ARRL SS CW 2019

Just Missed It, By That Much!

My goal this year was at least 1,200 Qs. I finished with 1,194. I would have made it, except about six ops answered my CQ with a number and signal report. Efforts to get a proper exchange were met with a long pause, then a repeat of the lacking exchange. Rather than getting sucked into that black hole, I sent TU and moved on. In hindsight, it would have been nice to get them in the log to meet my goal. Unfortunately, it was clear they weren’t copying what I was asking. Maybe next time!

Participation Lacking?

The last few hours were brutally slow. Others have mentioned ways to improve participation, which I applaud. However, this contest is unique because of the long exchange. Just like the guys I mentioned above that didn’t understand what I was asking, there is certain level of CW proficiency that’s required here.

While I totally appreciate ops trying to improve their CW skills in one of the most difficult CW contests of the year, if you can’t give the proper exchange and don’t understand what the other operator is asking from you, then everyone’s time is wasted. Bottom line: I’m not sure this contest will ever rise to the level of volume that SS SSB enjoys. The skill barrier will always act to reduce the volume of ops. That said, organizations like CWops is actively training and producing fine CW ops. To me, this is the hope of getting more guys/gals into CW contesting like SS.

The Contest

Moving on, I finally achieved the sweep after working N5NA in WTX. He was my only WTX and it took spotting assistance to find him. All other mults called in during runs or were found S&P.

Is it me, or are key clicks as bad as ever? Holy cow! What’s worse, it seems the biggest offenders always operate right next to me. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Strongest signal on the band right next to me with bad key clicks.

I don’t know if these ops are aware of it, but I might start sending an email to let them know. Those types of messages aren’t usually met with open arms, but short of an OO program to find key clickers, what else can be done to help reduce it? Especially if the poor op isn’t aware of it.

Antennas Pointing South?

If you live in the central part of the country, you need at least two antennas pointed in different directions to hit all parts of the U.S. Up here in the northwest corner, I usually point east and let ‘er rip. I’m starting to rethink that strategy.

For example, N9RV is great op and has a great station. Living in the northwest, he’s one of the reference stations I look at when comparing my own performance. Pat ended up working about 10% more stations overall than I did. He worked 30% more stations in W5, W6, and W7!

Numbers Tell the Story

N9RV: W5 = 102, W6 = 136, W7 = 123. Total = 361.

K7RL: W5 = 87, W6 = 100, W7 = 91. Total = 278

**** N9RV worked 30% more stations in W5, W6, and W7 versus K7RL.

N9RV: W0, W1, W2, W3, W4, W8, and W9. Total = 900

K7RL: W0, W1, W2, W3, W4, W8, and W9. Total = 846

**** N9RV worked 6% more stations in W0, W1, W2, W3, W4, W8, and W9 versus K7RL.

Does this prove having an antenna pointed south and another one east would have helped? I think so. 6% versus 30% is pretty significant. Time to start looking at options!

CW Speed

I always struggle with this decision and I’m not sure why. Started out around 37 to 38 wpm and that seemed to work just fine. I’m always a little concerned if I go too fast I might miss some ops or need to send more repeats.

Starting out fast and slowing down over the course of the contest seemed to work. Of course, near the end, everyone is slower. I found myself asking for repeats more frequently on day two. Fatigue sets in and creates a CW paranoia that I’ve copied something wrong, or didn’t hear it completely. I seem to require more confirmations. Interesting.

