Here we go again! Collecting CQ WW Plaques for the last 5 years straight I was courious if I can add another one to the wall.
I really love the 10m band – maybe because it has the most space and I hate frequency fights or not beeing able to pick weak signals because it is splattering from both sides. A russian OP once said: “This is not splattering, it is contest!!”
Everyting starts with a calm and on time flight from Frankfurt to Madeira. (Not flying TAP anymore really helps) I arrived at the station Tuesday and started the usual setup process. Everything worked out and I had three antennas for 10m at my disposal. Antenna one is a spider beam @ 18m for EU, two is a 3 Band Beam on 22m for the US and the three was a 4 element Monobander for Mults and south america. All connected by stackmatch. I had my IC-7300 travel companion with me and a new headset for test! More about this later…. Legal limit was provided by one ACOM 2000A amp. Setup went very quick and I used wednesday to put up a 60m and 80m antenna as well. Just for some casual fun before and after the contest.
Pic: Spider Beam and 4 element
Thursday and Friday I had time to relax and make some casual QSOs on sideband and FT8.
On 10m the contest really starts early saturday morning here in Madeira. Band started to open and I logget the first few QSOs, but wait – after hitting enter, the QSOs did not sit in the list of DXLog as usual – they simply disapeared! PANIC MODE ON! Spent 3-5 minutes trying to understand the problem, but failed. I logged some 500 QSOs before in DXPedition mode and it worked fine. I quickly decided quit on DXLog and made a fresh setup with N1MM! The whole glitch costet me maybe 15 to 20 minutes and 3-5 QSOs that I had lost. 🙁
After everything worked some rates started to pick up. Most hours well above 200 QSOs/h but nothing record setting fast. I had to call CQ inbetween or move frequeny – never once in the whole contest I could catch “the perfect hour”.
In march CQ WPX I did 10m as well and had two PY stations in front of me after the test – so I had that strong feeling I need to grind the whole time. No time for relax and breaks – no pizza – just grinding QSOs into the log for about 14h straight till the band really died down. 2900 QSOs and 1.2 M if i remember correctly. I used the dead band for food, optimizing the N1MM setup and sleep.
Alarm clock early morning – check dx maps – propagation not here yet as it looks like. A short peek at online score and there it was: PV2G 250k points ahead of me PANIC MODE #2 !
The only solution was to overtake him while he is sleeping, catch all mults possible and create a gap for the hours where he will be strong in south america and the band is out in Madeira. In other words – keep grinding QSOs again!
The band dies in Madeira about four hours before the end of the contest and I was able to create “some” gap to PV2G, but whenn I peaked again at online score around 20:00 it was very close – TO CLOSE! Instead of waiting – I tried to squeeze any QSOs I could get. Calling 20 times for one PY or LU QSO or looking for a saving mult. The last four hours were 36, 23, 20 and 5 (!) QSOs. PV2G was comming closer and closer but the 24:00 end of play bell rescued me!
2.797.338 Points claimed scores and 4.5% gap to PV2G! that is really close and will be decided at log check!
Overall it was a grind – but FUN!
Lets hope for the Log check and keep fingers crossed!
Here are the usual maps and stats:
CQ WW SSB 10m Map – CQ3W
FT8 haters better stop reading here ……
I added also 3666 FT8 QSOs on different bands.
Some Stats plus about 500 casual SSB QSOs.
Teardown day on Monday and a on time flight home (NOT TAP) on Tuesday.
Thanks to all the callers and Team CR3W who let me use the station in Santana again!
ALL QSOs are on LotW! If you want a paper card use OQRS via Clublog ONLY!
Are you interested in contesting? JOIN THE RRDXA!
73 and good DX!
Helmut DF7EE aka CQ3W
Final beer at the airport: