First of all, allow me to apologise for this late update. The CQWPX contest finished nearly 2 weeks ago and I promised I would do a post-contest review, so here it is!
Colin started the contest at the stroke of midnight on Saturday morning and quickly found he wasn’t being heard very well on 20m or even on 40m. A few hours later and he decided to pack it in for the night. A wise choice!
I then arrived around 8.30am to kick things off for the day. I worked into Europe to begin with and then swung the beam to NA as the morning progressed into the afternoon. I used the search and pounce method mostly, as I couldn’t hold a run frequency. I took a break and went home at around 1:30pm, whilst Colin continued throughout the afternoon. Again, Colin was working mostly into NA with some Europeans thrown in. I then returned and operated from around 7:30pm until 11pm, at which point we decided to shut down for the evening. The reason being, the loop for 40 and 80 was very restricted in terms of how much power we could put into it and that the bandwidth on 80m was not very effective. We had no 160m antenna either, so didn’t want to waste a good night’s sleep in preparation for the following day by working 10 or 15 QSO’s an hour!
Colin then started things up again late the following morning at around 11am and managed to grab a spot on 10m, working a string of Americans and getting the QSO rate above 90 p/h for the first time. I didn’t turn up until around 7:30pm in the evening as it was my 22nd birthday, so I had to pay a visit to friends and family and was too busy having fun and eating cake! Sunday night proved to be great in terms of DX, with me working all over from JA to CE. 10m was still open late, well past 9pm. Many stations in the final hours were happy to get MM0 in the log, so Sunday night proved successful with the QSO rate staying above 60 p/h for the most part.
Overall, throughout the contest, we managed to do some running, but the majority of the contest was search and pounce, as was to be expected from a smaller station such as ours.
After around 26 or so hours of operating and at the end of the contest, we had worked 803 QSO’s and about 350 or so unique prefixes. We learned a lot from the experience. With little operating on the low bands, we missed out on a lot of points and multipliers, so for future contests, we learned it is crucial to get on the low bands and soon, in order to get a spot! All in all, it was great fun and a chance to use Win-Test for the first time, which we quickly discovered was vital if you want a good score in a contest!
I’m already looking forward to CQWW SSB in October, but hopefully I can brush up on my CW for CQWPX CW in May!