BARC Members take part in CQ World Wide CW Contest

Dave G3YMC

CQ World Wide is one of the major contests in the amateur radio year and is run by CQ magazine in the USA. There are several events in the year for different modes and the CW section is always on the last full weekend in November, November 25th – 26th in 2023. With up to 35,000 participants the HF contest bands are busy and it clearly shows that morse code is not dead. G3YMC has entered this contest for many years and it makes a very enjoyable weekend. I was joined by several other members of my local radio club, Bracknell Amateur Radio Club.

This was the first all band CQWW I had done for a few years due to various broadband issues – but now with full fibre those days are past. I used my usual QRP station of an Elecraft K2 at 5 Watts and a long wire, with a new quarter wave loop for the 160m band. Computer logging is essential these days and I used N1MM+ for this purpose. I have some remaining QRN issues on 80m and getting a signal out on 160m from this small plot is always a challenge.

Having set up everything the day before I arrived in the shack just after 5am on the Saturday morning, initially on 40m then a short while on 80m and 160m before the sun rose. Activity was high and I was soon knocking off the QSOs. After a breakfast break I went down to 20m then a bit later to 15m and 10m as those bands opened. I was having fun.

Generally conditions as forecast were quite good but a geomagnetic storm during Saturday changed things somewhat. 10m was not as open as I expected and I struggled there. In the evening with the auroral flutter on 40 and 80 it was a real struggle and I wondered whether I should be out aurora spotting rather than dxing. Sunday, with the ionosphere returning to normal, was much better and I soon was raking up the QSOs on 10 and 15. The evening on 40 was far far better and my QRP reached 5B4 and 4X which I find normally a struggle. 80m was better but still very slow and operating QRP there is frustrating. Yes some stations went out of their way to try and get my call but eventually gave up. Yet CN3A came back first call! I suspect many have noise issues on 80 which accounts for my poor QRP effort. Top Band, forget it, I did manage a few QSO with the locals but mostly I got no response to calls.

There was plenty of DX to work as in these events amateurs head off to all sorts of exotic places to activate them. I worked a few of the Caribbean ones in Curacao, Barbados and Bonaire, plenty of USA stations who seem to have excellent ears, along with stations in China and Japan. If you are there at the right time it is very easy to fill you logbook with some rather nice things, often one call even on QRP does the trick.

I don’t do the night shift these days, so up around 5am both days and stopping around 10pm. On the Sunday I chickened out even earlier as I got frustated with 80.

A local amateur kindly came round and recorded a video of me in action. Enjoy!

CQ Worldwide with Dave G3YMC

It will be a while until the full results are published but provisional results before checking will be out very soon. But I should score fairly well among the G QRP entrants. Overall it was a reasonable result. In 2012 I ended up with over 400k points so maybe the sunspot peak is not quite here yet.

Dave G3YMC’s Results

Richard G4ZFE

This year work got in the way so an entry wasn’t possible. I did manage some receive time and heard both Mike and Dave on the bands. My Skimmer runs 24×7 on 11 HF bands reading CW/RTTY and PSK31/63 (on 2 bands only). It had a busy weekend with all the CW signals. To demonstrate the activity that this contest generates around the world I loaded all the CQ calls my skimmer captured over the weekend into N1MM+ logger.

This is the “score” that my skimmer achieved. Of couse there is no such entry class and it’s just an exercise to show activity and number of countries active:

1 Multi9.7 Q’s
Richard G4ZFE’s CQWWCW Scores

All this was received on an active loop antenna on top of the fence in a sub-urban environment.
9962 CQ calls were captured over the 48 hours, 145 countries on 10m, 39 (out of 40) zones also on 10m.

Mike G4DDL

Hi All, An amazing effort from Dave G3YMC with only 5W. I am not sure how long he was on for, as he was very close to me in QSOs when we checked on Saturday afternoon. By Sunday I had pulled away a little as my “Low Power” (100W) helped significantly on the low HF bands (40m, 80m and 160m) I was on for 26 Hours out of the 48 so am unlikely to be highly placed but I did work 85 different countries and 23 (out of 40) different zones over the weekend. Dave should be better placed in the QRP section than me in the Low Power section.

My cumulative score summary as follows:

1 Multi9.7 Q’s
Mike G4DDL’s CQ WWCW Results

For anyone interested a good starter contest is the ARRL 10 meter Contest on 9th and 10th December You can operate SSB, CW or mixed (ie both)and it has the usual QRP, Low and High Power categories. I have been first G in low power mixed before now (easily beaten by stations doing CW or Phone only though I had more multipliers!) You can manage with a simple dipole or longwire and in general it is a daylight only contest both days though I have known 10m to be open quite late in the past years.

73 to all
Mike G4DDL