CQ 160 is one of my favourite contests. The goal this year was set to break the SM record in SO-HP Assisted. In addition I also wanted to beat my own score from 2010 in SO-HP (unassisted). Reasonably well prepared, somewhat rested and with the gear in shape I was ready to take on the challenge. This is the story of SE0X in CQ 160 CW 2017, keep on reading to see if I succeeded in hitting my goals.
The Elecraft K3 transceiver at SE0X is an early first batch model. It was ordered within days from the K3 announcement at the Visalia DX convention 10 years ago. Many improvements has been introduced over the years and most of them have been implemented in our K3.
Our CW skimmer is finally online again after a series of both software and hardware problems. It all started with with Windows automatically upgrading to Win 10 which lead to network problems. The WiFi link was replaced with Ubiquity equipment which seemed to cure the problem.
Why am I always working on antennas in November, right at the start of the wet and windy season!
— SM0MDG (@SM0MDG) November 3, 2016
This is a grim example how to keep your competition on a distance! I won’t mention calls, but this screenshot is from the IARU HF contest this past weekend and this is a HQ station. If you look closely to the waterfall display you notice the splatter lines at least 30 kHz down.
WPX SSB a year ago, in 2014, was a success for SE0X. Propagation was fabulous and we where able to set a new SM record in the Multi-Two category. This year we wanted to try something new and decided to enter in Multi-One Low Power where there presently is no Swedish record. Reaching the current EU record would be a stretch with the current propagation, but we like a challenge so we chose this as our goal.
Working a 160 meter contest QRP is much more fun than you might think! A few weeks ago I worked the CQ-160 SSB contest using 5 watt QRP power. I logged more than 200 QSOs and the claimed score is almost half the number of my SM Low Power record and more than a third of my High Power and High Power Assisted records.
Spending two weeks in the Maldives in January was an unforgettable experience. Not only because of the blue ocean, white sand and warm sun. 160 meter contesting and DX’ing barefoot with a compromise antenna posed a challenge very different from the usual big signal-work-them-all experience from home.
Below are a few photos from 8Q7BM.