December Contest Activity
We’ve just ended one of the busiest times of the contest season. We can now slow
down to a regular pace.
The next trophy eligible contest will be the RTTY Roundup the first weekend in January.
Sounds like FT8 is going to allowed in this run. Have fun diddlers. (Is someone running
FT8 still a diddler?) Also coming up is the NAQP CW the following weekend. If you
are going to be putting in a full effort and interested on being on a team, let me know.
We can have 5 on the team.
Kids Day is also the same weekend as the RTTY Roundup. Not really a contest but sounds
like fun if you have some (grand)kids.
I wish you all a pleasant holiday season and hope you are looking forward to the New Year.
ARRL SSB Sweeps
Call QSOs Sections Op Time Score
KZ1W 1319 82 24 216,316
K7IR 1123 82 23:54 184,172
Single Op HP
W7RM(W7WA) 1958 83 325,028
K7SS 575 81 8 93,150
WC7Q 37 29 2 2,146
Single Op LP
N7LOX 571 76 14 86,792
W7OM 230 80 36,800
K7IDX/7 130 71 18,460
K7HBN 130 69 8 17,940
K7VAP 63 41 5,166
W6OAT 35 21 01:45 1,470
N7WA 30 23 1,380
SO Unlimited HP
K7RL 1019 83 10 169,154
K7RI 813 80 ~12 130,080
KB7HDX 313 77 13 48,202
ARRL SSB Sweeps Soapbox
WC7Q Just doing some S&P when after about 2 hours the radio began shifting from
lsb to ssb on 40 meters. Corrected each time but finally the radio failed.
Going to ICOM Monday morning.
K7HBN Don’t normally operate SSB contests, but couldn’t resist trying the
DVR in the IC7300. It worked great as long as pushed the N1MM function keys
in the proper sequence. Lots of familiar calls from the many SS contests
over the years.
K7RL Started the contest about 30 minutes late – a very poor strategy for
SS that I do not recommend. My best rates are always in the first 90 minutes,
so losing one third of that kinda hurts.
My first full hour I had about 160+ Qs in the log, but it was all down hill
from there as east coast ops eventually migrated to the low bands, and the
contest settles into a slower rhythm. Even though I didn’t plan to do a
full-time effort, band conditions seemed good, and it was fun to get on
and make noise with everyone else!
N7WA They call me “Fresh Meat”. Actually, I got a new K-pod and wanted to
play with it. In my short time on the air, I got asked if I knew where there
was an EWA station three times. Twice the other operator giggled as they QSL’d
my exchange. I must sound funny on SSB?
K7SS Beyond being able to say howdy to so many old and new friends, there
were two memorable moments in this years SSB SS..
1. While hovering near 80 Mults, being called at the SAME TIME by VO1MP and
VE5GC both which were new ones! Thanks to GC for standing by. A terrific moment !
2. After chatting w/ old pal Hud K5ZG, and lamenting my NO VIRGIN ISLAND mult,
was called by KP2AA !!! which I soon enough found was in the ORG section… DOH !
Thanks Chip… you got me good on that one.
I started the SS on autopilot giving out ‘A’, which i usually run, with the
amp on…so decided not to mess up those guys logging…and stuck with the
A throughout…but entering in B class. I did have several comments on my
strong ‘A’ signal… 🙂
A real treat every year in November….thanks for EVERY Q !
K7IDX/7 As “Hugh Cassidy” used to say….gave a few points to the deserving.
Operated /7 in Osborne Wash (below the road level) SE of Parker, Arizona.
Completely solar power 75ah battery 150 watts of panel 125 foot wire at 25
feet TS-570 and AT-230 tuner. Did not hear very many new folks (check #)
W7RM(W7WA) Single Op HP 325,028 2018-11-20 02:10:41
Thank you to the folks at the WVDXC for allowing me to borrow the call sign
of my contesting mentor. Band conditions appear to be generally down from
last year for most areas with the exception of South Texas. Kudos to K5TR
for skunking the competition. 40 meter east/west propagation again largely
died early each evening. During the last hour most of the replies to my
cq calls were from South America and the Caribbean
K7IR Our Sweepstakes contesting group returned to Eastern WAshington for a weekend of
fun. Over the years, local development has led to increased noise levels, and
this year we had an occasional nasty S9 on 40 and 80 meters. It definitely
impacted our rates, and probably cost us the last multiplier we couldn’t hear
on 80. The bands seemed OK at the contest start, but then just got sluggish and
‘weird’. We were feeling discouraged by our perceived low rates, but kept
plugging away. Maybe we should have knocked off earlier on Saturday, since by
the time we got going Sunday, the bands improved and it felt like we were late
to the party, with many “fair-propagation” contesters handing out double
digit serial numbers in late morning and early afternoon.
