It’s never too early to start looking ahead to an upcoming contest. Much like the CQWW WPX CW Contest last year I am looking forward to the 2011 contest at the end of May. In 2010 I initially I set a goal, but later revised it after the May, 2010 NCCC Meeting which mathematically made one million points possible, even from my small station.
This year, I am considering nothing less than 1 million points. Achievable? I believe it is, but unlike last year I need to spend much more time working 40/80M than working QSOs on 15/20M. I knew this going in last year, but decided not to operate the contest in this manner. Needless to say, I missed my goal by a considerable amount, butI had have fun and still took a positive experience away from WPX.
We are still 30 days out, but I have started breaking down the contest by the numbers and looking at how I will attack this 5 band contest in order to achieve my 1 million points. Until the uptick in solar numbers, 20M had been my “money band” regardless of contest. But recently I have seen 10M and 15M producing better numbers than 20M did. Unfortunately for WPX the big points are on the low bands and 40/80M are not my best bands.
While that does shed favorable light on my SteppIR BigIR, I feel the problem is more radial related than anything else. Thankfully, CW [and RTTY] is the best mode for my station to operate, so while 40/80M is challenge, I could fair okay on those bands. I will look at adding some more 60′ radials and pray the sunspot Gods shine on us.
Looking at last year’s results I was somewhat surprised with what I achieved on 40M and considering how bad solar conditions were, I would think numbers in 2011 can only improve. I would also expect my rate to increase this year. Last year I planned a 25 rate for much of the contest, but was above a 32 rate for the first 7 hours of the contest.
This year my plan will look much like 2010, the difference is making sure I have the “BIC” time this year. Hopefully I can spend the maximum amount of time on the low bands and fill in the gaps during the daylight hours. Looking at the CQWW scores from last year 1 million might be difficult considering, running either low or high power given no single operator in 6-land scored 1 million. The best was Kc6X with 870,048 as a single operator (high power).
Part of my calculations include a 0.6 value for prefixes worked. This number is quite high early on, but dramatically falls off over the course of the contest the more QSOs you make. Last year at the end of the contest my prefix value was 0.48, well off the 0.6 value I used to calculate my goals.