OE5TXF in CQWW-CW Contest: Nov 2022

SOAB HP (A) : 3,050 QSOs : 121z : 415c : 2,159,544 points

This was the second year that OE5TXF has made an All-Band (A) entry in CQWW-CW. The increasing sunspots numbers suggested that the higher bands would be improved this year. Similar to last year, low wire dipoles were used on most bands (160m, 80m, 40m and 20m), but with the 40m dipole force fed on 15m.

In 2021 there was a stand-alone 10m vertical dipole. However this year there was no separate resonant antenna for 10m. The 160m dipole was force fed on 10m. This was not a good idea. It showed in that although conditions were much improved on 10m this year, with the much less efficient antenna, it was not possible to work significantly more multipliers than last year.

For 160m the antenna had been improved over the previous year. The dipole was on average about 10m higher. However conditions on 160m seemed to be down with no great sunrise openings. Yes, at dawn a handful of the W/VE Topband super-stations were worked, but nothing further down the pile.

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For OE5TXF it was a "One Pointer" QSO contest. On Top Band the average Pts/QSO is barely above 1, and even on the "best" band (10m) for Pts/QSO it was only just over 2 Pts/QSO. A lowly 1.3 Pts/QSO was the average.   G3TXF has been operating from Austria as OE5TXF for just over two years and that now includes three CQWW CW Contests. Many other contests have been entered. The OE5TXF QSO total is over 117,000.
  
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OE5TXF CQWW-CW 2022 : N1MM table showing the Countries worked on each of the six bands.

 
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N1MM reports that OE5TXF was QRV for 42 out of the 48 hours. This feels about right as I had a three hour snooze early on the second night, as well as three meal breaks over the weekend. Also there was the some time lost early in the contest where I was frantically trying to sort out the problems with the jittery CW.

Much of the weekend was spent CQing on the four lower bands where the single-band dipoles were reasonably effective. However on 15m and 10m it was mostly S&P, looking for Mults.

Interestingly on the few times that I tried CQing on 10m, not one RBN could hear me. When no RBN can hear your CQs, it’s probably time to go to another band!

Not as much time was spent chasing multipliers across the bands as would perhaps be ideal. This showed up in the relatively poor Mults-to-QSO ratio. The current set up at OE5TXF includes both an amplifier that needs to be manually tuned as well as an ATU that, on most bands, also needs to be manually tuned.

There is currently no instant “band-hopping” at the simple press of a button at OE5TXF.

Contest highlights include M6T hearing me on 10m (but only just!) and my working 3B8M on all six-bands.

A Jittery Start to the Contest

Having recently lost (but hopefully only temporarily) my logging PC, a different PC was set up just before the contest. What a nightmare. The plan was to use DX-Log. DX-Log was installed on a laptop that had not previously been used for contesting. Although at the beginning of the contest (at 00z on 160m) everything seemed to be working fine while S&Ping up and down Topband. However as time went by the keying began to sound more and more erratic. No, it wasn’t RF getting in somewhere. Even at zero power out the keying was decidedly jerky. For a while I even ended up hand keying or using the memory keys on the rig.

However this was no way to proceed in the greatest CW contest of the year!

After about 150 QSOs with ever more jittery CW it was time for a change of both PC and software. It was almost certainly something in the new laptop causing the problem. But two hours into the contest was not the time to investigate. N1MM was quickly downloaded into another PC and OE5TXF was soon up and running again (having imported the adi file from DX-Log). Comfortingly the scores on both the exported DX-log file on the imported N1MM both agreed.

The antennas shown here were largely the same as used during CQWW-CW with two exceptions : there was no 10m vertical and no snow on the ground!

CQWW CW has always been the “greatest contest in the year”. And so it remains. This year was the 52nd time that G3TXF has taken part in CQWW CW over the past 55¬†years.

 
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OE5TXF : Win-Test Graph showing the QSOs per hour in 2022 against the Target QSO rate from 2021.

 
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OE5TXF : Win-Test graph showing that the "lead" in QSOs in 2022 against 2021 was relatively constant at 400-500 QSOs from about 13z on the Saturday and remained pretty similar through until the end of the Contest.

 
 

G3TXF has participated in the CQWW-CW Contest in 52 out of the past 55 years !
   
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