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2019 IARU HF World Championships

07/15/2019 | KP4MD/P

I spent the twelve days at my annual KP4MD/P "Holiday Style DXpedition" on the beach in Puerto Rico relaxing and preparing for my CW "Low Power" entry in the July 13-14 IARU HF World Championship contest.  Here below is a photo of my portable "station in a suitcase" consisting of an Elecraft KX3 with the PX3 panadapter and KXPA100 amplifier, a Powerwerx 30 amp switching power supply, a netbook PC for logging and a Buddistick vertical antenna on the balcony rail.  I have posted a mini video tour of the station at

I did my homework during the days leading up to the contest weekend by updating and practicing with the N3FJP IARU contest log and planning operating times and frequencies with online propagation tools and by checking hourly propagation patterns with WSPR and with on the air contacts.

This was an earnest wholehearted effort to beat my previous claimed score of 90,336 which I knew would be difficult with the dismal propagation of our current solar minimum.  I operated the full 24 hours contest period except for breaks during poor propagation in the early afternoon and a nap from 3-6 am.  

The final results were new records for me: 363 contacts in 54 DX entities, 1,105 QSO Points, 106 multipliers and a new personal high claimed score of 117,130.  The newly acquired PX3 panadapter duly impressed me during my "hunt and pounce" operating.  The low efficiency of the nine-foot Buddistick whip antenna on 80 and 40 meters always presents a challenge, but persistence during the best propagation times yielded 37 multipliers on 40m and even 8 multipliers with my homebrew loading coil on 80m.  My most impressive catches were ZM1A in New Zealand on 20m at 11:25 pm, VK4CT in Australia on 40m at 06:37 am, and NH2DX in Guam on 20m at 7:01 am all my local AST times.

I found that my on the air operation and study of WSPR data prior to the contest weekend were most helpful in planning operating times and frequencies.  The online VOACAP propagation predictions were of little help.  Although I have observed VOACAP to accurately predict propagation trends during periods of higher solar activity, these predictions were overly optimistic during this period of zero sunspot number, even in the absence of geomagnetic disturbances.

73 and thanks again for a very enjoyable IARU HF Championship contest!
Carol, KP4MD/P

-- KP4MD





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