CQ WW SSB Contest – 2013
The contest bug has bitten me and I will try to participate actively as time permits. The CQ Worldwide SSB contest for 2014 is scheduled for October 25th and 26th. I had plans to install the HEX beam antenna before the contest but could n0t due to time constraints and heavy rains in Bangalore in the month of October. Made very little preparations for this contest and used the multiband HF Dipole antenna. Installed N1MM + which is the newer version of the excellent logging program. Observed that CAT from my ICOM 746 was often getting disconnected from N1MM, fixed the issue by disabling power savings for USB Hub in Windows device manager.
Entered the contest 11 hours after the start time and found 10 meters wide open and worked many stations, heavy rains with thunderstorm and lightning on the evening of October 25th forced me to shut down the station for couple of hours. Burnt the mid night oil and worked contest stations on 20,15 and 40 meters until 3AM on October 26th before retiring for the day.
10 meters opened up at 11AM India time and I worked more contest stations until 11.30PM on Sunday October 26th before closing down. Logged 170 contacts and 60K points. One of the key observations was the poor band conditions and did not hear the usual Big gun stations with the big signal during this contest. Will be back in 2015 with a better antenna setup and talk time on the Radio.
My latest QSL card designed by my good friend Sunil,VU2SGW, the image is of Badami the capital of Badami Chalukyas from 540 to 757 AD. Badami is around seven hours by road from Bangalore and a visit to this place has been etched in my memory.