As our groundplane from Uwe’s 80 m entry in last month’ WWDX-SSB was still up I decided to go for 80 m in this year’s WWDX-CW, too. I haven’t done so for a few years and there was nothing to be expected on 15/10 m with current solar minimum condx anyway.
Our GP is a simple design: an 18 m fibre mast by Spiderbeam with 19,5 m of wire loosely wound around it as the radiator plus 20 x 10 m long radials and another 4 x 20 m radials evenly thrown into the grass. A little coil to inductively match it to 50 ohms and et voila, it’s working across the whole band … although that indicates rather high earth losses. But it’s working much better than our 18 m high (apex) Inverted-V dipole, of course, real fun to use! Didn’t use any RX antennas but just the GP so there’s still some potential for improvements. 😉
The first night was really good! Worked 630 QSOs in a little over 8 hours, went to bed at 8:30z. The second night was (expectedly) already much slower with 900 QSOs in 18 hours while the third night always needs endurance – this time, too, with just another 400 QSOs in 10 hours.
It was cool to work 360 x W/VE, much more than expected, even 5 x zone 3! Most of the North Americans during the first and second night, a few of them being extremely loud. The third night the band was very noisy with lots of QRN and weak signals and QSB which made copy difficult and needed several repeats at times … partly also due to my brain going intermittent while decoding the CW signs. 😀
I was lucky to also work 20 x JA, expected only a handful. Interestingly most of them Sunday evening which was much better into that direction. 5 x zone 19 were not bad, either. 😉 Looking into multipliers I didn’t raise the full potential. I heard 2 zones and 15 countries more than I worked (i.e. KH6 as a double mult) but eventually lost my passion to queue up in the pileups. 🙁 It’s unbelievable what’s happening almost all the time: there a skimmer spot for a new mult and immediately all big M/M stations jump onto it (of course lots of others, too, but the big M/M always stand out as you hear them over and over again) giving their callsign 10-12 times in a row without listening, then RXing for 1 (!) second and starting all over again?! They probably think brute force will make it but nope, it does not! During that time nobody is doing a QSO and the DX is frustrated too (no QSOs = no rate). This “if not me then nobody else either, I have to be first” mentality really sucks! 🙁 I don’t blame the ones who in the heat of the moment call a second time and if not hearing anything maybe even a third time after listening for 3 seconds. That happens to me, too. But an RX:TX ratio of 15:1 really doesn’t cut it … Another pain in the ass are the guys with 1 kHz splatter signals. If they start CQing 100 Hz next to you you can only pack in. Is my signal too clean? Don’t they hear me? Maybe I should buy such a 30 years old unmodified clicky FT-1000, too, to keep them on distance …
Enough grumbling, all in all it was still fun although not record-breaking. 😉 There are simply too many much better CW operators than myself. You have to know your limits. 😉 Looking forward to the start of sunspot cycle 25 with open high bands again. It’s simply much more fun then. 😉
CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW - 2019 Call: DH8BQA Class: SO(A)SB80 HP QTH: JO73ce Operating Time (hrs): 36 Summary: Band QSOs Zones Countries ------------------------------ 80: 1940 32 114 40: (3) 10: (1) ------------------------------ Total: 1874 32 114 Total Score = 420,918 Club: Bavarian Contest Club