Monday, September 26, 2011

CQ WW DX RTTY Contest, September 2011

KL8DX Score Summary
This past weekend was the CQ World Wide RTTY DX Contest. I look forward to this contest each and every year however, this year I had to work for most of the weekend. This limited my activity dramatically and by the time the weekend was over, I was only able to operate 6¾ hours. But as with any contest, even a short amount of operating time can be fun. This weekend was no different but Sunday turned out to be one BIG surprise.

The Solar Flux Index topped out at 190 and the A & K Indexes hit the sweet spot allowing lots of 15 and 10 meter activity. I never ventured to 15 meters but when I checked the 10 meter band on Sunday, I about fell out of my chair with the signals I saw on the spectrum scope of my IC-756PRO! 

My operating began about 1½ hours after the contest began. I started out on 20 meters and was able to hang out on the band for about 15 minutes. I returned around 0400z and found a clear frequency (or somewhat clear) on 20 meters and began calling CQ. I worked stations until around 0505z.  I did not make it back to the band until 2230z where I once again called CQ after squeezing in between RTTY signals. I stuck around until 0125z. I had a sked to chat with my long time friend and old neighbor, Sean KL1SF/K7. I ended up enjoying a lengthy QSO with Sean on 20 meters. After our QSO, I jumped back to RTTY from 0420z to 0448z. I was off the air until Sunday.

When I returned home I immediately turned on the radio and I saw lots of activity on 20 meters. I decided to check 10 meters and was shocked at the activity I saw on my spectrum scope! 10 meters, really? I warmed up the AMP and prepared my wife for my few hour absence as I was going to work the remainder of the contest on 10 meters! I got back on the air at 2048z and the fun began!!

Once again, I was amazed at the strong signals and multiple propagation paths experienced on 10 meters! A pipeline to South America, several points of the lower 48 from the East Coast to the West Coast. I felt like I had won the DX Lottery! I have experienced some 10 meter openings and I thought my last was the best but this opening topped that one. I have to say, the openings keep getting better and better on 10 meters lately. I can remember spending hours on 10 meters when I lived in Ohio, and I even obtained DXCC on 10 meters from back there.  I can only hope that as the solar cycle continues ahead that the band conditions for 10 meters keep getting better. 

In speaking of Ohio, it was great to run into my long time friend Dan, W8CAR. I was able to work Dan along with many other Ohio stations! Rick, WB8JUI is also a regular in my log during the contest season and it was great to work him on 10 meters as well. Both live not far from my old QTH. I was hoping to catch Dave, KE8M on 10 meters but I only worked him on 20 in this contest! Maybe the next one Dave??

I worked lots of regulars on 10 meters but the highlight was the DX. Some were total surprises as I had never before heard them on 10 meters or the fact that I had been pointed to the lower 48 and I worked them off of the side or corner of my beam! Extracting a list of DX stations worked from my log I find the following;


VP8NO and EF8M received my 10 meter RTTY "Wow Factor" from this station.
I sent my log off to the contest robot but I decided to enter as a single band
10 meter entry, only because I could. I enjoy contesting for sure and being a
seasoned greenhorn to contesting, I'm a DX'er by choice. I will take 200 QSO's
on 10 meters over 1,400 QSO's on 20 meters any day! In the end, it's not about my final score, it's about having fun. I won't forget that RTTY buzz of stations calling me for a very long time. Thanks to all those that I worked and also to those for trying who may not have made it through. My LOTW stats this morning showed that I went from 36 states confirmed via LOTW on 10 meters to 41! I'm hoping that number increases and my 10 meter WAS, which was once not a reality in my book, may actually become one! Thank you 10 meters for making my weekend!


  1. Hi Phil, I had the same experience actually. World wide openings of the 10m band, amazing. Didn't hear you though but it could be I was on at the wrong time. Only a few hours of contesting here. I think I will send in the log as single band 10m operating as well. 73, Bas

  2. hi Phil , 10m was crazy indeed nice to worl you in the contest 73`s

  3. Bas, I will sure take what I can get on 10 meters! I should have probably tried pointing to Europe but I had a solid run of callers so I stuck pointed to the lower 48. Looking forward to working many from EU on 10 meters some day in the future!!

  4. Dany, thanks for calling and you sounded great up here, perfect print! Such a nice path to your part of the world my friend. Looking forward to adding you to the log many more times! 73!