We were trying different antenna patterns using the OptimizIR antenna
controller. At least one of the patterns seemed a bit sharp for Sweepstakes:
K9YC asked us if we were running QRP since we were so weak at his location. Note
to our future selves: turn the beams towards CA when working Jim 🙂
Fewer issues this year than others. New foot switches from TEMCO handled
extremely hostile stomping.
K7RI No antenna for 40. Still on ground due to issues with new KT34M
tribanders not working as advertised. High SWR issues on 15 and 10 meters.
Missed NL, VE6 and VE7 (amazing not hearing a VE6 and VE7 anywhere). Guess if
40 had been available that might have been different. In any case, watched
a lot of football games and had fun while on — both in terms of limited
station capability and part-time committed to the contest.
Thanks for everyone who worked us. Sorry about not being able to copy lots
of callers. High noise level here in the city – S7 or more during most
of the contest.
Call QSOs Zones Countries Op Time Score
K7RI 1363 102 287 ~41 1,476,255
N7BV 1027 111 284 47 1,114,690
W6OAT 405 96 207 17:15 330,270
W7VXS 448 89 189 19:52 335,546
K6KR 261 61 119 126,180
N6MZ 100 72 88 41,920
K7PAX 10 9 8 289
K7SS 700 33 110 18.5 279,279
N7WA 845 34 122 32 362,544
K7RL 2745 120 330 45 3,116,250
N7ZG 1561 122 265 40 1,613,016
N7QT 489 68 177 11 334,915
N5CR 433 53 118 211,356
KD7H 215 56 71 75,946
K7BTW 59 18 37 2:55 9,350
W7OM 505 96 194 394,690
W7CD 29 21 25 1.5 2,852
N6KW 20 8 8 720
W7WA 1527 34 121 671,925
CQWW CW Soapbox
W7CD Not a contester, but enjoyed it. Was band filling for my DXCC Challenge.
KD7H It was great to get into Europe on 40m, just after our sunrise, in
between working the Far East. I checked 10 meters, just about every hour I
was QRV, but I never heard any signals. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Rig: IC-756PROII + IC-2KL; Antenna: Ground-mounted Hustler 6BTV vertical.
W6OAT Low power is not nearly as much fun as high power.
N7BV Was a lot of fun getting back into the swing of things after not being
able to field a team for a couple of years. We had two learners, one ex-W7RM
junkie returning from a 20yr hiatus, and one over the hill has been. We had
fun, grumbles and in general had a good time.
Thanks for all the Q’s. 73, Chuck N7BV
K7SS 20m at the bottom of the cycle still provides..
….and still allows for a good nights sleep… 🙂
18.5 hours of fun from home w/ the 3 element steppir.
Great first hour into JA and far east. I believe my best ever rate.
Eu opening on Saturday was very light, and no (NO) Eastern Eu stations even
heard at all. Sunday was better to fill in the EU countries.. but still just
one or a few from each country.
Sunday JA run was not the dreaded “all the JAs are back to monday morning work”
doldrum… it actually produced a bit of a run in the last hours. Perhaps more
retirees over there as well as here.
All in all a pleasant fun weekend of Charlie Whiskey… and no bloodshed
in most of the pileups. What a great mode…
N7WA SO(A)SB40 HP 362,544 2018-11-26 04:05:13
I decided to operate as Assisted this year. I can’t remember doing that before as
a single-op. Friday operations seemed normal with plenty of Caribbean, SA, and
some Europe to keep me awake until the JA’s came on after midnight. I couldn’t stay
awake for the last couple hours of the morning so I didn’t try to test the long path options.
After a few hours sleep, I started checking the 40M path to Europe and found
it was possible to work Europe long before dark, getting better as darkness
approached. However, as night fell, the path to Europe disappeared and the stations
that could be heard were way down in strength. That made for a long and slow second
night at which, again, I could not stay awake for the early dawn hours. I know there
was stuff I couldn’t hear when Dan W7WA called. I thought he was calling me for a
zero pointer. Heck no, he was calling somebody under me. Never found out who it was.
I got the hint and moved on.
Again, after a few hours sleep Sunday morning, I could work Europe, picking off
an occasional station as the grey line approached. It really got good towards the
end and I could run 40M while picking off multipliers as they showed up. Too bad the
test ended when it did.
A couple other observations. Lots of Chinese stations this year and a definite
uptick in VK’s as well (for me anyway). I can remember not working a single VK in
some past years. This assisted operation came with it’s own learning curve for me.
