Happy Easter to everyone!
As always please see the links at the top and to the right … and call me if you need anything.
Amateur Radio: CQ WPX SSB Contest 2013
CQ WPX SSB Contest 2013 #13 (from my Youtube page)
And this is a special embed from Youtube … SN5V – This is an example of what it looks and sounds like from the OTHER SIDE at a station in Poland. This guy is operating single band on 15 meters … doing very well. Very good operator. Very efficient – and good at pulling stations out of the mud (the noise.)
SN5V in Warsaw, Poland operating in the CQ WPX Contest. A rare look a what a good operator and station looks and sounds like – in the contest.
Another one of those weekends to wear extra sun block or a tin foil hat There was plenty of R.F. (Radio Frequency) energy in the air as Amateur Radio Operators in the U.S. and around the World operate their stations (or portable / mobiles) in the contest to contact as many other operators as possible. Hams, as they are call, Ham Radio Operators, scored points for contacts both within their own countries and DX – other countries. They got score multipliers for things like “How many call sign prefixes they worked”. The bands were crowded on 20 meters and 40 meters. 15 meters wasn’t as bad … and we even had 10 meters (28 Mhz) open up.
On Saturday I “played radio” in the contest for around 5 or 6 hours – starting out on 10 meters. Surprisingly the band was open and I made some nice contacts on there for the contest. I worked my way through 15 meters, 20 meters, and 40 meters and shut down operations some time lated Saturday night and called it a night.
I went back “On The Air” on Sunday afternoon late after some celebration for Easter Holiday … and started at the lower frequencies first … 40 meters was pretty quiet … so I ended up operating mostly on 20 meters today. This band was jam packed … with stations litterally on top of each other across the U.S. voice SSB Amateur Band Segment. This is how it goes in contests. Because of radio propagation – stations in different areas often cannot hear each other. I recorded a video of radio operations where 2 stations were “working” the same frequency at the same time in the contest … and I could hear both of them. With stations so close to each other in frequency there is a lot of interference. 3 Khz bandwidth of SSB signals and some stations with lot of power (up to 1500 watts) or very powerful yagi gain antennas (or both) and working sometimes only 1 or 2 Khz apart or less … makes for a very noisy and difficult environment to work in. Most people would NOT think this was fun. The first squeeky screaming or “whop whop whop” of an adjacent frequency station would send them running for the television, their iPhone, or even bottle of aspirin. But not many of us Ham Radio operators. For us – it is a challenge. It’s being an “operator” and having to turn a lot of dials and push buttons to enable different filters to try and get away from the QRM (Interference) caused by other stations nearby in frequency. After all of the buttons and dials have been used … then it comes down to the human being as the decoder of the communication. The Signal-To-Noise has to be deciphered by the persons ears – eyes – and brain. Extract the voice from the mess and make that contact!!!!
And quite a few I did make. I probably won’t win any awards … there were stations with 1000′s of contacts – I believe I have heard contact serial numbers in the 4000′s range. But those may be multi-operator – multi-band – multi-radio stations … or at least they operated almost continously for 2 days (as many hours as they could put it following the contest rules.) Some of them might thank the other hams like me that went on and “surfed” the bands calling as many stations as I could … while they remained Camped Out on single frequencies calling “CQ WPX Contest” and saying “QRZ … ?” (Who is calling me?) to get the next station trying to reach them. So we helped each other. I hope the winners enjoy their awards. For me I did get a bunch of contacts in my log – I also uploaded to my Electronic QSL service (eqsl.cc) so I get credit in there as well for all of the contacts.
Here is my logging program with my STATS at the end of the contest at 8:00 PM Eastern tonight:
You can click it to enlarge it
KA4UDX – CQ WPX SSB – Log Final Stats
* I got 118 contacts, 273 points, 104 multipliers (looks like this was one for each Call Sign Prefix that I worked), and 28,392 final score according to my logging program. 273 x 104 = 28,392. It looks like US contacts were good for 1 point each, and DX – other countries were worth 2 or 3 points. So there was some encouragement to work Canada and other Countries around the world. But also I had in my mind that Each Prefix was a Multiplier … including each new Prefix on the U.S. contacts. And I did quite well in getting a lot of unique U.S. and World prefixes by my contacts.
All in all great fun … time for the aspirin and to go horizontal (zzzzzzzzzzzzzz) for the night.
P.S. Oh I recorded a lot of video … I’m slowly uploading what I can (YouTube: alanspicertelecom.) This has the audio of what “working” in this contest sounds like … you would get to hear me actually working stations near and far (well they were all some kind of far) and the difficulties in getting through! If the sh^t ever hits the fan … Ham Radio Operators would be good people to have around – that can make communications work in adverse conditions.
73 de KA4UDX,