Participation in Danger

The storm system Herwart endangered my participation in the CW part of the CQWW contest this time. During the lsat days of October it split a chestnut tree about 25m high at the DL2LSM QTH. About a third of the tree fell onto the guying cables of the 20m high central mast. The latter holds the 2m horizontal antenna as well as the 2-by-20m dipole which is essential for any serious low band work from this QTH. Actually, none of the 4mm and 5mm steel cables broke. However they got stretched quite a bit and as a consequence the top of the antenna got bent.

It took another two days to cut down the remaining tree and clean up. Afterwards, the mast had been lowered until the bent part could be reached. We had been afraid that we had to cut down the top section of the mast. However, we have been able to straighten it completely just by pulling on the guying cable. This saved a lot of time. In addition to fixing the tube the dual band X-500 vertical antenna on top of the mast has been replaced. It didn’t work on 2 meters anymore. We did a bit more maintenance work, i.e. all the guying cables got replaced, the mast got re-painted, and the bearings greased. It took a bit of time, but eventually the antenna went back up again well before CQ WWDX CW.


The weekend before the contest I set up two more antennas. This have been the 40m delta loop which has been used a number of times by now and additionally a 160m Inverted-L antenna for the very first time. The latter consisted of a piece of wire a bit longer than lambda/4 which went up along the spiderpole to about 16 m and then sloping down to about 5m. The ground was made out of twenty nine radials most of them about 20m long. Matching the system had been a bit of a challenge. This had been not because of the complexity of the system but the lack of basic physics knowledge of the persons involved as well as the insufficent knowledge of the FA-VA-4 antenna analyzer used. It gave DL2LSM and myself a bit of a headache and got the dust of the good old grip dip meter. Eventually, the system and tools are understood and the system got matched at about 1825 kHz with a band with of about 20kHz.


We are getting closer to the bottom of the solar cycle which is expected to happen about 2019. The high band openings become weaker and don’t last. Ten yielded just a few spotty QSOs ranging from CT3 as far North as OH. Fifteen opened solid to the US on Saturday but didn’t open into the Far East for me. Twenty has been good on both days but closed quite early after sun set. Forty is then the band with a lot of competition. So there have been quite a number of stations heard which couldn’t be reached, namely KH6, KL, and a few from Asia as well as Oceania. Eighty meters on the other hand worked as good as always and even JA made it into the log. The new Inverted-L antenna played pretty well on 160m. Stations have been about an S-unit louder compared to the 2-by-20m dipole and I could work some good DX including UA9, EA8, CN, and CT3. The only station I called without a response had been ZB2X. I guess he must have had quite some local noise in ZB. I guess it won’t be the last appearance of this antenna in a contest. I will optimize the mechanical construction and then deployment becomes even faster.


I’m happy with the result. All the equipment worked flawlessly despite a one-time glitch of an USB-RS232 converter resulting in a re-boot of the computer. All-in-all it allowed for a great number of QSOs and multies. Thanks everybody pulling out my tiny signal from the noise.


Calling CQ on 40m on late afternoon and getting called by ZL1TM with pretty strong signal. Live could be so easy…


I just slept about 2 hours early morning the second day and felt pretty good towards the end. So, I decided to call CQ the last couple of minutes. Well, my brain had been really slow. Couldn’t really concentrate. Needed to ask twice with most of the callers and even scared one away. Sorry guys, will be better next time.


I would like to say thank you to DL2LSM and XYL for hosting me again and helping with all the antenna work outside.


This contest is always fun to operate and I will certainly be part of the crowd next year. So, merry Xmas and happy holidays to everyone and thanks for all the nice QSOs.

Preliminary Result:

Call: DM2M
Class: SO All Band QRP
Rig:   K3 (5W) + K3 (5W)
Ant:   2-by-20m double zepp @18m, spider beam @14m, 40m Delta Loop @15m, 160m Inverted-L

Total Score:  2876 * (89 + 366) = 1.308.580

Band   QSO    CQ   DXCC   Points   
160    219     6    48     231    
 80    569    16    75     700
 40    430    18    85     702
 20    403    25    92     852
 15    156    21    60     374
 10     12     3     6      17
Total 1789    87   347    2876


This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 20th, 2017 at 5:44 pm and is filed under HF Contesting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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