CQWW 2002. The ups and downs of contesting
Midnight October 26th 2002 saw the start of the 48 hour contest known as CQ Worldwide. It's a tremendous contest. The biggest in the world. It's a great place to work new contries and collect some rare DX.
I enter a single band station on 40 meters.
I start at 00:00. The band is very busy so I decide to search and pounce. I start by looking in the U.S. section of the 40M band. At 00:08 I hear K4XS, very loud and listening down on the European part of the band. I tune my second VFO to his listening frequency and call. He calls me straight in and he becomes my first contact in the contest. A few more American stations and i then turn back towards working Europe.
The band is incredibly noisy. The thousands of stations and the atmospheric conditions made 40 meters a horrible place to be in the early hours of the morning.
I keep tuning around, listening for strong signals who might hear me calling back. At 02:08 I hear 9Y4TBG (trinidad and Tobago), not only a nice multiplier, but my first contact into 9Y4. As I said CQWW is a great place to work new countries. V26B and PJ2T also managed to hear me, adding more multipliers and new countries to my log. A few more Americans and one or two Europeans and at 03:34 I retired to bed.
I start back at 07:52 and work three or four Americans before the band turns back towards Europe. My contacts then become mainly British with one or two european station thrown in for good measure. The European stations are very welcome as most of them are new multipliers. Multipliers are a very important part to contesting, so finding as many as possible always makes sense. At 11:49 I've had enough of the noise and decide to take a well earned break.
I start back again at 15:30, working british and european stations. It's hard going. The weather outside is awful. The wind is howling, and the rain is causing static which at it's worst made hearing any signals impossible. I kept going desperate to get my Q count (number of contacts) higher. My Q count was lower than the same time last year and I had put more hours in so far this year, so I was keen to get my Q count up. Although my Q count was down, my multiplier rate was quite healthy. This meant that my overall score was looking OK.
A few more nice contacts came my way way in the form of IH9P (Italy in Africa), I still have no idea where this is but it's a new one for me, OH0NL (Aland Island) yet another new one, and A61AJ (United Arab Emirates). I had been chsing A61AJ for ages. He kept popping up very strong, but he never heard me. Not wanting to waste time, I only called him a few times and then moved on. After many hours of hearing on the band, and repeatedly going back to see if he could hear me, he finally did! Not a new country for me, but he was a new multiplier so he was worth the effort.
Europe became my main area of contact again until 23:35 when I started working Stateside again.
A few Americans and a few europeans came and went. The weather had really turned bad. The wind was horrendous! With the wind came heavy rain. Each downpour stopped me hearing anything but static. Thankfully the rain was sporadic.
The States and the Caribbean became the main places of contact and at 01:50 on the Sunday morning ZF2AH (Cayman Islands) called me back. I then dedided to call it a night. The rain was making things very duifficult, the band was very noisy and I was knackered. I retired to bed with the plan to get up nice and early and start working Stateside again before the band moved back to Europe. As I lay in my bed, the last thing I heard was the wind howling around the roof.
Sunday, 27th October 2002. I wake up at 07:30. As I am getting out of bed, my wife, Carol, tells me not to bother as my contest is over! I ask why and she informs me that my antenna is lying over our neighbour's garden!!
The contest being over early, had it's advantages. it meant that I could get my log sorted and sent off early, and it also meant that I could see my family for a few extra hours.
Lasy Year I made a very large number of logging errors. This year I used different logging software and I paid particular attention to peoples callsigns.
Although the contest was over for me , I had already beat the previous years points total, so my mission was accomplished.
QSO total 137
Total Score 11256
Nice contacts include:- 9Y4TBG, V26B, PJ2T, IH9P, OH0NL, V47KP, ZF2AH and last but by no means least G0MTN.
Lee, G0MTN is a real good friend, and it's his fault why I do CQWW. He's the one who talked me into it back in 2001. So to Lee I say a big THANK YOU, for getting me involved.
Get great contest logging software by N3FJP here.
My 40M loaded di-pole. 25 feet high