I spent about 4 hours last night going over propagation information from N6BV, as well as numbers put forth by K6MM from last Monday’s NCCC meeting. Compiling this already compiled information into numbers I can use has been somewhat challenging. First issue, working a full 36 hours. This is a MUST in order to keep my anticipated rate. Second, propagation. Sure we can anticipate was sort of propagation we will have during WPX, but it could vary wildly. N6BV is a master at propagation, so whenever Dean speaks, it would do wisely to listen and digest the information. Lastly, my lack of antennas. I love the 5-band hex beam and it will perform admirably on 20M and 15M if and when there are any opening. Even at 20′ I have been pleased with the amount of DX I have confirmed 40M and 80M are entirely different beasts because of the lack of ground radials on the SteppIR BigIR.
So just what should I expect? Initially I was going to set a goal of 250,000 points as a final score. While that score would please me as it could be about 550 QSOs over 36 hours, which would equate to about a 16/hour rate. Not bad…but definitely achievable. My final score, like nearly everyone who is dependent on the low bands. For me, 40M and 80M could prove to be difficult. After continued planning and playing with numbers I am bumping up the stakes, at least personally.
I currently have 1 million points penciled in as my goal. Now between today and the start of WPX this could fluctuate, but the fact still remains. I must have a good showing on 40M and 80M if I am to attain my first million. The other factor that will come into play is a second radio. I don’t have all the hardware (interface & cables) to remove my FT-897D from my truck and place it in the shack as my second radio. But time is still on my side to purchase these items and get them in the shack and configured.
Reviewing the numbers, 1000 QSOs is not impossible, 1023 to be exact over 36 hours would mean keeping a 28/hour rate. For me working CW it could be challenging, but again NOT impossible. My numbers do include a small number of QSOs on 10M and 15M (30 QSOs), which could be made up on 20M or the lower bands. On 20M I predict the following numbers:
- 20M – 500 QSO – 250 PFX
- 40M – 350 QSO – 175 PFX
- 80M – 111 QSO – 056 PFX
The 80M numbers could be questioned because of the lack of experience and QSOs on 80M, mostly because of the BigIR and lack of longer ground radials. I will be adding another 8-10, 60′ radials prior to the contest. The fewer QSOs on 40M and 80M means more work on 20M.
Reviewing my logbook, 40M is devoid of any long distance DX, even on CW. Finland and Czech Republic are my only two ventures into EU. Hell, I don’t even have a 40M contact with a JA! And living on the West Coast that is a backyard chip shot, with very little noise over the Pacific. So now I start to question my 40M numbers, where 57% (or 200 QSOs) are from within the USA. That is possible, but those contacts are only worth 1 point as opposed to 6 if I were to contact JA or any other station on a different continent.
No matter how I interpret the data I will be pleased with any score I achieve because it will be higher than my previous score and all my points will go towards a (hopefully) club victory for the NCCC. As soon as I finalize the spreadsheet I will post it for those amateurs interested in my WPX plans.