So, the biggest CW event of the year is already finished, but in my ears I can still hear dots and dashes everywhere I go. It was great fun to work this contest, and a good occasion for me to add new DXCCs to my collection.
I was using for this contest an IC-7000, which is in my shack for some couple of days to play with it, thanks to Victor, YO4SCY. I was running 10 to 20W in the contest because of the LDG Z817 antenna tuner rated input. I have also the AT-180 for the Icom, but it won’t tune my 2x10m dipole for 40 and 10m.
Band QSOs Pts ZN Cty
7 28 28 4 15
14 117 155 9 35
21 73 135 12 26
28 12 20 3 6
Total 230 338 28 82
Score : 37,180 Category : Single Op All Band Low Power Assisted
I started Saturday morning with 40m at 0700 local time ( UTC 0500). Only that band I could hear at that hour. From 20m and up I could barely hear something, the propagation was very poor at that time. But in about two hours they were alive. The 20 and 15m bands were full, a very big portion of spectrum of about 120kHz was occupied on each band. The madness has begun.
After a few minutes in 20m the surprise came. I was hearing D4C, Cape Verde, very loudly, and after two calls I got him, with 10W. Lucky to be there at the begging of the pile-up.
Totally I have rounded up with six new DXCCs. As far as I remember I have now 71, worked only this year. The other new ones were, 9H Malta, A4 Oman, EA8 Canary Is., CT3 Madeira and the last big surprises were definitely ZM1A, New Zeeland, 17.000 km away, and VK6LW, Australia, worked in 15m on Saturaday afternoon with 10W and a SWR of 3:1. Also I managed to work quite easily a few K and VE station too.
This was the first time I have used CW sending from the computer. With a simple USB to Serial adapter, bought with 1.7$ from eBay, I connected the DTR pin, via a optocoupler, to the CW key on the transceiver, with the N1MM logging software, edited the predefined text macros and ready to go. Because of the lack of experience in this “high tech” morse code sending, there where moments during some QSOs when I was mixing up the buttons, but I have noticed this to other fellow hams as well.
I didn’t connect any CAT to control the rig, it wasn’t necessary, I did the band exchange manually, and plus, is an extra noise source for the rig.
Now I realized the effectiveness of a CW filter when I worked with the IC-7000 and switched between the two digital filters, 250 and 500Hz. So the next objective is to get a CW crystal filter for the tiny FT-817, which, by the way, I felt a little sorry for it not using in this contest🙂
In the end, it was nice experience this event. Now its time to write QSLs to the folks!