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CQ World Wide WPX Contest

May 23

It is just a few days until WPX CW 2012. A few tips to help you enjoy the contest.

Before the Contest

Spend a few minutes to get all of your software set up before the contest. Once the clock starts at 0000z on May 26, you want to spend your time working stations – not working on software!

Make sure your rig and antennas are working properly too. And that you have your CW messages set up correctly.

Take a few minutes to download the latest country files from www.country-files.com/cty/. This will help your logging software show you the correct score.  If you use the super check partial function, be sure to download the latest files from www.supercheckpartial.com.

Visit NG3K’s contest site to see all the planned operations that will be active for WPX CW 2012.

Read the WPX Contest rules!  Things do change and it never hurts to remind yourself about the different categories, scoring, and operating time limits.  The rules are available in 13 languages.

During the Contest

If you can’t do a full time effort, operate as much as you can.  Every point you earn could move you higher in the standings.  Focus on periods when rate is best into the high population areas of Europe and USA.

Double points for DX contacts on the low bands.  All band entrants can really help their score by spending some time among the static crashes.  The dedicated low band specialists on 80 and 160 meters would really appreciate a QSO.

Multi-operator stations should watch the band change rules.  Both multi-single and multi-two have a limit on the number of band changes per hour.  Make too many band changes and valuable QSOs could be removed from your log.

Watch the dots.  Some of the most common callsign copying errors on CW are for calls with lots of dots. This includes calls with the letters S, H, and 5, but also with B, V, 4, and 6. Don’t let KH6MB become K5BMB or confuse S57DX with SH7DX.  These errors will cost you points during the log checking!

Use the WPX Contest online database to track your progress during the contest. Set the filters to only show scores from your country and category.  Then make it your goal to keep moving up the list of previous scores.  It can provide some extra motivation as you pass your old scores or those of your local competition.

Set up your logging software to post to the getscores.org or cqcontest.ru live score servers. Nothing is more fun than racing other competitors in near real-time.

After the Contest

Submit your log right away!  There really is no reason to wait.

Logs should be in Cabrillo format.  Most logging software can output this format. Take a moment to open the file in a text editor (such as Notepad or Wordpad) and look it over. Any question, see the  Cabrillo format page.

Don’t worry if your logging software calculated the score perfectly.  All logs are rescored during the checking process.

Do take a moment to see that all QSOs are logged at the right time and on the right band.  You would be suprised how many people lose QSO points because their log is off by 1 hour or they logged a series of QSOs on the wrong band.

PLEASE CHECK YOUR ENTRY CATEGORY!  If you were single op and used the DX Cluster you must enter the Assisted category.  If you enter the Rookie overlay category, please show the date you received your first license in the SOAPBOX.

Upload your log at http://www.cqwpx.com/logcheck/.  The logcheck page will give you immediate feedback if everything is formatted correctly and then offer to submit the log for you.  It couldn’t be easier.

If you use a general purpose logger that can’t output Cabrillo, see if it can export your log in ADIF format.  Then use the converter at http://www.cqwpx.com/adif/ to convert the log to Cabrillo.  Be sure to export the sent and received serial numbers if you logged them.

After your log is submitted, post your score to 3830 at http://www.hornucopia.com/3830score/.  Give some commentary about your experience in the contest.  We use these reports when we create the contest writeups for CQ Magazine.

The log deadline is June 20, 2012.  All logs are welcome and help us with the log checking.

Good luck to everyone in WPX CW 2012.  Wishing you good conditions, high rates, and lots of prefix multipliers!

Apr 21

The claimed scores for the 2012 CQ WPX Contest SSB are now available at

These include all 5,264 logs received as of today. Scores are calculated by the log checking software and before any reductions. Past history has shown that score reductions of 3-15% are possible so the order of finish is sure to change in some categories.

(Logs submitted as check logs are not included in the claimed scores. )

Please check that your log has been placed in the correct category. Any feedback or corrections should be made to k5zd@cqwpx.com.

It was a very successful year for the WPX Phone Contest. Even though 10 meters didn’t open as much as everyone had hoped, we still had a number of record scores. The 5,264 logs submitted so far is a new all time record for the contest. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Apr 8

I received a nice email from Anibal, 5K3R, after the WPX SSB contest.  I enjoyed his passion, enthusiasm, and joy for the contest and wanted to share it with you. Here is Anibal, 5K3R:

WPX contest, in my opinion is the most fun contest we have. Its the time for the fancy calls to take a ride, actually it was the main reason why I decided to ask for a special call: 5K3R. Following you will read some thoughts about my participation, unexpected situations, etc.

Shack Improvements:
Preparation for the wpx ssb started for me in the previous week. I decided to add new features to my shack previous to the event; I went to a brief risk analysis in order to mitigate any hazard. First one was “Lack of AC”. From time to time is easy to notice in Bogota some small lack of AC, just a matter of few seconds or couple of minutes. Form the the transmission point of view it can be reduced to the fact of missing couple of DX and some of those could be easily multipliers. Besides this, there is one important fact: log integrity. Logs can easily get damage or can be partially lost if suddenly the AC just goes away!!!

Based on this, I decided to move from my desktop to my net book, although, log backup were performed during at least every couple of hours. So now is ok, let’s assume the data is going to be properly saved but how can we keep our signal on air?

