After a very fine turnout for the ARROW breakfast, this weekend was all about the CQ WW DX contest. I didn’t really operate all that much–only 2-1/2 hours total–but had a lot of fun doing so. The bands were open, and over that period, I made 50 contacts (although one turned out to be a dupe), scoring some 8,200 points.
I made most of my contacts on 15m, using the 40m dipole antenna. This antenna worked very well, better than I anticipated. I was, for the most part, picking mostly the strongest stations to call, but even so, it rarely took me more than two or three calls to make the QSO. And occasionally I would call a station with less than an S9 signal strength, and in most cases, I would still make the contact. I also worked at least five new countries, including Bolivia, Ceuta & Melilla (an island off Spain), French Guiana, Cape Verde (the D4B contest station), and Belize.
To put this all in perspective, however, consider this. Dennis, KT8X, a “real contester,” reported that he operated for about 10 hours total on and off, and made 600 QSOs in 24 zones and 102 countries for a claimed score of 214,326.
In addition to the contesting, I also managed to make a couple of non-contest CW QSOs. The coolest one was with VA2DFD in Quebec. He was just licensed three weeks ago, and I was his second CW contact! I’d have loved to have been his first, but someone beat me to it. He had a real nice fist for being such a new operator, and he was speeding along at about 14 wpm, too. There’s no way I was going that fast three weeks after I got my ticket.