OE5TXF in CQ WPX CW Contest: May 2022

SOAB HP (A) : 1,750 QSOs : 663 Prefixes : 2,621,526 points

This was the second year that G3TXF operated as OE5TXF in the CQ WPX CW Contest. The antennas at OE5TXF are still all low in height. They are wire dipoles. Even the centre of the 160m dipole is no more than 14m above the ground, with the average height of the Top Band dipole being only about 3m above ground. The 80m/20m dipoles are about 8m above ground at the centre. Although the antennas are low, the QTH is relatively quiet, which these days is a major advantage.

Compared with last year (2021) the number of QSOs was up 10% from 1,586 to 1,750. However the Prefix Mults were down 12% from 752 to 663. See analysis below. The claimed score was up from 2.4m to 2.6m

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Summary Table shows that for OE5TXF the main band was 40m, followed by 80m. There were plenty of EU Prefixes to be worked on both these bands. Conditions on 20m on Sunday evening seemed surprisingly good. Several JAs and BYs were worked on 20m which is quite unusual for the low wire 20m dipole at OE5TXF!   No towers, no beams! One pole supports low wire dipoles for 80m and 20m, fed through a common coax. Another pole supports the centre of a 160m dipole. There are also low wire dipoles for 40m and 10m. The 40m dipole is also force fed for 15m. Force feeding a 40m dipole on 15m is never a good idea!
  
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Total operating time for this year's CQ WPX CW was just on 33 hours with an off-time of fifteen hours. (Last year I did a full "Single-Op 36 hours"). Operated throughout the first night on 80m, with a short visit to 160m. The daytimes were spent hopping between 20m and 40m. Just a handful of QSOs were made both days on 15m (no real antenna) and 10m (again, no real antenna!). The short nighttime visits to 160m produced 125 QSOs in total and just the odd new Prefix. The "double points" do make it worthwhile focussing on the LF bands, particularly if there are no decent antennas for HF!

 
  
  This was a CW WPX CW Contest like no other! In a highly contraversial move, CQ Magazine banned all Russian and Belarus stations from taking part. This decision resulted in a significant reduction in the number of Prefixes available. Comparing the Prefixes worked by OE5TXF between the two years (where both the operating activity and station set-up were largely similar) gives some interesting statistics. In 2021 the largest number of Prefixes worked were in the USA (75) followed by Germany (73). In 2022, probably thanks to improved HF conditions, the number of USA Prefixes worked increased to 95, while the number of German Prefixes worked stayed constant. However the biggest changes were of course in the number of Russian Prefixes worked which dropped from 80 in 2021 (UA/UA9 together) down to zero in 2022. At the same time the number of Belarus Prefixes worked dropped from 12 to zero. Sadly most Ukrainian stations were off the air due to local operating restrictions. The number of Ukrainian Prefixes worked dropped from 53 in 2021 down to just three in 2022. In total the number of Russian and Belarus Prefixes worked dropped by 92. Adding to this the unfortunate loss of the Ukrainian Prefixes brought the drop in Prefixes from these countries to 142. Despite the increase in Other Prefixes worked, the overall drop in Prefixes between 2021 and 2022 was 12% (89 Prefixes).
     
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The station at OE5TXF is an Icom IC7851 with an amplifier. The photo shows a much-travelled Elecraft KPA-500 amplifier, but this has recently been changed to an Acom 2100.

 
      

   
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