Contest Stats

Cabrillo Statistics           (Version 10g)           by K5KA & N6TV
 http://bit.ly/cabstat
 CALLSIGN: K7RL
 CONTEST: ARRL-SS-CW
 CATEGORY-OPERATOR: SINGLE-OP
 CATEGORY-TRANSMITTER: ONE
 OPERATORS: K7RL
 -------------- Q S O   R a t e   S u m m a r y ---------------------
 Hour     160     80     40     20     15     10    Rate Total    Pct
 2100       0      0      0     99      0      0     99     99    8.3
 2200       0      0      0     90      0      0     90    189   15.8
 2300       0      0     25     53      0      0     78    267   22.4
 0000       0      0     95      0      0      0     95    362   30.3
 0100       0      1     75      0      0      0     76    438   36.7
 0200       0     30     37      0      0      0     67    505   42.3
 0300       0     52     17      0      0      0     69    574   48.1
 0400       0     29     17      0      0      0     46    620   51.9
 0500       0     18     16      0      0      0     34    654   54.8
 0600       0     13      9      0      0      0     22    676   56.6
 0700       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    676   56.6
 0800       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    676   56.6
 0900       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    676   56.6
 1000       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    676   56.6
 1100       0      0      0      0      0      0      0    676   56.6
 1200       0      8     31      0      0      0     39    715   59.9
 1300       0      8     47      0      0      0     55    770   64.5
 1400       0      0     24     22      0      0     46    816   68.3
 1500       0      0      1     23      8      0     32    848   71.0
 1600       0      0      0     13     36      0     49    897   75.1
 1700       0      0      0     14     42      0     56    953   79.8
 1800       0      0      0     28     11      0     39    992   83.1
 1900       0      0      0     25     10      0     35   1027   86.0
 2000       0      0      1     31      1      0     33   1060   88.8
 2100       0      0      3     31      1      0     35   1095   91.7
 2200       0      0      2     20      0      0     22   1117   93.6
 2300       0      0     18      8      0      0     26   1143   95.7
 0000       0      6     20      0      0      0     26   1169   97.9
 0100       0      9     11      0      0      0     20   1189   99.6
 0200       0      0      5      0      0      0      5   1194  100.0
 Total      0    174    454    457    109      0   1194
 Gross QSOs=1210        Dupes=16        Net QSOs=1194
 Unique callsigns worked = 1194
 The best 60 minute rate was 102/hour from 2108 to 2207
 The best 30 minute rate was 108/hour from 2143 to 2212
 The best 10 minute rate was 132/hour from 2158 to 2207
 The best 1 minute rates were:
  3 QSOs/minute   21 times.
  2 QSOs/minute  247 times.
  1 QSOs/minute  637 times.
 There were 259 bandchanges and 122 (10.2%) probable 2nd radio QSOs.
 Number of letters in callsigns
 Letters  # worked
 4       726
    5       349
    6       115
    7         1
    8         3
 ------------ M u l t i p l i e r   S u m m a r y ------------
 Mult     160     80     40     20     15     10  Total    Pct
 VA         0      4     21     32      5      0     62    5.2
 IL         0     11     21     26      4      0     62    5.2
 OH         0      3     26     21      5      0     55    4.6
 MDC        0      7     17     27      3      0     54    4.5
 MN         0      9     15     17      3      0     44    3.7
 EPA        0      3     14     18      4      0     39    3.3
 MI         0      6     11     16      3      0     36    3.0
 NC         0      1     15     13      3      0     32    2.7
 EMA        0      4     12     13      1      0     30    2.5
 STX        0      1     11     10      7      0     29    2.4
 WI         0      2      7     14      5      0     28    2.3
 TN         0      1     13     10      3      0     27    2.3
 NTX        0      4      9     10      4      0     27    2.3
 AZ         0      5      9     12      0      0     26    2.2
 GA         0      0      8     12      4      0     24    2.0
 IN         0      3      7     12      1      0     23    1.9
 CO         0      5      5     13      0      0     23    1.9
 WWA        0      6      5      8      2      0     21    1.8
 NFL        0      1      7      9      4      0     21    1.8
 CT         0      0      9      7      4      0     20    1.7
 SCV        0      9      8      2      1      0     20    1.7
 NNJ        0      0      7      8      3      0     18    1.5
 SV         0      8      6      4      0      0     18    1.5
 WNY        0      2      6      5      4      0     17    1.4
 IA         0      2     10      4      1      0     17    1.4
 KY         0      2      8      4      3      0     17    1.4
 MO         0      1      8      5      2      0     16    1.3
 GTA        0      1      7      6      2      0     16    1.3
 NLI        0      1      4      8      1      0     14    1.2
 SDG        0      5      5      4      0      0     14    1.2
 AL         0      2      8      0      4      0     14    1.2
 NH         0      1      5      5      2      0     13    1.1
 WCF        0      0      4      8      1      0     13    1.1
 SNJ        0      3      2      4      3      0     12    1.0
 WPA        0      2      4      5      1      0     12    1.0
 KS         0      2      4      6      0      0     12    1.0
 ENY        0      1      7      2      1      0     11    0.9
