Less than 48 hrs until the big 10m Contest
Less than 48 hrs until the big 10m Contest avatar

Just a few items in preparing for the ARRL 10 Meter Contest this weekend…   At contest start Friday eve at 0000Z the band may be pretty much closed down, except for local contesters — of which I put many into the log (all good mults – CT, RI, MA, NH, NY) the first night the past few years.

Check the band every so often during each evening as it may open to sporadic-E skip or even meteor scatter.   A nice opening to the Midwest/Southeast in last year’s contest the first night lasted over 2 hours and went past local midnite!  Some nice state mults were worked then that may not otherwise be available during the contest.

Speaking of multipliers, there are 97 available mults just among the U.S., Canada and Mexico — all 50 U.S. states + D.C.,  the individual 14 VE provinces and territories as well as the recently added 32 Mexican states.  Maritime mobiles may be worked also as a mult — giving out their region: R1, R2 or R3.

Adding in all the DXCC mults that will be available may allow some single mode ops to push the 200 multiplier envelope!  For mixed mode ops (where multipliers count per *mode*) 300 mults will likely be achievable.  Bottom line…lots of multipliers to be had in this contest.

But with all the frequency space available on 28 MHz, operators should try to ‘run’ a frequency by calling CQ when possible to increase their QSO rate and because many multipliers will come to them.  During the recent CQWW SSB ‘test Phone stations were found calling CQ in the contest above 29.1 MHz due to the great activity on the band!  Expect more of that this weekend, for sure.

With the crowded conditions and great popularity of the spotting networks worldwide, DX and rare multiplier stations have commented how difficult it is now to separate the dozens (hundreds?) of callers (esp. on CW) who are ALL zero-beat together after pointing and clicking on their DX ‘spot’.  As a caller of the DX *a small change in your TX freq of a few Hz* either side of his TX frequency will likely help you be heard and get thru the pile more quickly.  A number of DX ops went ‘split operation’ temporarily to manage the pileups during CQWW.  Be sure you know how to quickly ‘go split’ with your radio when needed to get the DX!

The ARRL 10 Meter Contest is a great way for folks to work on their WAS award as well as DXCC.  Many contesters are active on the ARRL’s Logbook of the World (LoTW) so credits for worked entities can come quickly.  I personally need 5 more states for 10M WAS (all close in to New England) and hope to snag a few of those this weekend.

Conditions remain good on the band this week…China and Hong Kong were worked via Long Path in the A.M. early this week and many African stations have been heard to be active.  Openings to Europe Saturday and Sunday mornings could be earlier than 7 A.M. EST so don’t forget to check the band by then.

Operation:  ARRL 10 Meter ‘Test is almost upon us — Enjoy the contest and go CTRI CG!


Bill  W1WBB


3 comments on “Less than 48 hrs until the big 10m Contest
Less than 48 hrs until the big 10m Contest avatar

  1. Bill,
    Thanks for posting this information. This morning I heard South Cook Islands on 10 CW. Very copyable and working the pile-up well. He was split, so I couldn’t work him since I was using the TS-2000 at W1CGA. I know it has dual VFOs, but your exact point, I don’t know how to play that game on this radio.

    Before you all send me instructions, I have the manual and will look it up tomorrow so I know what to do. I prefer to listen on both frequencies and tune my transmitter transceiver to the person being worked, while keeping the second receiver tuned to the DX station. I don’t think I could do that with the TS-2000.

    More to follow. W1CGA will start Saturday morning on CW. There’s a final exam in the room on Saturday morning through 11:15, so the cadets won’t be able to start playing on SSB until that time.

    Best 73, Mike, K1DM

  2. 10 METERS AT 7 AM LP TO CHINA: I think I need to be dragged into a gulag somewhere in Siberia to re-orient my thinking. Up at 5:30 AM as usual this morning looking on 160 and 80 for Pacific/Asia DX. Listened for XU7ACY spotted on 160…but a long shot at best from New England. Then I heard my friend K3TW in FL on 80 CW talking to someone getting ready to go to 10 meters for LONG PATH (LP) DX. 7 in the morning? OK…let’s take a listen. Not many signals but within 5 minutes worked China and Taiwan with the beam pointed nearly due SOUTH…LP. 5 x 9 signals! It’s been a while so I have to re-learn 10 meter condions all over again. What does this portend for this weekend? The 10 meter contest will be gangbusters. CTRI’ers: you got to get on this weekend and sample the DX that will be on. The latest CQ Magazine’s propgagation column by NW7US shows that this sunsspsot cycle is very much on the upswing and actually tracking very similar to the previous cycle. 10 meters here we come!! GL! — John, W1XX

  3. So far I have not been disappointed with the signal we’re heard, just with what could hear us. @ W1CGA we have some software issues that made CW a real pain, but I figured out a way to at least make a few Q’s this morning and early afternoon.

    When we switched to phone, we apparently need to do some set-up on the speech processor or mike gain. The two stations we worked complained about the audio being impossible to understand – more work to be done. Laura has started learning the code. She wants to be able to do CW the next time. I told her it might take a year, but she’s going to try and make me a liar!:)

    At home, I am struggling to work much at all. I have a vertical and it’s not transmitting as well as it’s receiving. I had a pipe-line into Arizona this evening. Now (0000Z) the band it pretty dead.

    73, Mike, K1DM

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