Cqww ssb

This weekend it’s the CQWW SSB Contest. This tends to take up just about every KHz of 40m in the afternoon/evening and 20m during the day (including the CW sections) so HF activators may wish to avoid these bands…



…or focus on them, answering contest calls and picking up DXCCs. That’s the plan for M3EYP, M0GIA and myself tomorrow on SP-013.


Contacting them as QRP is no problem during contests, as long as they get their points.

Getting the QSL necessary for the DXCC is onther thing.


In reply to M1EYP:

I was this afternoon for an hour on NS-108 on 20m qrv. Antenna: dipole over 10m high and a 10 watt ssb trx. Nice signals from EU, AF and NA. The band was cram-full. A lot of stations with signals 9+40 and 9+60 were not workable. They didn’t receive me.

my conclusion: qrp + wire antenna + ssb is difficult in a big contest. There is no fun.

73, Mario

In reply to DL4MFM:

my conclusion: qrp + wire antenna + ssb is difficult in a big contest.

You are so right Mario…

But of course when you substitute CW for SSB above, then even QRP stations can “play with the big boys” in a contest. I like CW and RTTY contests but I never go for the SSB ones on HF, it’s too much like hard work. :slight_smile:

73 Marc G0AZS

In reply to G0AZS:

well well:

Funny video Mario! We enjoyed it. And, we certainly had some similar experiences in our activation yesterday, Sunday 26th October 2008.

We went out to one of our local summits, Gun G/SP-013, with Sean M0GIA, and his new improved version of his 20m vertical antenna and the radials made out of a wooden set square. (When Sean made the antenna last week, the square root of two hadn’t yet been discovered in that part of south-western Macclesfield).

Despite calm and mild conditions in Macclesfield, it was very cold and windy on Gun summit. Certainly, Sean’s new 10m fishing pole did not want to stay locked in an upright position, and sections of it kept collapsing. Eventually we did get it so that it would remain in a vertical position without further intervention, although by now, root two was a thing of the past. The angle between the pole and the radials was now 60 degrees (30 degrees to the ground), and as such, they could have been cut to be simply twice the height they attach to on the pole.

I mentioned this to Sean, who insisted that he would have still had to make a 30/60 set square, because the number 2 hadn’t been discovered yet in ancient south-western Macclesfield. Anyway…

Sean was to have the last laugh. Lightweight two man igloo tents had not yet been discovered in mid-western Macclesfield. Sean operated in comfort all day in his, whereas I had to brave the conditions for five hours.

The object of the exercise was to work an exotic portfolio of DXCCs on a SOTA activation. For my station, I set up my 40m and 80m antennas. This also gave me 15m, on which I looked first, and kicked off to an encouraging start with Cyprus - P33P.

The full list of DXCCs achieved on the activation between Jimmy and myself was:

5B, I, UT, VE, 4X, DL, PA, G, EA8, S5, W, CT3, ON, ES, T9, YU, CT, RA, YL and ER. The 15m band was full of KP and NP stations at one point, but I couldn’t get back to any of them. Later in the afternoon, the South Americans - CX and ZW in particular - were booming in, but similarly, I failed to make the contact. In addition to the above list, Sean M0GIA also worked SV.

In the middle of the activation (apart from devouring the big picnic Marianne had kindly prepared, and the Indian Mild Chicken Curry soup from the flask) I ventured onto 80m CW and worked a run of genuine SOTA chasers. Jimmy followed on with some QSOs on 80m SSB. We also did a bit of 2m FM in fits and starts, but only from the handhelds.

The bands and modes used was as follows:
80m SSB, 80m CW, 40m SSB, 20m SSB, 15m SSB, 2m FM. Sean also did a bit on 17m SSB. Jimmy made 9 contacts, I made 32, and Sean did 18. 59 contacts from the joint activation altogether. Actually 67, because we were later joined on summit by Greg 2E0RXX, Liam M3ZRY and Andy M1BYH. Andy didn’t activate, but Greg and Liam did a couple of contacts each on 2m and a couple each on 20m to get their points. Yes - they hadn’t done Gun yet this year, so unlike the rest of us, there was a point to what they were doing!

There were some good radio highlights. 5B, VE, 4X, CT3, ES, T9, YU, YL and ER were all new DXCCs for me from a SOTA activation. In fact 4X was a new DXCC for me full stop. A couple of contacts stood out. Jimmy and myself consecutively working IZ0EYP was good fun! My last contact of the day was with ER0WW - Sergei Rebrov the Ukraine World Cup international footballer who used to play for Tottenham Hotspur. He is UT5UDX in his home country, and was M0SDX while living in London.

