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CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW   2008   Nov 29   Claimed Score

Click on a call below for a list of all the contests for which that call sign is listed as an operator. Click on the [email] link to send an e-mail to the contester who posted the claimed score.

Call: P4ØQ
Operator(s): KØDQ
Station: P4ØA

Class: SOAB LP
QTH: Aruba
Operating Time (hrs): 43.5
Location: South America
Radios: SO2R  

Summary:   Compare Scores
Total:5647123377Total Score8,359,500


Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club

Comments:     [email]     2008-12-03 17:14:43
What a blast! My last CQWW (and overseas op) was in 2004. That, plus a last minute decision to go, made for an interesting weekend of re-learning old lessons. This operation was my first from the P40A (John, KK9A) station in North Aruba, about a third of a mile east of the beach. Surprisingly, there are hills to the NE and NW but they don't seem to be an issue. John has an extremely well- engineered antenna farm on a small lot with existing antennas for 10-80 and they were connected and running in minutes with only minor issues. The biggest outside challenge was to put up the 160 meter antenna (sort of an inverted L built on an existing 56 foot vertical and 13 radials) and a pennant for receive (which can charitably be described as 'slightly better than nothing'). It was the rainy season so some sort of low noise receiving antenna was highly desirable. Equipment wise, I brought or borrowed everything. The P4 ham community is extremely gracious. Special thanks to Jacky, P43P, and to Andy, P49Y, for rounding out the SO2R station. We arrived Monday evening and was still working minor details up to the starting bell, but - providentially - everything held together through the contest. As an aside, Donna and I also had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving dinner with Andy, P49Y, JP, P43A (& Christina) and - as a special treat - Carl, P49V, and Sue who are newly back in Aruba, putting up a new three tower station. My strategy, such as it was, was driven by (1) the competition (which I understood to be John, P40W, and Bud, V26K, in this hemisphere) and (2) the station's capabilities. I knew I was at a significant disadvantage to both John and Bud on 160 and wasn't sure about 80. I also knew from past experience that John was the past master at multiplier production and rarely missed an opening. Finally, while I understood intellectually that it was the bottom of the sunspot cycle, I really didn't process the implications of more mults on 80 than 15 or NO/NO USA on 10. Period. My potential advantages were 3 points per W vs 2 for Bud and SO2R to John's SO1R. The resultant plan was simple: run like a bandit and pick up what mults I could on the second radio. Even though that was probably a blinding flash of the obvious, it was important to have it firmly implanted in my subconcious to avoid the natural DXer tendency to go on multiplier hunts. In general, I stayed with that plan, even in the face of hearing Bud and John both wildly running Europeans on 160. The learning curve was steep, ranging from hardware ("where's the narrow filter switch on this rig and what's this VRF dealie") to software ("how come TO5X doesn't register as a mult"), not to mention "when is Europe workable on 160?" I was also concerned about my stamina, having not attempted 40+ hours in a long time (ended up taking 4 hours off the second night and feeling pretty good at the checkered flag). In the end, I felt good but had no real sense of how I'd done vs. the competition. The only benchmarks I had were Bud's winning score last year, John's all-time SOABLP record from sunnier days, and my own previous #2 and #3 HP efforts, also during higher sunspot periods. I knew I'd blown it by deciding to wait until the second night to focus on 160 (conditions were noticeably poorer Saturday night) and, particularly, by not moving ultipliers. I think I only moved 3 or 4 and, incredibly, worked V26K on only one band (160) and missed 8P5A on 3 bands. All that said, it was one of the most enjoyable contests in memory. I was astounded at the ability to run on 40 meters and, in spite of having multipliers repeatedly "CQ in my face" on the low bands (and high bands on backscatter), I found the Low Power experience a treat, especially with two radios. The traditional after-contest dinner had the potential for an "Oscar envelope moment" right up to the point that John 'fessed up' he'd gone High Power after all. Then it was waiting to see how Bud did. At this moment, it appears the 3 point advantage did the trick in spite of his superb effort. If it does turn into a #1 finish, it will cap a personal quest to win all six of the major contests (both modes CQ WW, CQ WPX, and ARRL DX). I suppose there'll be a personal "asterik" since the others were all in the heavyweight (SOABHP) division, but a welterweight belt is better than none at all, especially at my age. In any event, for me this is still a magical hobby. . . even at 64. Blessings and thanks for the Q's