2012 ARRL DX SSB Goals

Not sure it will be a real big effort this weekend, on the heels of the ARRL International DX CW Contest a few weeks ago. This time around it’s the SSB version, a contest in which I won my section last year running single operator, high power, assisted. This year, still without my low band vertical antenna, I will be relegated to 10/15/20M…again!

It’s not that I don’t like using SSB as a mode, I do. I find it thrilling to actually talk to someone in a distant land. My shack and set up seem to do CW and RTTY much better than SSB. So I found it surprising that 315 QSOs, 113 DXC and a final score of 106,107 was the top score in my category. This year I doubt I will spend 13 hours participating in the ARRL DX. I will put in a few hours at the beginning of the contest, beaming Asia/Oceania, possibly South America.

Conditions have been in decline since the CW version of this contest just a few weeks ago. As of this writing the SFI is 104, SSN of 24 and an A of 14. Not really optimal conditions to operate under, still I suspect I will be able to make a few contacts to start this contest. I am hoping to put up 100-150 QSOs in 3 hours of BIC (butt in chair).

Sunday might be worthwhile, as I am planning on taking the day off from work, but have an 11am engagement. That might give me sunrise and some time after 2pm, in order to finish out the contest. Again, not really looking for any real goals this time around. While it would be great to surpass what last year’s score was, I just don’t think I will find the time to put in a double digit effort. Having the hex beam only about 40′ high won’t help. If I decide to run high power again, the Alpha 76PA will be flawless as always, so I will be able to get a signal out. Then again, as the saying goes, “if you can hear them, you can work them.”

Running low power in the last few contests I have been able to hear many signals, but my problem has been getting a 100w signal out at only 40′. Regardless of what happens I will put in a good effort and look to add a few new DXCC entities on a few bands, namely 10M (if open) and 15M. Strangely enough, 15M outnumbers 20M when it comes to the number of DXCC entities I have worked.