This weekend was the CQ WW WPX Test, CW. As you can see, the bands were pretty busy …

20 Meter Band on Saturday
40 Meter Band, 45 minutes prior to end of the contest.

Imagine if it was like that every day!

I dabbled a bit and worked 80-some stations over the two days. I also took breaks and worked a few FT-8 contacts, too. Not in it seriously, but just keeping my CW hand in.

This was the first time I’ve hit the CW heavily with the IC-7300 in a major contest, though, and I’m really impressed. It is a real pleasure to work CW with this rig.  I never experienced any overload, even though the bands were booming. The filters are superb, and I could pull out just about any station I tried. Judicious use of the RF gain is the secret!

The only problem that I didn’t resolve was with the N1MM+ logger … I could not get the Telnet working for the packet cluster. It worked the last time I used it … not this time though. Telnet works fine with SpotCollecter in DXLab, so I dunno?

An observation … although they were there, the 50 wpm ops seemed to be fewer. There were lots more stations sending at an easily copyable 25 – 30 wpm.

There were good signals on 80 through 10 this weekend. I checked six meters several times, but if there was an opening, I missed it. Not only good signals, but some good ops, too. It was a pleasure to participate.

My setup was the IC-7300 with 31-foot homebrew vertical and an LDG AT-100ProII tuner. Nothing special. I was hearing North America and South America and the Caribbean pretty well, but Europe was pretty sparse, propagation-wise (for me). Nothing at all out of Asia or Africa.

There was some pretty violent wind, rain, and lightning on Saturday night, but I’d already pulled the switch and gone to bed. Didn’t bother me a bit.

So … now the contest is over, and the bands are back to normal. See the picture above? I just checked, ten minutes after the end of the contest, and there are only five or six CW signals visible on my 40-meter spectrum scope … . What a difference forty-five minutes makes!

Field day is coming up next month. I guess that’ll be the next big thing I’m involved with. I’m looking forward to it!

73 de Dick N4BC


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