CQ 160m CW contest

One-sixty is one of my favorite bands. Even though I’m not one of those guys with a converted broadcast transmitter in the shed and a shunt-fed hundred-foot tower, I enjoy the challenge of working distant stations on topband, and the curiosity of using frequencies that are just above the broadcast band. While some BCB DXers enjoy digging out distant 50 kW broadcasters, it’s fun to tell them I worked California using only 100 watts.

Conditions were pretty good this past weekend. I wasn’t on for long, and didn’t run, but managed 130 QSOs and 44 mults over about four hours. Best DX was California, only worked one XE (but heard several Caribbeans) but I didn’t add any new ones.

My setup on 160 is a bit clunky: I don’t currently have a rig with a separate receive antenna input, so I have to use an external relay to switch between the inverted-L for transmit and the shielded loop with preamp for receive. That requires coordination to turn on the external keying relay in the rig and to turn up the delay so as to avoid QSK clatter (and so I don’t fry the preamp again). It also means that I might miss the first two or three dits and dahs of the reply after sending my exchange – normally not a problem if I’m just searching & pouncing.

                    CQ 160-Meter Contest, CW

Call: NF8M
Operator(s): NF8M
Station: NF8M

Class: Single Op LP
Operating Time (hrs): 4

Total:  QSOs = 130  State/Prov = 43  Countries = 1  Total Score = 13,156

Club: Mad River Radio Club