onsdag den 21. november 2018

A "small pistol" preparing for the CQ WW CW contest

The CQ WW CW contest runs the last full weekend of November. This event is probably the world's biggest CW contest. As I am a "small pistol" (QRP station with one operator) I choose to participate in the category "Single Operator QRP Assisted". Assisted means that spotting networks are allowed. The main purpose of my participation is working new countries.

My client for the spotting network is Bandmaster by Afreet Software (VE3NEA, Alex). There is one particular reason for choosing this client: the Needed List. This is where you can specify the countries you need, and only those will be shown. You avoid spots of countries already worked.

Bandmaster's Needed List
Another important piece of software is Ham CAP by Afreet Software. Ham CAP provides real-time info on propagation from your QTH to any country in the world. In the screen-dump below, the propagation from OZ to XE (Mexico) is considered. The red line is MUF, and the optimum QSO time on each band is indicated by a yellow rectangle. The current time is shown by a white vertical line. 

The graph below tells me that 18 MHz is open right now, but it will close shortly, and I have to move down to 14 MHz. By moving the cursor within the window I can tell, that 14 MHz is going to close at 18:00 UTC. I highly appreciate this kind of information!

This graph shows propagation between OZ and XE.
My logging software is CQ WW DX Contest Log by Affirmatec Inc. (N3FJP). This logging program is easy to operate and it does what I want. Different macros control the transmission via my Winkeyer Lite usb.

Vy 73 de OZ1BXM Lars