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CQ WW DX Contest this weekend


Or SSB ??


The clue might be in the competition title Ed - CW :wink:


Hi Andy - I know this is a CW contest - we had the hassle with the SSB one a month ago. My reply was to Barry’s comment saying that he would have to go to the WARC bands to get contacts - what I am saying is that contacts for SOTA will still be possible on 20m and 40m etc. but only using SSB rather than CW.



Ah apologies Ed🤭


…assuming the CW contest doesn’t stray into the “all modes” parts of the bands, of course. Past experience suggests that if there’s a CW contest that’s likely to do that, it’s this one.


You do grok that CW is, in fact, a valid mode to use in the “all modes” section. If it wasn’t, the “all modes” section would be called “all modes except CW”.


Yes, of course! But most of the time CW stays more or less in the telegraphy-only portions of the bands, even in contests. This contest, OTOH, is one where SSB users can expect to be competing with CW contest stations for space on the bands…


Cool. Might nip out and do a few runs up and down 15m S+P’ing the contest runners. From a SOTA summit of course.

No gigs booked in this weekend as it stands, so all clear atm.


Right then, let’s go and have a crack at this. Probably no room or opportunity for calling CQ SOTA on 20m today - but if there is I will, and the RBNHOLE should spot me for any chasers. Probably more chance of achieving something in that manner on 15m tomorrow morning.


Not to be though. It was a wild, wet and stormy evening as I climbed onto the summit of G/SP-015. The path up was a sludgy greasy mess, rather treacherous in places, but that was the least of my worries.

I managed to erect the 20m GP antenna, and clamber into my bothy bag. Briefly, I felt comfortable. That soon ebbed away when I saw the SWR!

I now had to get out of the bag and into now heavy rain to inspect for the problem. At least that didn’t take long. The radials had snapped out of the choc block. The driven element had broken away. Two radials had snapped in other places also.

I guess I was pushing my luck. This antenna has had so many repairs that the radials look more like daisy chains.

So, VX7 it was, 2m FM, four contacts. Just like the old days. Perfect!

Now in the pub with M0HGY drinking Robbies Unicorn and shooting pool. Belting.


Hi all,
Thanks for the advance warning, it helped ;-

I activated DM/BW-484 today, and it neither on 40 nor on 20 m I could make any ground :wink:
30m worked well.

Was I the only one who observed RBN to be super-slow today? It took about ten minutes of calling CQ for the first spot to appear in RBN. Since I try not to self-spot me, this meant it took almost ten minutes for the first spot on sotawatch.
Thanks to all chasers!

73 de Martin, DK3IT


The Cloud G/SP-015, evening of Sunday 26th November 2017.

After all the rain, I wasn’t expecting the bad middle section of the path to be any better - and indeed it was worse. Very deep mud and dangerously slippery.

The next problem was my newly repaired 20m GP antenna. I carefully unwound it from the kite wonder and started to assemble it. Next thing, it’s all in an almighty tangle that took me 20 minutes to unravel! Oh well, this can sometimes happen, albeit thankfully very rarely. But I didn’t need it in nearly freezing temperatures when I didn’t know for how long the 20m band was thinking of staying open!

I was QRV around 1910z and started S+P’ing up and down the band. This wasn’t as easy as I was hoping with a good many big contest stations unable to receive my puny 5 watt signal! There was some nice stuff about too - ZF, TI, P4, PY etc - but none of these could hear me.

In the end, 22 stations were worked before I went QRT, all 20m CW:

6Y: 1
9A: 1
HA: 2
S5: 3
VE: 2
W: 13


I didn’t have cell coverage on my summit and found out afterward that RBN didn’t pick me up at all on any HF band except 40m (which was the only band I made qso’s on). I was qrp and using a SMLoop, which has its efficiency problems, and I assumed propagation was just generally not that good. I also wondered - with not expert competence on the matter - whether skimmers can get so saturated on a busy weekend that weaker signals just get lost. David/N3II


Hi Martin,
I suppose RBN would have been very busy spotting all of the CQWW CW stations - I suspect you were very lucky to get spotted at all!

73 Ed.


Hi Ed,
thanks - yes, that is what I suppose - I assume that most skimmers have a limited processing throughput in terms of spots per second, and if the actual number of signals exceeds that, they will simply be lost.

BTW, I don’t think that is a question of signal strength; rather, contest stations will call CQ more often and at a higher WPM speed than I.

While getting spotted on 30 m is often a bit more difficult than on 40 and 20m, I was really surprised that it took 10 - 15 minutes of frequent CQ calls to get the first spot.

73 de Martin

PS: Now proud for my first 100 points in the first year of doing SOTA :wink: