Getting Ready for CQ WW DX SSB

Some of the contesting and DXing newsletters are suggesting that we might have enough solar activity to light up the 10 meter band this weekend during the CQ WW DX SSB contest.

Should 10 or 15 for that matter open up, then all of us little pistols will potentially have an amazing time regardless of power, antennas or even rigs.

Ten especially allows for global communications with modest equipment and effort.

So who is going to be on?

According to NG3K’s CQ WW DX SSB Announced Operation list 6W1RY from Senegal says he’ll be on. So will A73A out of Qatar representing Zone 21. This is a BIG multi-multi station and you should be able to work them on 10 if the band opens up.

Guam is being activated by a big bunch of hams from Japan AH2R in Zone 27 and should be workable from mid-afternoon to early evening. Same for Mariana Is. which is also in Zone 27 but expect big pileups.

BY5CD out of China in Zone 24 is running multi-multi as is C5A out of Gambia in Zone 35.

My printer shot out 14 pages of great DX listed on the NG5K site.

So what do you need to work all this DX on 10?

A vertical with ground radials (like a Butternut) or an elevated vertical (like an R5) should do the trick as will a 10 meter dipole up 25 feet or more. One hundred watts is plenty of power and I’ll be running 5 watts SSB and I expect to do pretty well.

Now if you want to be competitive as a little pistol consider entering the single-band category. Here’s what the rulebook says for the CQ WW DX contests:

“I would like to work on several bands, but only submit a single band entry. Is this allowed? How should I submit my log?”

Yes, you may work other bands and still submit your log as a single band entry. First, please make sure your log includes all QSOs made on all bands. This helps us with the log checking. Second, make sure the Cabrillo file header has your category set for the single band you want to enter. (e.g., CATEGORY-BAND: 20M) Only the QSOs on the single band will be used to compute your score.

Please enter only one log containing ALL QSOs!  Each log that you submit will overwrite the previously submitted log.

This means you could operate all bands and then just enter for a single band like 15 or 10. There are a couple of advantages to operating single band. If like me you don’t have much of a signal on 160 or 80 you could just work 40 to 10 and then submit your best effort on a single band.

You could also just concentrate on one band to the exclusion of all others and in that way learn it’s hidden characteristics and propagation. If you pick 10 or 15 both bands are likely to fade in the darkness so this means you get to have 8 hours of sleep and still be on when the bands are open from roughly 9 am to dusk.

If you’re a night owl then 40 meters from 3 p.m. to past dawn the next morning can provide world-wide contacts with big openings into VK and ZL at our dawn.

A big full-size dipole up 60 feet or higher in the country on 80 or 160 would be a killer and could provide contacts to JA on 80 and all Europe on 160.

And then again…maybe not. One good unpredicted solar flare and we’re back to reading the weekend papers and doing the grocery shopping.

I booked this weekend off with the XYL back in January so she could make her own plans and not even consider involving me in anything else for any reason. I look at it this way: If somebody drops dead (so long as it isn’t me) during the contest I’ll attend the visitation on Monday. I don’t even take phone calls on contest weekends because the objective is to stay in the chair if you want to make points.)

BTW Mike Walker, VA3MW, is an avid contester and experimenter and he’s asked me to pass along a link to his Yahoo Group that focuses on remote base communications:

http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/Ham_radio_remote_base

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About Peter West

I am retired. I'm invested into bike riding, guitar playing, yoga and Ham Radio. I am a former photojournalist, newspaper and magazine editor and public relations practitioner with national, regional and local experience. A long-time member of Toastmasters International and an active Amateur Radio (Ham) operator here in Canada I am taking on new challenges.

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