It would have been rude not to round off the day in traditional style, so a couple of jars of Bosley Cloud ale were enjoyed in the Rushton Inn. Thanks to Sean M0GIA for suggesting this idea. Now, I need one of those 20m aerials ready for CQWW CW next month…


In reply to M1EYP:
Well I headed North yesterday morning & it rained all the way until I got to Junction 36 on the M6. Listening to reports of flooding in the lakes I decided to divert to the Howgills. The wx to the East of the M6 didnt seem too bad. OK, it was very windy, but in the main it was fairly sunny. I did catch a few heavy showers, but was quite snug as I took the flysheet to my dome tent which kept me dry (apart from the marshy ground) Cautley Spout was in spectacular form with the sheer volume of water. Needless to say, the wet ground made the ascent of Yarlside very difficult - its quite hard even in the summer. Anyway I chased a few contest stations on 20m & 40m with some “exotics” like KH6 & ZL on 40m getting away. Most productive early on was 40m above 7.200 working US stations who were listening down the band. I did work ER0WW on 20m but didn`t ask who was on the mic. Having kept mostly dry all day, I got soaked walking back to the car & had problems with a wet tent in the boot steaming up the car windows.
Normal service will be resumed next week (hopefully).

In reply to M1EYP:
It was different to be giving points away to such a big contest from a SOTA summit. As Tom said some stations just didnt hear us and 20m was very busy even some of of big stations were being wiped out by another being so close this was not as bad on 15m and considering we were using only 5w we did well between us.

It was so windy the big pole kept collapsing so in the end i ended up with the radials at around 30 degrees and just as Marc said to me in a email the SWR dropped below 1.3:1 at 14.200 and was almost flat in the CW section of the band! It worked well and managed to tune it on 15m and worked into Israel with no problems at all, 17m was also good for the aerial working into the Ukraine and Tennessee.

Im so glad i took the tent and my daughter found it quite an adventure who managed all the soup apart from a half mouth full i had all the choc biscuits and crisps leaving me with 2 cold sandwichs!

All in all an interesting day and lots learnt by myself and thanks to Tom and his son’s for the company. Sean / M0GIA

…and now for CQWW CW from a SOTA activation - if all goes to plan. Does this event have the same thing in reverse, ie encroachment onto the SSB parts of the bands?

Time for some more practice on RuFZxp, and sending 59914!


In reply to M1EYP:

Does this event have the same thing in reverse, ie encroachment onto the SSB
parts of the bands?

I’ll think you’ll find that, according to HF bandplans, CW is acceptable everywhere. So it’s not a case of CW operation encroaching onto SSB portions but that SSB contest operators violate the CW EXCLUSIVE portions of the bands!


In reply to MM0FMF:

Its always puzzled me, that. Why should CW go anywhere it likes but other modes be restricted? A CW signal in the wrong place can be a real nuisance. Like 5 megs, the original idea was that CW would be restricted to the carrier frequency so that a channel could be used for both CW and SSB at the same time, but on several occasions I’ve had CW stations start up above the carrier frequency on top of an SSB contact and make life difficult, you can notch out some of the tone but you can’t stop the AGC from pumping and the receiver blocking.

I’ve got to go out, soon, and scrape an inch of snow off the begonia pots so that I can hope to save the tubers, the thought of it is making me fractious!


Brian G8ADD

In reply to M1EYP:

Tom => enna4 - not 59914, that’s toooo long g saves a lot of energy and makes qsos faster

73 …

In reply to G8ADD:

…real nuisance. Like 5 megs

Hi Brian

In case anyone is interested, as I’m not sure they’re well known, the current 5 MHz CW recommendations are pasted below. It does mean that hardly anyone finds you but it works for a self spotted activation.

73 Marc G0AZS

CW operators, particularly those running QRP have occasionally found that their QSOs are interrupted with SSB QSOs starting up on channel. In an effort to avoid this problem, to make better use of the spectrum available to us, and to make it easier for CQ QRP operators the 5MHz Working Group suggests that the edges of Channel FC could be used for such contacts. If either 5.289 or 5.291MHz is used for CW, the transmissions should not affect the beacon monitoring and any CW CQ calls would be easily monitored by any casual listeners in SSB mode. On either of these frequencies the transmissions would be 500Hz from the FC channel-edge so sidebands from the CW transmissions would be suitably contained within the channel. CW transmissions should not go closer to 5.290MHz, as this could upset the beacon monitoring.

Thanks for the info Mario. When I worked many stations last year in the CQWW CW, all of them sent the full 599 and zone. I never heard that abbreviation. I will look out for it this time. I will stick to sending the full thing. I will have a mate with me who is learning, and jumping straight into slick abbreviated CW now will not help the learning process!

I think 59914 is short enough at 20wpm. We’re not trying to win it either, probably not even submitting an entry.


In reply to G0AZS:

Thanks for that, Marc. A well established centre of activity for 5 megs CW seems a good idea, but personally I don’t mind them using any channel as long as they monitor with a wide filter before starting up!


Brian G8ADD