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Author Topic: WPX Post Constest  (Read 5144 times)
WS7X
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Posts: 25




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« on: March 26, 2012, 01:56:58 PM »

  Well it's over and I for one had a lot of fun.   If you were looking for the "I hate contests" thread, this isn't it.  I did see one of those however so keep looking hi hi (Its a fun read too).    Propagation on 15 meters was not as good as last year and I was a bit disappointed because I did not beat my score from last year.  I got almost as many qso's during this contest and operated about the same amount of time but the amount of higher point DX stations just wasn't the same as it was during last year's contest, especially on 15.  20 meters was good and as usual was a "zoo".  I got a kick out of working stations in between the splattering signals of some of the stations who seemed to be 10 kcs wide.  I wont name call signs but I did write one down so I could look it up later, who I felt was particularly annoying. (hi)  I do think there were more stations a little wide during this contest.  I wonder if anyone else thinks that was the case or maybe it was just me?  Still, the patience of many to keep trying was fun to see and hear.   Amazing how many signal reports and serial number exchanges can occupy the same frequency at the same time.  I spent the majority of my time call CQ and probably about 40 percent during the old search and pounce.  The DX were mostly sitting there and waiting to be called and enjoying their pileups.  Don't you hate it when they don't give their call signs often enough and you've been waiting for five minutes only to hear that you've worked them before?   

 And here's another one...So I'm working a small pile up of my own and I've acknowledged say kbXXq and asked him to repeat my number.   Why then does NXXR keep calling me, and covering up the station I'm trying to work?  Does he really think I'm going to answer him even though he keeps covering up the station I went back to?  Seriously frustrating when that happens because even if they can't hear the station I'm working, they can at least hear me and hear that I went back to someone else.  So why do they continue to call, not once but over and over?    OK that's my one rant.  (hi hi) 

  During the last couple hours of the contest, 15 meters seemed to pick up into Asia.   I had quite a good time working JAs and even a few China and Indonesia and a few other countries as well.  There were some really strong JA stations just booming into my QTH.  Anyone else worked some really weird call signs?   Not even sure they're legit? 10 meters was disappointing and was only open into South America from here.  I did manage to work a few big guns spread out across the band but it wasn't enough to keep me on the band for long.  I did spend some time on 40 and got lucky a few times as a few DX stations took pity on my weak signal and gave me a few points.  On 80 meters it was only a few US stations sharing a point here and there, so it wasn't even as good as 40. 

   Still with all the frustrations,  I had a great time and it was nice to just work anyone I could hear as opposed to say the last contest which was only for working DX.  And oh yeah, there were a few stations who insisted on calling me but had no idea what the exchange was supposed to be.   Then, when I try to tell them they got annoyed that I just don't want to have a qso right now.  That's always funny too.  What was your experience during this year's WPX?  I'd love to hear it.

Noel - WS7X


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N2SLO
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Posts: 65




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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2012, 05:53:02 PM »

Hi Noel, since I am a Tech, I can only work 10M. The conditions for me here on Long Island were very good to South America, and the Caribbean... Only a few European stations, and even a couple of African contacts which were new countries for me. Not much to the West Coast this contest. I was able to almost double last years QSO's, and probably double last years score due to the new multipliers. I find that the South American stations are very polite, sometimes it is hard to understand their accent, and the big guns can also go 10 calls before they finally ID. I find that annoying, you should ID every call. All in all a fun contest, with an Icom 746 and a IMAX 2000 at 40 feet, had fun. 73

David Smiley
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TF3CY
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2012, 07:19:04 AM »

Hi all

This was my first contest that I really made an effort Wink - I decided to work out of my family summer house bit east of Reykjavik, so I registered a new callsign, TF1CY as the area is in TF1 land - and took part in the ARRL DX contest earlier this month as a prep for this contest.  As it turned out, my work schedule was turned upside down and I could not get a day off Friday before the contest (work for a gaming company and we had a big festival going on!). So I only got to the QTH late Friday. There I had to assemble a TH7dx and do alot of work on support and other antennas. I did as much as I could before dark - that included raising a 22m high spiderbeam pole with radials etc... Around 23:55 I was really tired so I worked a handful of stations on 80m and went to bed. I still had to work from 9-12 to get the th7dx up in the air. I had a mishap that nearly cost be the whole antenna as I forgot one support u-clamp in the home made aluminium mast that could have cost me the whole antenna!

