Over the weekend just gone (Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 2017) the CQ World Wide DX Contest was held. This is one of the biggest DX contests on the worldwide amateur radio calendar. The objective is for amateurs around the world to contact as many other amateurs in as many CQ zones and countries as possible.
The world is divided into 40 different CQ zones (see map below). South Australia (VK5) is located in zone 30.
I headed to the shack on each opportunity over the weekend to take part in the contest. I had a family function on the Sunday which saw me out of action for a good part of the day, and I didn’t make it an all nighter, nor did I get up early each morning (as I planned). I was hoping to get up in the middle of the night and very early in the morning, but this didn’t eventuate. The warmth of the bed won.
But in the end I made a total of 377 QSOs over the weekend, with a claimed score of 201,552 points. No-where near as good as the dedicated contesters in Australia, but a lot of fun none the less.
I worked a total of 75 different countries (DXCC entities). So much for people saying the bands are dead. Contests certainly seem to bring the bands alive.
- 10 metres – 2 different countries
- 15 metres – 57 different countries
- 20 metres – 57 different countries
- 40 metres – 19 different countries
The graph below shows the number of countries worked on each band.
- Canary Islands
- Cocos-Keeling Island
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Maderia Island
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Russia (Asiatic)
- Russia (Europe)
- Slovak Republic
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United States of America
I spent most of the contest scanning the bands and picking up stations who were calling CQ. I only spent a short time calling CQ myself. It was almost impossible on 20m as the band was so crowded and my 100 watt signal was being drowned out by some stations in Europe running a lot of power.
My first contact in the contest was with JI2ZEY in Japan on 20m. And my last was with VE7RAC in Canada on 15m. My contact with VE7RAC was in the last minute of the contest and just got me over the 200,000 point mark.
Most of my contacts were made on the 15m band, followed by 20m, then 140m, and then 10m.
- 10 metres – 55 QSOs (2 zones)
- 15 metres – 153 QSOs (23 zones)
- 20 metres – 113 QSOs (26 zones)
- 40 metres – 56 QSOs (18 zones)
The graph below shows the number of QSOs on each band.
Best DX worked during the contest:-
- RI1ANC, Antartica.
- VK9CZ Cocos Keeling Island
- XU7AJA Cambodia
- PJ2T Curacao
I also picked up a fe new countries for particular bands.
Below is a map showing my contacts during the contest (courtesy of QSOMAP.org) across all 4 bands – 10, 15, 20, & 40m.
I made a significant number of contacts into Europe & the United Kingdom on 20m long path and 15m short path during the contest. The 15m band was again a real surprise, with openings on both days in the late afternoon/early evening into Europe on the short path. Signals were quite good. Not as strong as 4-5 years ago, but still pretty good.
I didn’t make a huge number of contacts into the United States of America, as most of the North American activity I heard was on the 40m band, where I have a very average antenna for DX. However I did log some of the big USA guns on 40m, and worked a little bit of USA on 15m during Sunday morning.
I was also really pleased to work some South American, Central American & Caribbean stations during the contest. Countries worked in that part of the world were:-
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
The 15m band proved quite reliable for contacts into Asia during the contest. And late on Saturday morning I made a number of contacts into Japan on the 10m band. Mongolia (JT5DX) along with Cambodia (XU7AJA) was the most interesting DX worked from that part of the world.
I didn’t hear a huge amount of activity out of Africa during the contest, albeit that I did not get up into the wee hours of the night to listen for Africa on the short path. There were three stations from Morocco with huge signals who I logged. On Saturday afternoon I heard 5H3EE in Tanzania, but he was tied up with a big pile up from Europe. It was a shame as he was a good 5/7 signal on the long path. I also heard FR5DN from Reunion Island on 40m on Sunday evening, but he was not calling CQ, but moving across the band working other stations.
This is a fun contest and a real opportunity of picking up some new countries for your log.