DXCC Achieved!

Back in April I wrote a piece called 99 and counting… that left me one confirmed QSO short of my initial ARRL DXCC Award. Just 3 days ago, YT8A confirmed our 20M RTTY contact from last year and that gave me the coveted #100! Just a day later I confirmed OM3LK as #101 and today I submitted the paperwork electronically to the ARRL for my wallpaper.

It’s real exciting for me, as I have now achieve my initial WAS and DXCC. Look at my totals it should be before the year is up that I submit paperwork for my 5BWAS or 5 band worked all states. I have 4 bands that each have 43 or more QSOs already. Hopefully 10M picks up as I only have 13 QSOs on that band.

As for the ARRL Triple Play, I am still stuck on 149 (out of a possible 150) contacts. I am still in search of Delaware on SSB. I might look to make a scheduled QSO, just to knock out the award. This was the recommendation from a member of the NCCC who had good luck with a few operators from DE. I would assume come NAQP in July and August I should be able to work all 50 states on RTTY, CW and hopefully SSB.

99 and counting…

Some amateurs contest. Others chase DX. While many more ragchew. Regardless of what you decide amateur radio holds for you, one area that thrills me is chasing wallpaper. Maybe it was the fact my father had a nice collection of awards, as well as QSL cards in his shack as I was growing up.

I still remember my thrill when I finally had all 50 states confirmed for my Worked All States Award (WAS) in March, 2009 after working Vermont and submitted the application to the ARRL. Now I am one confirmation away from my initial DXCC. My current total sits at 99 confirmed, while I have worked some 129 countries not all of them use LOTW. For some it’s the thrill of the chase and logging “a new one” in your logbook as opposed to chasing wallpaper.

Two of my more recent DXCC entities have been the Philippines and Nigeria, both have been worked multiple times the past few months, but neither have confirmed. The other award I am on the verge of submitting is the ARRL’s newest, the Triple Play Award.

This award has an operator confirming all 50 states on CW, Phone and Digital. My current total sits at 149 confirmed. The last state, which comes as no surprise to me is the need for Delaware (on Phone) to confirm our QSO. I have worked numerous contacts using this mode, but to date none of the have uploaded their contacts.

Nonetheless I am excited about the prospects ahead. Much like participating in a contest, the only one I am competing against is myself. I continue to enjoy what limited time I get operating and always have fun working states and countries.

2010 CQ World Wide DX

Contest: CQ World Wide DX
Date: November 27-28, 2010
Mode: CW
Period: Starts 2359 UTC Saturday, ends 0000 UTC Monday

BAND/QSO/CQ/DXC
40 / 2 / 2 / 2
20 / 99 / 19 / 40
15/ 42 / 11 / 11
10/ 9 / 6 / 6
TOTAL: 152 QSO / 38 CQ / 59 DXC
SCORE: 39,673 (TIME ON: 5 H 46 Mn)

SOAPBOX: Outside of some of the RTTY contests and Sweepstakes, this contest is one of my favorites. I don’t intend to put in a full effort, but given time during the weekend I sit down and make some contacts. Mainly I use this contest as a springboard for my initial DXCC award, which I am still chasing (90 confirmed).

This weekend wouldn’t allow me much time at all this weekend due to family commitments, but that seems to be every contest weekend I want to participate in. I figured if I could improve on my 2009 total (88 QSOs) I would be doing well. I ended this contest with 152, which was nearly double what I had hoped for.

Much of my time was spent on 20M, but rather surprised at the propagation on 10M, it was good enough I stayed there for some time on Sunday morning. 15/20M were both good to Asia on Saturday at the start of the contest, which ended up being 38% of my contacts (mainly JAs). This was something I had been hoping for in a few prior contests, but was never really able to achieve, running the JAs for an hour or so. I reserved Sunday for EU.

Sunday turned out to be good in the morning again on 15/20M. I was able to work a few new DXCC entities, which included Isle of Man, Ceuta & Melilla and Kermadec Island. I had hoped to snag Ascension Island, as they had a big signal on 10M, but at 150 watts I could not break though the pile up.

All in all I was pleased with how I did. It was purely S&P, and there was always a DXCC calling looking for another contact, so it was easy enough to work the band from 14.000 up. If I had used more power or had more time I probably could have picked up some more QSOs on 10M, as the opening into SA was improving. Maybe that is just a precursor to come in December with the 10M Contest.

Add to Your DXCC

What would a weekend be without a contest? Boring? Eh, depends on the individual and their interests when it comes to amateur radio. This weekend brings the ARRL International DX Contest (Phone) beginning 0000 UTC Saturday and ending 2400 UTC Sunday. I don’t plan on putting much of an effort into this contest on Saturday since I will be at work at the start of the contest until about 0700 UTC. I am not sure what sort of luck I will have on 40/80M with the SteppIR BigIR and the Alpha in line on phone. I will have to look back on previous phone contests and see where most of my activity came from. I highly doubt 40/80M will yield much, but I will probably put in a few hours to close out Saturday night.

Sunday bring much more of the same for me, as the over 30 soccer league begins again. This will leave me less than 4 hours on Sunday in which to participate. I know N6RO was looking for interest to man his super station, but it seems many are putting off commitments until WPX (phone) at the end of the month. I was going to offer my overnight services, but I think I am going to pass on this contest.

Phone for me in general is not my strong mode. Funny, but I remember starting out on HF only wanting to work SSB. This was prior to learning Morse code or using an interface for digital modes like RTTY or PSK31. I enjoy talking on HF and have made quite a few contacts both during contests and just chasing DX I just don’t have the best setup for phone. I figure I will put in a few hours in and hopefully log some new DXCC entities on a few different bands.

It is still my hope to achieve my initial DXCC (mixed) this year. I am will on the way to that award with 75 confirmed to date. Not surprisingly phone is behind RTTY and CW with only 26 confirmed since 2007. With any luck I will be able to get into EU on 15/20/40M and add to my total for phone and mixed.

Regardless of what happens I will look at putting up a realistic goal this weekend since I will not have much time to participate in the contest.