Finally when I got on the air - it was fun - but still I was so tired that I could not really concentrate  - so I have several lessons learned here Wink

the QRM on 20m was really hard and this was my first time with a good beam antenna. I usually beamed towards Europe. I got several NA station calling me in the back of the beam - and EVERY time I turned the antenna towards NA I lost the running freq to some 59+60 EU station! So being tired and overworked I got often frustrated and just stood up and walked away. But seriously, the QRM from EU was just amazing. On Sunday evening I just worked a LYxxx station that then came back few minutes later and I took his call and gave him an number - but commented "you know I just gave you xxx few minutes back" ... then next exchange I just heard him call CQ CQ on my freq. Luckily I had a reasonable pileup that just let him have it and he went away.

the QRM was really really bad, I so often got a big station only 1-2 Khz from me and even if I got a reasonable good pileup on me, I could not hear unless the stations where booming as the QRM from often two stations under and over me.

I was running a TL922 with around 1K  -  and I think I had a good signal - got some really strong VK stations mid day Sunday. Only did few contacts on 10m - only opening into South America.

So - I will make an effort next time.
some info: http://www.tf3cy.is/archives/485


73, Benni TF3CY / TF1CY
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W8ASA
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Posts: 34


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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2012, 07:45:08 AM »

I had a great time in the WPX contest this year. Here's what I was able to achieve, working only part of the contest time, and with a barefoot TS-570 into an AV-640 vertical at 15 feet from Ohio:

Total Points:          200,070
Countries:                      62
Contacts:                     343
Different Prefixes:         247

Callsigns with 3 digits in them still throw me for a loop! Ten meters was sizzling during the day. The evening hours belonged to 15 meters, though, when the JAs and BAs started coming through. Until this weekend, I had NO idea how many hams there are in Brazil and Chile! I usually operate S&P because I don't have a big enough signal to get pileups. I called CQ a couple times but got no response.

The previous poster mentioned lots of splatter -- that DOES seem to be getting worse. Turning your mic gain fully clockwise and then yelling into the microphone affects contacts all around you.

I am looking forward to the CW WPX weekend. See you there!

73,
Ken W8ASA
Licensed since 1964
Ex-DL4WU,WA3BQU,WB6QWF
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AA0CW
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2012, 08:36:10 PM »

I managed 300 contacts and 10 new dxcc entries playing around part time with a 132 foot ocf dipole I just put up. If I get qsl's from the new dxcc I worked, I'll have my dxcc award. 15 meters was smokin here, and I made several dx contacts on 40 meters which I've never done before. That was fun.

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K3TN
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2012, 03:11:26 AM »

I put in a few hours from home in WPX SSB, where I have a K3 and a KPA-500 and a 135' Windom OCF dipole at about 45'. The QRM was amazing on 40-15. I don't know what it is about WPX SSB but it sounds even more crowded than CQ WW. One theory is that there are a lot more single band entries, so a lot more "permanent" run frequencies are in use. My theory is the weird callsigns in use cause ALC circuits to give up and all that compression to lead to more splatter...

Conditions were definitely better than previous weeks on 15 but 80 and 40 were very noisy here. 20m was just sort of mushy. It was all search and pounce from home - I noticed a lot of stations came back to me as "K9TN." That never happens - on SSB I often get K3EN, as the Tango gets heard as Echo. But something about WPX SSB splatter makes Kay Three sound like Kay Nine?

Sunday morning I helped out at WR3Z (at N3OC) who was going Multi-single. I spent about 3 hours running on 15m. What a different using stacked tribanders at 100 feet and legal limit amp compared to 500w into a dipole at 45'! It took a while to find a frequency but I find a hole (well a sliver) at 21.228 and ran for about 2 hours. Had 1 frequency fight with a US station who started up after I'd been there for over an hour, but in the morning the East Coast always wins those battles.

I had to leave by about 1700z but they said later that afternoon on 15 they had a great JA run.

