It’s been a while since I made a semi-serious contest entry and I happened to notice a couple of weeks ago that the CQ WPX RTTY contest was coming up. I currently hold the England record for the 15m high power section and so I planned to try and beat that this year.
I was on the air prior to sunrise on Saturday and operated until after sunset the same day, making a total of 436 QSOs which I thought was well on the way to being able to beat my previous record.
Sunday was a different matter though. Conditions were poor and I struggled to get up to 630 QSOs by mid afternoon. I went out for a walk to get some fresh air and clear my head and then worked another twenty when I got back for a total of 650 contacts. I’m told that the band did still stay open for another couple of hours to the west but I’d really had enough by that time.
My final tally was:
- 650 QSOs including six duplicates
- 71 countries
- 6 continents
- 427 prefixes
My claimed score is 693,875 which is only a few thousand below my current record but there are duplicates to remove and I’m sure there will be a few logging errors. Interestingly, I managed around 35 more multipliers this year than I’ve ever worked before.
One thing I really need to sort out is my logging software. I use fldigi because there’s a native Mac version but although it’s good enough for normal data comms, it really doesn’t cut it for contesting. I’ve done OK using it in the past but the big thing I really need to make the next step is DXCluster integration along with the ability to flag new stations seen on the cluster, mark whether they’re new multipliers and just generally help boost my score. I’m sure that with decent tools, I could have worked a lot more stations and picked up a lot of new multipliers. Out of my 650 QSOs, 645 of them were worked by running a frequency and just five by search and pounce.
To wrap, here’s my QSO map for the contest. You can click for a full size version.