly NA callers. Had saved the expected 20 meter NA run for the very end. My first CQ must have lit up the mult needed light on everyone's logging program. The pileup was immedicate, DEEP and very unruly. I used every trick I could muster to pick out callsigns from the bubbling hoard of callers. It easily took 30+ minutes to work it down to something manageable. One of the station owners, W6LD, mentioned today he was there participating and it had taken him ~30 calls (over six minutes) from W6YX to make the contact ... he found it entertaining (in a good way) that his station was so loud ... and popular. At 45 hours into the contest - for me it was more of a challenge than I'd hoped.

With 20 meters having closed early, spent the last hour on 40 and 80 meters mixing running and clicking, picking up six additional multipliers (three in the last ten minutes). And then it was time to turn it off. The claimed score is 300K better than a year prior - I call it a success. Special thanks to the 81 of you who made it into the log on six bands, and another 133 on five. This doesn't happen by accident. VFB!

Congratulations to those operators who are using advanced 2SBIQ and SO2R/SO2V techniques to earn amazing scores (N6MJ, KL9A, AA3B, CT1ILT, EA8RM, and N5DX to list several). I am in complete awe of what you are doing. The nice thing about contesting and particularly those contests sponsored by CQ Magazine, there are entry class opportunities to fit the competitive abilities of all participants, both young and "older". I personally play a less intense version of this game now, but enjoy every minute, particularly the high rate hours, the in and out pileups, and the simple thrill of being able to communicate with someone on the other side of the world ... wirelessly.

Hope to be back for this one again next fall. CQWW CW will always be the BIG ONE for me.

73, John, W2GD