I decided to participate as a LP so my 12VDC power supplied must accompanied with a BBU capability. Having a lack of budget I just connected in parallel a 12VDC@7Ah battery which is nothing to handle 100 Watts operation but I made calculation and I could manage at least two hours with about 25 watts, this is 6dB under 100Watts but is for sure “better than be off the air”.

The food:
That weekend I was going to be 100% by my own at home, without any help, so there was a need to have all needed food in advance. I have prepared on Friday some roasted chicken, rice and salad. Beside this, plenty of fruits were available at the shack, including water, orange juice and coffee. Table at the shack is big enough to accommodate and also be reached without stopping the contest.

Friday finally arrived:
My wife had to travel from Colombia to Uruguay that day. She was also going with our 3 year old daughter (that is why I said I was 100% by my own). She had to take care of some paper issues in Montevideo so, after lunch we went to the airport, she made all needed checking, there was a need to “equalize” luggage weight” as usual and after that she moved to immigration.

I was already on my way back to home and I got a call from my wife saying that immigration was asking for a “father permit” in order to allow Luciana (our daughter) to travel. Just two hour left for the flight to leave so I moved to the Town Hall and filled all needed papers and went back to the airport. It was a stressed situation but we managed to get all needed papers and they finally got onto the plane.

Back at home I could not sleep the couple of hours before as I planned. I was not planning to work the low bands, but just 15m, so impact was minimum. I just turn on the radio on 15m and made some QSO 1 hour before the contest starts, mainly for waking and warming up purpose! It is so great how the fun starts a couple of hours before the test. People are sharing their expectations or just promising they will pass to give you 59 plus the number, brotherhood can be filled, is a very nice sensation.

The target:
Last year, I have attended a webinar performed by “Potomac Valley Radio Club”, presenter was Randy Thompson, and during the presentation he shared some important aspects regarding “how to approach the WPX contest” (this is webinar es available at their web http://www.pvrc.org/webinar/webinars.htm).  I ended up with two main words: Clear target and Fun! For the first one I went as recommended through all the data available at the WPX page, checked out all previous World and South American Records, focusing on 15m bands. After analysis decided to beat Pedro’s record (HK3JJH) who placed it back in 2002. At that time he made 2.4M points and worked around 600 prefixes. It was not a South American Record, but just a Colombian one. Regarding the second, it was a matter of keeping focused but also relaxing and enjoying every single QSO, keeping in mind what is behind each QSO, there was another operator who must probably was also struggling against some challenges or just relaxing and just chasing new DXCC from his shack.

The first night:
Well, for us, in Colombia (-5 UTC) the party starts at 7:00 PM Local time. I moved up as the starting hour arrived and turned off the radio at 23:00 hours (Local time) with around 220 QSO and 200 prefixes. Propagation was not that good as we expected but there is one basic fact: “if it is bad, is bad for all” so it was going impact all participants. It was just the first night and there was still a long way to go.

The first day:
The day started at 6:00 AM (local time). I went to the kitchen, prepared and ate my breakfast, and also a fresh coffee for the whole day. I went to the shack and started out pointing my homemade hexbeam to Europe, as per R1 band allocation, I decided to start around 21,144. Propagation was again not the best and besides this a rainy and stormy day accompanied me and forced to shut down the whole stuff. I took this decition when one lightning beated a couple of Km from my home but I noticed at the shack when the radio automatically turned off for around half second so, there was no need to put the whole thing on risk.

I went again on air at the time that propagation get open with US so moved the antenna to the North and started to work those fellows. It was also very interesting to see how propagation switched from the US to the Pacific. It become intermittent up to the point where I did not hear any longer both of them but just station from South America. As usual, I have worked most of the Argentinian and Brazilian stations. Operation Finished arund 10:40 local time with around 700 QSO and less than 500 prefix.

The second and last day: “the day”:
Again, 6:00 AM at the kitchen feeding my body and preparing all needed drinks and started as I did the day before. Pointed the “umbrella” to Europe and this time propagation was much better. There was much more stations than Saturday, must probably because Sunday is culturally a day off so there was much more people chasing for a new country. Beside this, propagation was definitely good, this time it helped a lot.

On Sunday morning, my initial target was still so far away, to be honest I did not have a hope to overpass it but I keeped struggling and moving forward. As the morning goes, I ended up with a huge European pile up who helped me to move from 800 to 1100 QSO. US pile up started more less at 2:00PM and the hopes came back when I saw my score around 2.1MM and there was still 6 hours to go!. These fellows were logged more or less from 1100 to the final amount of QSO: 1437.

There is no doubt, Sunday was the best day, around 80% of the QSO handled with Europe were new prefix and also a lot of rare callsigns from US came out on late Sunday

The summary:
Previous WPX SSB experience was performed on 2011 with my previous calll: HK3ARR. I enter at that time as SOSB 20m QRP and I ended up first SA and 2nd WW. It was a big step to move from Phone-QRP to Low Power. When performing on QRP mode, you need to keep frustration out, this is the first fact. This is clearly noticed when calling someone who is arriving with s9 and he does not reply to you. Overall results are positive, 1437 QSO, 733 prefixes, total of 3.069.000 points (claimed score), there is nothing to regret and as you can see the target was beated and there was a lot of fun during the whole event!

Anibal Dos Ramos,
HK3R – 5K3R
(Former-HK3ARR )

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