 ONE        0      0      3      6      2      0     11    0.9
 OR         0      7      3      1      0      0     11    0.9
 SF         0      7      3      1      0      0     11    0.9
 SC         0      2      3      5      0      0     10    0.8
 SFL        0      0      5      4      1      0     10    0.8
 LAX        0      3      3      4      0      0     10    0.8
 AR         0      0      6      2      1      0      9    0.8
 OK         0      0      7      2      0      0      9    0.8
 MT         0      5      4      0      0      0      9    0.8
 ORG        0      2      6      1      0      0      9    0.8
 WV         0      1      3      3      1      0      8    0.7
 WMA        0      0      1      6      0      0      7    0.6
 LA         0      1      3      3      0      0      7    0.6
 ONS        0      1      4      0      2      0      7    0.6
 ID         0      3      4      0      0      0      7    0.6
 QC         0      1      4      2      0      0      7    0.6
 AK         0      1      3      3      0      0      7    0.6
 BC         0      2      3      2      0      0      7    0.6
 MAR        0      0      1      3      2      0      6    0.5
 MS         0      0      2      4      0      0      6    0.5
 SD         0      3      0      3      0      0      6    0.5
 DE         0      0      2      2      2      0      6    0.5
 NM         0      1      3      1      1      0      6    0.5
 ME         0      1      2      1      1      0      5    0.4
 ND         0      1      2      2      0      0      5    0.4
 VT         0      3      0      1      0      0      4    0.3
 RI         0      0      2      2      0      0      4    0.3
 AB         0      2      2      0      0      0      4    0.3
 WY         0      0      3      1      0      0      4    0.3
 NV         0      1      3      0      0      0      4    0.3
 NNY        0      2      0      2      0      0      4    0.3
 EWA        0      1      0      2      0      0      3    0.3
 UT         0      1      1      1      0      0      3    0.3
 MB         0      0      2      1      0      0      3    0.3
 SK         0      0      3      0      0      0      3    0.3
 EB         0      2      1      0      0      0      3    0.3
 PAC        0      0      3      0      0      0      3    0.3
 SB         0      0      2      0      1      0      3    0.3
 PR         0      0      1      1      1      0      3    0.3
 SJV        0      1      1      1      0      0      3    0.3
 NE         0      0      1      1      0      0      2    0.2
 NT         0      1      1      0      0      0      2    0.2
 ONN        0      0      1      1      0      0      2    0.2
 VI         0      0      1      1      0      0      2    0.2
 NL         0      0      1      0      0      0      1    0.1
 WTX        0      0      0      1      0      0      1    0.1
 Total      0    174    454    457    109      0   1194
 Sweepstakes Checks
 Check  QSOs    Pct
 00     4     0.3
   01     3     0.3
   02     4     0.3
   03     6     0.5
   04     5     0.4
   05     6     0.5
   06     1     0.1
   07     5     0.4
   08     3     0.3
   09     7     0.6
   10     1     0.1
   11     3     0.3
   12     4     0.3
   13     5     0.4
   14     3     0.3
   15     6     0.5
   16     5     0.4
   17     4     0.3
   18     4     0.3
   19     0     0.0
   20     1     0.1
   21     1     0.1
   22     1     0.1
   23     0     0.0
   24     1     0.1
   25     0     0.0
   26     0     0.0
   27     0     0.0
   28     0     0.0
   29     0     0.0
   30     0     0.0
   31     0     0.0
   32     0     0.0
   33     1     0.1
   34     0     0.0
   35     0     0.0
   36     0     0.0
   37     0     0.0
   38     0     0.0
   39     0     0.0
   40     1     0.1
   41     0     0.0
   42     1     0.1
   43     0     0.0
   44     0     0.0
   45     0     0.0
   46     0     0.0
   47     2     0.2
   48     2     0.2
   49     4     0.3
   50     3     0.3
   51     4     0.3
   52     9     0.8
   53    13     1.1
   54    23     1.9
   55    30     2.5
   56    17     1.4
   57    39     3.3
   58    36     3.0
   59    52     4.4
   60    25     2.1
   61    52     4.4
   62    44     3.7
   63    48     4.0
   64    25     2.1
   65    39     3.3
   66    26     2.2
   67    33     2.8
   68    31     2.6
   69    40     3.4
   70    34     2.8
   71    28     2.3
   72    39     3.3
   73    26     2.2
   74    32     2.7
   75    37     3.1
   76    47     3.9
   77    43     3.6
   78    22     1.8
   79    18     1.5
   80    17     1.4
   81    16     1.3
   82     7     0.6
   83     6     0.5
   84    11     0.9
   85     5     0.4
   86    12     1.0
   87     6     0.5
   88    10     0.8
   89    16     1.3
   90     8     0.7
   91     9     0.8
   92    16     1.3
   93    10     0.8
   94     5     0.4
   95     5     0.4
   96     7     0.6
   97     4     0.3
   98    11     0.9
   99     4     0.3
 U.S. Call Areas Worked
 Area    QSOs     Pct
 0     119    10.0
    1     103     8.6
    2     116     9.7
    3     123    10.3
    4     161    13.5
    5      87     7.3
    6     100     8.4
    7      91     7.6
    8     107     9.0
    9     117     9.8
 Total   1124    94.1
 Sweepstakes Precedents
 Precedent  QSOs    Pct
 A      489    41.0 B      206    17.3 Q       73     6.1 M       41     3.4 U      378    31.7 S        7     0.6

Thanks to all that worked me. Until next time,

73, Mitch, K7RL

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