G3TXF in CQWW-CW Contest - Nov 2012

G3TXF Claimed Score : 10m SOSB (Assisted) : 1,738 QSOs : 36z : 147c : 747,372 points

Last year's (2011) CQWW CW entry was Single-Op (un-Assisted) on 10m. This year it was again Single-Op on 10m, but this time it was Assisted with Cluster/Skimmer feeding straight into Win-Test.

With conditions being down this year (particularly on the Saturday) the Assisted claimed score in 2012 (747,372 points) is 13% less than last year's un-Assisted claimed score (862,720 points).

The 1,738 QSOs made this year were 28% down on the 2,393 QSOs made last year.

However the number of Countries worked this year (147) with Cluster/Skimmer was well up on the (123) found last year without any assistance. This increase in the number of Country Multipliers is to be expected, however there was no corresponding improvement in the number of Zones worked this year. In fact, one Zone less (2012 total : 36z) was worked than last year (2011 total : 37z). The four missed Zones this year were: 01, 19, 31 and 34.

10m conditions were seriously disturbed on the Saturday with huge echos on many paths. The signals from the USA were weak and were all coming in on skew paths over South America. Signals from South America and Africa, on the other hand, were excellent and stable. It was just anything to do with 'North' that was in trouble. Conditions improved slightly by Sunday morning, and were good by Sunday afternoon.

G3TXF was able to have a solid five-hour run (13z to 18z) into the USA/Canada, with loud crisp signals on the Sunday afternoon. This was a complete contrast to the weak, distorted and skewed signals that characterised much of Saturday. The size of the Sunday afternoon pile-up with W/VE was doubtless boosted by there being no similar opening on Saturday. Unfortunately had to call a temporary halt to the W/VE pile-up at around 18z because of local rain QRN as a heavy static-laden rain-shower passed over the Devon QTH.

On the Saturday the loud echos and distortion added even more to the ferocity of the "Cluster/Skimmer generated Pile-Ups".

Doing a Single Band 10m entry in theory allows for plenty of beauty sleep, before, during and after the contest. However rather than just going to bed on Saturday evening and getting up early on Sunday all refreshed ready for another full day on 10m, G3TXF spent all the night prowling around 160m trying to work anything interesting that was around. No sooner had the sunrise session on Topband finished than it was time for a quick breakfast before getting back to the "day job" on 10m!

No JA heard or worked on Saturday, and just one JA worked on the Sunday. Have we perhaps already passed the sun-spot peak? Is it my memory playing tricks on me, but don't I recall working JAs by the bucket load on 10m during previous sun-spot 'peaks'?

Last year's Single-Band (un-Assisted) 10m entry was enough to gain the band/category CQWW CW 'record' for England. Hopefully this year's entry will do the same for the 10m Assisted category.

Single 4-el 10m beam at 80ft installed for the 10m SOSB (Assisted) entry in CQWW CW 2012.
The last QSO on 10m on Saturday was at 1740z, whereas on Sunday it was almost two hours later at 1933z. On Saturday the final hour of the contest (1640z to 1740z) was entirely South Americans (PY, LU and CE). Whereas the last signals to be heard on 10m on the Sunday evening at the much later time were the few remaining Caribbean and USA stations.
G3TXF has participated in CQWW-CW in 42 out of the past 45 years !
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