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!