WPX RTTY: Personal Goals

This week the CQ WPX RTTY Contest comes to town. I am thrilled to say I will be in full pariticipation, hopefully operating 30 hours (48 total) as a single operator, low power. I must say low power because I lost my Alpha 76PA last week, due to what Dick Byrd diagnosed as a step start relay problem. Now that we are a few days prior to the start of the contest it’s time to set our personal goals for WPX RTTY.

RTTY does seem to be my best mode of operation, as referenced by my RTTY RU score in January. This was by far my best contest to date, 652 QSOs in 22 hours for final score of49,552. Unlike the RTTY RU, WPX is a bit of a unique contest in that the low bands (40/80M) provide a higher score than 10/15/20M. All contacts from a different continent are 6 points on 40/80M. Hopefully JA comes through for me in this contest. I have been e-mailing W0YK, Ed Muns for my “sleep strategy” and he provided his insight. While 20M is my strongest band, this will most likely be the band I spend the least amount of time on, depending on conditions on 40/80M.

Looking at my schedule I created much of the first day will be spent on 40/80M, with maybe an hour or two on 20M to open up the contest. I am currently planning on operating from 0000z-1600z. This is contingent on the point rate after 1000z or 1100z. With any luck I will operate through the night. Any shortfall on the 15 hour total will be made up during my scheduled off time from 1600z-0000z. The second day will mirror the first day with any luck, again it is all contingent on the point rate at which I am logging QSOs.

Unlike other RTTY contests, WPX is unique because of the scoring. Multipliers are each unique prefix (once, regardless of band). I have been looking over the 2009 results at those who operated low power from ’6-land’ and I am quite excited about what I see. The winning ham logged 618 QSOs, while the second place logged 608 QSOs. I have been playing with QSO and prefix statistics in order to come up with a personal goal.

After all my number crunching I am going to shoot for 500 QSOs with 245 contacts being scored as mults. The variable is the point rate as opposed to the QSO rate. Based on the top five scores from 2009 the average point rate was 1.976. Given these figures I approximate my final score at 242,060. These are big numbers to achieve for a “little pistol” without the use of my Alpha.

If I work 15/20M it will be using the 5-band hex beam, while work on 40/80M will be on the SteppIR BigIR Mk III. The vertical proved itself during the recent RTTY RU, where I logged 207 QSOs between the two bands. So while my goals are lofty I think I have a good chance at setting a new operating standard for myself, as well as having a good showing for the NCCC.