CQ WPX Contest

Had a great time operating in the CQ WPX phone contest over the weekend at the NSARC station. It was my first bit of HF operating and the short, rapid QSOs were a great training experience.

After a brief overview of the station from Dave (VA7AM) and John (VA7JW) I was ready to go. I did more listening than operating and operated only the stations that were either very clear and loud or were working at a pace I was comfortable with. You have to jump right in there and though mistakes were made I soon got the hang of things. In total I worked a measely 10 stations, but they all count!

NSARCs primary HF station, an Icom IC-756 ProIII into a SteppIR Yagi for 20-10m.

NSARCs primary HF station, an Icom IC-756 ProIII into a SteppIR Yagi for 20-6m.

Conditions were poor on the Saturday but picked up considerably on Sunday. I hadn’t planned to operate on Sunday but a window of a few hours opened up so I said ‘what the heck’ and boy was it worth it.

Armed with the previous days experience and access to the VE7CC cluster I started at lunchtime towards Europe. My first call was to E7DX in Bosnia, minutes later was YT2T in Serbia. I wonder do they ever call each other?

As the sun set across Europe I worked Bulgaria, Spain and the Canaries. I was on a roll and my nerves had disappeared. Remember all that hard work learning to ride that first bike? Well that was my Saturday. But do you remember the day you first rode confidently? That was my Sunday. The ‘mike fright’ had gone and I wanted to talk to the world.

In the end I worked 20 or so stations from the US, Canada, Anguilla, Mexico, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Spain, Japan and the Phillipines. There should be a few multipliers in there surely?

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