Sunday, October 22, 2006

Plans for CQ WW SSB

I did some thinking about the upcoming CQ WW SSB contest and I decided this would be a good time to work on my QRP DXCC award. I've currently logged 62 countries QRP thus far so there is quite a bit of work to do. The CQ WW contest presents an excellent opportunity to snag at least a few new ones. The interesting thing about the QRP DXCC award is that no QSL cards need be presented to apply for the certificate. Instead, you make a statement that you indeed made these contacts, and you used QRP power to do it. I guess since they could never confirm your power output, they don't bother with the cards, either.
The CQ WW SSB contest was the first ever radio contest I entered not long after I was licensed. It is difficult for me to convey the excitement I was feeling during that weekend as I had gone from never making an HF contact prior to August of 2002, to making hundreds of contacts all over the world just two months later. To me, it was magical!
That first year I entered in the 100 watt category. That was before the QRP bug had bitten and since then I have participated in many contests at the QRP-level, as I did in last year's CQ WW SSB effort. Here is my claimed score from last year's effort. Of course, claimed score is before all my goof-ups are removed (bad exchanges, busted call signs, etc.)
Band QSOs Pts Cty ZN
3.5 5 11 3 3
7 11 32 9 5
14 26 58 15 10
21 38 90 23 9
Total 80 191 50 27
Score 14707

I would like to beat that score this year. Even with the solar cycle down here in the basement, I should be able to accomplish that. Certainly my antenna system is about as good as it has been in the last couple of years (since my first stealth antenna was torn down by the condo police). I put the finishing touches on my G5RV, now a "flat-top" up about 55 feet, this afternoon. This is still a very modest station, but as I've been trying to emphasize in this blog all along: it isn't about the equipment; it is about having fun with the stuff you've got, in the place you're operating, for as long as you can do it!


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