WPX Coming Together

Planning continues as we roll towards CQWW WPX taking place May 28-29. I have a very solid plan in place that has me working 36 hours. Much like last year I have spent a few weeks working and revising my activity plans for this contest. Odd, but this has been the only contest I have done this for. Maybe it’s because the NCCC has focused their efforts on this contest in the past. I don’t know. I do believe K6MM, John, had something to do with this thanks in part to his presentation in 2010 on how to score 1 million points.

Much like 2010 my goals I have set a high mark with 1 million points, 1000 QSOs and 500 prefixes (multipliers). It would be a huge accomplishment to achieve each of these, but I don’t believe it’s quite realistic, based on the numbers when you progress in the contest. One of the key components, like that of nearly every other contest, the solar conditions.

Looking back at the end of April, we had modest solar conditions, SFI 110, SSN 71, good A and K on Saturday, but increased on Sunday due to some sort of geomagnetic storm. Still conditions this year will still be better than last year, which means numbers across the board for all operators should increase.

Unlike the last few years, I am planning a full effort on the low bands beginning about 05z (maybe even earlier) depending on how the rate is during the first few hours of the contest, which in previous contests have usually been my strongest. Currently between 40/80M I have scheduled 20.5 hours of operating, because of the points per QSO on these bands. This should also provide me periods of uninterrupted operating from my family who will be asleep.

Currently the combined QSOs for the low bands are 475 contacts (175 on 80M and 300 on 40M). Looking at 80M in my logbook, I have mainly worked US stations, venturing outside the continent for only 3 contacts (2 – JA and 1 – KH6). I am not all that confident on 80M, a bit more confident in my prospects on 40M. Regardless, the more 3 and 6 point QSOs I can make on these bands will definitely boost my overall score.

The remaining time will be spent primarily on 15/20M (6.75 each), with checks on 10M, most likely at the top of each hour. Hopefully SA comes through on 10M, as well as OC. Last year in WPX I worked most of my contacts on 15/20M, this year these should be my two lowest bands in terms of production. I have also scheduled most of my sleep time during the day, 18z-03z and 07z-08z (Sunday). This off time also coincides with family commitments and hopefully a short nap before hitting 40/80M.

As reported a few days ago, I have resolved my “chirp” issue. Everything in the shack seems ready to go. I am hoping to pick up a Channel Master CM-9521A TV antenna rotor. The other part of my plans has me temporarily putting the hex beam on the top of the roof. I am still debating this move since I am sure the HOA would frown upon it. Not sure I would send them a notice or not on this since I never actually got approval from them for the hex beam.

If I decide against the roof idea, I will still add the rotor to the 20′ mast I am currently using. Boy, how I could use that Rohn H50 right about now! With any luck plans will be finalized in the next few days for the contest beginning on May 28.