John K3TN
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John K3TN
TF3CY
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2012, 03:26:09 AM »

Hi -  one question

I did not hear the "beacons" from NA like W3LPL og K3LR in this contest - But I actually did not hear so many NA stations doing a run on EU...

does this contest differ in any way from the other major one? (for the big stations?)

73, Benni TF3CY / TF1CY
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PD2R
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2012, 01:28:45 PM »

Well, participating in a world wide, 48 hour DX contest as a multi-multi station is a huge undertaking. Most M/M stations concentrate on a few big contests in a year. For most NA stations these contest are the ARRL DX CW and Phone contest and the CQWW DX CW and Phone contest. This means that you need assemble a large group of (skilled) operators 4 weekends in a year.

In addition, I learned on a British Contest University that some contesters dislike the CQ WPX contests because of the huge amount multipliers.

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KG4NEL
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Posts: 373




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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012, 03:52:36 PM »

Thunderstorms on Saturday night made 80m a lesson in frustration Sad

Was the first WPX that I entered, though. Had a great time, and already have a list started for what to do next year.
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WS7X
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2012, 07:09:37 PM »

All - Thanks for the responses so far.  Great to hear all the different perspectives and always interesting to hear how the propagation was a little different from our locations. 
A few individual comments:  Dave you and I worked during the NAQP in Jan and the 10 meter contest in Dec of 2011.  So that setup of yours works fine out may way.  I see an upgrade in your future if you want to play on more than just 10 meters.

Benni - whew! glad you made it without injury to you or the antenna... hope to hear that big signal on the air sometime.  Don't think you missed much in this one though.  Don't recall hearing any TF signals and certainly didn't get any in the log this time.  Also I have no experience with those beacons you mentioned. 
 
Ken - My cw isn't good enough to do a CW contest.  I did make about 10 contacts during the CQ WW CW contest last year though.  Straight key sending about 10 wpm.  A few slowed down enough to give me a contact.   Someday I may try to become CW proficient. 

John - Guess what almost every other DX stations will get when i send my call.  Without fail they will hear Whiskey Seven Sugar Xray (W7SX) Instead of  Whiskey Sugar Seven Xray.  I feel your pain!  Sometimes takes them a long time to get it. 

I only play in a few contests and they're all SSB.  NAQP, CQ WW, WPX and the 7the Area QSO Party, which is coming up in May.  I've done it two years running now and it has gotten more fun each time.   I will also play in the 10 meters contest too when that band is open like it was last year.  But that hasn't happened much in quite a few years now. 

I can't speak for the multi op multi transmitter stations, because those guys are competing with other multi multi stations.  My competition is with other single operator single transmitter stations, (other than competing with myself that is.)  I have not heard that some dislike WPX compared to other contests.  But then again I don't know many contesters in person.  I can say there are a few I'm not particularly fond of for different reasons.  i.e. the Sprint where you have to change frequency after each contact.  Never took to that one.    There's also a JA contest I've played in where you exchange the year you were first licensed, which I keep forgetting hi hi. 

Noel


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K3TN
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Posts: 285


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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 03:34:44 AM »

W3LPL is just a few miles from me, and Frank is pretty much only on the air as a multi 4 times per year: ARRL DX CW/SSB and CQ WW CW/SSB. Ocaasional his station is used by some of his ops in ARRL Sweepstakes or other contests, but always using their calls and rarely, if ever, as Multi-multi. I think K3LR is similar.

From the US, that's nice  -opens up the lower band edges!

73, John K3TN

Hi -  one question

I did not hear the "beacons" from NA like W3LPL og K3LR in this contest - But I actually did not hear so many NA stations doing a run on EU...

does this contest differ in any way from the other major one? (for the big stations?)

73, Benni TF3CY / TF1CY
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John K3TN
AD6KA
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Posts: 2237




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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »

My amp went QRT the day before the contest,
so I operated a contest barefoot for the first time
in a decade.  Was pleasantly surprised at the number
of DX calls answered...considering I only have a multiband
vertical for the high bands.

Ten meters was outstanding, I bet the Techs had a blast.
I couldn't believe how late 20m was open Saturday
evening....at least here on the West Coast.


I think a good time was had by all!  Grin

73, Ken  AD6KA/5R8GQ
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