Sunday, April 8, 2012

Despite Up and Down Propagation, WPX SSB Turnout Strong Worldwide as Records Fall

Despite Up and Down Propagation, WPX SSB Turnout Strong Worldwide as Records Fall

The rollercoaster that has been propagation in ham radio contesting was once again up and down in the 2012 CQ WPX SSB Contest, but that didn't stop another big turnout and maybe a new Single Operator record and new marks in the Multi-Op section.

In the Single Operator ranks, Jim Sullivan W7EJ has a chance to break his world record of 2010, as he claimed a score of 28.3 million points, ahead of his 2010 mark of just over 27 million.

Sullivan did most of his damage on 15 and 10 meters, where he made 3573 of his 5572 contacts.

The biggest head turning score though wasn't in the Single Op ranks - it was submitted by the EB8AH Multi-Multi team, which checked in with 12,125 contacts, 1824 prefixes and a total score of 82 million points - that would absolutely shatter the DR1A Multi-Multi record of 63.3 million set in 2011.

Team members EA8AH, EA8CAC, EA8ZS, EA5DY, EA4BQ (OH0XX), OH1MA, OH6RX, IK1HJS, ES2RR, ES5RW and ES5GM did much of their work on 10-40 meters, with 3397 QSO's on 20 meters topping their individual band contact numbers.

The numbers weren't quite as off the charts in the Multi-Single category, but there it was Team 5D5A (@CN3A) which claimed 40.7 million points, just ahead of Team P33W at 39.6 million - both claimed scores were above the current M/S record held by 5D5A at 36.7 million points.

"Big score but not enough. Congrats to 5D5A guys," wrote Team P33W in a good sportsmanship touch on 3830 after the contest.

Team 5D5A described conditions on 10 meters as "amazing," as that popular contest band again left many contesters with a big smile, though 80 meters - and its double points on longer QSO's - was a disappointment to many on the other end of the spectrum.

Another record likely to fall was the Single Op Assisted High Power record of Helmut Mueller DF7ZS, who claimed 24 million points from P41P in Aruba, almost doubling the next best score.

Mueller already holds the Assisted mark at 17.4 million from back in 2010.

Across the island, there was no record in the Low Power category for John Crovelli W2GD, but he ran the P40W station to over 14 million points for what looks like a slam dunk win in LP.

On 3830, Crovelli described conditions as "good but not great" thanks to a solar disturbance during the weekend, but it didn't ruin the show.

"One highlight of the contest was being called by a significant number of very young operators," Crovelli wrote. "It's wonderful to see parents and grandparents encouraging these activities."

No East Coast Bias in WPX SSB 2012

A quick look at the top scores in the United States for the 2012 CQ WPX SSB showed something right away - and that was you didn't need to be on the East Coast in order to be on top.

Yes, Ed Sawyer N1UR did his usual top echelon showing, possibly setting a new US Low Power record for single operators with 5.9 million points.

And yes, Malcolm Davenport KI1G is leading in the Single Operator Assisted race with over 12 million points.

But in the Single Op High Power battle, it was Arkansas and Texas that came out on top in the top two spots, with Kevin Stockton N5DX leading the way at 12.1 million points and George NR5M next at 11 million.

The top US score in QRP was from the Black Hole in southwestern Minnesota, as Randy Shirbroun posted 653k to lead the way.

In the Multi-Op categories, Team WW2DX leads Multi-Single, Team KE3X has the top slot in Multi-Two and Team NX5M is tops in Multi-Multi, edging out WX3B on the East Coast.

2012 CQ WPX SSB Leaders

N1UR - Single Op Low Power
NN5J - Single Op High Power
KI1G - Single Op Assisted High
W3LL - Single Op Assisted Low
ND0C - Single Op QRP
NX5M - Multi Multi
KE3X - Multi Two
WW2DX - Multi Single

World Leaders
P40W (W2GD) - Single Op Low Power
CN2R (W7EJ) - Single Op High Power
P41P (DF7ZS) - Single Op Assisted High
RV9UP - Single Op Assisted Low
TI5N (W8QZA) - Single Op QRP
EB8AH - Multi Multi
PJ4Z - Multi Two
5D5A - Multi Single High

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