CQwwWPXThis weekend I entered the CQ WPX RTTY contest with target to improve my personal total QSO-record in a contest. I think the current personal record stems from a PACC-contest a few years ago and was around 450 Q’s. There was only one catch: in this same weekend the PACC-contest is organized. PACC-contest is a 24-hour contest where you only work Dutch amateurs (PA) to collect all the Dutch provinces which are handed out as exchange. Because the Netherlands is small country, this contest is only successful if there are enough Dutch amateurs participating. It’s a unwritten rule to always participate as Dutch amateur, if only for a few Q’s.
PACC is in CW- and SSB-mode. In CW I’m not yet able to be in running mode and SSB is far from my favorite mode. But for this one contest I want to make an exception and plug in the microphone. I switched back and forward from CW S&P and SSB and collect a poor 100 Q’s. BUT…… I did participate!

When I logged 100 Q’s in the PACC I immediately switched back to RTTY for the WPX. Saturday I ran around 250 Q’s and Sunday was good for another 350! Weird propagation (an A-index of 23!) on Sunday which was noticeable.
A fun moment in this contest was the very close encounter with my friend Jim Wilson, K5ND. We have an ongoing saga to just work each other once in a contest. I was in line to work another station when I saw Jim work him just before me. I switched antennas from vertical to horizontal to copy Jim’s signal but I couldn’t. When I tried to work the next calling station, K5ND again appeared on my screen! So Jim was Search & Pouncing just before me down the band! I figured if I skipped one or two calling stations and call the third, maybe Jim would arrive at that station just when I was working it. I worked NR5M and afterwards I wait a little to see if Jim arrived. I didn’t seen his call anymore, but this morning I read his blog update and it seems he did see me in QSO with NR5M! Ah well, maybe more luck in the next contest. I did broke my personal Q’s record, so it was a fun weekend.
The next few weekends I have some DIY-resonsibilities in and around the house. So I have to throttle back a little on the contesting.

This weekend I entered the CQ WPX RTTY contest and the PACC.

I really like contesting in RTTY-modus! I’ve setup N1MM with MMTTY and that works fine. Did a relax contest weekend, doing breaks left and right, didn’t miss a hour of sleep. Most important thing is to have fun! Speaking of fun, I also did participate in the PACC contest which I entered for a few years now. It always was great fun doing it. This year for the first time I didn’t like it anymore. 2 Things that bothered me: I don’t like voice contests anymore. It’s so noisy! The whole band seems full. When I called CQ on a frequency that seemed free, after a while I heard a response for another station. So apparently the frequency was occupied only I was unable to hear it. And the other thing: the PACC should be around the Dutch Amateur. So IMHO Dutch amateurs should call CQ and others should S&P. But not during the PACC. There are so many amateurs in this little country and less (like it seems) foreign participants. Tuning around the bands I heard many foreign amateurs calling CQ PACC. That seemed weird to me. Low and behold I scored 50 QSO’s and I was done with it. Back to CQ WPX RTTY contest! Need many more practice on this CW-thing. I want to do CW-contests. If the are as much fun as the RTTY-ones I would really enjoy doing them.

Sadly I didn’t hear Jim, K5ND 🙁 I even set an cluster alarm on his call and let run HRD Logbook on the background so I would be alerted when he’s spotted somewhere, but no luck. Maybe more luck next time Jim! I already read you scored quite nice on this one! Congrats!

I read K5ND, Jim’s blog for a while now. Jim (K5ND, not me) is an excellent writer and knows how to give Ham radio good PR! Sometimes I comment on his posts and he always replies very friendly. So funny to watch Jim in a video report of Hamvention in Dayton together with N9JA, Ray from Icom. Suddenly you see and hear a voice (I’ve listened to Jim’s podcasts), a face (pictures on his blog) and facial expression come together into one person.

Please watch the video interview (from 17:01 Jim is on) for a view minutes and hear what great things Boy Scouts of America and Icom are doing for Ham radio!