Monday, April 1, 2013

WQ6X Operates WPX-SSB Solo for 2013

Here are pictures from this weekend's WPX solo operation I put together on the spacious dining table at N6GEO's cabin in Twain Harte. Equipment included an ICOM 7000 with a Yaesu 
FT-900 as backup radio (its auto tuner was GREAT 
for the phased sloping Cobras) driving an SB-200 amplifier to 850w P.E.P
Work-related scheduling problems dictated that I operate WPX SSB solo this year. 
A lengthy business meeting delayed my arrival in Twain Harte to 00:15z where I put together a fully operational station in 2.5 hours on the dinning table in N6GEO's cabin. 
While there was still daylight I hoisted a pair of phased S-Style dipoles (Cobras) as a Sloping-V at about 55-feet high to compliment the OCFD dipole at 65 feet. 
The disappointing news this contest was of course the crummy solar flux, and unfortunate A-Index of 27 and K-Index of 4 (if you look closely at the 4th photo you can see the space weather forecasts to the right of the Greyline display).
While I amassed a total of 402 QSOs (for a 175k+ score) the goal of 600 Q's was derailed by the skewed propagation, thanks to geomagnetic noise induced by this weekend's solar activity.  The log-submission reports I've read from other operators confirm the fact that the noise problem was world wide.
This year, for the 1st time, I heard multi-op QSO totals over 6,000 and one beyond 7,000.

Amazingly, 75 meters was quite productive on Friday evening. D4C (Cape Verde) and a plethora of South American stations made the band worth the time spent.  I enjoy 75 meters for WPX contests because I can take a more informal ragchew attitude.  
In the spirit of ragchewing I brought the Electro-Voice 664 microphone in to compliment the Heil headset.

WPX is a contest where lengthy callsigns can become the most sought after.  
On that basis, I was disappointed by the lack of JA stations with their multitude of juicy prefix multipliers.  I was pleased by the multitude of unique prefixes from abroad as well as local ones such as WI9WI and WI0WA.

Did you play WPX?  
If so what callsign did YOU use?


1 comment:

  1. As you can see I have the Radio Shaft 2-Channel equalizer in the circuit. Unfortunately, SSB into a 500 watt amplifier seemed to overdrive the equalizer during transmit making it undesirable for this contest.
    Does anyone have any ideas on how to RF proof an equalizer?