2011 CQWW DX SSB / W5CT@K5NA/K5DU

Over this last weekend I was invited by Susan, K5DU and Richard, K5NA to attend their “open house” for the CQWW DX SSB contest.This contest is one of the major DX contests of the year and the idea this year was to have a training event for new contesters.

Susan and Richard were extremely gracious hosts, I arrived Friday evening to have a wonderful spaghetti dinner prior to the contest.At contest time we started the evening on 10, 15, 20 and 40 meters.  I was at the 20 meter station and found a nice run station and had an initial string of calls.  15 and 10 were surprisily good for the time of the evening and plenty of contacts were made.

Later in the  evening we went to 75 and 160 meters and remained on 40 and 20 meters.  I stayed on 20 meters until around 0400z when I took a break and than came back and manned the 75 meter station till I fell asleep in the chair after previously working a Graveyard shift.  Fortunately Richard and Susan have great sleeping quarters for the operating team and so I was able to crash and get plenty of sleep before hopping back on 20 the next morning just in time to have a good string of Pacific stations calling and to be ready for the EU opening.

Saturday between operating 20 meters I spent a lot of time catching up with the visitors.  It was a great opportunity to meet some hams that I have not met before and to catch up with others who I haven’t seen in some time.  I spent Saturday evening on 20 meters and than tried my hand on 160 meters. I have not had much operating practice with 160 meters and it is a very fun band, the key is to listen hard and to understand how to utilize the beverage antennas for optimal receiving.  I could hear many stations calling but despite my best effort I only worked U.S. stations on 160 and decided around 0530z to head to bed in order to rest before Sunday.

Sunday was another great day as we were greeted with even more visitors, I took the opportunity when there were plenty of bodies to operate to check out the massive antenna array that Richard and Susan have.  Sunday afternoon brought some very nice rates on 10 and 15 meters with a lot of DX pouring in.  I sat on 20 for the rest of the contest Sunday evening and ended up getting several callers from Zone 37 to round out working all 40 zones on 20 meters.

Sunday evening winded down with another great dinner from Susan, one thing is for sure we were kept well fed.  In the end we had over 5 million points which is great considering that we had operators who had never done contesting mixed in with those of us who do a lot of contesting.  I had a great time and thank you both Richard and Susan for the invite.

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