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CQ WW DX CW Contest (2012)

CQ Worldwide DX Contest, CW

Call: NR4M
Station: NR4M

Class: M/S HP
Operating Time (hrs): 48

Band  QSOs  Zones  Countries
 160:   74    20       72
  80:  302    28      103
  40: 1454    37      132
  20: 1243    39      147
  15: 1046    37      138
  10:  578    33      132
Total: 4697   194      724  Total Score = 12,315,888

Club: Potomac Valley Radio Club


Well, another CQWW CW is in the books at the Goat Farm.   This year due to the
timing of Thanksgiving holiday, a large number of our regular ops were
unavailable and others could only stop by for a short while.   So in the
interest of sanity (and sleep ... we are not getting any younger) we opted for
Multi-Single this year.   After the full 48-hours, however, we certainly
realized this Multi-Single stuff in CQWW is a lot of work!   No just sitting
around and 'running 'em ... you actually have to THINK about strategy and band
changes and all that.

Friday night N2YO started off running 40-meters which, as has been mentioned by
others, was marginal the first night and slightly better the second.   KE3X
manned the second radio on the run band, while K7SV and K4EC hunted for
multipliers.   Recently we have added second radios with lockouts (thanks K4GMH
...) to the 20- and 40-meter positions, and this weekend we were able to give
them both a workout for the first time.   Certainly it was helpful in
increasing our QSO total - we have not added up the numbers yet but probably
the second radios netted an extra 400 Q's over the course of the weekend.


On Saturday morning KC4D, K4GM and N3UA joined us while the 'night shift'
caught some ZZZ's.  We experimented with the second radio on 20 Run.   Also a
big improvement, although it took a while to get the 'knack' of two ops sharing
one amp and antenna.   We kept waiting for the big rates on 15 to materialize
but it never happened, but thankfully 20 kept on producing.   By Saturday night
we had over 1,000 Q's on 20 but barely 350 Q's on 15.   Did we make a strategy
mistake by leaving all our '15-meter eggs in the Sunday basket'? We hoped the
SFI would stay high enough on Sunday to make up for it.   K7SV's traditional
beef stew dinner topped things off Saturday night as we crossed the 3,000 QSO

Early Sunday morning (4:30AM) we noticed we just completed 5BDXCC as the
80-meter country count passed 100.  Cool!  Although the bands did not feel
'spectacular' while the weekend was progressing, the balance of High and Low
bands was 'just right' after all.

By Sunday 7AM we were rewarded by some big 15-meter runs with the 10-minute
rate meter topping 300 several times, and KE3X cranked up the speed towards 40
wpm to control the zero-beat pileups.   Since we had neglected 15 on Saturday,
we were 'fresh meat' on Sunday and it was quite fun.   After several hours when
the rate dropped to 120, K7SV took over and ran 10-meters for several hours. 
The 100-Q rate climbed back above 200 once more, although the EU opening was
marginal.   All the while N3UA and KC4D were having good success hunting mults
on 20 and 15.

Finally the rates dropped to the 40-50 range late Sunday afternoon as the
'cavalry' arrived (KT0P) to help out.   Scott picked up the system quickly and
we hope to see him back at future Goat Farm events!   Also we finally figured
out we should switch the Run radio from band-to-band at 10 minute intervals to
pick up S&P spots to keep the rate up.

Many others have commented on all the juicy DX that called in, and we were no
exception.   The new 8-circle receive array on 160 worked well, especially in
'diversity mode' alongside the beverages using the K3.   We only had one major
hardware problem:  the 40-meter monoband amp died on Sunday (transistor in
keying circuit), but it was quickly swapped out for a spare QRO amp.   Not a
major impact and we thank Murphy for largely taking the weekend off.   We
concluded the second-radio experiment was a success and are considering them
for other bands as well.

It's great to participate in the biggest 'CW party' of the year!  Congrats to
all the big scores and CU in the next one.  Oh, and thanks to Bailey and Coder
(K7SV's faithful pooches) who kept us company on Saturday afternoon and who (to
steal a quote from KL7RA) 'did absolutely nothing to help'.

73 de Steve & the Goat Farm Team




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