CQ WPX SSB 2009… and more important things

I still had to write something about that one. Given the propagation I experienced the week before in RDXC, I had no plans to play in WPX SSB. But being a contester, on Sunday it started itching. So I cranked up the tower one level so the tribander was at 16m high. The goal was to play fresh meat on 20m with the OQ5 prefix and have some good rates. Yeah right. I worked only 300 QSO SB20 in a few hours off and on but no real rates. Even the packet pile ups I had hoped for did not happen. SSB in combination with no propagation equals total boredom!

This is one of only two contests that the Belgian M/M OT5A is on the air. A crying shame that this mega-station is only active in CQ WW and CQ WPX and only in SSB, no CW. If you look at their contest pictures it seems to me that eating is more important than making contacts.

After WPX I left the tower up which makes working DX somewhat easier. I wouldn’t have worked YJ0TXF and VK9LA on 30m if the tower was down. I found that KH6 comes through each morning on 30m and 20m. Yesterday I was CQ’ing on 17m and worked JA, 9M6 and HL with fair to good signals. Only there weren’t many callers. I guess the band was open but almost no one was there.

I’ve been neglecting VK9GMW on Mellish Reef for yet another new DXCC. They were booming in yesterday afternoon with an S9 signal. Of course the usual morons were there too. I managed to work VK9M but the QRM made me doubt slightly. My DX’ers gut told me the QSO was OK because I clearly heard my call and a TU after me report. Only there was a short pause between my 5NN and their TU so I wondered if something went wrong… But the online log now shows my gut feeling was right. New DXCC!

Another game was trying to work my local friend Eddy ON4AFU who’s active as XU7AFU. I heard and worked him on 20m and I believe on 17m too (need to check that, log not on this PC). He dropped me a line to tell that propagation is really different from XU7 compared to ON. Maybe he means that from XU7 there actually IS some form of propagation? He also did an excursion to some IOTA as XU7KOH. I worked them on 20m easily. On 17m I heard him working VK/ZL/JA but I could not get through that wall from here.

Oh yeah, bad news too: the Elecraft solid state amps are not for the near future: “We will not be releasing amps at Dayton this year. In addition to our ongoing K3 work, have other fish to fry. 🙂      73, Eric  WA6HHQ” (link). Too bad because I would fancy a second amp for SO2R. I’m curious about the frying fish though…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.