CQ WW SSB 2018

Last weekend PI4COM was active in the 2018 CQ WW SSB.

Due to various reasons we had a very small team to do both the antenna work and the actual contesting.
On Friday Kees PA3BWD, Ronald PA3EWP and Alex PA1AW build the station.
Despite the very wet weather the work was complete during daylight which gave them all evening to prepare the two shacks ready for the contest.
As usual easier set then done, but everything was ready 3 hours before the contest.

Ronald PA3EWP and Richard PD4RD were the starting operators for the first night and a good start was given on 160, 80 and 40m. Propagation was average and the operators needed to work hard. Unfortunately there was a lot of interference between the bands giving especially the 80m operator difficult times.

In the morning Florian PB8DX and Alex PA1AW took over and took care of the greyline on the low bands and after that they moved to 20 and 15 meters with the beams to asia-pacific. On Saterday this was great fun. Especially 15m was in good shape and good runs were available on both bands. 10m was checked but activity was very low so it was decided to pay regular visits to 10m to work the availabkle stations and not to try to get a run going there. After his beauty sleep Ronald returned to the station and took the honours from Alex and was pleasantly surprised with a very nice 15m run to the America’s.

Shortly after sunset Alex returned to the station and also Dennis PA7FM was there to take over the stations. Dennis went to 20m running statesite and Alex took over 40m as 15m had dryed up.

From that moment on the 4 operators had a schedule allowing them all to have decent time for a meal and decent time to sleep. With 4 operators this results in some long shifts behind the radio and this can be very demanding. Again the low bands were average but luckiley some changes to the 80m station had reduced the interference problem pretty well allowing to run on both stations.

Since saturday afternoon we had problems with our internet connection which gave a lot of trouble. Bottomline was that a 3rd computer had to be used to get the cluster spots on our screens. With no support crew, just operators this clearly costed us some valuable points.

On Sunday we were ready for another day of fun on 15m. Well… not that sunday. The morning was still reasonable but in the afternoon only 4 North American stations made it in the log (approx 1% of the day before) and it was impossible to get a run in any direction. Had work andd not good for the score and the operator spirit.

In the evening also Dennis had to leave and the remaining 6 hours it was up to Alex and Ronald to complete the contest. The final hours are not the best hours of the contest but by frequently shifting bands and good passing of stations worked they managed to cross the 5000 qso barrier and also work some nice new multipliers.

At 2359z this was our raw score:

We did M2 High Power assisted and could have used a few more voices as SSB is clearly a demanding mode.

Our radios were K3 and IC7300

Antennas: 4 el yagi for 28mhz, 6 el. yagi for 21 Mhz. 5 el. yagi for 14 Mhz, 7 Mhz 4 Sq and dipole, 3.5Mhz Dipole and 1/4 vertical, 1.8Mhz dipole and K9AY receiving antenna.

Logging with N1MM+
(we switched to this software earlier in the year and get more and more used to it. Only a pitty that after 46 hours Alex PA1AW fins out that his IC7300 Voicekeyer can be activated from the PC keyboard…. Now we know for the next time….)

After the contest the hunt for VP6D was opened resulting in a very short night with few hours of sleep…. BUT IT WAS FUN

Sorry, NO operator or antenna pictures. All operators had no time as they had work to do….

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