I initially was using a mouse to click on the band map. That sucks – too many hand
operations. I quickly learned the keystrokes for walking up and down the band map.
Don’t trust anybody’s spots either. Too many bad spots which I would frequently
repost with the correct callsign. This was my first major test with the K-pod.
I found it useful.
I had fun. Nothing blew up.
N6KW Did a little bit from home with my IC-7100 and apartment balcony antenna
in West Seattle. The real fun was the grave shift at K7RI, which we just got
put back together Wednesday. Glad to have Tom’s great station back on the air.
N7ZG Was checking propagation frequently during the week. Super quiet conditions
prevailed but there seemed to be an enhancement early in the week as I noticed that
15 was in pretty good shape relatively speaking. 20 even opened at 5 am here local
time with broad strength by 6 am. JA even opened at 8 am. The flux was only up a
few points so I’m not really sure why.
Didn’t count on it for the contest and was glad I wasn’t misled. JA wasn’t nearly
as good during the day during the contest and was non-existent on 15 the second
day. Didn’t even hear the beacon on 21.150.
In general high bands were off on the second day it seemed. Crazy fun on the low
bands however! Will be doing the 160 events this winter for sure! CU then.
K7RL WOW! The low bands left me speechless after what was a record-breaker of
a weekend from my humble QTH. Amazing conditions on 40m, 80m, and especially 160m.
Started out with 149 Q hour, but downhill from there. That compares to an almost 400 Q hour
at ZF1A(N6MJ) and TI7W(KL9A?) who were also on the contest score board. Those guys rock!
160m Friday night the band was full of signals from EU. I could hardly believe it.
Worked OH2XX, RU4PU, G3TXF, MW5B, HB9CZF, SJ2W, DF6QV, PJ4K, a very loud TK0C,
II9P, RA1QD, OH5Z, SM0HRP, EF8R, LA8OM, SJ4F, OH1XX, and UA1OMS.
Saturday night was even better. Had a nice little EU run that knocked my socks off.
Worked OE2LCM, OM5KM, SP1NY, EU4E, YL2PP, OH1LEU, DL0HQ, DL4MM, RC3FL, OL1A, RW3PZ,
ES9C, UA4M, SM3NXS, OK5T, E77E, SP8N, S53A, RU3OW, HA7I, OG6OF, OG2M, N8W, LA1MFA,
and later RT0C.
I don’t normally list the stations I work, but it was such a special weekend
on top band, I thought it was appropriate for a shout out! This is a new record
number for zones, countries and Qs on top band.
80m 58 countries is a new record. No EU runs, but plenty of EU stations to work.
Had a few short JA runs.
40m 7 MHz was amazing! The band was open to EU around the clock. Runs started
about 2 PM local and overlapped with JA runs starting after local midnight.
I never thought I’d have more Qs on 40m versus 20m, but here we are. My mult
total seems low, unfortunately, but I may have missed a few during the 20m run
in the morning. At some point, it became necessary to prioritize a band, so there
you have it.
Had a pipeline into zone 16 all weekend. That’s always a good sign from here.
Means the band is in excellent shape.
20m 14 Mhz was pretty typical, but like I said earlier, with 40m on fire,
prioritizing became necessary. 20m may have suffered a little because of it,
but no complaints. It’s all good.
15m Better than anticipated. Seems like the guys down south have much better propagation
at this point on 21 MHz than us northerners. Nevertheless, no runs of any mention and no EU.
Plenty of zone 3 through 9 and zone 30 through 33. Even a few zone 35 and 36 guys.
10m Special thanks to the hardworking guys at K7RI for my only Q and mult on 28 MHz!
Could have QSYed a VE7 for a couple of extra mults (VE7 border is only 50 miles away),
but it didn’t happen.
My plan was to get more sleep, but the low bands were so amazing, I didn’t want to
miss anything. Ended up powering through day one and took a very short nap on day 2.
I expect they’ll be some great scores this weekend. This is one CQ WW that I will
not soon forget. Thanks to all for the Qs and an exciting weekend on the radio!
Last but not least, thanks to these stations for a 5-bander: 6Y3T, CR3DX, EF8R,
HQ9X, J8NY, JA3YBK, KH6LC, PJ2T, TI7W, TK0C, VA7ST, VE3MGY, and VE6SV.
K6KR Single op distracted. HP is more fun than medium power. Having rotators
stuck is less fun. Antenna work this spring!
N5CR Lots of problems getting my new 800′ away “remote” station to work. Just
wait until next year!
K7RI Thanks to Dennis, Walt, Chuck, Tony and Dick for putting the station back
on the air with a full complement of antennas for the first time in over a half
a year. A welcome change.
