Just wrapped up what's been the longest stretch of ham radio contesting I've done so far with the 2013 CQ WW. Started with a few hours on Friday night when the madness started and continued with Saturday morning, most of Saturday evening and the final 5 hours or so today. According to my log, it looks like I was at the radio for around 20 hours or so out of the 48 hour contest.
Thanks to some amazing propagation on 10m nearly half of all my contacts were made on 10m during Saturday morning/early afternoon. There was contest activity across an entire 1 MHz of the 10m band, which is pretty amazing. Normally I have a hard time hearing anything on 10m, but this past weekend making contacts was like shooting fish in a barrel. Most of my 10m contacts were across the Atlantic to Europe, a handful of stations in Africa and later some South American stations.
I spent most of Saturday evening on 15m and a little bit on 20m, getting most of my contacts from South America and Canada there. Europe was a little harder to work on 20 and 40m.
Highlights of the weekend:
- Z68BH (Kosovo)
- KL7KY (Alaska)
- NH7A (Hawaii)
- XP1A (Greenland)
- TF3CW (Iceland)
- Hearing NH2T in Guam. They faded away before I could get them though. It's a long way for my 100W to go too.
- Hearing a JA5 station. I don't think they were able to hear me though.
Didn't spend a whole lot of time operating on 40m. All the interference from neighbouring stations makes it hard to hear all but the loudest stations, and it's pretty hard on the ears and brain. One of the things I found helpful was to use a narrower DSP filter to cut down some of the interfering noise and make it easier to hear the station I was tuned to. Helped some on 40m, but not a whole lot since in a lot of cases, those stations were just 1 or 2 kHz away from what I was trying to listen to.
According to N1MM, this is how my contacts broke down by band.
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty 7 16 43 8 15 14 49 117 16 24 21 40 103 16 24 28 81 238 8 31 Total 186 501 48 94 Score: 71,142
Overall, it was a pretty good weekend of radio contesting and I had a lot of fun playing.