2009 ARRL Sweepstakes – CW

Contest: ARRL Sweepstakes
Date: November 7-9, 2009
Mode: CW
Period: Starts 2100 UTC Saturday, ends 0259 UTC Monday

40 / 14 / 4
20 / 148 / 51
TOTAL: 218 QSO / 70 SECT
SCORE: 30,520 (TIME ON: 9 H 33 Mn)

SOAPBOX: Not having participated I had no baseline on which to judge myself or my potential score. Knowing my habits over the course of the last 12 months, I usually do not have enough “butt in the seat” time to really put in a serious effort. But, what is nice about the NCCC, all the points I earn go towards the club and a potential victory.

During the CW portion I set a goal of 400 QSOs over the course of 10 hours, which equates to a 40/hr rate. I felt that was realistic, but what I did not account for was the fact I was a new contester to this game and I did not run a frequency at any time. With that said I came up 27 minutes short of operating for 10 hours and missed my mark of 400 QSOs by 182.

I was somewhat shell shocked at 1300z and it took nearly 11 minutes to get that first S&P QSO under my belt. In the time I was operating (9.5 hrs) I was able to maintain a 23/hr rate. Not great by any standard but again I was dividing my operating time with my family, work and other responsibilities. The second day provided me with a 34/hr rate starting at 2300z, but that would be nearly my last hour of operating. I made my last QSO at 00:45, well short of the contest end time.

I managed 218 QSOs and worked 70 sections, missing EMA, SNJ, DE, WPA, VI, WTX, SB, MAR, NL and NT. I had not set the goal of achieving a “clean sweep” as I figured that might be easy. Some surprising sections I just could not log, like Santa Barbara and West Texas. I was in a pileup for the Virgin Islands, but went searching for others when I should have stayed and logged the contact. I hear the Maritime on air, but much like the Virgin Islands I did hang around the pile up. It was no surprise I did not find NL or NT. And as has been for my WAS Delaware eluded me. Final score was 30,520 (436 points).

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