Clearly, we need to do better on 160 and 80 to be competitive — but nothing
else can be done here on this city lot. We don’t have a mult station either,
only a single radio. 15 meter numbers are still lacking compared to other stations.
Nevertheless, everyone had fun.
Call QSOs Sections Countries Op Time Score
Single Op HP
K7RL 633 77 9 11 117,132
N7QT 224 68 6 5 31,076
KK7PW 84 41 3 4.5 6,888
Single Op QRP
KX7L 37 17 0 2.5 1,258
SO Unlimited HP
N7ZG 594 77 15 24 128,064
N6KW(@K7RI)491 75 8 28 84,743
K7SS 260 68 4 6.5 38,520
W9PL 229 68 4 35,352
K7CW 204 62 7 5.5 30,222
ARRL 160 Soapbox
N7ZG Operated the first day.
KX7L Conditions seemed pretty good – I could hear lots of east coast stations
clearly, but my 5W couldn’t seem to reach much east of the Rockies.
K7RL Missed ND, NE, PR, SFL, NL and NT for the sweep. Conditions seemed
better the first night. Wish I could have spent more time in this one.
Lots of activity.
N6KW(@K7RI) First thanks to Tom K7RI for the use of his station. I’m
part of his multi-op team and, since no one else was interested in this
contest, he said go for it on your own. Although Tom’s station is not
one of the biggest on Top Band, I had a great time with my first
ever opportunity to operate a full 160 Contest with an effective
station. We just got Tom’s station back on the air the previous
week for CQ WW CW after months of trying to get M2 antennas to work
correctly. So thanks to Tom, thanks to all who worked me, and apologies
to those who I just couldn’t dig out of the noise. It’s an urban location
in West Seattle, so somewhat compromised on receive for 160.
K7SS Pretty good conditions to the east coast this time.
And local West Seattle activity was great… within a couple miles we had
W7OM N6KW@K7RI KK7PW KE7RW K7SS and KI7KQA active. Made for a good game of
dodge ball…. and all in good humor.
Call QSOs Mults Op Time Score
SO CW LP
K7HBN 14 3 168
SO CW Unlimited HP
N7BV 27 11 1.75 1,188
SO CW Unlimited LP
W6OAT 64 10 03:00 2,560
N9ADG 27 6 624
SO Mixed HP
WA7CPA 37 4 520
SO Mixed LP
N7LOX 136 36 18 15,180
KD7H 58 9 1,818
SO Mixed Unlimited HP
K7SS 134 28 13,384
SO Mixed Unlimited LP
WA7BRL 28 6 2.5 168
SO SSB LP
K7IDX/7 15 13 3 390
ARRL 10M Soapbox
WA7BRL My N3fjp log says total score was 576. The allowed points per
CW or SSB QSOs are not calculated with this format?
N7BV No real time for contesting this weekend.
Thanks for the QSOs.
K7HBN I remember when….never mind!!
N9ADG Just a vertical in the backyard. It was exciting when the band opened
to W4 and W5 for an hour or so. Might have been open longer, but I didn’t
have my BIC.
K7SS Felt like a 6m contest, with brief E Skip to FL, LA, AL, GA on
Saturday, with a few South American stations coming thru..
Sunday opening was good fun also, with Scatter to all of the 7s and
some northern 0s. Had as much fun chasing scatter as usual contest running.
No expectations at this time of the cycle….so any propagation is a bonus.
ckage of operating ensued. S&P quickly established as the mode de jour.
Digging deep in the scatter qsb, then short, very short, runs, then sitting
in PY pileups I cant break. A mixed assortment of things to do.
Believe this is the first EVER assisted entry made where I did not glean
a single bit of assistance from the spots. Nary a spot was used. But it was
very reassuring seeing the whole country lit up in spots, while listening
to band noise, knowing we were just maybe one little e cloud away from
the big action.
Great fun way to wrap up the 2018 Contest Season…. on to 2019 !
K7IDX/7 From /7 QTH near Tonopah, Az when the contest started heard N7AT
CQing (CW) and working stations. Next morning before leaving heard a 2 in
NY loud on phone. Packed up and set up near Bouse, Az. Band was very lively.
Started calling stations, soon i had smoke in my rig. After got all fixed
band was quiet. Sunday never heard any phone stations. CW had W7ZR a
few 6s 2 XE and N4BP loud for about 1/2 hour. TS-570 with 125 piece of
wire on battery power. 11 states 2 dx……Heard mostly East coast VE3 to
FL and West to MI with South and Central America. Never heard a real local
N7LOX come on sunspots!! jeeez happy holidays everyone can only get better hope hope