The weeks running from the end of October through November has some of the most interesting and enjoyable contests of the year for SSB and CW ops.. Domestically, there are ARRL Sweeps and worldwide, of course, are the CQWW SSB/CW events (no ‘dis to the diddlers).
Here’s what your fellow Club members have been up to (when they weren’t working Ducie):
Call QSOs Zones Countries OpTime Score
KZ1W 1080 99 226 36 815,425
K7RI 591 33 105 ~15 224,388
N7BV 270 54 125 19.25 132,997
KA7LJQ 278 50 99 115,475
K7SS 386 74 148 19 222,666
N7RVD 234 48 85 12 85,386
W7OM 260 65 98 113,611
K7VAP 96 36 41 19,558
K7RL 2401 112 272 41 2,276,352
N7ZG 878 89 198 38 641,445
KD7H 80 27 31 12,934
K7EKD 59 30 40 10,570
K7CW 20 9 11 880
W7WA 1457 36 101 556,220
CQWW, SSB Soapbox
KD7H I appreciated the operators who were interested in quality, and not necessarily quantity, by taking the time to be certain they had my call and zone correct.
I don’t really like phone contests, but I hung in there as long as I could.
N7BV Surprised at the EU openings on 20 and 15m. Thanks to everyone for QSO’s, much appreciated.
KZ1W Very bad noise on 40 & 80. Plus an Asian BC station splattering the 40m band. 15 to SA was useful. Nothing heard on 10. 20m openings were good. 40 to EU was super difficult, marginal conditions and aluminum wall east coast.
K7SS Good fun here at the bottom of the cycle in the best DX contest of them all.
Saturday night was especially fun, one eye on the World Series game, and one on the low bands.
Thanks to KK7PW for joining the neighborhood Multi op.
K7CW Poor conditions for us except for OK7K who blasted through.
K7RL First full-time SOAB HP effort since 2015. Back then 10m and 15m were very much in play – ah, the good old days. This year, I knew it would mostly be a 20m and 40m event and was not disappointed. I’ll summarize the weekend using a classic Clint Eastwood movie title: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
80M and 160M
It was great to hear EU come back on the low bands. 160m and 80m were alive with signals from ES, OM, DL, SP, OK, I, and RP (no northern EU at all, which was strange). Zone 33/35 was also very active and fairly easy to work. Special mention goes to OK7K, who was a beacon on 160m the entire contest.
The bad part is most couldn’t hear me. Worked OK7K and DR1A on 160m, but heard and didn’t work at least 6 other EU countries. Major bummer.
The ugly part is it was the same scenario on 80m. Heard and tried to work at least 10 EU stations, but none could hear me despite their signal a true S7 to S9. In hindsight, that was the most disappointing part of the contest. I felt like a SWL. Major bummer times two.
Good signals from EU, JA and the rest of Asia all weekend. Caribbean and SA were loud. Nice JA runs both nights, with Saturday morning being the better of the two.
Unfortunately, no EU runs – bummer. Never heard a peep from northern EU, and very few below 7.100 worked split. Double and triple bummer.
40m was bursting at the seams. I’d classify this as ugly, but obvious. I mean really, where else is the entire world supposed to go when the high bands close early? Oh yeah, and if the U.S. wants to work the world, we all have to basically occupy a space between 7.128 and 7.200 on SSB. What could possibly go wrong?
10M, 15M and 20M
Felt like any activity on 10m and 15m was a bonus. 15m was surprisingly good compared to how dead it sounded leading up to the contest. Had some short JA runs, which was a plus. Zone 33/35 guys were very strong and D4C was a beacon all weekend on every band (except 10m, right?). 20m featured solid JA and EU runs both days, with Saturday being the better of the two.
Unfortunately, 10m never opened anywhere beyond my backyard. If it did open for 2 nanoseconds, I missed the window. No zone 14 or 15 on 15m, and even though I tried to frequently check, the 20m run to EU during the window of opportunity was crazy and required my full attention, so maybe I missed it, but I don’t think so.
Predictably, 20m was a zoo. Ugly SSB splatter was a major issue and forced me to reacquaint myself with every possible filter variation my rig had to offer. Layers of stations on the same frequency or very close by only added to the chaos.
All-in-all, a fun contest with the added challenge of operating during a solar minimum. Thanks to all for the Qs, and everyone that travelled to exotic locations to make it that much more exciting for the rest of us.
K7RI M2 KT34M2 antennas NOT working on 15 meters due to high SWR issues. This was, in effect, a 20 meter monoband effort. Antennas play well on 20 but resonate out of the band on 15 and also exceed the specs on 10 meters. Huge disappointment for brand new antennas! After more than 2 months, no solution has been forthcoming from M2.
N7RVD Much slower slog than most years. I quite after 12 hours. Only the loudest stations had ears. Dupe. Dupe. Dupe. I hope for better luck in CW SS this weekend.
N7ZG Interesting DX calling in make this contest fun: Z32VL, OD5YA, E44WE, YJ0CA Found in Pileups: 5H3MB, XT2SZZ
Heard OK7K on 160M really loud but unable to work him.
Not much JA on 15M. Not really much on 20/40.
Had some fun runs to EU on 20M.
In general, propagation is down this year on all bands.
