Operating in the 2014 CQ World Wide Contest From the Mobile Station

Last weekend, during the CQ World Wide DX Contest, I decided to fire up the mobile HF station on Sunday morning and try to put a few contacts in the log.  Working a contest like the CQWW from a mobile station is always a challenge so I didn’t make an attempt on Saturday, the first day of the contest.  Everything about a mobile station is a compromise, so you’re behind the eight ball in terms of RF power, antenna gain, etc. even in comparison to a modest home station. By Sunday all of the big gun stations have worked each other and are looking for contacts, so that’s the best time to for a mobile to try.   After going off duty Sunday morning and getting some breakfast, I turned on the FT-897 to see what was going on.

Conditions were extraordinary.  I had seen tweets from fellow hams on Saturday talking about how good conditions were for the contest, so I wasn’t completely surprised.  40 Meters and 20 Meters, at 8 AM in the morning were slammed.  There were so many stations so close together that it was hard to pull some out.  I tried a few of the stronger stations on both bands but 100 watts through the Opek just wasn’t enough to cut through all of the QRM.  Many of the tweets I saw on Saturday mentioned how good the conditions on 15 Meters and 10 Meters were, so I reset the Opek for 15 Meters and tried it out.  Conditions were excellent even for that early in the morning and I put 6 stations in the log.  I usually have better luck on 15 Meters but it sounded like what 20 Meters frequently does in contests! Next I tried out 10 Meters and was even more successful, putting 8 stations in the log.  I was quite pleased given how both bands were and exchanging tweets with some of my ham friends discovered that Sunday wasn’t quite as good as Saturday so I can’t imagine what Saturday must have sounded like!

Out of the 14 stations worked, most were in Eastern and Central Europe with a few Western European and Central/South American thrown in.  One of the stations was from Belarus, which was a new country for the mobile log!

  • Belarus
  • Costa Rica
  • Czech Republic
  • England
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Scotland
  • Slovak Republic
  • Venezuela

All in all, it was a great way to end the morning.  It would have been nice to have put a few more in the log and I’m sure that as propagation changed throughout the morning it would have been possible, but it was time to get some sleep.

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