In a further example of the benefits of DX contests for those looking to rack up new countries, this weekend’s Russia DX Contest served up another bounty of new DXCC entities on CW.
All in all, I landed 11 new DXCC entities. Since part of the fun of contesting is imagining the operator at the other end of the ionosphere – doing the same thing you’re doing, furiously decoding CW in front of a radio, thousands of miles away – I’ve included the names of the ops below where I could find them:
- Switzerland (HB9ON – Radiogroup in Piancamara 7, a profilic DXpedition team)
- England (M2G – not a special event station, just a contest call of John in the UK)
- Croatia (9A7V – Eugen)
- Poland (SN8B – Bobowsi)
- Germany (DA0AA – A radio club in Germany. “Emergency Radio Station Frank Cut Switzerland”, says Google Translate…. so that’s something)
- European Russia (RU1A, a contest station out of St. Petersburg)
- Northern Ireland (MI5I – Colin)
- Serbia (YT3X – Miki)
- Sweden (SH1DX – could not find)
- Argentina (L6HKA – could not find)
- Slovenia (S51J – Janez)
I also connected with a second Alaska station, my first AK contact on 20m, which should help to cement that state for my WAS goal this year. (To be sure, KL7/VE7ACN has been tearing up the bands this week, since I heard him a week ago. But more contacts in the log never hurt.) As icing on the cake, I heard, but couldn’t contact, Arthur 4X2M in Israel . Still searching for that first elusive contact in Asia.
Unlike the ARRL DX contest, where contacts within the same country don’t count for anything, the Russia DX contest does award a (small) number of points for contacts in the same country. So I picked up a few stateside contacts on 40m later in the evening, just to add to the contact count and continue drilling my CW.
There’s a joke in radio circles about “contest propagation”, which is the notion that even when “the bands are dead,” they somehow “magically open up” when there’s a contest going on. Certainly, during major contests, when everyone who has one brings out their big amplifiers and aims their beams most precisely, contacts are more frequent.
But this weekend, I suspect that the ol’ ionosphere was actually on our side for a change – in the late afternoon, after I’d worked what there was to work on 20m CW and before 40m opened up, I dipped over onto 20M JT65. . After noodling around for about 20 minutes, I had landed both PD7RF (Frits in the Netherlands) and MC0CSO in Wales.
Two more DXCC in the log. That brings me up to 49 DXCC entities reached, with 30 confirmed.
And as a final sign of Sol’s grace upon the upper atmosphere, the following afternoon I heard (but could not reach) both Asiatic Russia (RA0CGY) and Japan (JM7OLW, JH1HRJ, JA1PSS, and 7K4GUR) on JT65.All are over 6000 miles away. They were way below the noise floor at -20 to -24 dB, about the limits of what JTDX will decode. But things look promising as the summer months move closer.
Hear you on the air, all over the world!