ARRL Sweeps, CW
Call QSOs Sections Op Time Score
K7RI 849 79 ~22.5 134,142
Single Op HP
K7RL 1190 82 24 195,160
N7WA 1017 81 23 164,754
WC7Q 599 82 11 98,236
KX7L 206 68 6 28,016
Single Op LP
W7OM 535 81 86,670
W6OAT 513 74 09:20 75,924
K7SS 454 78 9 70,824
N6KW 28 16 896
SO Unlimited HP
W7VXS 171 81 8 27,702
ARRL Sweeps, CW Soapbox
KX7L Had a hard time getting a run started on Saturday afternoon on 20, but things were a lot better later in the evening and the next day. Thanks for all the QSO’s!
WC7Q Band conditions were pretty good with more activity than I have seen in a long time. Missed a clean sweep by not finding a Virgin Island station. Fun contest.
N6KW Hit-or-miss, HamStick dipole on apartment balcony in West Seattle. Thanks and 73 to the tenacious ops who dug my signal out of the noise!
K7RL First full-time SS effort in a number of years. Oddly, this is also my first full-time CW bravo entry. Nothing like jumping head first into the deep end of the pool to see what happens. As it turned out, the water was warm at the beginning, and got down right chilly towards the end.
Had fun using Contest Online Scoreboard. Was neck and neck with AA3B and K5ZD. Unfortunately, when the final bell rang, I was one multiplier short of a sweep. Costly. Missed VI. I heard NP3X moving up 20m working guys S&P, but could never get his attention. Read he was QRP, which explains the weaker signal.
Almost missed VY1AAA. Heard him warming up before the test when he was 599+20. When I finally found him at the bottom of 20m late Sunday afternoon, he was piss weak with flutter.
There were a few stations I had to abandon after getting an initial call. If that was you, and you’re reading this, I sincerely apologize. I don’t like to give up on anyone, but we could have spent a ridiculous amount of time piecing together the long exchange. Hopefully, we worked later on.
Some very interesting CW tones out there. If CW could be sent with a heavy accent, I think these would qualify. At times it felt like a test to see if I could decrypt the exchange. Love it.
Congratulations to those big scorers. Thanks to all for the Qs, and especially the casual guys that got on to help out.
K7SS Much like a school reunion, hearing and working so many familiar calls from years of Sweepstakes. Recall doing my first one with all the novice KN7 boys, with no VFOs, just a few crystals, paper and pencil, and hand keys.
Geomagnetic storm held off til the last few hours, mercifully, which made for good conditions.
Nice to hear many CK 49,s in honor of Paul W0AIH.
Thanks to all for a fun CW Sweepstakes.
N7WA After decades of trying to break 1000 Q’s as a low power entry, and watching my totals go down each year, I decided to break with tradition and enter as a high power entry. However, I did not feel comfortable running a second radio in a HP environment. Maybe ater.
I probably started on the wrong band – 15M. It started off well but petered out pretty quick. I don’t think the band deteriorated, just ran out of people. They were all on 20M which where I then had to establish myself.
I like participating on the online scoreboards in domestic tests. I knew I was in trouble when I saw Mitch K7RL also signup for my category. Of course, there was no competition between Mitch and myself, but I enjoyed watching him battle AA3B and K5ZD. Mitch started out on top and stayed there until east coast dark. The 3 stations switched positions quite often for a while. In the end, I think the east coast population advantage on the low bands was too much to overcome (plus they found that one last mult). I was also watching when the scoreboard showed multi-op station N0AX click over to 84 mults. (Something fishy going on in Missouri)
The Sunday doldrums seemed a bit easier with high power. Instead of 10-15Q hours, I would have 30Q hours. I did a bunch of S&P looking for the last two elusive mults (NT and VI) but no dice. I was agitated, as usual, about EWA. Couldn’t find them on 80/40M Saturday night or Sunday morning. Instead, two found me on 20M later Sunday. At the end of the test, I gave a few calls on 80M just to see what would pop up, my last Q was with an EWA station for a total of 3.
Speaking of 80M, one of the goals of Sweeps this year was to really test out the new 80 Delta loop. I put it up for IARU but didn’t have a 4:1 balun. I made a quickly coaxial transformer using 75ohm coax and it worked ok but I finally got the 4:1 balun hooked up the week before Sweeps. Very nice. I also tightened up the low horizontal portion of the loop and lowered the lowest SWR point to 3550kHz. I had no problem working anybody and it’s been a while since I broke 100 Q’s on 80. (yah, 1000watts doesn’t hurt either).
I am still amazed at all the checks in the 50’s and 60’s. (I know how old I am and my check is 72.) It was fun and the rainy weather provided no incentive to go outside. It was also the first test of my new homebrew desk in the shack. All in all, a decent and fun Sweeps.
K7RI CW Sweepstakes is a lot of fun. This year’s contest was no exception. Our score was down because we didn’t have a 40-meter antenna – only operated on 15, 20 and 80 meters. Conditions better than expected: 20 played well and 15 was okay while it lasted. We did better on 80 this year than in previous years but deep slow QSB made it difficult to copy exchanges from weak stations. We didn’t make a clean sweep this year. Never heard NNY, PR, VI or NL. Thanks to everyone who called and/or worked us. And thanks to K7ZQ, K7DSE and W7UDH for a job well done.