Final preparations are being made as we are just about 4 hours away from the start of the CQWW WPX CW Contest. The transceiver, just back from being repaired is in top condition, ready to put in a 36 hour effort. Last night, thanks in part to Hank, W6SX located in Mammoth Lakes, I was able to get a signal check using the SteppIR BigIR on 40M and 80M. Hank was able to hear me on both bands, so my low band antenna is ready.

I didn’t really put much of an effort into low band antenna, my hex beam. It has performed excellent since I last upgraded it a few years back. I did get on the roof and check the connection and realign the hex beam with north. Due to some strong winds the past week, the antenna was about 15-20 degrees off north. I double checked the rotator was working, as well as my digital interface.

One minor problem I encountered last night while testing, was the fact my antenna tuner on my rig was not work. I overlooked a menu function, which might have caused some of my problems on 80M with Hank, but after I turned the tuner on, 80M seemed to work very well. As it stands now, I just have to set up my macro keys on Win-Test and decide what category I will enter. Right now I am leaning towards single operator, all band, low power, unassisted. That might change depending on how conditions are once we get into the contest.

I have spent the last 90 minutes reviewing propagation charts and my spreadsheet that breaks down this contest by the numbers, for each band, each hour. By the numbers 1 million points is within my reach. Hopefully the low bands come through. More importantly, hopefully I am able to stay awake until 4 or 5 am tomorrow morning. That will be the biggest challenge. Wish me luck!